This is a blown Locking catch from hatch from German Panther tank destroyed in Normandy.This metal bar catch with blast damage jagged edges from ware it was ripped from the Tank in an explosion the actual catch lever is rusted solid the bar is 12 inches long it is rusty but still very solid it is relic but has cleaned up and is perfect for display or any collection.The locking catch is from one of the SS Division or Corps Tanks which was defending Hill 112 as they were the only Panther tanks on the hill which is near Caen in Normandy recovered from the hill a many years ago from a pit of buried German equipment obviously done after the battle when they were clearing the hill. A very nice and rare relic from this famous Hill fought over during the Normandy campaign and it comes with a A5 laminated information card with picture.
Hill 112 was the name given to an important area of high ground near Caen in Normandy. The German army wanted to keep control of the hill because it gave them a strong advantage. On the 25th June 1944 the 5th Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry of 214th Brigade and the 4/Somerset Light infantry and supported by tanks of the 7th RTR with Churchill and Sherman Tanks finally captured the crest of the Hill. After capturing the hill, the 5th Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry were subject fierce counter-attacks by Panzergrenadiers of 21st Panzergrenadier regiment of the 9th SS Panzer Division and Tigers of the 102nd SS Heavy Tank Battalion. The British Forces were finally forced to withdraw and give up these most recent gains almost everywhere owing to strong German counterattacks It was only finally on the night of August 4th that a patrol from the 53rd Welsh Division discovered that with Caen no longer in their control, Hill 112 had lost its importance for the German defenders and they had withdrawn, allowing the 53rd Division to finally occupy the high ground without a shot being fired.
At the time of the invasion of Normandy in June 1944, there were initially only two Panther-equipped Panzer regiments in the Western Front, with a total of 156 Panthers between them. From June through August 1944, an additional seven Panther regiments were sent into France, reaching a maximum strength of 432 by the 30th July 1944. The majority of the German tank forces in Normandy – six and a half divisions – were drawn into the fighting around the town of Caen, where they checked the Anglo-Canadian forces of the 21st Army Group. The numerous operations undertaken to secure the town became collectively known as the Battle of Caen.
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