Americans Approach Panther Ausf A in Periers, France

A Panzerkampfwagen V Panther ausf A is used as a target for a staged series of photos of American troops engaging it. The Panther was hit by two bazooka teams placed on opposite sides, then American infantry moved up to attack the tank directly. In actual combat, this would have been suicidal if the crew was still alive and operating the three MG42 7.92mm (.31 caliber) machine guns would be used to cut down the infantry. Since this tank is missing a tread, it's unlikely it's a combat photo. Since none of these soldiers are carrying automatic weapons or grenades, it's unlikely they will be able to force their way into the tank. Periers was liberated by the 2nd Battalion, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division, VIII Corps, on July 27, 1944. Within a few hours the 4th Armored Division's M4 Sherman medium tanks were moving through Periers on their way to drive on Saint Lo as part of Operation Cobra, the breakout from Normandy that will liberate Paris on August 25, 1944. The village erected a monument of four statues of Americans who served with the 90th Infantry Division or attached units: Private Richard E. Richtman (1924-1944), Sergeant Andrew J. Speese (1912-1944), Private First Class Virgil J. Tangborn (1920-1944) and Sergeant Tullio Micaloni (1913-1944).
Caption Written By: 
Jason McDonald
Date Photographed: 
Tuesday, August 1, 1944