Attack on Panzer Group West's headquarters at La Caine

Attack on Panzer Group West's headquarters at La Caine

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Attack on Panzer Group West's HQ
partof=Battle of Normandy

caption=Modern photograph of the Chateau where Panzer Group West's headquarters was located.
date=10 June 1944
place=La Caine, France
result=HQ rendered non-operational
combatant1=Aircraft of the RAF Second Tactical Air Force
combatant2=HQ of Panzer Group West
strength1=40 Hawker Typhoon ground attack aircraft
61 Mitchells bombers
casualties1=None recorded
casualties2=Killed: Sigismund-Helmut von Dawans and 17 other staff officers
Wounded: Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg

The Attack on Panzer Group West's headquarters at La Caine in Normandy was a successful airstrike by the RAF's Second Tactical Air Force against the headquarters of Panzer Group West. The raid took place on 10 June 1944 and knocked out German control of its armour. The attack resulted in the wounding of the Panzer group commander, the breakdown of German communications and the withdrawn of the HQ to Paris.


During the Battle of Normandy, the headquarters of Panzer Group West was established in the Chateau at La Caine. On 9 June 1944, only three days after the Normandy landings, the headquarters' new location was revealed to the British Intelligence by decyphering of German signals traffic.cite web |url= |title=D-Day 1944 Air Power Over the Normandy Beaches and Beyond |accessdate=2007-04-23 |format=HTML |publisher=HyperWar Foundation] On 10 June 1944, aircraft of the Second Tactical Air Force bombed the village. The raid was carried out by 40 rocket-armed Typhoons which attacked in three waves from low altitude and by 61 Mitchells which dropped 500 lb bombs from 12,000 ft.RAF Air Historical Branch Records (typed manuscript), The Liberation of North-West Europe - Operation "Overlord", Volume 3 - The Landings in Normandy, pages 129 and 130.]

=Casualties and da

Eighteen members of the HQ staff were known to have died in the raid, including the chief of staff Generalmajor Sigismund-Helmut von Dawans cite web |url= |title=Liste des généraux morts durant la bataille de Normandie |accessdate=2007-04-23|language=French |format=HTML |] the most senior officer to be killed in the raid. The group's commander, Generalleutnant Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg, was wounded in the raid.cite web |url= |title=New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force–(Vol. II) - Chapter 10 Normandy|accessdate=2007-04-23|format=HTML |publisher=New Zealand Electronic Text Service] Although the Chateau was not badly damaged, the nearby orchard in which the HQ's vehicles were parked, was thoroughly bombed. and communications equipment was also destroyed.


The HQ was rendered non-operational and withdrawn to Paris.Wilmot, C.: "The Struggle for Europe", pages 331 and 332. The Reprint Society, 1954] German command of the sector was temporarily given to the I SS Panzer Corps. The attack destroyed the only western German Army organization capable of handling a large number of mobile divisions. [cite web
last =Murray
first =Williamson
authorlink =
title =ULTRA: Some Thoughts on its Impact on the Second World War
work =Air University Review
publisher =Air University
date =July August 1984
url =
format =HTML
accessdate =2007-09-30


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