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PANTHER AUSF G ABANDONED IN THE ARDENNES

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther ausf G abandoned during the Ardennes Offensive. This Panther, Fahrgestellnummer (Hull Number) 121163, was built at Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg Aktiengesellschaft (MAN AG, a public company) in Kassel in October 1944. Shipped to the Western Front, it joined the planned panzers strength for “Wacht Am Rein.“ Panthers made up the bulk of the tank strength; seven panzer divisions were assigned to the attack. Kampfgruppe Peiper, consisting of 1.SS Panzerreigment of the First SS Panzer Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler“ reinforced with other elements, under the command of SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Joachim Peiper (January 30, 1915 – July 13, 1976) was the spearhead of the Sixth Panzer Army‘s advance and made their furthest advance at Stoumont, far from the Meuse River, their objective. After securing an American fuel dump at Bullingen and bypassing American strongpoints at Elsenborn Ridge, Kampfgruppe Peiper advanced through Stavelot and Baugnez, but American engineers blew bridges as he approached Trons-Points. He decided to wait for gasoline and reinforcements at La Gleize, with a small reinforced reconnaissance to Stourmont. Beaten back, his Kampfgruppe held LaGleize against increasingly powerful American forces, which battered the town with artillery; once the weather cleared, air forces attacked as well. Out of gas, the surviving 800 Germans were ordered to retreat backt o German lines on foot, abandoning their equipment. Peiper‘s men left twelve Panthers in La Gleize and other Panthers at Cheneux-Monceau (one), Stoumont-Gare (three), and Stoumont (two). In addition, he left six Tiger IIs at La Gleize. Many other vehicles, including Panzerkampfwagen IVs, Wirbelwinds, trucks, guns, motorcycles, captured American ambulances, and more were also abandoned due to lack of gas.

Date Photographed December 23, 1945
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