3. THE ACTION AT POINT 208
When the attack alarm was given, two patrols from Point 208 were sent 2 miles to the south because of mist which blanketed the area. Fire was held for some time after tanks were first observed, because they were in the barrage area of Point 206. The 37-mm antitank guns opened fire first to drive off armored cars which were within 165 yards. Meanwhile the barrage from Point 206 had ceased, but Paulewicz gave orders to hold all antitank fire until vehicles approached to within close range in order not to give away antitank positions prematurely. This policy proved effective, for subsequent British artillery fire on Point 208 was inaccurate.
At 1015 on June 15, the British made a pincer attack on Point 208 with 45 tanks. The attacking force was soon reinforced to 70 tanks. Fire by all weapons was opened at close range. The left or easterly sector of the area was overrun, one 37-mm and one 20-mm antitank gun were knocked out, and one of the 88-mm guns was silenced. The commander of Point 208 immediately ordered the three 88-mm guns on the other flank to concentrate on the eastern sector, and this saved the situation for the Germans by enabling the silenced 88-mm to reopen fire. By 1130 hours 11 British tanks had been smashed and the rest driven away, and in the afternoon a new 14-tank attack was thrown back with 8 tanks knocked out. After that, Point 208 was secure and was used as a base for reforming the 8th Tank Regiment and the mobile infantry reserve.
The 1st Battalion of the 33d Antiaircraft Regiment had knocked
out 19 tanks with its 88-mm guns. The description of the battle
given in the battalion report differs slightly from that of
Paulewicz. The 88-mm guns opened up at 1,760 yards and drove
back the first tank attack without inflicting any casualties. In the
pincer attack, the gun on the left flank knocked out two cruiser
tanks before it was overrun. The three other 88-mm guns on the
right opened fire upon the other arm of the pincers at 1,550 yards
without getting hits, but later knocked out seven cruiser tanks at
close range. In the third attack the 88-mm guns opened at 880 yards,
knocking out eight cruiser and later two infantry tanks.