German Surrendered in Normandy

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Aug 2021 22:51

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
27 Aug 2021 22:30
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Aug 2021 21:29
It is the June figure that was wrong,
Thanks for clearing that up. :thumbsup:

It does make sense actually, I was thinking that the July figure looked much too low but in hindsight (a popular ability on this forum!) the original figure for the British captures in June does actually look much too high.

Regards

Tom
Yeah, I remember wondering about that years ago...and then promptly hied sown another rabbit hole and forgot to check. :lol: Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out how the goof got introduced into the SHAEF records.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Aug 2021 15:08

Standard military issue clerical error.

Leaving aside the opinions of admin personnel, trawling back through the books the anecdotal evidence from witnesses has a fair number of remarks about this or that batch of men in German uniforms surrendering in small groups. From the earliest hours sixth June theres mention of groups of defenders giving up. The Poles or Ossies on OMAHA Beach are a example. References to other large pockets are not yet turning up in my library. 'Roncy' hardly rates a mention let alone detail. Most of what I turned up any where about Roncy are drawn from a single interview with a German NCO commanding a tank & other stragglers.

Did notice there is a volume written by Zeterlling on 'Normandy'. Anyone familiar with this one? Worth my time to hunt out a copy?

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Sep 2021 20:06

Reviewing the German eyewitness accounts I'm sensing a large portion simply decided to take the "Kanada' option.

Exactly how many men passed thru the ranks of 7th Army & Pz Grp West I can't say. A high number is 750k. Rich indicated 150k surrenders outside the Cotientin/Falaise pockets. That means near 20% of the German soldiers passin thru Normandy surrendered individually or in small groups.

Any other thoughts on this?

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Sep 2021 00:16

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Sep 2021 20:06
Reviewing the German eyewitness accounts I'm sensing a large portion simply decided to take the "Kanada' option.
I am not sure what you mean?
Exactly how many men passed thru the ranks of 7th Army & Pz Grp West I can't say. A high number is 750k.
What do you mean y passing through the ranks? Casualties? Manpower? What is 750k? Without knowing what it is I can't say if it is high or low.
Rich indicated 150k surrenders outside the Cotientin/Falaise pockets. That means near 20% of the German soldiers passin thru Normandy surrendered individually or in small groups.

Any other thoughts on this?
Again, what is passing through? 150k surrenders is 20% of what?

My thought is I'm very confused as to what you are asking. :?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Sep 2021 01:59

I was looking at claims or estimate for how many soldiers were part of these two formations, 7th Army & Pz Group West, during the Normandy battle. 750,000 was the high estimate I recalled.

By 'Kanada Option' I was referring to a decision to surrender. Meaning a trip to Canadian PW camps.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Sep 2021 03:13

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
08 Sep 2021 01:59
I was looking at claims or estimate for how many soldiers were part of these two formations, 7th Army & Pz Group West, during the Normandy battle. 750,000 was the high estimate I recalled.
Okay, thanks. I think 750,000 may be a bit high...Ob.West totaled about 1.4 million and included AG-G and all the administrative and security troops in the west.
By 'Kanada Option' I was referring to a decision to surrender. Meaning a trip to Canadian PW camps.
Okay, I'll see if I can work out the daily average between the high points of Cherbourg, Roncey, and Falaise.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Sep 2021 19:50

Okay, cumulative PW intake UK/US (as of 2359 for UK until 18 June/as of 2400 for US, unless otherwise indicated):

8 June (as of 1800) - 862/1,314
11 June (as of 0600) - 5,209 (probably total UK and US)/?
12 June - ?/6,766
14 June (as of 1800) - ?/7,213
15 June - ?/8,513
16 June - ?/8,677
17 June - 5,195 (UK corps PW captured as of 1800)/9,041
18 June - 5,227/9,361
19 June - ?/10,017
20 June - 5,280/10,339
21 June - 5,283/10,664
22 June - 5,283/11,032
23 June - 5,295/11,261
24 June - 5,312/13,927
25 June - 5,382/17,479
26 June - ?/26,921
27 June - 5,560/35,563
28 June - 5,621/37,373
29 June - 5,657/38,289
30 June - 5,662/41,251

Notes -
UK figures are for those arrived in UK through 16 June, including "some PW evacuated from US Sector". From 18 June UK reporting is as of 1800 hours and is the PW reported captured in the previous 24 hours.
US figures are for those reported captured and in corps cages.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Sep 2021 01:14

Could read several things into those numbers. One is the US accumulation represents the Cotintin pocket from about 24 June. The other might represent the larger proportion of lower quality formations confronting the US 1st Army. Probablly both.
Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Sep 2021 03:13
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
08 Sep 2021 01:59
I was looking at claims or estimate for how many soldiers were part of these two formations, 7th Army & Pz Group West, during the Normandy battle. 750,000 was the high estimate I recalled.
Okay, thanks. I think 750,000 may be a bit high...Ob.West totaled about 1.4 million and included AG-G and all the administrative and security troops in the west.
I went with the high number since the PW numbers look even worse when matched against estimates of 550,000, or 450,000 Germans fighting in Normandy. Go with a lower number & you are considering 33% of the German soldiers surrendered outside of the major pockets.
By 'Kanada Option' I was referring to a decision to surrender. Meaning a trip to Canadian PW camps.
Okay, I'll see if I can work out the daily average between the high points of Cherbourg, Roncey, and Falaise.
[/quote]

Thanks. Absent the analysis I was asking about I may as well see what the raw tea leaves have.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Sep 2021 02:38

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Sep 2021 01:14
Could read several things into those numbers. One is the US accumulation represents the Cotintin pocket from about 24 June. The other might represent the larger proportion of lower quality formations confronting the US 1st Army. Probablly both.
There is an interesting tendency to ascribe poor quality to the German formations opposing the FUSA when counting prisoners, but then claiming they were superior when accounting for the American pace of advance.

The Cotentin Peninsula was officially cut 19 June. The troops trapped there may be reliably estimated as 20,672, plus 1,743 Osttruppen, total 22,145, as of 26 June, since that is the strength reported by the Germans. The capitulation there does not account for some 9,000 prisoners in June.
I went with the high number since the PW numbers look even worse when matched against estimates of 550,000, or 450,000 Germans fighting in Normandy. Go with a lower number & you are considering 33% of the German soldiers surrendered outside of the major pockets.
About 1.6 million were available. Less clear is how many were committed.
Thanks. Absent the analysis I was asking about I may as well see what the raw tea leaves have.
Go for it.
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 11 Sep 2021 00:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 10 Sep 2021 19:01

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Sep 2021 02:38
There is an interesting tendency to ascribe poor quality to the German formations opposing the FUSA when counting priosners, but then claiming they were superior when accounting for the American pace of advance.
Perhaps the stubborn defence was because the poor quality soldiers surrendered, just leaving troops with faith in the fuhrer... I'll get my coat...

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 10 Sep 2021 20:26

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Sep 2021 02:38

There is an interesting tendency to ascribe poor quality to the German formations opposing the FUSA when counting priosners, but then claiming they were superior when accounting for the American pace of advance.
The 'No true Scotsman' excuse.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Sep 2021 12:42

Sheldrake wrote:
10 Sep 2021 19:01
Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Sep 2021 02:38
There is an interesting tendency to ascribe poor quality to the German formations opposing the FUSA when counting priosners, but then claiming they were superior when accounting for the American pace of advance.
Perhaps the stubborn defence was because the poor quality soldiers surrendered, just leaving troops with faith in the fuhrer... I'll get my coat...
This was my first thought.

Those still will to fight fought well. Desertion to the rear was not a option for the demoralized. Even group withdrawals were not a option as they would be in some armies. There are frequent remarks about the US soldier being unwilling to remain under intense fire or assault. They'ed move away as a platoon, company, or battalion, they rally quickly. This may have acted as a safety valve or substitute for surrender & desertion.

If the data existed a look at how long the surrendered soldier had been in the battle might be instructive. The speculation being the longer the soldier had been in intense fighting in Normandy the greater the possibility of surrendering. Fresh units or replacement being more likely to fight stubbornly.

Perhaps Im wrong, a quick look at the Italian campaign does not seem to show the same surrender tendency, until the last months. Even the difficult Sicilian & Salerno/DIADEM period battles don't appear to have this phenom.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 13 Sep 2021 14:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Aug 2021 15:08
Did notice there is a volume written by Zeterlling on 'Normandy'. Anyone familiar with this one? Worth my time to hunt out a copy?
Yes...

basic reference with a lot of data.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Sheldrake » 13 Sep 2021 17:23

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Sep 2021 12:42
Sheldrake wrote:
10 Sep 2021 19:01
Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Sep 2021 02:38
There is an interesting tendency to ascribe poor quality to the German formations opposing the FUSA when counting priosners, but then claiming they were superior when accounting for the American pace of advance.
Perhaps the stubborn defence was because the poor quality soldiers surrendered, just leaving troops with faith in the fuhrer... I'll get my coat...
This was my first thought.

Those still will to fight fought well. Desertion to the rear was not a option for the demoralized. Even group withdrawals were not a option as they would be in some armies. There are frequent remarks about the US soldier being unwilling to remain under intense fire or assault. They'ed move away as a platoon, company, or battalion, they rally quickly. This may have acted as a safety valve or substitute for surrender & desertion.

If the data existed a look at how long the surrendered soldier had been in the battle might be instructive. The speculation being the longer the soldier had been in intense fighting in Normandy the greater the possibility of surrendering. Fresh units or replacement being more likely to fight stubbornly.

Perhaps Im wrong, a quick look at the Italian campaign does not seem to show the same surrender tendency, until the last months. Even the difficult Sicilian & Salerno/DIADEM period battles don't appear to have this phenom.
One reason for the pressure on the Germans was the order to stand and fight for every inch of ground. In Italy there was always another ridge to fall back to. It is common to refer to the pressure of fighting in the bocage on the morale of British Canadian and US troops. The Germans faced the same , with ten times the incoming fire and a sky full of enemy aircraft.

When surrounded and without other options Germans and SS men surrendered - or at least tried to surrender. Claiming to be Polish or Austrian might deflect a bullet. - (Though it did not work for the Czech fellow in Saving Private Ryan)

One obvious reason for disproportionate numbers of Poles and ossies among the surrendering troops is that these men had less commitment to German victory and were in the Heer out of self preservation. Given the opportunity to desert they did. Steiner's account (1./AR 1716) mentions a pole who deserted to the British and was then used by the British in psyops. The former comrade addressed the German defenders of Franceville, including Steiner, with rude remarks about his leadership... I think every unit in the 1944 Organisations had a sprinkling of Hiwis.

Static troops also may have lacked the mobility to exfiltrate. There were few vehicles and they may have even lacked field cooking kit. These may be the high proportion of the PW from D Day and the capture of Cherbourg

Some Poles and Ost truppen may have fought hard. A heard an anecdote about a Pole living in the UK who had served in the German Paratroops defending Monte Cassino. He was wounded and left to look after the other wounded. The Polse who captured him identified that he was Polish. They just gave him a Polish uniform and assimilated him as a replacement, which is how he ended up in the UK.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 13 Sep 2021 19:13

Good evening,
Here is the census of the prisoners of the 716.Inf.Div who transited in England and listed until 9:00 p.m. on June 18 (2nd Army Summary Intelligence N ° 21/21 Army.Group Int. Summary N ° 135 of June 21, 1944). Most of them were captured on june 6 and 7.
Units Number
Div.Stab 1
Gr.Rgt.726 1094
Gr.Rgt.736 1339
Art.Rgt.1716 489
Pi.Btl.716 26
Pz.jg.Abt.716 * 371
Flak.Kp.716 1
Div.Einheiten.716 11

Total : 3332
* It is in fact a mixed of two of the three companies (1 (sf) and 2 (Pak)./716). The large number of prisoners, which even exceeds the full strength that these two entities could have aligned, suggests that 14./Gr.Rgt.736 was amalgamated with these figures.The number of prisoners from Ost.Btlen is not listed, probably due to a count set up specifically for nationals of the East.

Regards
AETIUS

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