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All mobile divisons were spread around as there was no certainty where the allied would land.
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It may have been some combination of the followingJuan G. C. wrote: ↑16 Mar 2021 15:02I do not know if this is the correcto forum for posting this thread. If it isn't, my apologies. I was looking at a map of the German divisions in France on the eve of D-Day and found that the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division was South of the Loire. Why was it there, and what was it doing there? Wasn't it parte of the armoured central reserve, Panzergruppe West? Shouldn't it have been near París? Thanks.
1. Strategic purpose. It was part of the armoured reserves about which the Germans had an unresolved debate about how close everything should be to the coast.
2. Perception of threat. The Germans could not be certain where the allies might land so reserves were somewhere where they could be moved by rail or road to where needed. It was most likely that the Allies would land in northern France, but there was a chance they might land on the Mediterranean coast - as the allies were planning as Op Anvil Dragoon and an outside chance they might try a landing on the Atlantic coast - as Churchill urged as an alternative to Op Anvil. The Germans put most of their armoured reserves in the North Army Group B and the minority in the south Army Group G. The German forces in France forming or training were also required to act occupation forces and be prepared to engage in counter partisan operations.
3. Logistics. The Germans could not put all their armoured troops in one place. They needed somewhere where there was accommodation, water, sanitation etc. A Panzer Grenadier division has the population of a moderate sized town. The armoured reserves a small city. If the Germans wanted to accommodate all its soldiers in billets on top of the existing civilian facilities they had to disperse the divisions troops in an a big enough area that would not result in overloading the sewage and water supply. If the Germans wanted to accommodate all their panzers near Paris they would need to build some barracks - also making an obvious target.
4. Access to training facilities- ranges - tank training areas etc.