21 November 2012

Tanks of 6. Panzer Division Advance Toward Cassel

Image size: 1600 x 1094 pixel. 322 KB
Date: Sunday, 26 May 1940
Place: Cassel, Nord départment, Prancis
Photographer: Unknown

Noon, 26 May 1940: row of panzers from Kampfgruppe Esebeck/6.Panzer-Division/16.Armee/Heeresgruppe B advance to attack Cassel (background), defended by the British 145th (South) Brigade/I Corps; a Panzerkampfwagen II follows Skoda's Panzerkampfwagen 35(t). Note air recognition flags, and the detachable tactical number plate on the PzKfw II, '502'! Kampfgruppe Esebeck commanded by Oberst Hans-Karl Freiherr von Esebeck. They successfully established a bridgehead across the Saint-Quentin Canal south of Cambrai on 18 May 1940. On 19 May the Kampfgruppe established bridgeheads on Canal du Nord in co-operation with Kampfgruppe Ravenstein. The Kampfgruppe nearly reached the coast between Abbéville and Montreuil on 20 May, supported by the 57th Reconnaissance Battalion. On 22 May the Kampfgruppe captured Lumbres, 40 kilometers east of Calais. The Kampfgruppe successfully occupied Saint Omer on 23 May and continued advance towards Cassel. On 24 May the Kampfgruppe was withdrawn to hold a bridgehead on the Calais-Saint Omer Canal. During 29 and 30 May the Kampfgruppe supported the operations of Kampfgruppe Koll.

Helmut Ritgen photo collection
Book "The 6th Panzer Division: 1937-45" by Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen

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