The Falaise Gap

Generalleutnant Otto Elfeldt
Tiger n°321 of s.SS-Pz.Abt.101
When all German battle-worthy units were ordered to break out of the Falaise Pocket on the night of 19 – 20 August 1944, Generalleutnant Otto Elfeldt (delegated with the leadership of LXXXIV Armeekorps) and his corps served as a rearguard to cover the withdrawal of several individual battle groups. In the early morning hours of August 20 1944, Elfeldt led a small group of stragglers in an attempt to bypass the enemy-held town of Saint Lambert. However, Generalleutnant Elfeldt and his group were captured and he was transferred to Island Farm Special Camp 11 Camp 1. By the evening of August 21 1944, the pocket was closed for the last time, with around 50,000 Germans trapped inside. Although it is estimated that significant numbers managed to escape, German losses in both men and material were huge. Credit: Islandfarm. Top image: Generalleutnant Otto Elfeldt being questioned by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Public domain. Bottom image: Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E n°321 commanded by SS-Untersturmführer Max Görgerns and assigned to the schwere SS-Panzerabteilung 101. This elite battalion who was attached to I.SS-Panzerkorps lost virtually all its remaining Tigers in the Falaise pocket and the subsequent German retreat from France. On September 9 1944, the remains of the unit were ordered to rest and refit with the new Tiger IIs, also known as Königstigers. With this change on September 22 1944, it was redesignated the schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 501. Photo: France 1944. Commons: Bundesarchiv.

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