On 24th December 1944, elements from Kampfgruppe Von Cochenhausen, of 2nd Panzer Division, reached the Ardennes village of Celles. By this time British units from XXX Corps had been rushed into the area to stem the tide of the German advance, and tanks of 3rd Royal Tank Regiment assisted by units from the American 2nd Armoured Division stopped the offensive at this point. 3rd RTR had been in the area around Ypres (in Flanders, western Belgium) training on the newly arrived Comet tanks, equipped with 17-pounder guns. The training was abandoned, and they returned to their old Shermans and were moved to Dinant. During the fighting near Celles they occupied a ridge west of the village while CCB of 2nd Armoured entered the area supported by P38 Lightning aircraft. During this action CCB knocked out a number of Panthers, of which this was one.
The tank lay close to a chateau farm nearby for many years until it was placed in this position and painted in its current camo-scheme that barely matches what was on the original tank.
ŠPaul Reed 2002-2006