German tanks heading for

When Wittmann returned at 'Point 213' he heard that his two other Tigers, the ‘221’ from SS-Ustuf. Georg Hantusch and the ‘233’ from SS-Oscha. Jürgen Brandt, had done their share. Their score was considerably lower, just two Cromwell tanks. But they held seven Cromwells and two Sherman Fireflies from A Company, 4th CLY, at 'Point 213' under their guns. The crews of the British vehicles had taken cover in the ditches and in the bushes.

Crippled Cromwell tanks at 'Point 213' with on the right a Firefly (T212728)
(Today the trees are taller, but the situation is unchanged)

On the map above the exact location on ‘Point 213’
(Google Earth)

Beside the seven regular Cromwells of the 4th CLY, there was also a 5th RHA Cromwell OP (T187796) tank. From the 1st Rifle Brigade there were only 10 to 15 soldiers and a group of officers that were collected just before Wittmann started his attack. Beside the three Half Tracks stuck on ‘Point 213’ were three Scout Cars among the one from 4th CLY commander, Lt-Col Lord Cranley. Cranley spoke with Major Wright, commander of A Company, to look at the options. There was not much to do then to put the tanks in a position so they could cover the troops on the hill. It was waiting for relieve troops from 131st Infantry Brigade.

Sherman Firefly T212728 'Alla Keefek', 4 Troop, A Squadron 4th CLY
was left intact by the crew and
Below: 'Alla Keefek' is being looked over by German panzergrenadiers

Above: Firefly 'Alla Keefek' near a not longer used exit of a side road.
This now dead-end road was once the road to and from Villy-Bocage

The first infantry that reached 'Point 213' were not British, but German pantzergrenadiers from Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101. The British soldiers, outnumbered, were fast overrun. Around 11.00 hours, no more radio signal was received from A Squadron from ‘Point 213’. A good collection of tanks and vehicles were fallen undamaged into German hands.

This Cromwell tried to escape to the north, without success.

Meanwhile at 'Point 213', 1. Kompanie Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 101 under command of SS-Hauptsturmführer Rolf Möbius had arrived with eight Tiger tanks.

This is OP Cromwell (T187796) from Roy Dunlop, K Battery, 5th RHA
On the left is the crippled T187599 'Shufti Cush' visible

The radio silence from A Squadron from 'Point 213' indicated to the brigade commander Brigadier Hinde that the Germans now took hold of that hill. His order was simple, Villers-Bocage had to be hold by B Squadron with the help of the fast approaching C Squadron and elements of 1st/7th Queens to the west of Villers-Bocage. Lt-Col Desmond Gordon, commander of 1st/7th Queens ordered A Company to the train station in the south east of Villers-Bocage. B and C Company would take up positions in the centre and on the east of town. The troops positioned themselves at strategically points and waited for the Germans

For the attack of the Germans into Villers-Bocage click below.