German Surrendered in Normandy

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Richard Anderson
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Sep 2021 01:26

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Sep 2021 12:42
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.
I'm afraid you may be wrong Carl. IIRC, the surrender patterns were similar. For example, 9-30 September 1943, Fifth Army captured 1,561 Germans. All told, through 21 January 1944, at least 10,256 Germans were captured...so no big encirclements, but still a steady stream of surrenders. In the same period, the Germans captured c. 5,862 Allies.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2021 04:01

Rich

That 10,256 comes to 80 a day average for approx 130 days to 21 January of Italian campaign. In Normandy its looking like 1,700 to 2,000 a day average, depending on how its counted. A big difference. 9-30 Sept is 75 daily avg for the 1,561 referred to.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2021 04:07

Cult Icon wrote:
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.
Thx. Ill take a look at it. Is the data well regarded?

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2021 04:15

Sheldrake wrote:
13 Sep 2021 17:23
...

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.
Lacking hard data for how many of those were among the PW I've left that aside. How many battalions were predominantly non Germans? 60 in the Normandy battle. If those average 500 non Germans that accounts for 30,000 of the 120k to 150K PW I am considering.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Sep 2021 05:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2021 04:01
Rich

That 10,256 comes to 80 a day average for approx 130 days to 21 January of Italian campaign. In Normandy its looking like 1,700 to 2,000 a day average, depending on how its counted. A big difference. 9-30 Sept is 75 daily avg for the 1,561 referred to.
Yes, I meant more that it was a steady stream of surrenders and was absent the big "hauls" of prisoners seen in Normandy...at least until DIADEM and BUFFALO. It was also a much bigger war in France, on both sides. Fifth Army was essentially three corps and German 10. Armee was similar.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by jpz4 » 14 Sep 2021 09:53

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2021 04:15
Lacking hard data for how many of those were among the PW I've left that aside. How many battalions were predominantly non Germans? 60 in the Normandy battle. If those average 500 non Germans that accounts for 30,000 of the 120k to 150K PW I am considering.
Carl, how do you get to 60? Just curious
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
28 Aug 2021 15:08
Did notice there is a volume written by Zetterling on 'Normandy'. Anyone familiar with this one? Worth my time to hunt out a copy?
I still consider Zetterling's Normandy book a must have. Even if the topic doesn't interest you it is great for a basic overview of lots and lots of German units. It's good there's a (slightly updated) reprint since the original ones had become far too expensive to get. I do understand the original one is considered to be a better print quality so it might be worth to go after one of those now prices have dropped (there's one in the US on Abebooks for $50 at the moment).
Zetterling's book is a bit unusual and I know some people did expect it to be different so I'm adding the table of contents of the first edition:
20210914_112240.jpg
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Sep 2021 14:46

jpz4 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 09:53
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2021 04:15
Lacking hard data for how many of those were among the PW I've left that aside. How many battalions were predominantly non Germans? 60 in the Normandy battle. If those average 500 non Germans that accounts for 30,000 of the 120k to 150K PW I am considering.
Carl, how do you get to 60? Just curious
Actually it was 62. A number tossed into a article. The author may have meant in OB West. My memory is fuzzy on this one. What was looking at is a guess at what portion the Ost soldiers might have been.

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Sep 2021 15:32

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2021 14:46
jpz4 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 09:53
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Sep 2021 04:15
Lacking hard data for how many of those were among the PW I've left that aside. How many battalions were predominantly non Germans? 60 in the Normandy battle. If those average 500 non Germans that accounts for 30,000 of the 120k to 150K PW I am considering.
Carl, how do you get to 60? Just curious
Actually it was 62. A number tossed into a article. The author may have meant in OB West. My memory is fuzzy on this one. What was looking at is a guess at what portion the Ost soldiers might have been.
I actually get 63, plus a battery, in my hasty count. That includes infantry battalions, cavalry battalions, and engineer battalions. Note though the Osttruppen were not the HiWi.
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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by jpz4 » 14 Sep 2021 16:51

For Ob West the numbers made sense to me, just really not for Normandy ;-)

I agree with 62-63 plus the battery (and a Pi.Kp.) on 9 June 1944.
That does not include additional battalions under the Freiw.St.Div. which was stationed in the Ob West sector. Without doing a proper check, I count another 17 there (excl. training units)

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Tom Peters » 15 Sep 2021 00:32

I would also agree that Zetterling's book is a must have. The sources of information are very well noted.

thanks,

Mad Dog

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Sep 2021 02:23

jpz4 wrote:
14 Sep 2021 16:51
That does not include additional battalions under the Freiw.St.Div. which was stationed in the Ob West sector. Without doing a proper check, I count another 17 there (excl. training units)
Damn. Now you've reminded me about those guys. Time for some more rewrites. :lol:

I'm guessing the Stamm-Division was actually assigned to the Ersatzheer, but like the Reserve-Divisionen and other Ersatzheer units in the west were tactically subordinated to Ob.West upon the invasion?
"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 jpz4 » 15 Sep 2021 09:03

Yes, under the B.d.E.
I would assume they became subordinated to Ob.West, but I've not seen actual orders to confirm that.

Also, the battalions I mentioned in my previous post included many which were on their way (for Auffrischung) from the Crimea and H.Gr. Süd-Ukraine. I'm not sure if and when those arrived, but they're worth checking (and I actually overlooked 3 of them, so 20 not 17)

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Simon Trew 1 » 15 Sep 2021 11:08

My tuppence-worth on Zetterling (extracts from relevant sections of my forthcoming Germans-in-Normandy source guide, which continues to inch forward although illness has caused delays in recent months):

.....

Zetterling, Niklas: Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness (J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc., Winnipeg 2000; ix + 462pp., illustrations). The main purpose of this book is to provide information about the strength, armament and organisation of the German ground forces that participated in the Normandy campaign, based on a careful examination of surviving primary sources. Each division that fought in Normandy is covered, along with the great majority of non-divisional combat units – although there are omissions (notably 30th Flak Regiment, several coastal artillery units and some Osttruppen). The book also contains several essays concerning German combat effectiveness during the summer 1944 campaign, in which the author engages critically with others who have written on the same or related subjects. The book is a mine of useful information, although the conviction with which the author presents some of his arguments will not necessarily be shared by all who read his work. Likewise, although most of the figures contained within the book seem reliable, questions can be raised about the accuracy of the author’s assertions regarding numbers of German troops sent to Normandy and casualties suffered during summer 1944. This is an important and valuable book, but one which might still be subjected to constructive criticism of the kind that the author presumably intends by some of his own comments regarding other people’s work.

Zetterling, Niklas: Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness (Casemate Publishing 2019; ix + 450pp., illustrations). This is a revised edition of the author’s earlier book with the same title (see immediately above). Inspection reveals that the differences between the two works are minimal. Some corrections have been made, unit entries have been slightly (in one or two cases, significantly) enhanced and two appendices have been removed from the new version. But no significant changes have occurred in terms of the author’s key arguments or his conclusions regarding some important matters (e.g. the number of Wehrmacht personnel who fought in Normandy). Completists will undoubtedly want to have both books, but those who possess only the 2000 edition will not miss a huge amount if they decide not to procure the more recent version.

.....

As these entries indicate, I have huge respect for the author's work and consider his book(s) an essential item in any Normandy library (especially if your focus is on the German perspective). But I don't agree with all that he writes. In particular, I think he under-estimates both the total number of Germans who fought in Normandy (or perhaps 'participated in the Normandy campaign' is a bit more accurate), probably by some tens of thousands and possibly by up to 100,000. I also think the figures that he presents for casualties (prisoners, killed, wounded) are under-estimates. I have various reasons for thinking this and when opportunity presents (not now, it is simply not high enough on my priorities list, sorry) I hope to explain in much more detail. Suffice it to say that there are many individual considerations that accumulate to make reasonably significant differences in the overall numbers for Germans in Normandy and their losses. Put another way, it is not a case of some fundamental error in calculation, but lots of little things that add up to something rather more significant.

Of course, one really tricky issue is to define the parameters of the Normandy campaign. For me, the campaign includes more than it includes for some people. Personally, I'd be inclined to include everything up to the fall of Paris (25-26 August) and the final retreat of German troops across the Seine (c. 30 August). Things get complicated around the edges (should one include the fighting at the Mantes bridgehead or not - I would, but I can see that others wouldn't) but of course this means that I would include among participants in the Normandy fighting formations like some of the 40-series infantry divisions, 344th Infantry Division, 17th and 18th Luftwaffe Field divisions and so on. So that's bound to make a difference to my calculations. But when I speak of disagreeing to some extent with Zetterling's figures, it is in the context of the chronological and geographical parameters that he establishes for the campaign, rather than my own (expanded) ones.

Anyway, this is an interesting thread (at least, for me!), and if I can throw together some examples of why I think the things I do think, I will do so. But it would not be for some days, at best. Apologies for that.

Simon

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Re: German Surrendered in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Sep 2021 21:35

jpz4 wrote:
15 Sep 2021 09:03
Yes, under the B.d.E.
I would assume they became subordinated to Ob.West, but I've not seen actual orders to confirm that.
I believe that was the general orders applying for all Wehrmacht forces in the event of invasion. The Reserve-Divisionen of course were ambiguous, since they functioned as field training entities for the Ersatzheer and it wasn't until later summer and fall that they became regular divisions.
Also, the battalions I mentioned in my previous post included many which were on their way (for Auffrischung) from the Crimea and H.Gr. Süd-Ukraine. I'm not sure if and when those arrived, but they're worth checking (and I actually overlooked 3 of them, so 20 not 17)
Yes, it is a bit of a mess and again ambiguous. For example, Nordkaukasisches Infanterie-Bataillon 836 of Stamm-Regiment 1 was designated I./Gren.-Regt. 731 of 711. Inf.Div. on 7 July, taking the place of Turkestanisches-Btl. 781, which was supposed to join the other "Turkish" units of 162. Inf.-Div. in Poland, but appears to have been caught in the collapse in the West and was destroyed. Most of the Turkish units appear to have never arrived, Turkestanisches Inf.-Btl. 784 looks like it merged with Feld-Btl. I./295 on 31 March 1944. Freiwilligen-Stamm-Regiment 3 looks to have been a headquarters with some errant Ukrainian Stamm personnel and not much else. I suspect Freiwilligen-(Kosaken)-Stamm-Regiment 5 was the only one that had any substantial substance.
"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 » 15 Sep 2021 23:06

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Sep 2021 21:35
jpz4 wrote:
15 Sep 2021 09:03
Yes, under the B.d.E.
I would assume they became subordinated to Ob.West, but I've not seen actual orders to confirm that.
I believe that was the general orders applying for all Wehrmacht forces in the event of invasion. ...
I recall more than a few references to Rundsteadt & his staff arguing about the navy personnels inclusion in this, as late as May 1944. The Navy was of course reluctant to see their near irreplaceable training units sent off into infantry combat. OB Waet argued every man who could be trusted with a weapon had to be in a Alarm Unit. My impression is this was never settled between OB West & the Navy to anyones satisfaction.

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