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continued…

III./KG 100

The III./KG 100 also played a part in the Luftwaffe’s counter-insurgency operations, with what were probably the first uses of the PC 1400 and Hs 293 guided bombs against land targets. On 5 July, a single Do 217 dopped a one-tonne load on “gangs” east of Mont de Marsan. Luftflotte 3 noted the expenditure of one PC 1400, alongside 25 Hs 293. Since these last were employed in an anti-shipping mission off the invasion beaches, my reading is that the PC 1400 was used against the Maquis. A week later four Do 217 each dropped a PC 1400 on Resistance targets west of Montauban.

NOTE: The Luftflotte’s diary attributes this operation to II./KG 100 but that Gruppe had been in Aalborg for some months, so this was proabably a typing error.

Between 10.10 and 10.50 hrs.local time on the 15th, two Dornier 217s dropped 16 x SC 50 plus a tonne of incendiaries and shot-up five houses “occupied by terrorists”, north west of Tanus (a village 90 km north east of III./KG 100’s aerodrome at Blagnac). At least one building was wrecked by a direct hit and two more damaged, while secondary explosions were interpreted as a sign that ammunition was stored there. On the return flight, the nearby village of Les Fournials, also held by the Resistance, was shot up and a fire started.

Two days later, acting on information from the Sicherheitsdienst, three Do 217s rook off in the early morning to attack a forest camp in forest about 2 km SW of Lautignac (Haute-Garonne), alongside the junction of the present-day D83 and D73 roads. They dropped three ABB 250 incendiary canisters and shot up the target with their on-board armament.. A forest fire and several explosions ensued, thought to be ammunition; a lorry and a car were seen on the western edge of the woods. The attack took place around 06.00 (local time), supposedly by “four Ju 88” and apparently provoked by a Bastille Day demonstration in the town of Rieumes by the local Maquisards. The bombing caused no casualties as the Résistants were not then in that part of the forest but the Germans followed up with ground troops that afternoon. The Maquis were warned and inflicted casualties on their pursuers but decided to withdraw before another air attack was mounted.

NOTE: The intercepted message about this attack was fragmented but also referred to another location, thought (with “strong indications”) to be Randan. There are at least two places of that name in France, neither of which is anywhere near Lautignac.

Also on the 17th, KG 100 responded to a four-day-old communication by asking permission for an Hs 293 test-drop after re-wiring two Do 217 M-11. This was in connection with an attack planned for 20 July on a “terrorist camp occupied by 600 to 800 men.” Fliegerkorps X committed five aircraft and at 06.45 hrs. (local time) on 20 July, in the mountains about 25 km north west of Carcassonne, members of the Montagne Noire Maquis were woken by what they thought wew six Ju 88 and two “mouchards” (literally “tell-tales”, spotter aircraft) coming over at low altitude. Concentrating on a camp by Lac de la Galaube, their first bomb cut the telephone line and killed the Commandant, Henri Sévenet. According to the account of Resistance leader, Roger Mompezat:

… the projectiles are big torpedoes with fins, more than 300 kilos, opening up after being released, letting out numerous little bombs of only a few tens of kilos.

After dropping these apparent AB canisters, the bombers shot up the huts at point-blank range:

… the noise is horrific, the ground trembles, smokes and burns …

Machine guns sited for air defence claimed hits on two of the bombers, causing “fireworks” on one, which made off at reduced speed. The engines of the second faltered and it gave off thick smoke as it flew away. At 08.00 hrs. four more aircraft bombed and shot up another two encampments and again hits were claimed on one attacker. After 90 minutes Plo Del May was hit, destroying the camp and killing four men. The Germans followed up with an infantry assault, backed by armour, which forced the Résiatants first to withdraw in good order and later to disperse. The battle was later described by Resistance leader Serge Ravanel as “our Vercors.”

A possible victim of the defenders was Do 217 K-3 W.Nr. 4713 of 9./KG 100, piloted by Ofw. Schneckener, which was destroyed in a crash at Toulouse, one of two losses recorded by X. Fliegerkorps that day.

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