Battlefield Photos – The British Counter Attack

by Phil Johnson | July 25th, 2010

Here are some more photos of the terrain over which the fictional battles of Seelowe Nord were fought. This is the Stillingfleet Ridge (or Merkal’s Ridge, depending on what you prefer to call it) which runs west to east between the River Ouse and the York-Selby road. In the novel, it is across this ridge that Hauptsturmfuhrer Merkal’s company is deployed with a battery of 37mm anti-tank guns as part of the flank guard for the SS Totenkopf Division. The gun pit where Merkal shelters during the British counter-attack is top-centre of the ridge, just to the left of the farm house.

The picture below gives you Merkal’s view, looking south from the Stillingfleet ridge. The distant tree lines are the forward edge of the woods from where the British 1st Armoured Division appears, and the open ground in the middle and near distance is the area where the first British tanks are engaged by Merkal’s 37mm PAK 36. Imagine several squadrons of British Armour rolling across this open ground towards you; Vickers light tanks, followed by cruisers and the heavier Matilda IIs.

Incidentally, if you have ever visited the battlefield near Arras in France where Rommel was forced to make a desperate stand against British armour, you will recognise the similarity in terrain. In Hugh-Sebag Montefiore’s outstanding book, Dunkirk: Fight to the last man, there is a photograph of the Arras action and the scene gives a good idea of what Merkal would have been faced with in the novel.

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Seelöwe Nord is the online home of Andy Johnson, a war fiction novelist. Seelöwe Nord is a war novel that tells the alternative history of Operation Sealion, the proposed German invasion of Britain in 1940. Followed by Thunder in May, and the recently released Crucible of Fate, the trilogy of War Fiction remains a popular read within the genre.

Andy has also started to publish small Leadership and Management Booklets drawing from his extensive experience across many sectors and industries, both military and civilian, the first of which is entitled Captains of the Gate and is now available for download on eReaders directly from Amazon.