Chapter VII

[1] OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze im Rahmen der Gesamtkriegsfuehrung 1.I.-31.III.44. Cited hereafter as Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze. See above, Ch. VI, n. 115. Cf, Fuehrer Directive No. 51, 3 Nov 43. Translation in App. D, below.

[2] Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze. Werfer regiments were equipped with either heavy mortars or rocket projectors. Jaeger divisions were light infantry divisions.

[3] Summary, dtd 4 Jan 44, of impressions of senior naval member of the Armed Forces Operations Staff in Seekriegsleiturlg/1.Abt., KTB 1.-31.I.44, 15 Jan 44; Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze.

[4] OKW/WFSt, KTB 1.IX.-31.XII.43, 28 Dec 43.

[5] Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-31.I.44, 16 Jan 44.

[6] Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze.

[7] OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Die Entwicklung im Westen 1.I.-31.III.44.

[8] Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze. Landesschuetzen battalions were security units. Nebelwerfer were rocket projectors or chemical mortars.

[9] In fact only one division was moved from other OKW theaters to OB WEST in the first month of the invasion. This was the 89th Division from Norway, and it was committed on the Kanalkueste.

[10] Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze; OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Osten 1.I.-31.III.44.

[11] OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Die Kaempfe um den Brueckenkopf Nettuno 22.1.-31.III.44.

[12] Die OKW Kriegsschauplaetze.

[13] Ibid.

[14] WD TM-E #30-451 Military Intelligence Division, The German Replacement Army (Ersatzheer).

[15] OKH/Org.Abt., KTB Anlagen, 1944.

[16] It should be noted that this process, while forced by the shortage of manpower, also followed the direction of German tactical doctrine which always emphasized small infantry units equipped with maximum automatic fire power.

[17] See App. F, Comparative Fire Power of the U.S. and German 1944-type Infantry Divisions.

[18] These divisions, of which there were twenty, are not separately discussed since they played no part in the fighting described in this book. They were formed of Luftwaffe personnel, remained at first administratively under the Luftwaffe, and then were integrated into the Army.

[19] OKH/Org.Abt., KTB 1.I.-31.VII.42, 31 Jul 42; Organisation des Heeres, Band 10 in Befehlshaber des Ersatzheeres. Allgemeines Heeresamt.

[20] Its second regiment was attached to the 352d Division. See below, Ch. VIII.

[21] Tables of Organization show an antitank company instead of the normal battalion. The 77th Division, however, had a two-company antitank battalion with 24 guns (75-mm. and 50-mm.).

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

[23] When its parent 2d Parachute Division was sent to Russia in November 1943, the 6th Parachute Regiment was left in Germany to provide cadre for the 3d Parachute Division. The regiment, while still formally organic to the 2d Parachute Division, was reconstituted under the direct command of the First Parachute Army.

[24] Kriegsgliederung, 18 May 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44; cf. MS # B-839 (von der Heydte) . Weaponing of the 6th Parachute Regiment is as given in Seventh Army organization charts. Von der Heydte's report differs slightly. He says the regiment originally had twelve 105-mm. Nebelwerfer, but as the manufacture of these was discontinued they were gradually replaced, partly by 81-mm. mortars and partly by 120-mm. mortars.

[25] MS # B-839 (von der Heydte). The 6th Parachute Regiment was fully trained in jumping. Each man had made at least nine jumps, including three night descents. About three-quarters of the men of the 3d Parachute Division had some jump training but this was because the division received trained paratroopers as cadre. The division itself did not carry out jump training. MS # B-401 (General der Fallschirmtruppen Eugen Meindl, CG II Parachute Corps). Apparently neither of the parachute divisions in France was equipped with parachutes. See MS # B-283 (Blumentritt).

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

[27] Status Report, 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Goetz von Berlichingen," 1 Jun 44. Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen, Zustandsberichte, SS-Verbaende VIII.43-VII.44. Substitution of assault guns (gentally 75-mm. guns without turrets, on self-propelled chassis) for tanks became quite usual in the panzer grenadier division.

[28] Overstrength of 296 apparently accounted for by an attached "tank" battalion, armed with assault guns.

[29] The 9th SS Panzer Division was brought back to France during June. See below, Ch. X. The three SS panzer divisions under OB WEST on 6 June were the 1st, 2d and 12th.

[30] It had 94 Mark IV's and 67 Mark V's.

[31] Status Reports, 1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler," and 2d SS Panzer Division "Das Reich," 1 Jun 44. Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen, Zustandsberichte, SS-Verbaende VIII.43-VII.44.

[32] Memo, OKH/Org.Abt. for OKH/Op.Abt., Umbewaffnung von Westdivisionen auf Beutewaffen, 6 Dec 41. OKH/OP.Abt., Kraefte Westen, Allgemein, Band II, 13.X.41-25.VII.42.

[33] This and the following material on tanks is from Generalinspekteur der Panzertruppen, Fuehrervortragsnotizen, Band I, 3.IV.43-1.VI.44.

[34] In addition, units in the west still had a considerable number of French and Russian tanks.

[35] MS # B-441 (Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger, CG 21st Panzer Division).

[36] Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Niederlande. Equivalent in size to a corps command.

[37] Seventh Army (LXXXIV Corps) also had responsibility for defense of the Channel Islands and commanded the 319th Division stationed there. But, since this division never figured in any of the fighting and because of Hitler's orders could not even be considered as a reserve, it will not be included in any calculations of Seventh Army's strength.

[38] Tactically and for purposes of supply III Flak Corps was under the Luftgaukommando Westfrankreich.

[39] Grundlegender Befehl des Oberbefehlshabers West Nr. 38, Neuregelung der Befehlsgliederung im Ob. West-Bereich, 7 May 44, cited hereafter as OB WEST Grundlegender Befehl Nr. 38. OKW/WFSt, Op. (H.), Grundlegende Befehle West 28.IV.42-7.V.44.

[40] Ltr, Rundstedt to Salmuth, 27 Dec 43. Fifteenth Army, KTB Anlagen, Chefsachen 26.X.-27.XII.43; MS # A-982 (Vizeadmiral Friedrich Ruge, Navy liaison officer with Army Group B); MS # C-069b (Ruge); MS # C-069c (Buttlar-Brandenfels); MS # C-069e (Warlimont); MS # C-069f (Rundstedt).

[41] The change was logical and there is nothing in the rather fragmentary contemporary record to confirm the thesis of the OB WEST history (MS # T-121) that Rommel was forced on OB WEST from above and was unwanted. Cf. MS # C-069a (Blumentritt); MS # C-069d (Zimmermann); MS # C-069e (Warlimont); MS # c-069f (Rundstedt).

[42] Rad, 1 Jan 44, OKW/WFSt, Op. (H.), to OKH/Gen.St.d.H., OB WEST, and Army Group B. OKH/Org.Abt., Bd. Chefsache 7.V.43-4.II.44. Commitment was specifically contemplated in Denmark and Hungary. In fact, neither contingency materialized. For Hungary operation see above, p. 234.

[43] Rad, 1 Jan 44, cited n. 42; Order, 12 Jan 44, OB WEST, (Ia Nr. 246/44). OKH/Op.Abt., Gliederung West, Chefsachen, Band VIII, 2.Teil, 8.I.-21.II.44.

[44] Order, 12 Jan 44, cited n. 43.

[45] OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Der Westen, 1.IV.-16.XII.44, cited hereafter as Der Westen.

[46] MS # c-047 (Halder).

[47] Order, 19 Nov 43, OB WEST (Ia Nr. 681/43). Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen, Chefsachen 2.III.43-1.VIII.44; Order, 12 Jan 44, cited n. 43.

[48] Der Westen.

[49] Rundstedt apparently considered the attachment of these reserves to OKW purely formal and made plans to use them under Geyr. Compare, however, what happened on D Day (Ch. VIII). Control of the three SS divisions had a triple twist: trained and organized under Panzer Group West, tactically subordinated to OKW, they were for administrative purposes under the SS-Fuehrungshauptamf.

[50] OB WEST Grundlegender Befehl Nr. 38, 7 May 44. Blaskowitz's command was given inferior status as an Armeegruppe instead of the usual Heeresgruppe, in part because of lack of personnel and perhaps also in part as a mark of the relative disfavor in which Blaskowitz was held by Hitler. Oberkommando Armeegruppe G, KTB Nr. 1, 26.IV.-30.VI.44; Der Westen; MS # T-121 (Zimmermann et al.) . See Chart 2, p. 244.

[51] OB WEST Grundlegender Befehl Nr. 38, 7 May 44.

[52] MS # A-982 (Ruge).

[53] Ibid.

[54] See below, Ch. VIII, n. 68, for a description of various types of German fortifications.

[55] MS # A-982 (Ruge). Underwater obstacles of this type were first used in 1943 by the Germans in the west, when preparing the defense of the Danish coast against an attack from the sea. For description of obstacles mentioned in the text, see Glossary.

[56] MS # A-982 (Ruge).

[57] Bericht ueber die Reise des Herrn Oberbefehlshabers am 17. und 18. Mai 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[58] ONI, Fuehrer Conferences, 1944; Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 16.I.-31.I.44.

[59] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 5, 6, 8, and 16 Jan 44.

[60] Hoffmann Report. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[61] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 25 May 44.

[62] Ibid., 20 Feb 44.

[63] Various commanders since the war have underscored this lack of training as one of the most serious weaknesses of the defense. The evidence, however, is inconclusive. See MS # B-234 (Pemsel), MS #-466 (Geyr); MS # B-784 (Oberstleutnant Friedrich von Criegern, CofS LXXXIV Corps).

[64] Notes written in August 1943, appended to MS # B-276 (Sodenstern).

[65] MSS # B-720 and # C-017 (Speidel).

[66] The Germans classified divisions in four categories, depending on whether they were capable of full attack, limited attack, full defense, or limited defense missions. In these categories the degree of mobility was one of the most important factors. All static divisions were in the third or fourth categories.

[67] Karteiblatt, 243d Infantry Division. OKH/Org.Abt., Karteiblaetter 1943-1945.

[68] Hoffmann Report. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[69] New assembly areas were: for the 243d Division, Carentan-Montebourg-Bricquebec-Lessay; for the 352d Division, Bayeux-Trévières-Isigny-St. Lô.

[70] Two battalions of the 352d Artillery Regiment were already ordered committed on the coast on 26 January 1944. See Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 26 Jan 44.

[71] The 353d Division was the sister division of the 352d, formed at the same time and according to the same tables of organization. As an attack infantry division, it was scheduled for full offensive employment. The 275th Division, a static division, upgraded in part, would give up a mobile Kampfgruppe if needed for employment outside Brittany.

[72] Seventh Army, KTB 1.1.-30.VI.44, 14, 19 Mar 44. The reserve regiment was rotated. After 20 May, it was the 915th.

[73] Der Westen.

[74] The 21st Panzer Division replaced the 77th Division in the Caen area. The 77th was shifted to St. Malo-St. Brieuc where in turn it replaced the 346th Division. The 346th had been taken out of static coastal defense positions in the latter part of 1943, made mobile, and in January 1944 transferred to Fifteenth Army.

[75] Der Westen.

[76] Grundlegender Befehl des Oberbefehlshabers West Nr. 33, Neuregelung des Bauwesens in den besetzten Westgebieten, 3 Nov 43. OKW/WFSt, Op. (H.), Grundlegende Befehle West 28.IV.42-7.V.44.

[77] OKH/Op.Abt., Gliederung West, Chefsachen, Band VIII, 1.Teil, 11.XII.42-2.I.44, and 2.Teil, 8.I.21.II.44.

[78] MS # 234 (Pemsel).

[79] Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-31.III.44, 4 Mar 44, and KTB 1.-31.V.44, 3 May 44; Der Westen. German generals, commenting after the war on their experiences, were unanimous in giving Hitler the credit for first pointing to the danger of invasion in Normandy. In the light of the German Army's general reluctance to admit that Hitler had shown any military perspicacity at all, the testimony is fairly convincing. The generals, who were then unable to see the military advantages of a Cotentin assault as compared to an attack against the Kanalkueste, alleged that Hitler's choice was sheer intuition. The records at least do not contradict that interpretation.

[80] Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 16.-30.IV.44, 26 Apr 44; cf. in same KTB Lageuebersicht des Marinegruppenkommandos West, Fuehrungsstab, Rueckblick Monat April 1944.

[81] Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-31.V.44, 15 May 44.

[82] Der Westen.

[83] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 6, 7, 9, 12 May 44; Seventh Army, Trans.0., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 8 May 44, and Anlage 15. The Sturm Battalion was an irregular Army unit for shock employment. It contained about 1,100 men in four companies armed as infantry and had four light field howitzers. The 101st Stellungswerfer Regiment was organized in the west in January 1944. It consisted of three mobile rocket launcher battalions armed either with 210-mm. rocket launchers or 280-mm./320-mm. launchers. The 100th Panzer Replacement Battalion, equipped with a handful of French and Russian light tanks, had very slight combat value. Half of the 243d Division which occupied inland ports was also charged with antiairborne defense. See MS # B-845 (Schlieben).

[84] Seventh Army KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 2, 5, May 44.

[85] Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 16.-31.-V.44, 22 May 44.

[86] Rpt, 12 Jun 44, Admiral Kanalkueste. Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB Anlagen 1.-30.VI.44. This, however, does not take into account total interference with the effectiveness of the coastal batteries through destruction of communications and damage to auxiliary facilities. Air attacks in Seventh Army area at least were a serious enough threat to uncasemated batteries that General Dollmann ordered alternate and dummy positions prepared.

[87] Lageuebersicht des Marinegruppenkommandos West, Fuehrungsstab, Rueckblick Monat Mai 1944 in Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 16.-31.V.44, cited hereafter as Navy Group West, Rueckblick Monat Mai 1944. Blumentritt, CofS, OB WEST, also believed the invasion would not come. See MS # T-121 (Zimmermann et al.).

[88] Figures not available for a later date. In any case, however, the destroyers were not used against the invasion fleet in the landings.

[89] He had seven on 1 April, lost three in a brush with Allied destroyers in April and two more in May. Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 1.-15.IV.44, KTB 16.-30.IV.44, KTB 1.-15.V.44, and KTB 16.-31 .V.44.

[90] Conf, 29 Jun 44, ONI, Fuehrer Conferences, 1944.

[91] Navy Group West, Rueckblick Monat Mai 1944.

[92] Ibid. All ship mentioned in the report were torpedo boats.

[93] Navy Group West, Rueckblick Monat Mai 1944. Mines swept by the Allies during the crossing on 6 June were presumably among those counted obsolete by the Germans. Some fresh mines were laid in the assault area during the night of 6-7 June. See MS # D-333 (Krancke) and MS # D-334 (Ruge).

[94] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 17 Jan 44.

[95] Status Report, Stand der Verschartungen, Stichtag 30.IV.44, in Marinegruppenkommando West, KTB 16.-30.IV.44.

[96] Seventh Army, Trans.0., KTB 1.I.-30.V1.44, 25, 28 May 44, and Anlage 8; Seventh Army KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 23 May 44.

[97] Seventh Army KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 15, 22 May 44.

[98] Ibid., 13 Apr 44.

[99] Bericht ueber die Reise des Herrn Oberbefehlshabers am 17. und 18. Mai 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44. For lack of sufficient mines, the artillery shells were to be provided with trip wires and attached to the antiairlanding stakes.

[100] An important element in this changed estimate was the observation of British landing exercises in May. Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-31.V.44, 7 May 44.

[101] MS # B-432 (Oberstleutnant Fritz Ziegelmann, G-3, 352d Division).

[102] Ibid.; MS # A-982 (Ruge).

[103] MS # B-234 (Pemsel).

[104] MS # B-432 (Ziegelmann).

[105] MS # B-621 (Richter). Generalleutnant Richter commanded the 716th Division at the time of the invasion.

[106] MS # B-672 (Buttlar-Brandenfels).

[107] Von Rohden, Development and planning in the German Air Force, Parts 1-3. Von Rohden Collection at the Air University, Maxwell Field, Alabama. A microfilm of the material in this collection is in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. Generalmajor Hans-Detleff Herhudt von Rohden was the director of the Historical Section of the Luftwaffe High Command during the final years of the war.

[108] Luftwaffe Historical Section, Beurteilung des Krieges, 14 Aug 44. Von Rohden Collection. This report was based on observations of a Lt. Col. Alewyn who visited the west between 15 and 30 July 1944.

[109] Notes for a study on Strength and Losses of the GAF in the Von Rohden Collection.

[110] Notes by Von Rohden from Lagekarten, Third Air Force, in Von Rohden Collection; Beurteilung des Krieges, 14 Aug 44. Cf. German Air Force Order of Battle charts, 31 May and 10 June 1944, prepared by the Air Historical Branch of the Air Ministry, London, from German documents in their possession, MS. Hist Div files. British figures for 10 June are just over 400. On 31 May the number of operational fighter planes is given as 278. See Chart 3, p. 245.

[111] MS # B-013 (Hentschel). Generalmajor Karl A. F. Hentschel was commanding general of the 5th Fighter Division.

[112] MS # B-620 (Buelowius).

[113] Again reports of the number of planes vary. CofS II Fighter Corps estimated he had only fifty planes. See Survey, 18 Nov 44, Some Aspects of the German fighter effort during the initial stages of the invasion of North-West Europe, Translation No. VII/19 by Air Historical Branch, London. Hist Div files. Von Rohden's calculations all come out nearer 150, based on Luftwaffe Historical Section reports, especially Ueberblick ueber den Luftkrieg, Karlsbad, 1944. See notes for a study of Strength and Losses of the GAF in the Von Rohden Collection. About 1,000 planes were brought into France between 6 June and 7 July but the net gain was only about 250. See Beurteilung des Krieges, 14 Aug 44.

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