Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum  

Go Back   Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum > Discussion > Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces

Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13th October 2011, 13:25
Peter D Evans's Avatar
Peter D Evans Peter D Evans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South London
Posts: 613
Peter D Evans is on a distinguished road
Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Can anybody confirm which Luftwaffe unit(s) were involved in the raid on Rennes Railway yards on the 17th June 1940? I note from the excellent "The Battle of France, Then and Now" by P.D.Cornwell [After The Battle, 2007] that on the same day, Ju88 units of IV.Fligerkorps (inc. KG30) were involved in the sinking of the liner Lancastria, but no mention of the Rennes raid is made...

Many thanks in advance for any pointers

Cheers
Peter D Evans
LEMB Administrator
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13th October 2011, 15:23
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,917
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

All French sources agree that the Rennes bombing was made by a small German formation that dropped only a few bombs, one hitting an ammunition train that blew up, killing many people in other trains parked around it.

This french webpage has a witness speaking of "3 German bombers, probably Do 17", and as also a video showing the results of the raid (German propaganda):
http://www.wiki-rennes.fr/Bombardement_du_17_juin_1940

But other witnesses said "3 Stuka", "3 fighter bombers", "5 bombers", etc...

I think the conclusion can only be that it was a small German formation that dropped only some bombs... and so it could be a part of any unit flying this day over Britanny against another target and that attacked these trains as an opportunity target. Or even a reconnaissance flight.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13th October 2011, 16:02
Brian Brian is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Posts: 3,972
Brian is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Hi Laurent

Did I read the report correctly, that 508 soldiers including 156 British were killed in the explosions?

Cheers
Brian
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 13th October 2011, 17:12
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 2,917
Laurent Rizzotti is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

At least 508 soldiers: the number given in the text are for three units only.

For example, the text gives the number of 156 British Engineers killed in the raid: 200 British soldiers are buried in Rennes with a death date on 17 june 1940, including some RAF ones, for example.
See a list there for 177 of them : http://www.lelancastria.com/17-juin-...-Rennes-a.html

The body count of this raid will probably never be known: the first link I gave said that 805 bodies were buried, and speculates that around one thousand people were killed by the bombing and the explosion (including civilians), but all other sources will give numbers between 2000 and 5000 dead... but without any more details.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13th October 2011, 17:59
Peter D Evans's Avatar
Peter D Evans Peter D Evans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South London
Posts: 613
Peter D Evans is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Thanks for the feedback Laurent...

Brian, here are some additional external links concerning this incident:

Roll of Honour – Rennes troop train bombing, 17th June 1940
Rennes, Brittany, France, June 1940. After Dunkirk, escaping to the west. Chapter 1
Rennes; 17 juin 1940, tragédie dans la gare à la plaine de Baud (WARNING! includes graphic images)

I also agree that this appears to have been a target of opportunity, so perhaps it was one of the two units who recorded losses (both from "The Battle of France..." tome) on this day?

1./KG26 - Heinkel He111
3./KG30 - Junkers Ju88A - possibly aircraft that attacked the Lancastria


Hopefully others can add more info...

Cheers
Peter D Evans
LEMB Administrator
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 13th October 2011, 19:08
Brian Brian is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Posts: 3,972
Brian is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Thanks Laurent and Peter

I tragedy about which I knew very little.

Cheers
Brian
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 13th October 2011, 19:58
arnaud's Avatar
arnaud arnaud is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 212
arnaud is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Am Tage : Kampfeinsatz wie gestern, jedoch durch wetterlage eingeschränkt. Vernichtende Wirkung des Vormittagsangriffs der III./KG 76 auf Bahnhof Rennes... (Bundesarchiv)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13th October 2011, 20:40
robert robert is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 1,890
robert is an unknown quantity at this point
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

I can add that only one squadron of III./KG76 was involved.

Robert
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 13th October 2011, 20:48
Peter D Evans's Avatar
Peter D Evans Peter D Evans is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South London
Posts: 613
Peter D Evans is on a distinguished road
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

My pleasure Brian... you and me both!

Arnaud, many thanks indeed for the excerpt, do you have a specific document source for this info please?

Robert, thanks for the additional info. Looking here, III./KG76 could have been based at Cormeilles-en-Vexin and equipped with Do17Z's, but there is no mention of them being involved in this action in "Bomber Units of the Luftwaffe 1933-45, Volume 2"..

Cheers
Peter D Evans
LEMB Administrator
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 14th October 2011, 05:04
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
Alter Hase
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado USA
Posts: 2,982
Larry Hickey
Re: Luftwaffe units involved in Rennes Railway yards raid, 17th June 1940?

Peter,

According to the EOE translation of the "Original" Heinrich Weiss manuscript (copyright IHRA, 2010), under Air Corps I it states:

"b) KG76:
Shortly after 11.00 hrs the railway station in Rennes became the target of a low-level attack carried out by one squadron from KG76. Fifteen goods and transport trains were at the railway station and some 120 SC50 bombs exploded on the target with devastating effects. An ammo train loaded with 12 tons of explosives had been mistakenly placed between trains loaded with refugees, wounded soldiers and French soldiers returning from England (they were shipped to England in course of evacuation of Dunkirk). The ammo train was hit by a stick of bombs and exploded. The huge explosion caused a large column of fire and smoke. According to French sources some 2000 people (soldiers and civilians) were killed by this explosion and further 900 were injured.
At 18.03 hrs I./KG76 took off from Cambrai and attacked, mostly from low level, enemy troops on roads and in the woods near Vannes-sur-Cosson, Craon, Clemont, Aubigny-sur-Nere and Salbris. The railway station in Salbris as well as road bridge over the Cher and the canal near Vierzon were also successfully attacked."

Since the account mentions the activities of I./KG76, which does not involve an attack on Rennes, it seems compatible with the previous posts by Arnaud and Robert that the planes which hit Rennes were Do17Zs from III./KG76. I find no further reference to the attack on Rennes in either the "Original" or "Coastal War" Weiss manuscripts, both of which have been translated for June 17th.

I hope that this helps.

Regards.
__________________
Larry Hickey
Eagles Over Europe Project Coordinator
http://airwar-worldwar2.com

Last edited by Larry Hickey; 14th October 2011 at 05:05. Reason: accuracy
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Luftwaffe - Bomber Units over Metz-Frescaty on 10 May 1940 Jerome Ribeiro Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 8 11th July 2006 20:32
Luftwaffe Aces KIA in Normandy in 1944 Christer Bergström Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 35 13th August 2005 22:10
Luftwaffe Potez claims June 1940 robert Allied and Soviet Air Forces 0 7th June 2005 09:30
Fighter pilots' guts Hawk-Eye Allied and Soviet Air Forces 44 8th April 2005 15:25
Luftwaffe replacement aircraft system (?) 1940 Hawk-Eye Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces 2 7th February 2005 00:07


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:01.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2018, 12oclockhigh.net