Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

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Juan G. C.
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 15 Apr 2021 19:45

maltesefalcon wrote:
15 Apr 2021 19:04
Moving a formation (or formations) of that magnitude from Paris to the coast in half a day's time is simply not realistic. Plus they would be a magnet for air attack moving in broad daylight.
If I am not mistaken the morning of June 6 was was heavily overcast, which might have allowed them to move without serious interference from the allied air forces. IOTL Rundstedt gave the order to move to the Panzer Lehr and the 12th SS Panzer two hours before the seaborne landings. Rundstedt's biographer believes that probably they would have been able to counter-attack during the afternoon.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Apr 2021 20:24

Juan G. C. wrote:
15 Apr 2021 18:21

What I had in mind wasn't to have the four (or five, six or seven) divisions in Normandy before the invasion, but having them in a central reserve around Paris, as Rundstedt wanted, and to rush it to Normandy after the airborne landings. So no arrival in Normandy before the landings to be noticed by Allied intelligence.
Paris would probably be too far to travel and organize a afternoon, or evening attack. Straight line its 160+ km from central Paris to Caen. Even without air attacks & downed bridges its more than a morning drive. There were five armored divisions within 200km of Caen, the 2d Pz being the furthest at about 190km straight line. The other four ranging from 120km to under 20.

Ordering the armored reserve out when the airborne drop started was not considered. There had already been some false alarms in May, triggered by a surge in Allied air attacks, radar and radio jamming attacks, tests of spoofing German sea search radars, messages via the Double Cross system, ect... The 7th Army had gone on full invasion alert for a night in late May. By June the commanders wanted to actually see a invasion fleet before they started moving reserves. Since the radar operators north of the Seine actually saw a enemy fleet approaching the Calais region from around 03:00 6th June, and the radar stations oriented west on the Bai du Seine & the Channel north of the Cotientin peninsula saw nothing until dawn this was probably a sensible idea. There was also a lot of confusion about the airborne drops. The fake drops along the coast near Calais were initially reported as real, and the reports from the radar stations of a approaching fleet arrived in the same early morning hours as the reports about the airborne drops. If the Germans had responded to those early reports dawn would have found the armored divisions headed far down the road in the wrong direction to Calais & Dieppe.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 15 Apr 2021 20:25

Michael Kenny wrote:
15 Apr 2021 19:09
How are you going to hide 6 Panzer Divisions around Paris? Do you not understand how efficient Allied intelligence was in this area?
That said how are 6 Panzer division going to get to Normandy whilst being attacked by TAC?
Let us remind ourselves that 1st SS, 2nd SS, 9th SS, 10th SS, 12th SS, 17th SS 2nd Pz Div , 21st Pz Div, 116 Pz Div & Pz Lehr were at the front and they made no inroads into the enclave.
Of course, I'm sure the Allied intelligence would have found out that the panzer reserve was there around Paris, I know how efficient it was.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 15 Apr 2021 20:31

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Apr 2021 20:24
Ordering the armored reserve out when the airborne drop started was not considered.
That is what it is said in United States Army in World War II: Cross Channel Attack:
Rundstedt had reacted to the first news of the airborne landings with a quick decision to commit at once all operational reserves within striking distance. (Map XIII) He took this decision, despite uncertainty as to the extent of the Allied landings, on the grounds that whether the landings were major or subsidiary it was still imperative to repel them at once. It was between 0330 and 0400, two hours before the seaborne landings, that he ordered the 12th SS Panzer Division to move immediately toward Caen and the Panzer Lehr Division to prepare for similar movement.96 He estimated that the reported airborne landings were on such a large scale that they could not be a mere deception maneuver and they therefore would have to be reinforced from the sea. The only feasible area for such reinforcement was the east coast of the Cotentin and the beaches between the Vire and Orne Rivers. From observation Allied assault exercises, the Germans were sure the assault on the coast would take place at dawn. Rundstedt wanted have armor at hand to counterattack the first hours. There was therefore no time to debate contingencies. He reasoned further that, even if the Normandy assault were planned by the Allies as a secondary effort, it was probable that they would exploit whatever success it achieved. The attack, whatever its character, should therefore be met with all available force. Rundstedt's reasoning was clear and his action decisive.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aida1 » 15 Apr 2021 20:41

Juan G. C. wrote:
12 Apr 2021 19:54
Had the Germans been able to have in Normandy four Panzer divisions by the afternoon of D-Day, could they have defeated the landings with them?
You certainly needed them up close to be able to execute a quick counterattack which was the only chance you had to throw the allies back into the sea.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aida1 » 15 Apr 2021 20:47

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Apr 2021 07:13
The 7th Army in the first week of July proposed that the Panzer divisions receive a pipeline system (enjoyed by their enemy) of 3 replacement battalions each. This was a no-brainer- the structure of the Pz divisions was basically wrong for the job. Extremely heavy infantry casualties should have been anticipated by the German planners.
Fiction as Germany was rather short of manpower by then. :roll: And Pz div had rather too few tanks in relation to the amount of infantry. A pz div was not short of infantry. The german problem was too few good inf div so the pz div had to be put into the defenseline which was not the proper way to use a pz div.
Last edited by Aida1 on 16 Apr 2021 19:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aida1 » 15 Apr 2021 20:50

Juan G. C. wrote:
14 Apr 2021 10:21
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:45
A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
I didn't mean the Panzer divisions being there before the invasion, but being in a position to attack the beacheads in force by the afternoon of D-Day.
In order to do that they needed to be relatively close so they could arrive very quickly.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aida1 » 15 Apr 2021 20:51

Juan G. C. wrote:
15 Apr 2021 07:47
What if instead of four there have been five, six or seven by the afternoon of D-Day?
That would never be realistic unless you knew where the landing would take place.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aida1 » 15 Apr 2021 20:53

Cult Icon wrote:
15 Apr 2021 13:33
Juan G. C. wrote:
15 Apr 2021 07:47
What if instead of four there have been five, six or seven by the afternoon of D-Day?
There was no space for that many. The Normandy front was very constricted, some 20 miles by mid-June 1944.

Even 4 on the afternoon of June 6th is pushing it. If they have a strong replacement funnel 3 is enough. The key is that they need fresh battalions to replenish the decimated ones and maintain a very high momentum of attack, day and night. There wouldn't be time for knocked out tanks to be repaired and cycled into short-term repair, and back into service so a reserve should be maintained.

The Germans would defeat the landing and the Allies would simply land elsewhere...and this time without "4 panzer divisions" right then and there.
That is your pet theory where you use masses of infantry the germans did not have against massive allied firepower. :roll: Shows a total lack of insight in tactics. :lol:

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 15 Apr 2021 21:03

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
15 Apr 2021 19:12

This truth is diligently submerged under a pile of repetitive hyperbole on Naval gunfire being omnipotent.
Naval gunfire, squadron attacks, and the artillery superiority heavily disrupted the partial attacks of the three Pz divisions but did not terminate them to the degree some imagine. Too much imagination/bias/hollywood visions of hellfire and not enough research/reading on what happened in the small unit level with Pz Lehr, 21.Pz, 12 SSHJ up to mid-June is the culprit..

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Apr 2021 21:10

There were 68 guns of 14 inch and over, 22 Cruisers and 140 escorts all waiting for targets. That is before a single artillery piece was landed.
Naval gunfire is not important because it is 'omnipotent' but because it is there in numbers and able to fire before a single soldier has landed.
I am at a loss how anyone can not be aware the problems this caused the Germans and Rommel's desire to abandon the coastline for this very reason

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Apr 2021 21:15

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
15 Apr 2021 19:15


Sigh.. They had been thrown in piece meal .. in bits .. not together..
And yet you claim they could move up to 6 in one lift. The roads to Paris would have been blocked with traffic and TAC just loved lots of road-bound lorries.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Apr 2021 21:22

The landings were planned. That is all reactions had to be anticipated and the events on the day were expected to be covered by the naval guns. They were there to counter any such attack on the beaches. Yet here we have frankly absurd debate as to how up to 6 Panzer Divisions could get close to the beaches undetected and once there survive the bombardment specifically created to disrupt/destroy any such attack.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Apr 2021 22:10

Moving a formation (or formations) of that magnitude from Paris to the coast in half a day's time is simply not realistic. Plus they would be a magnet for air attack moving in broad daylight.
Juan G. C. wrote:
15 Apr 2021 19:45
If I am not mistaken the morning of June 6 was was heavily overcast, which might have allowed them to move without serious interference from the allied air forces.


Might have, but in fact the Allied tactical air forces were active, and smart enough to fly under the overcast to execute their attacks. The 9th Bomber Divisions Groups pre mission briefings informed them the overcast would be below 7,000 feet & they would have to attack at that altitude or lower. In fact the after action reports from the air crew indicate most had to attack from between 5000 & 2000 feet. That was typical for the morning. The airborne spotters for the NGF were often as low as 1000 feet.
IOTL Rundstedt gave the order to move to the Panzer Lehr and the 12th SS Panzer two hours before the seaborne landings. Rundstedt's biographer believes that probably they would have been able to counter-attack during the afternoon.
Those were not Rundsteadts to order. They could only move by direct order of Hitler. At 02:45 Rundsteadt ordered the PzDiv alerted & at 04:45 he ordered Pz Group West to make a reconnaissance in force of the 711 Div sector. Hitler was informed of a large scale airborne operation & invasion fleet on the Calvados coast after 10:00. After some four hours of conferences he released Pz Group West to Rundsteadt. The 12th SS PzD got moving shortly after. 'Midafternoon' from the survivors. The Pz Lehr logged its orders to move at 15:00, & was on the road at 17:00. Both attracted attention & were under air attack in the hour. ('Germans in Normandy' Hargreaves)

The 21st PzD was under Rommels control, & his CoS staff telephoned a order to that Div to attack any local paratroops without further orders. Margaritas 'Countdown to D Day' places Spediels order to 21PzD occuring between 2:10 when a phone call from 15th Army was logged in & 03:00. The 21stPzD started moving shortly after dawn. 06:30 from some witnesses, tho its reconissance companies may have deployed before dawn. It initially attacked the airborne along the Orne river as ordered, then was ordered to break off the attack and move to the north side of Caen, which took between four and six hours depending on the unit. They were under air attack, had to contend with blocked streets in Caen, and after 6-8 hours of running their motors refuel a portion of the vehicles.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Apr 2021 22:27

Michael Kenny wrote:
15 Apr 2021 21:22
The landings were planned. That is all reactions had to be anticipated and the events on the day were expected to be covered by the naval guns. They were there to counter any such attack on the beaches. Yet here we have frankly absurd debate as to how up to 6 Panzer Divisions could get close to the beaches undetected and once there survive the bombardment specifically created to disrupt/destroy any such attack.
I've gamed something like this twice. Even assuming the several armored div are directly behind the beaches, and not anticipated, the defense is still shredded. OTL it took barely two hours to defeat the beach defenses (Maybe three for OMAHA Beach.) Adding Panzer divisions stretched out to four, five, six,, even eight hours. Then the defenders and attackers were badly attritioned, but the Allied reinforcements arrive on schedule and defense has little left other than some second tier infantry corps to fight with. Assuming the defense strength & deployment is understood the defenders are attirtioned more & the attackers less.

It does not seem to matter much where you fight this battle on the beach, ten km inland, 30 km inland. The invaders come with massive firepower & the Germans come with a counter attack force designed to defeat the enemy with speed, shock, and a better machine gun.

A examination of Geyers intended counter attack with massed armored divisions is useful. Originally hoped for on D+2 (the 8th) it was delayed through the 9th & then the 10th June. Aside from having to do most movement at night to avoid Allied air attacks the Panzer Gruppe traffic jammed itself with its vehicles (something not seen in the war-games the previous winter). The attack was further postponed when the Allies made a hefty air strike on the source of the unusual number of radio signals. Decryptions of those suggested a corps HQ organizing a major attack. Geyrs HQ was neutralized and the attack never launched.

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