At two o'clock in the morning of 6 June I was alerted.
The invasion fleet was coming across the Channel. I was
told to begin moving north that afternoon This was
too early. Air attacks had been severe in daylight and
everyone knew that everything that could fly would support
the invasion. My request for a delay until twilight was
We moved as ordered and immediately came under air
attack. I lost twenty or thirty vehicles by nightfall.
By the end of the following day I had lost forty trucks
carrying fuel and ninety others. Five of my tanks were
knocked out and eighty-four half-tracks, prime movers
and self-propelled guns. These were serious losses for
a Division not yet in action.
General Fritz Bayerlein, Panzer Lehr
Tank Museum photo No. 5643/E/2
General Bayerlein, his driver and I were waiting for
the vanguard of 901st Grenadier Regiment at Conde-sur-Noireau,
50 km south of Caen. The little town had been reduced
to a smouldering heap of ruins. The road bridge too had
been destroyed by bombs. All night long we had been looking
for the battle headquarters of Sepp Dietrich, the Corps
commander but we could not find it.
Captain Hartdegen, Panzer Lehr.
Tank Museum photo No. 2389/C/5
We were surprised by the violent anti-tank fire. A
great number of anti-tank guns seemed to be in positions
along the edge of the town. Canadian Infantry was in position
in the trenches to the left and right of the tree-lined
road running north-east to Bretteville. They peppered
the mounted Grenadiers with wild rifle fire. Von Butner
had died. Panzermeyer then sent out two assault teams.
I reached the church with only six men after a lot of
violent shooting. There I awaited the arrival of the Panzers.
They did not show up.
SS Leutnant Fuss, Ist SS Panzer Grenadier Battalion.