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Trainings : Thursdays at 18hUTC until 23hUTC
Battles : Fridays at 18hUTC until 23hUTC
The 21st Panzer Division was one of the more colourful divisions to fight in the Normandy Campaign. The German armoured division is best known for its role in the battles of the North African Campaign from 1941–1943
For the first day of the Allied landings, 21st Panzer operated alone. Hampered by enemy air attacks, it managed to find and engage British Paratroop forces at Ranville. The division gave the British a hard fight until it received orders to withdraw in the late morning.
Ordered to check the British advance on Caen in the evening, the Germans succeeded in reaching the coast at Lion-sur-Mer and drove a wedge between the British 3rd Infantry and the 3rd Canadian Divisions.
The last major action the 21st Panzer took part in on the Western front was the stubborn resistance it gave the Guards Armoured Division during Operation Bluecoat, on 1 August 1944.
In September 1944 the division was boosted by merging the 112th Panzer Brigade with the 100th Panzer Regiment, which had been equipped with two companies of Panther tanks and two companies of Panzer IVs. The much reduced division took part in the retreat to the German border and fought notable defensive battles in Epinal, Nancy, Metz and the Saar area.
From January 7 to 21 Col Hans von Luck's 125 Regiment of the 21st took part in Operation Nordwind, aiming to sever the American supply line to Strasbourg. Two weeks of heavy fighting in the villages of Rittershoffen and Hatten followed. Luck recalled to author Stephen Ambrose fifty years later that the battle was "one of the hardest and most costly battles that ever raged".
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