Panzer Lehr in Normandy

Doing some planning for a kit in the stash. Pzkw IV Ausf H, Panzer Lehr in Normandy .Besides the stylish “L” the couple decal sets I’ve seen show a white square with 2 red stripes. Some show it in 3 spots on the turret armor … sides and rear. Other shows it just on the rear of the turret. 3 spots? 1 spot ? No spot? I’m working in 1/48 , so my options are limited.

That white square w/red stripes is the family crest of Major Prince Wilhelm von Schonburg-Waldenburg. He was a Battalion commander in Panzer Lehr, KIA June 11th in Normandy. Many tanks in the unit carried the crest to honor his memory.

Ah. I thought they were some sort of unit indicator, like HG Panzer’s circles with red stripe … angle of the red showed company (?) How quickly would they have been applied? After all, they were kinda busy entertaining the Brits. And , I’ve seen references (no actual photos) showing the marking on just the rear of the turret schurzen , on both sides of the turret. (All 3 locations?) Any idea what the norm was? (HG Panzer markings)
pzkorpsHG (2)

Here are a couple of photos of Panzer Lehr Mk.IVs…


1 Like

I don’t have a definitive date on when they started to apply the crest on their vehicles. The photo supplied by “Stikpusher” is the one that comes to mind at once. As I recall that was taken during the Normandy campaign, so they could not have waited long to apply the markings. Somewhere in my pile of books I think I have some better info on exactly when and where those photos were taken, and a couple of more views. That may help a bit. I’ll look around in the morning.

Looking at the photo of 634, I’m guessing the crest was at 3 spots, seeing right side and rear are visible. But why is the one on the side got the red stripes running along tie 3 - 9 axis and the rear one they are 4-10? (That is why I thought they were company designators… straight across = 1st Co. , high left to low right = 2nd Co. , high right to low left = 3d Co. ) As for 721, whats with all the jerry cans? They need that much fuel & water? Or did they fill them with water as add on armor? (Swedes used water filled jerry cans on the side of the S-Tanks as protection from shaped charges. )

Got a little more, first of all, per Culvers’ book “Panzer Colors II”, tank 721 photo was taken in March 1944, so vehicle w/all the jerrycans was not in combat. Same book shows 634 photo as above, references Major Waldenburg’s shield. Same book, color plate of 634, only says “Normandy 1944”. Another book. "Panzer IV’ by Carlos Jurado, shows 634, just lists it as “Normandy”, but same book has color plate of another ,PZ IV #535 showing the shield (in same 3 places), places it at St Gilles, France, July 1944. Next book “Ruckmarsch” (After the Battle) shows photo of PZ IV #535 with shields on turret skirt armor, badly damaged on July 25th in the pre Cobra bombings in Montreuil-Hebecrevon area. I also did see one reference (don’t recall where), saying the 634 photo was taken in Villers-Bocage on June 12th, not sure I buy that as Waldenburg was killed the day before, not sure they would have applied the memorial shields that fast. Enjoy building your model.

Awesome. Thanks. What about the orientation of the marking? Were the red stripes horizontal? Diagonal?

A correction, the number on vehicle damaged in Cobra is 532 not 535. Stripes on the shield are maybe 25 degrees off vertical. It took a moment to orient because “damaged” is a bit of an understatement….the turret is upside down w/the remains of the tank on top of it! Panzer Lehr really got pounded in pre Cobra bombing.


1cd61c4fe8ca0b14a23fd0a881c95729093de28c (3)

I see your point, but don’t have an answer. I looked up the Schonburg-Waldenburg family crest, and the correct orientation matches the one on the turret rear. Why the others are different, I don’t know.

Perhaps a stencil, and the painting crewman wasn’t paying too much attention for whatever reason…

1 Like

In coming artillery will do that…

So will an overbearing 1st Seargent or SGM!

The answer could be as simple as that, even the German Army had troopers who were not “detail oriented”.Oh, and senior NCO’s are never “overbearing”, we just had “high standards”. :slight_smile:


He He He. :smile: :smiley: :grinning: :laughing: