Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

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RichTO90
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Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 01:51

Divisions of 15. Armee from north to south on or about 6 June

That did not move to Normandy:
19. LW Sturm – en route to Italy
182. Reserve – converting to a field division, a process not completed until 27 July 1944
165. Reserve – converted to 70. Infanterie-Division on 17 July 1944
712. Infanterie
48. Infanterie – formed from 171. Reserve on 1 February 1944
18. Feld (LW)
47. Infanterie – formed from 156. Reserve on 1 February 1944
49. Infanterie – formed from 191. Reserve on 23 November 1943
344. Infanterie
348. Infanterie
245. Infanterie
17. Feld (LW)
711. Feld

Of those, only 19. LW and 182. Reserve (as of 27 July) could be considered mobile. However, the remaining eleven nominally static divisions did have mobile elements capable of moving as required, just as did the static divisions of 7. Armee.

Those that did move to Normandy:
326. Infanterie (beh-bew) – Although designated a static (bodenstandiges) division, it was being reorganized as an improvised mobile division (behilfesmässiges bewegung) using confiscated French vehicles. As of 1 May the division strength was 11,819 (probably including HiWi), but by 20 June it had fallen to 11,533, possibly due to sending drafts of replacements to the forces fighting in Normandy. It appears that it was intended to fill the places of I./Gren.-Regt. 751 and 753 with Ost-Batallionen, but it is unclear which were meant to be used. It was ordered to Normandy in mid July and had crossed the Seine by 22 July.
331. Infanterie (bew) – Remnants of the division arrived in France on 16 March 1944 from the Ostfront to reorganize. As of 1 June the strength was 10,543 and 1,366 HiWi and it appears to have been considered ready for action by the middle of July. It was ordered to Normandy on 28 July and began to arrive in the vicinity of L’Aigle-Gacé on 11 August, attached to LXXXI A.K.
85. Infanterie (bew) – The division was raised on 2 February 1944 and although considered ready for action in May, was still organizing on 6 June. By 20 June the division strength was 8,393 (authorized strength 8,126) and 332 HiWi, while a Füsilier Btl. and Feld-Ers.-Btl. had been formed. It was ordered to Normandy on 29 July and elements were west of the Seine in the vicinity of Cleres and extending east of Neufchatel by 4 August. By 10 August the division was in action against First Canadian Army north of Falaise.
84. Infanterie (bew) – The division was raised 2 February 1944 but did not reach full strength until April and on 6 June was still considered to be organizing. By 20 June the division strength was 8,437 (authorized strength was 8,126) and 1,378 HiWi. On 12 June a Füsilier Btl. was formed. The division was ordered to Normandy on 29 July, with the first elements arriving 3 August.
346. Infanterie (bo) – The division had been in Brittany as a bodenstädiges unit until December 1943, when it was decided to increase its mobility, although its designation was unchanged, and it was moved to the vicinity of Le Havre. By 1 May the division strength was 9,534 and an unknown number of HiWi. It was ordered to Normandy on 6 June and was in action by 7 June.

Of these five nominally mobile divisions, only one was sent across the Somme prior to mid-July.

Other infantry-type divisions sent to or formed in Ob. West after D-Day:

89. Infanterie – The division began forming on 15 January 1944 in Germany and then moved to Norway. It was ordered to Normandy in late July and began arriving on 3 August. Its strength is unknown, but was probably similar to those others raised in this series of divisions (77, 84 and 85 Inf.-Div.). An estimated strength based upon the average known strength of those three divisions would be 8,642 and 1,040 HiWi.
363. Infanterie – The division was formed in Poland in January 1944 and moved to Denmark to complete organization and equipment in April. In June it was moved to Belgium and assigned to 15. Armee. By 26 July was crossing the Seine, with the first elements engaged (probably Gren.-Regt. 957) on 31 July near Villedieu. It seems likely the division was similar in strength to 343. and 353. Inf.-Div.; about 11,000 men.
2. FJD – The division was at Köln-Wahn on D-Day (except for Fs.Flak-Abtl. 2 and Fs.Jg.Regt. 6, which were already in France). It was ordered to Brest on 12 June, except for II. and III./Fs.-Art.Regt. 2 at Luneville, I./Fs.Jg.-Regt. 2 at Köln-Wahn and Fs.Gr.-Werf.-Btl. 2 at Verdun, which were all still forming at the end
of the campaign. Strength as of 31 July was 7,551.
6. FJD – The division began forming at Amiens under 15. A.O.K. in June. Elements were committed under the command of I SS-Panzer-Korps and arrived at L’Aigle-Moulins on 12 August.

Of these four nominally mobile divisions, only 2. FJD moved in June…to Brest. Note that as the other three arrived or approached operational status in the zone of 15. Armee, the other divisions, above, began moving.

Panzer and Panzergrenadier Divisions in order of movement:
21. Panzer – in contact 6 June.
12. SS – ordered to move 6 June.
Panzer Lehr – ordered to move 6 June.
17. SS – ordered to move 6 June.
2. Panzer – The division was ordered to Normandy at 0300 on 9 June and the first elements were in combat by 12 June near Villers-Bocage.
2. SS – The division began moving to Normandy on 12 June, but its poor condition meant that the last elements were not ready to move until 20 July.
1. SS – ordered to move 8 June, order canceled 10 June, finally began moving 17 June.
116. Panzer – The division was initially established 24 April with 7,500 men from 16. Pz.Gren.-Div. (formerly the 16. Inf.-Div. (mot.)), another 2,000 convalescents and men of the division returning from leave, 1,000 Volksliste III (ethnic German) recruits, and 3,000 men from a training unit (179. Res.-Pz.-Div.). Strength as of 1 June was 13,621, rising to 14,358 by 1 July. Orders for the commitment of the division were issued at 0055 hours 19 July and it began arriving in reserve southeast of Caen on 24 July.
9. Panzer – The division was refitting after extensive losses on the Eastern Front. On 15 May its strength was just 11,219, but had risen to 14,736 on 15 June. By 1 July it was 14,636. It was ordered to Normandy on 27 July, arriving in the vicinity Domfront-Alencon-Tours-Angers beginning 4 August.
11. Panzer – The division was just beginning to arrive from the east for refitting, minus I./Pz.Regt. 15, which was at Mailly-le-Camp. As of 10 June the division, probably including elements of 273. Reserve-Panzerdivision, had on hand 26 Pz-III, 89 Pz-IV, and 8 StuG. On 15 June it absorbed 273. Reserve-Panzerdivision. The division covered the withdrawal of German forces from southern France during August and was not engaged in Normandy.
19. Panzer – The division began arriving on 24 May for refitting, then returned to the Ostheer beginning on 16 July.

Of these 11 divisions, four, all west of the Seine, were ordered to Normandy. Under the estimates made by the Allies as of c. 18 May, it was believed the groupings were (Hesketh 101-102):

15. Armee – 1. SS Panzer, 2. Panzer, and 116. Panzer (believed to be brigade-sized)
7. Armee – 21. Panzer, 12. SS Panzer, and Panzer Lehr
1. Armee – 17. SS Panzergrenadier and 11. Panzer
19. Armee – 2. SS Panzer and 9. Panzer

In fact, the Allies were unaware of the Byzantine German organizational structure and the actual condition of many of the divisions, which effected when the various divisions were released and moved. In fact, none of the divisions were under direct army control. Three Panzerkorps nominally had control of the divisions:

I SS Panzerkorps – 1. SS Panzer, 12. SS Panzer, Panzer Lehr, and 17. SS Panzergrenadier. It was nominally under Panzergruppe West, which had administrative and training responsibility for all Panzer units in Ob. West. It also constituted the OKW Reserve. However, while most were grouped around Paris (possibly in part due to Geyr’s fixation on a possible Allied aerial desant on Paris) 17. SS was in the zone of 1. Armee and drew its supply from it.

XXXXVII Panzerkorps – 2. Panzer, 21. Panzer, and 116. Panzer. It was nominally under HG-B as Rommel’s immediate reserve and was disposed with the two most capable units in immediate reserve behind 7. Armee (21. Panzer) and 15. Armee (2. Panzer).

LVIII Reserve Panzerkorps – 2. SS Panzer, 9. Panzer., and 11. Panzer. It was nominally under AG-G as its reserve, but was also the least capable of executing more than defensive operations due to the condition of its divisions.

As consequence, the divisions that actually moved were not always those anticipated by the Allies. 21. Panzer of course was the immediate reaction to the invasion, as was it was intended to be. Also as intended, the reaction force was drawn from I SS Panzerkorps and were the three divisions on the west bank of the Seine.

The second wave of reaction was intended to be 1. SS and the Grossdeutschland Panther Battalion attached to 116. Panzer division for training. It was they Hesketh mentions were diverted “as a consequence of certain information, C in C West had declared ‘a state of Alarm II’ for Fifteenth Army in Belgium and Northern France” (p. 202). See also Heinz Günther Guderian’s account of this complicated period in his history of the division (pp. 38-39). Note that at one point on 8 June he mentions it was planned to bring 116. Panzer closer to the coast so as to enable 84. Infanterie to be released and sent to Normandy, a movement that did not occur until 29 July, possibly also as a consequence of the Alarm II on 10 June.

Those movements may be compared to what the Allies anticipated as of 3 June, the last appreciation before D-Day. They believed that “within a week of the first landing all three Panzer divisions north of the Seine, namely the 2nd Panzer Division at Amiens, the 116th Panzer Division at Pontoise and the 1st SS Panzer Division at Turnhout, would have arrived at the bridgehead. The 116th Panzer was to be expected on D plus 1 and the other two between D plus 3 and D plus 7. Of the infantry divisions under command of Fifteenth Army, it was estimated that the 84th, 85th, and 331st Infantry Divisions, all field formations, would also arrive between D plus 3 and D plus 7. From the South and South-West it was supposed that the 2nd SS Panzer Division and the 11th Panzer Division would reach the bridgehead by the end of the first week.” (p. 102)

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby paspartoo » 11 Jul 2011 08:43

RichTO90 since the last thread is locked could you answer the d-day tank question here (also men landed) ?
If you have the time can you match these numbers for Allies ?

German accumulated AFV strength : ‘’Normandy 1944’’ p413
6 June : 122
7 June : 220
8 June : 405
10 June : 504
11 June: 535
12 June: 580
1 July : 1,329
10 July : 1,647
20 July : 1,707
3 August : 2,035
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 12:20

paspartoo wrote:RichTO90 since the last thread is locked could you answer the d-day tank question here (also men landed) ?
If you have the time can you match these numbers for Allies ?


On D-Day, US forces landed 62 medium tanks each from the following battalions (including dozer tanks manned by engineers):

70th
741st
743rd

Another 5 were landed from a platoon of the 746th Tank Battalion attached to the 70th Tank Battalion and Company B, 745th Tank Battalion with probably 16 tanks was landed on OMAHA.

Total 207

The Commonwealth forces landed:

2 CAB with 171 Sherman 75mm and 22 Sherman 17pdr
8th Armoured Brigade with the same
27th Armoured Brigade with 156 Sherman 75mm and 29 Sherman 17pdr

Total 571

Grand Total 778

Note that accounting does not include SP AT, SP FA, or Funnies, which were not tanks.

I'll revisit the personnel figures later; I gotta get to work. :(

Nevermind, they were easier to hand than I thought

Personnel landed across the beaches were:

SWORD 28,800
JUNO 21,400
GOLD 24,870
OMAHA 34,200
UTAH 21,300
Total 130,570

Airbiorne forces landed another 20,000, which is the source of the difference.

Cheers!
Last edited by RichTO90 on 11 Jul 2011 12:43, edited 1 time in total.
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

paspartoo
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby paspartoo » 11 Jul 2011 12:40

RichTO90 wrote:
paspartoo wrote:RichTO90 since the last thread is locked could you answer the d-day tank question here (also men landed) ?
If you have the time can you match these numbers for Allies ?


..............................
Note that accounting does not include SP AT, SP FA, or Funnies, which were not tanks.

I'll revisit the personnel figures later; I gotta get to work. :(

Cheers!


Could you also give the numbers for these ?
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http://chris-intel-corner.blogspot.com/

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Kingfish
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby Kingfish » 11 Jul 2011 12:50

Rich,

I noticed that Sword landed a larger number of men than Gold, which I find odd given the British 50th had 4 brigades under command as opposed to 3 in British 3rd.

What accounts for the extra manpower? 1st Commando brigade?

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 13:32

paspartoo wrote:Could you also give the numbers for these ?


Geez...could I at least ask you to buy my book? Or could you write me a check? :P

I'll see what I can do.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

paspartoo
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby paspartoo » 11 Jul 2011 13:34

RichTO90 wrote:
paspartoo wrote:Could you also give the numbers for these ?


Geez...could I at least ask you to buy my book? Or could you write me a check? :P

I'll see what I can do.

Cheers!


Hmm i already have ''Hitler's last gamble'' does that count? :D
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RichTO90
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 13:36

Kingfish wrote:Rich,

I noticed that Sword landed a larger number of men than Gold, which I find odd given the British 50th had 4 brigades under command as opposed to 3 in British 3rd.

What accounts for the extra manpower? 1st Commando brigade?


Hi Kingfish,

It's what landed on D-Day, not what was in the NEPTUNE assault forces, quite a bit of which landed on D+1. Note that all the light tanks in the American battalions and the British brigades landed on D+1 or later. By then, SWORD was almost unused, because of the harrassing fire of the German batteries east of the Orne and because of the limited beach landing areas. JUNO also saw some delays in unloading IIRC and GOLD may have as well.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

RichTO90
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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 13:37

paspartoo wrote:Hmm i already have ''Hitler's last gamble'' does that count? :D


No, I don't get royalties from that. :lol:

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby Kingfish » 11 Jul 2011 15:42

RichTO90 wrote: Note that all the light tanks in the American battalions and the British brigades landed on D+1 or later.


Correction!
That behemoth of the Orne bridgehead, the Tertrach, also landed on D-Day.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 16:22

Kingfish wrote:Correction!
That behemoth of the Orne bridgehead, the Tertrach, also landed on D-Day.


True, but barely. :D The three troops of A Squadron (Light Tanks) of the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiments landed in their Hamilcar gliders between 2100 and 2130 on 6 June. Of the nine embarked, two were lost when one Hamilcar crashed into another as it was unloading. There are also reports that it was difficult to get the Tetrarchs off the LZ since they kept getting tangled in the parachute lines littering the area. Next day another Tetrarch was lost to a mine and I believe one more later in June.

edit Actually two were lost on 7 June, one to a mine and another by AT fire. A third was knocked out on 23 June, but as usual with such reports it is unclear what were losses and what were repairable (one of the two lost on 7 June was a definite write off though). On 6 August apparently all the Tetrarchs were turned in and replaced by 8 Cromwells organized in two troops[b]/edit] :D

Cheers!
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Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby Kingfish » 11 Jul 2011 16:54

I wonder why the need to deploy the Tertach when there were plenty of similarly equipped armored cars.
Wouldn't a Humber Mk IV suffice?

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby RichTO90 » 11 Jul 2011 17:06

Kingfish wrote:I wonder why the need to deploy the Tertach when there were plenty of similarly equipped armored cars.
Wouldn't a Humber Mk IV suffice?


It's not a "tank" old boy, so it can hardly be allowed to tank... 8-)

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby Aber » 11 Jul 2011 17:24

RichTO90 wrote:
Kingfish wrote:Correction!
That behemoth of the Orne bridgehead, the Tertrach, also landed on D-Day.


True, but barely. :D The three troops of A Squadron (Light Tanks) of the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiments landed in their Hamilcar gliders between 2100 and 2130 on 6 June. Of the nine embarked, two were lost when one Hamilcar crashed into another as it was unloading. There are also reports that it was difficult to get the Tetrarchs off the LZ since they kept getting tangled in the parachute lines littering the area. Next day another Tetrarch was lost to a mine and I believe one more later in June.

edit Actually two were lost on 7 June, one to a mine and another by AT fire. A third was knocked out on 23 June, but as usual with such reports it is unclear what were losses and what were repairable (one of the two lost on 7 June was a definite write off though). On 6 August apparently all the Tetrarchs were turned in and replaced by 8 Cromwells organized in two troops[b]/edit] :D

Cheers!


I've also seen references of one breaking loose while airborne and falling into the English Channel.

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Re: Movement of German Divisions to the Lodgement Area

Postby Aber » 11 Jul 2011 17:32

RichTO90 wrote:
Those movements may be compared to what the Allies anticipated as of 3 June, the last appreciation before D-Day. They believed that “within a week of the first landing all three Panzer divisions north of the Seine, namely the 2nd Panzer Division at Amiens, the 116th Panzer Division at Pontoise and the 1st SS Panzer Division at Turnhout, would have arrived at the bridgehead. The 116th Panzer was to be expected on D plus 1 and the other two between D plus 3 and D plus 7. Of the infantry divisions under command of Fifteenth Army, it was estimated that the 84th, 85th, and 331st Infantry Divisions, all field formations, would also arrive between D plus 3 and D plus 7. From the South and South-West it was supposed that the 2nd SS Panzer Division and the 11th Panzer Division would reach the bridgehead by the end of the first week.” (p. 102)


Back on topic (NOT flying tanks)

IIRC at the St Pauls's presentation the expected German response by D+8 was
- 10 Panzer divisions - as referenced in your post
- 8 Infantry divisions from Pas de Calais and Brittany. You've identified three divsions from Pas de Calais (84,85,331) and presumably Brittany includes 2 Para & 3 Para.

Any idea what the other infantry divsions were, as the other thread got bogged down without this information?


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