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This is a German metal ammunition box for the 10.5CM LEFH 18 field howitzer which held 3 cartridges and is complete with those shell cases all 3 are rusty but solid very well cleaned and have a few faint markings but nothing much and slide in and out of the case fairly easily and empty and inert. The metal made box is in relic condition the lid has broken on the hinge the locks are rusted solid it still has its metal carry handle and has a fair bit of original sand camouflage paintwork remains clear to see it is in nice solid condition not falling apart but does have rust holes and rust damage and most of its bottom is missing but unusual to get a nice example of this famous box still with its original contents recovered from the battlefield it has been very well cleaned and is perfect for display or any collection. The box and cartridges were recovered from an old German gun pit position for a 10.5cm LEFH 18 field howitzer used by the 107th Panzer Brigade or supporting Fallschirmjager troops used in the battle of Helmond during the British Operation Market Garden the Offensive 22nd-25th September 1944 in the Netherlands. The box comes with 2xA5 laminated information cards.
Panzer Brigade 107 was raised around the remnants from Panzer-Grenadier-Division 25. Although the brigade only received 33 Panther tanks and 12 StuG IV assault guns the unit got 9 to 12 weeks for training and organisation! The urgency of troops at the front thwarted this schedule and on the 15th of September the troops were loaded on trains heading for the West. Panzer-Brigade 107 was destined for operations in Lorraine but the major Allied airborne operation in the Netherlands required tank forces in this sector.
On the 19th of September the tank battalion was fully operational and set out on his mission: the destruction of the bridge at Son over the Wilhemina Canal, just above Eindhoven. This would cut of all airborne troops and the supply of the Guards Armoured Division, who was moving towards Arnhem. In Helmond, a town just east of Eindhoven, the Panzer-Brigade took a break, which they used to mount the German airborne troops as supporting infantry to their destination. After leaving from Helmond the Germans soon were close to their objection.
After two days of heavy fighting around the Son bridge attacking the British supply lines to Arnhem. The German tanks of Panzer Brigade 107 retreated they lost at least 150 men and 4 Tanks in the fighting. Meanwhile from the south the British 44th Royal Tanks Battalion of the 11th Armoured Division was coming from Eindhoven to deal with the menace of Panzer-Brigade 107. They advanced on a broad front towards the southern flank of the attacking German forces, which were in danger of being caught into encirclement from the north and south. The southern attack ended in a tanks clash, which took heavy losses both sides. Panzer-Brigade 107 managed to escape to the east but lost almost one third of its tanks in the process, some of them due to lack of fuel.
Von Malthzahn the commander of the 107th Panzer Brigade realised that the British were keen to drive his forces away from the vital bridge at Son. He also knew that the British had ssembled superior tank forces for this job, which would smash his brigade if he stayed where he was. On the 21st of September he withdrew his forces towards Helmond, where he started his advance on September 19th. The British caught up the tail of the Panzer-Brigade and a fire fight between the British vanguard and the German rearguard developed in which the Germans lost three more precious tanks but after heavy fighting manged to escape East.