Chapter IX

[1] See below, however, for shift in operational priorities to insure early junction of V and VII Corps beachheads.

[2] 1st Div G-2 Per Rpt 1.

[3] The 26th Infantry casualties for the day were only 15 killed and missing and 30 wounded. The G-3 of the German 352d Division in reporting on this action cited the Formigny assault as an example of the sluggishness of American infantry attack over open terrain, which he found in strong contrast to the determined fighting by individual American riflemen in the towns. See MS # 433 (Ziegelmann).

[4] See MS # B-433 and MS # B-434 (both by Ziegelmann); Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 6 and 7 Jun 44; information from British Cabinet Office Hist Sec. Hist Div files.

[5] Losses of the 352d Division during the day were virtually made up by the attachment of the 30th Mobile Brigade but the combat value of the latter was inferior. See MS # B-433 (Ziegelmann).

[6] MS # B-433 (Ziegelmann).

[7] 29th Div G-3 Jnl.

[8] In German documents it is called the Batterie Marcouf.

[9] 70th Tk Bn AAR.

[10] MS # B-845 (Schlieben).

[11] Collins had commanded the 25th Division in the Pacific theater in 1942 and 1943, achieving a notable combat record in the Guadalcanal and New Georgia campaigns. In December 1943 he was transferred to the European theater, assuming command of the VII Corps the following February.

[12] Hist Div Combat Interv with S-3, 746th Tk Bn.

[13] First Army GO 35. Colonel Welborn was awarded the DSC, with citation covering both this action and action of 6 June.

[14] MS # B-845 (Schlieben).

[15] Details from S. L. A. Marshall. Regimental Study 5. MS. Hist Div files. Marshall's full account was based on group and individual interviews which he collected.

[16] Colonel Johnson was awarded the DSC.

[17] MS # B-839 (von der Heydte).

[18] These "counterattacks" may have been only the probing patrol actions by which von der Heydte was trying to regain contact with his 1st Battalion. Von der Heydte reports no counterattacks in this area. Lacking two of his four battalions, he was much more concerned at the moment with maintaining his position than with aggressive action. See MS #-839.

[19] Tagesmeldung, 7 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 6.-30.VI.44; MS # B-433 (Ziegelmann).

[20] Apparently this reconnaissance unit tangled with the 3d Canadian Division near Authie and an engagement resulted heavy enough to give the Canadians the impression of an enemy counterattack. See notes by British Cabinet Office Hist Sec. Hist Div files. The German Seventh Army war diary is, however, emphatic on the point that no attack by I SS Panzer Corps took place on 7 June. The narrative (MS # C-024) of General Kraemer, chief of staff of the corps, confirms this.

[21] See special Hist Div questionnaires on this action answered by Kraemer (CofS, I SS Panzer Corps) and Bayerlein (CG, Panzer Lehr Division), MS # B-814. See also MS # C-024 (Kraemer).

[22] MS # B-466 (Geyr).

[23] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 7 Jun 44.

[24] Ibid., 8 June; cf. MS # 401 (Meindl). The two divisions at first ordered to St. Lô were the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier and the 77th Division. The 77th, however, was later ordered to Montebourg (see below, p. 370) and the 3d Parachute Division actually came into the St. Lô area.

[25] See MS # B-656 (Pemsel); MS # B-637 (Blumentritt); MS #B-636 (Ziegelmann).

[26] Ibid.

[27] MS # B-782 (Oberst Anton Staubwasser, G-2, Army Group B). Cf. MS # B-901 in which Zimmermann (G-3 of OB WEST) says that the large number of Allied units estimated to be still in England after the Normandy assault made it impossible for the Germans to rule out the probability of a second landing.

[28] Unloading figures for the first two days are estimates. Figures for UTAH have been taken from ANCXF, Report, Vol. III, Rpt by Comdr Assault Force U, pp. 33-34. OMAHA figures, not available from naval sources, are taken from the Provisional Engineer Special Brigade and OMAHA Beach Command situation reports as cited in [Clifford Jones] NEPTUNE, Training, Mounting, the Artificial Ports (The Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO: Part VI), MS, II, 175ff. Hist Div files.

[29] Cbl, Eisenhower to Marshall, 8 Jun 44. Eisenhower Personal Files.

[30] MS # B-434 (Ziegelmann).

[31] The 327th Glider Infantry, like all glider regiments at the time, had only two organic rifle battalions. In the informal reorganization of the airborne division between the Sicily experience and the Normandy D Day, a third rifle battalion was added to the glider regiments of both the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions by splitting another regiment, the 401st, between them. Thus the 1st Battalion, 401st Glider Infantry, while retaining its formal status as an independent unit, normally functioned as the 3d Battalion of the 327th; the 2d Battalion, 401st, similarly constituted the 3d Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry, 82d Airborne Division. To avoid confusion the attached battalions will be referred to as the 3d Battalions of the respective foster regiments.

[32] For details of this action see S. L. A. Marshall's account based on his interviews with peonnel of the 101st Airborne Division. MS in Hist Div files. The story is also told in detail in Rapport and Norwood, Rendezvous with Destiny, pp. 153-59.

[33] MS # B-839 (von der Heydte).

[34] Account based on correspondence conducted by Lt. Leonard Rapport, 101st Division Histarian, with General Taylor and other 101st commanders. Other patrols were sent out by the 327th Glider Infantry.

[35] For exceptional bravery in this action Colonel Cole was awarded the Medal of Honor. The award was made after Cole's death in the Holland airborne operation in September 1944.

[36] The corp actually controlled only the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division. The 77th Division had been diverted to Montebourg. See below, pp. 371, 395.

[37] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 11 Jun 44.

[38] Oberquartiermeister West, KTB 1.I.-17.VIII.44, 11 Jun 44.

[39] See Ruppenthal, Utah Beach to Cherbourg, pp. 78-93, for further details.

[40] The withdrawal was a blunder for which von der Heydte reportedly escaped court martial only on the basis of his past record. See Pemsel, CofS Seventh Army, commentary on von der Heydte's account. Von der Heydte explained his action rather weakly on the grounds that he did not know that the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division was on its way up. MS # B-839 (von der Heydte).

[41] See below, Ch. X.

[42] For the move of this unit from Brittany, see below, pp. 378-79.

[43] The account of the Montmartin action in Taylor, Omaha Beachhead, pp. 157-59, was checked with General Cota and as a result is here slightly modified.

[44] Ltr, Bradley to Gerow, 13 Jun 44. V Corps G-3 Jnl.

[45] General Robertson was graduated from West Point in 1912. Assigned to duty with the 2d Division in 1940, he became commanding officer of the 9th Infantry in 1941 and took command of the division in May 1942.

[46] The 116th Infantry with the 2d and 5th Ranger Battalions attached spent 9 and 10 June mopping up.

[47] Here S/Sgt Arthur F. DeFranzo was killed in a heroic action in which he destroyed an enemy position with grenades despite five wounds that finally felled him a few yards in front of the enemy. He was awarded the Medal of Honor.

[48] Since it had not been anticipated that the division would be sent into action immediately on landing, the weapons and equipment had been preloaded in vehicles scheduled to land on 10 June. Ltr, Col Walter Elliott (CO, 38th Inf) to author, 4 Feb 48. Hist Div files.

[49] Captain Weathers was awarded the DSC posthumously.

[50] Ltr cited n. 48.

[51] MS # B-435 and MS # B-436 (both by Ziegelmann). Kraiss estimated that he was lucky to escape with any of his division since he felt that, had the 29th Division driven east after crossing the Aure, it would have rolled up his flank and trapped the bulk of the 916th Regiment in the Trévières area.

[52] See MS # B-204 (General der Panzertruppen Heinrich Freiherr von Luettwitz, CG, 2d Panzer Division).

[53] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 9 Jun 44.

[54] See below, Ch. X.

[55] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 9 and 10 Jun 44.

[56] 1st Div AAR.

[57] V Corps G-2 Jnl. Corps located the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division chiefly by prisoner reports. The bulk of the division was thought to be moving up opposite the 2d Division. The latter, however, had made no identifications through 11 June. See 2d Div G-2 Jnl.

[58] G-2 believed that the division had both a tank and an assault gun battalion. Actually Ostendorff had no tanks and his guns were far to the south.

[59] See above, p. 176.

[60] First Army G-2 Per Rpt.

[61] Ibid.

[62] First Army Int Sum as of 2400,10 Jun.

[63] See above, p. 370. Despite concern over the Forêt de Cerisy as a possible enemy assembly area, apparently no special report came to the First Army G-2 when the 2d Division found the forest clear. It seems that the intelligence summary as of 2400, 10 June, was prepared on information probably twelve hours old. The G-2 report of 11 June covers the error by saying that the 352d Division "was forced back from the line Moon-sur-Elle-la Gouesmerie and from the Forêt de Cerisy . . ." Italics are the author's.

[64] MS # B-541 (Schimpf).

[65] MS # B-466 (Geyr). Geyr believed that, against enemy air superiority and heavy naval artillery fire, no daylight attack would have a chance.

[66] MS # B-466 (Geyr) and Panzer-Armeeoberkommando 5 (reerred to hereafter as Fifth Panzer Army), KTB 10.VI.-8.VIII.44, 10 Jun 44.

[67] 1st Div FO 37, 11 Jun 44.

[68] The enemy patrolled strongly during 13 June, giving the Americans the impression at some points that counterattacks were in progress. Actions, however, though sometimes sharp were all local and involved few troops.

[69] See above, section on Junction Between V and VII Corps.

[70] 115th Regt S-3 Jnl.

[71] Ltr, Lt Gen C. R. Huebner to author, 17 Oct 47. Hist Div file.

[72] V Corps FO 5, 13 Jun 44.

[73] CCA was still attached to the 101st Airborne Division.

[74] General Corlett had come to the European theater after serving in the Pacific. He had taken command of the 7th Division in September 1943, and led it in combat on Kwajalein. He was transferred to Europe to take over XIX Corps in April 1944.

[75] Although Montmartin had been entered on 12 June, troops had pulled back to a defensive line along the high ground north of the town.

[76] It also took over command of the Angers Engineer Battalion, an alarm unit, which consisted of the school troops and students of the Seventh Army Engineer School at Angers. On 6 June the battalion consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, a heavy weapons company, and two infantry companies, which were committed west of the Vire on 10 June when the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division was delayed in moving into its sector south of Carentan. Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 27 Jan and 6-9 Jun 44.

[77] The account of the move of Kampfgruppe Heintz is from the Seventh Army, Trans. O., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[78] It was attached to the 352d Division for supply. The 2d Battalion, 984th Regiment, and the Fuesilier Battalion came up on bicycles in the evening of 11 June. The 1st Battalion arrived on the 13th. Order 13 Jun 44, Kampfgruppe Heintz. Miscellaneous orders in 275th Division files, 1944; cf. XXV Corps, KTB and Anlagen 6.-30.VI.44; Seventh Army, Trans. O., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[79] Seventh Army, Trans.O., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44. German supply by road and rail was similarly disorganized. See below, pp. 410-11.

[80] Ltr, Gen Corlett to author, 14 Oct 48. Hist Div file.

[81] MS # B-541 (Schimpf).

[82] Regimental S-3 Jnls.

[83] 29th Div G-3 Jnl; 115th and 116th Inf Regts S-3 Jnls.

[84] 116th Inf S-3 Jnl.

[85] George replaced Colonel Goode, who had been captured 13 June. See above, section on Junction Between V and VII Corps.

[86] So estimated in 29th Div FO 9.

[87] 29th Div G-3 Jnl.

[88] Ibid.

[89] See, for instance, 115th S-3 Jnl, 18 Jun.

[90] MS # A-983 (Generalleutnant Paul Mahlmann, CG, 353d Division).

[91] 116th S-3 Jnl, 18 Jun.

[92] 747th Tk Bn AAR, with supporting documents.

[93] During the remainder of the month the whole V Corps front was static, except for a limited objective attack in the Villiers-Fossard area on 29 June. See below, p. 444.

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