M4A2 Sherman Tank "Chemin des Dames"

The Sherman tank M4A2 "Chemin des Dames" of the 3me Compagnie de Combat, 501re Régiment de Chars de Combat, 2me Division Blindée (Division "Leclerc") was taken out on 26 January, 1945 just before a crossroads near the entrance to the village of Grüssenheim.

The Sherman tankwas in combat with a Panzerjäger of the Nashorn type, a self propelled piece of artillery equipped with a 88mm anti tank gun. The commander, 2me Lieutenant Pierre De La Fouchardiere, succeeded in destroying one Panzerjäger but a second Panzerjäger that appeared, became the fatal enemy. The gun loader, Armand Mager, lost his life at that occasion.

The battle North East of the village of Colmar around Markolsheim and Rüssenheim were part of the efforts of the 1re Armée Française of Géneral DeLattre to prevent the Germans to escape from "the Pocket of Colmar" and to threaten the advance by the Allied Forces towards Germany. The German defences were very persistent at that place. The village of Grüssenheim was only conquered on 28 January, 1945, after suffering heavy losses.

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  • Text: Kees Jan Koster
  • Photos: Peer Franken (1,3,4,5) & Kees Jan Koster (2)

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