The problem partly was the German command had not been able to decide what form the Allied invasion would take and the assessments of the most senior leadership tended to run counter to one another.Carl Schwamberger wrote: ↑23 Feb 2020 16:05Assorted descriptions of Panzer Group West, Geyrs command, descriptions of the arguments over the deployment of the armored units in Rundsteadts commands. I don't have the Rommel Papers in front of me so cant confirm my memory of that. Ditto for a couple of the others. In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.
Guderian believed the real threat was the Ostfront and downplayed the Western Allies amphibious capability. For him, the West was a training ground for the revitalized Panzer reserve he would commit in a masterstroke to win the war in the east.
Rommel was worried about the effect of air power and wanted to concentrate forward in a classic cordon defense in such depth that an Allied assault would break on it.
Geyr, working off spoofed intelligence of Allied capabilities, believed the threat was a massive descent by Allied paratroopers on Paris and its environs, with as many as eight airborne divisions seizing the city and its vital rail and road bridges. The early stages of the transportation plan added to his anxiety and led to most of the pre-invasion exercises by Panzergruppe West focusing on defeating such a threat. The famous 6 June exercise at Rennes was actually a counter-airborne exercise.
Rundstedt recognized that the German resources were inadequate to prevent an Allied landing and advance on Germany in conjunction with the Soviets, so gave his cogent advice, "end the war you fools!"
The wrangling between Rommel, Guderian, and Geyr led to Hitler's Gordian Knot solution of bifurcating the command structure in the West, which didn't actually solve anything and complicated the command structure unnecessarily.
The problem with Guderian's plan was it ignored reality. Meanwhile, the assembly of units in France were in various stages of rebuilding and only something less than one-third of them were actually ready for some form of operations on D-Day.
The problem with Rommel's plan was the problem of all cordon defenses. An enemy can potentially mass enough strength to penetrate the cordon at a single point in which case it all unravels.
The problem with Geyr's plan was that it was batshit crazy and fueled by Allied disinformation.
So who was actually right?