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These regiments in their Panzer IV’s and Panthers would be a constant foe of Anglo-Canadian troops in the area in and around Caen and are key to giving context to the fanatical resistance 1stSSPzrCorps created in trying to contain the allied breakout from the beaches of Normandy.
Below are excerpts from The Regina Rifle and I. Abteilung SS-Panzer Regiment 12 in their first encounter at Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse on D + 3.
Regina Rifles:
0030 At 0030 hrs Bn HQ WAS SHELLED AND MACHINED GUNNED, when the enemy put in a tank and infantry attack on the town. One Panther tank pulled up outside Bn HQ . and the comd jumped down and demanded that we surrender and was met with a suitable reply - a PIAT bomb.
The tank was then knocked out by a PIAT. Meanwhile a hot time was had by all as enemy tanks were all about the town blasting away at the men in their slit trenches and destroying one of our A/Tk guns.
Thewhole sky was lit up by blazing roofs and burning tanks as well as our own parachute flares.
0200 At 0220 hrs, another tank was knocked out by a PIAT near our mortar positions.
0315 At 0315 hrs, an enemy AA Karmd car SD KFZ 140 ran up the main street of Bretteville and was knocked out by PIAT fire in front of our Bn HQ. During the scrap, we lost seven carriers including one loaded with amn. In return 5 Panther tanks were bagged in the vicinity of BnHQ.
0423 At 0423 Panther tanks left vicinity of Bn HQ and RVd a short distant away. We requested arty fire on them. This was granted. We were informed that tank support would be forthcoming at first light.
0445 At 0445 hrs, the enemy put in determined attacks on all Coys, but were thrown back.
0745 Altogether a very hectic night was spent by all. A bright new page was written in the records of this Bn. Everyone fought magnificently and although the picture looked black, there was no sign of wavering anywhere. In this attack, Capt R.G. Shinnan lost his life.
I. Abteilung SS-Panzer Regiment 12:
Abteilung HQ at Le Bourg. 1. Kompanie attacks at 12.00 Norrey[-en-Bessin]. The church tower was taken under fire from a rear slope position with all tank guns, as there were very likely artillery observers in it.
Advance towards Norrey at top speed. 2 anti-tank guns and infantry positions rolled over. On order of the Commanding Officer, the company withdrew to the starting position.
At the same time, 3. Kompanie joined the attack and was advancing well. Antitank fire from near the church and the wood to its right.
Fire was returned, 2 AT guns destroyed. Within 5 minutes, due to direct hits by anti-tank guns (anti-tank guns or enemy tanks could not be made out) fell out as total losses and burned Panthers: 325,328,335,336,337. Panther 327&329, damaged by Pak hits, went to the workshop.
The Company withdrew on orders, continued fire fight from the rear slope, then withdrew again and took position behind 1. Kompanie.
4. Kompanie orders: security, flank protection for attacking 1. and 3. Kompanie, support fire from its position. Suddenly antitank fire from Bretteville
Panther 417 burned out as a result of an anti-tank hit. The Kompanie moved into new positions leaving behind [elements] to secure the main road, and opened fire on a recognized anti-tank gun, that was destroyed.
Pak hit in the hull of Panther 404 that was towed to the workshop. Fire on suspected Pak line was started. At the same time, enemy infantry attacked Rots on both sides of the road. Attack could be repulsed by elements of 15./SS-Pz.-Gren.Rgt.25.
The 2. Kompanie was in position northwest of Fontenay [le-Pesnel], and destroyed 3 Sherman. 3. and 4. Kompanie destroyed one Sherman each in the evening hours.
From 23.00 on the Abteilung moves to Fontenay.

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