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Fate of 342e CACC Hotckiss tanks lost in Norway?
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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chrisballance
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:23 am
Post subject: Fate of 342e CACC Hotckiss tanks lost in Norway?

I hope everyone here is doing well, it's been a very long time since I posted anything here, but I read the threads often and I thought someone like the Shadock might be able to help with a question that could involve surviving French tanks in Norway.

I was reading the Hotckiss H39 Trackstory No.6 and came across the story of a 342e CACC Hotckiss tank lost in 4 meters of water after the LCM it was being driven onto capsized. The veteran account in the trackstory indicates that the vehicle was lost just off a wooden wharf in the waters of Harstad, in the Lofeten Islands north of Narvik some time after 7 May 1940. Fortunately the driver escaped the sinking tank. Two other Hotckiss tanks of the unit where lost in the fighting for Narvik. Pictures of the H39 lost to a mine on the side of a road are pretty common, and there are pictures of another vehicle blogged down on a beach. Has anyone been able to account for the final fates of the 3 lost 342e CACC tanks? Were any later recovered and used by occupation forces in Norway? In particular was the vehicle lost in the waters of Harstad ever raised? I googled around and found nothing. They were all short barreled 37mm tanks and none of vehicle's on the Shadock's list, with turrets, match so maybe they were all cut up for scrap?

Anyway the men of the 342e CACC had a pretty amazing saga in WW2, a unit formed to aid the Fins against in the Winter War, they ended up in the bitter battles for Narvik. After the fighting evacuation from Norway and period of training in the UK, they then embarked on a epic trek in their surviving H39 tanks across Equatorial Africa. After their H39s were worn out and a period of time training in Cruisers in North Africa they ended up forming the core of the 501e RCC which under the 2e DB ended up back in France in 1944 to participate in the liberation of Paris.

Best Regards,

Chris.

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Pzkpfw-e
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:17 am
Post subject: Re: Fate of 342e CACC Hotckiss tanks lost in Norway?

There are a number of H39 tanks preserved in Norway.
A tank falling into 4m of water, wouldn't present many problems in being recovered, with a plentiful supply of these from French stocks and them being obsolete, they may well have been scrapped.
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chrisballance
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:59 am
Post subject: Re: Fate of 342e CACC Hotckiss tanks lost in Norway?

Just looking at Harstad on google earth, it looks like small, but well used port town with a population of just over 20,000 people today. If anything the vehicle was recovered because it was a hazard to navigation. Trondenes Fort with it's four "Adolf gun" 40.6 cm Schnelladekanone C/34 battery was erected in 1943 just outside of Harstad, so there would not be a lack of heavy equipment around to carry out a salvage.

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