Chapter X

[1] Combat intervs, 82d Abn and 4th Inf Divs. For treatment in greater detail of this action and others on the road to Cherbourg see Ruppenthal, Utah Beach, pp. 95ff.

[2] MS # B-845 (Schlieben); cf. Hoffmann Report. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44. The Kampfgruppen formed were: Kampfgruppe Hoffmann from the le Ham railroad station to Montebourg; Kampfgruppe Keil from Montebourg to the vicinity of les Landes; and Kampfgruppe Mueller from les Landes to Quinéville.

[3] MS # B-260 (Triepel).

[4] With the 899th Tank Battalion and the bulk of the 746th Tank Battalion attached.

[5] Colonel Reeder was wounded on 11 June and Lt. Col. James S. Luckett took command of the regiment.

[6] MS # C-018 (Keil); MS # B-845 (Schlieben).

[7] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 9 Jun 44; Kriegsgliederung, 18 May 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44; MS # B-845 (Schlieben). The battalions released were the 2d Battalion, 921st Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 922d Regiment (both of the 243d Division).

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

[9] Ibid., 11 Jun 44.

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

[11] Memo, Dollmann for Army Group B, 10 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44. Seventh Army considered the Allied mass use of airborne troops in an occupied area a brand new tactic comparable to the British introduction of the tank in World War I. Cf. von der Heydte's discussion of the difficulties of asembling his widely scattered troops to concentrate for attack. MS # B-839.

[12] See above. p. 346.

[13] See above, Ch. IX, n. 31, for glider regiment organization.

[14] For details of Shanley's action see Col. S. L. A. Marshall, "Affair at Hill 30," The Marine Corps Gazette, February 1948, pp. 8-15, and March 1948, pp. 20-25.

[15] VII Corps Opns Memo No. 10, 11 Jun 44, contains the commanding general's verbal order of 9 June.

[16] Howell was commander of the 2d Airborne Brigade, a headquarters that originally controlled the 507th and 508th Parachute Regiments, which were not organic to the 82d Airborne Division. In combat Howell was attached to the division headquarters and assigned special missions.

[17] 82d Abn Div Opns Memo, FO 6.

[18] Actually TF Howell had no tank support.

[19] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 13 Jun 44.

[20] 90th Div Opns Memo No. 2, 19 Jun 44; 358th Inf Jnl, 15 Jun 44.

[21] Ltr to Marshall, 5 Jul 44. OPD file 319.1, sec. I, cases 1-80.

[22] General Landrum enlisted in 1910 and was commissioned in 1916. He served with the American Expeditionary Forces in Siberia in 1918-19. Assigned to the Alaskan Defense Command in 1942-43, he commanded U.S. troops in the occupation of Attu. In October 1943 he took command of the 87th Division.

[23] Each division put only two regiments into the attack. The 39th Infantry of the 9th Division was still engaged on the 4th Division right flank. The 505th Parachute Infantry was released from attachment to the 4th Division on the morning of 13 June. The 508th Parachute Infantry had a defensive role in the Baupte bridgehead. The 9th Division, a battle-tested unit like the 82d, had been commanded by General Eddy since 1942. Eddy, who had served with a machine gun detachment and been wounded in World War I, led his troops in 1942 and 1943 through the campaigns of North Africa and Sicily before entering the Normandy operations.

[24] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 12 and 14 Jun 44, and MS # B-784 (Criegern). Fahrmbacher, former commanding general of the XXV Corps in Brittany, took command of LXXXIV Corps on the evening of 12 June.

[25] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 12 Jun 44.

[26] AAF Evaluation Board, Effectiveness of Air Attack Against Rail Transportation in the Battle of France, Jun 45. AAF file 138.4-37.

[27] Report of Railroad Situation, 13 Jun 44. Seventh Army, O.Qu., KTB Anlagen 1.-30.VI.44.

[28] Seventh Army, Trans.O., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 17 Jun 44.

[29] AAF Evaluation Board study, cited n. 26.

[30] Report of Railroad Situation, cited n. 27.

[31] A metric ton equals 2,204 pounds and thus compares roughly to a U.S. long ton (2,240 pounds).

[32] Supply Requisition and Consumption Figures for Seventh Army, 6.-15.VI.44, 15 Jun 44. OB WEST , O.Qu., KTB Anlagen 1.I.-17.VIII.44.

[33] Report of the Supply Situation, 14 Jun 44. OB WEST , O.Qu., KTB Anlagen 1.I.-17.VIII.44. German Transportraum (transport space) means total capacity of vehicles fully loaded.

[34] Report of Seventh Army Supply Situation, 21 Jun 44. Seventh Army, O.Qu., KTB Anlagen 1.-30.-VI.44. Ammunition stocks on 21 June amounted to 16,000 tons.

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

[36] Seventh Army, Trans.O., KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[37] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 12 Jun 44; cf. Fifteenth Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44, 12 Jun 44.

[38] OKW/WFSt, KTB Ausarbeitung, Der Westen, 1.IV.-16.XII.44, cited hereafter as Der Westen. For nature of the document, see above, Ch. VI, n. 115.

[39] Conf, 12 Jun 44, ONI, Fuehrer Conferences, 1944. The first ten V-1 rockets were launched on the night of 12-13 June. See Rad, OB WEST to OKW, 13 Jun 44. OB WEST , KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[40] Der Westen; cf. MS # B-672 (Buttlar-Brandenfels).

[41] Der Westen; Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-30.VI.44, 16 Jun 44.

[42] MS # C-017 (Speidel) . Speidel, Rommel's chief of staff, was present in the bunker during the meeting and took notes which he later expanded. See MS # B-718 (Speidel).

[43] MS # C-017 (Speidel) . Rundstedt recalled after the war that he had proposed at the meeting the evacuation of southern France and withdrawal from Normandy in order to establish a defensive line along the Seine River to the Swiss border with Army Group B on the right, Army Group G on the left. See MS # B-633 (Rundstedt) and MS # B-308 (Zimmermann).

[44] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 14 Jun 44.

[45] MS # B-784 (Criegern).

[46] Tel msg, CofS Seventh Army to CofS Army Group B, 15 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[47] Tel msgs, 16 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[48] Ibid.

[49] Captured German orders in VII Corps G-2 Jnl.

[50] Later, in response to a questionnaire from Hitler, Seventh Army denied that it ever gave such an order and that the withdrawal which actually took place was done on the initiative of a regimental commander. The available evidence, including a written 77th Division field order signed by General Stegmann, argues strongly against this version of the affair. See also the account by the LXXXIV Corps chief of staff which leaves no doubt that at least Seventh Army approved all the moves taken. MS # B-784 (Criegern).

[51] During all the fighting since D Day and the withdrawal on 17 June the battalion lost only four guns.

[52] General Wyche was graduated from West Point in 1911. Commissioned in the infantry he transferred in 1917 to the field artillery. In the 1930's he commanded various artillery units and in 1941 became commander of the 74th Field Artillery Brigade. In May 1942 he took command of the 79th Division.

[53] Hoffmann Report. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44. Hoffmann pointed out that the Americans were apparently unaware of the gap in the German lines west of Valognes where the Kampfgruppe of the 77th Division had pulled out to head south. An attack through this gap, Hoffmann believed, either would have turned Schlieben's flank and prevented his withdrawal to Cherbourg or would at least have made that withdrawal more precipitate and disorganized.

[54] Hoffmann (in report cited n. 53) estimated that a worth-while defense of the port would have required three full divisions with armored support, and insurance of regular resupply. Such a force, he believed, might have held out for several weeks, but even they would have to have been relieved by a successful attack from the south. Cf. Schlieben's estimate, MS # B-845.

[55] Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-30.VI.44, 21 Jun 44.

[56] Air drops were modest. Between 20 and 30 June only 107 transport planes were used and they dropped a total of 188 tons of supplies. Luftwaffe Historical Section, Beurteilung des Krieges, 14 Aug 44. AAF files.

[57] [Clifford Jones] NEPTUNE: Training, Mounting, the Artificial Ports (The Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO: Part VI), MS, II, 72-73. Hist Div files.

[58] Ibid., II, 175ff.

[59] Figures as of afternoon 18 June. Cosintrep 36, 20 Jun 44. SHAEF AG file 370.2/11.

[60] Bombardons were huge air-filled cylindrical floats, constructed of rubberized canvas and reinforced concrete. Each was 200 feet long and had a 12-foot beam and 13-foot draft.

[61] ANCXF, Report, Vol. III, Rpt of Comdr Assault Force O, p. 11; Jones, NEPTUNE, II, 124-27. There are no reliable figures on ship casualties in the storm. The British estimate that they lost 250 ferrying craft. See Ltr, Col Warhurst (British Cabinet Office Hist Sec) to author, 7 Sep 48. The U.S. Navy Department could supply no estimates of American losses.

[62] A naval investigator, studying the effect of the storm, concluded that it had proved the total impracticability of the artificial port. He pointed out that the so-called storm had been only a "half-gale" and that, in fact, the wind had seldom exceeded force 6. (Force 6—up to 30 miles an hour—is referred to by seamen as a "strong breeze.") See Memo, Capt Robert C. Lee for Gen Crawford (SHAEF G-4) et al., 26 Jun 44. SHAEF G-4 file 825.1 (Piers).

[63] Actually OMAHA continued to overshadow Cherbourg as a port of entry until the fall of the year and handled far more tonnage than anticipated in the most optimistic estimates before the invasion. Jones, NEPTUNE, II, 109 and 134ff.

[64] VII Corps G-3 Jnl, 21 Jun 44.

[65] Rpt by XIX Corps observers: Watson-Hickey Notes, 18 Jun, in XIX Corps G-3 Jnl.

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

[67] Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-30.VI.44, 22 Jun 44.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Ibid., 24 Jun 44.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid., 25 Jun 44.

[72] Both Kelly and Ogden were awarded the Medal of Honor. Kelly died of wounds in a subsequent action.

[73] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 26 Jun 44. Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB reports the same message under date of 25 June (evidently an error). See Schlieben's account, MS # B-845.

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

[75] The 4th Division was in turn relieved by the 101st Airborne Division, and on 30 June it, too, had started moving south for the new offensive. 4th Div AAR.

[76] Cited in [Herbert E. French, Morton Yarman, and Henry G. Elliott] Cherbourg—Gateway to France, MS, Ch. I, p. 13. Hist Div files.

[77] Destruction had begun as early as 7 June and was carried on methodically by naval personnel until the final surrender. The KTB of Navy Group West has a daily account of the progress of demolitions. The only comfort for the Americans was the surprisingly small damage to the city itself and the fact that the rail network of the port could be repaired with relative ease.

[78] Reconstruction was supervised by the 4th Port Hq.

[79] Little by little the port capacity was increased until in November Cherbourg handled more than half of all the cargo landed in France for the American armies, discharging 433,201 tons, or an average of about 14,500 tons a day. This compared with a pre-D-day planning estimate of 8,500 tons a day. Most dramatically it contrasted to a total peacetime cargo handling for the entire year of 1937 of only 325,150 tons. For details of port reconstruction see French, Yarman, and Elliott, Cherbourg—Gateway to France, Ch. III.

[80] Der Westen.

[81] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 18 Jun 44. The 2d SS Panzer Division was considerably delayed in its march from near Toulon by harassing attacks by the French maquis. It closed at last in assembly areas near Torigni-sur-Vire about 18 June, when it passed to Seventh Army reserve.

[82] Army Group B, Munition estimate, 21 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen, Chefsachen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

[83] German information here and following is from Der Westen; Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44; MS # T-121 (Zimmermann et al.); MS # B-466 (Geyr); MS # B-633 (Rundstedt); and MS # B-672 (Buttlar-Brandenfels).

[84] In First Army file, Directives 21 A Gp. See Pogue, The Supreme Command, a volume in preparation in this series, for discussion in detail of Montgomery's operations and intentions in the Caen area.

[85] Information supplied by the British Cabinet Office Hist Sec.

[86] Seventh Army, KTB 1.I.-30.VI.44, 25 Jun 44.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Geyr angrily told army that "by this order the panzer group is already sold out." Tel msg, 28 Jun 44, Geyr to CofS Seventh Army. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44.

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

[90] Dir, 21 A Gp, 30 Jun 44. First Army file, Directives 21 A Gp.

[91] MS # B-633 (Rundstedt).

[92] Conf, 29 Jun-1 Jul 44, ONI, Fuehrer Conferences, 1944.

[93] Ibid.

[94] Der Westen; cf. Seekriegsleitung/1.Abt., KTB 1.-30.VI.44, 30 Jun 44.

[95] Tel msg, 30 Jun 44, Geyr to CofS Seventh Army, 30 Jun 44. Seventh Army, KTB Anlagen 1.I.-30.VI.44. For text of estimates see Rad, Army Group B to OB WEST , 30 Jun 44. Army Group B, Ia Operations Befehle 9.VI.-31.VIII.44.

[96] Rad, Army Group B to Seventh Army, 1 Jul 44. Army Group B, Ia Operations Befehle 9.VI.-31.VIII.-44.

[97] OB WEST , KTB 1.-31.VII.44, 1 Jul 44.

[98] Der Westen.

[99] OB WEST , KTB 1.-31.VII.44, 2 Jul 44; MS # B-633 (Rundstedt).

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

[101] SHAEF G-3 War Room Daily Summary as of D plus 27, 5 Jul 44.

[102] Including the 82d Airborne Division which was used in the initial attack, but excluding the 101st Airborne Division on guard duty in Cherbourg, awaiting return to England.

[103] Memo, Gen Bull for SAC, Jun 44. SHAEF G-3 file (Complete Planning for OVERLORD Buildup).

[104] Air force logistics on the Continent will be covered in the seventh volume of Army Air Forces in World War II.

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