German 15th Army Reinforces Battle in Normandy



  • I believe the Allies lengthened the war by tricking the Germans with Patton’s dummy army stationed in England. The German 15th Army was able to defeat the Allies in Market Garden and solidified the situation after the breakout into France. Had the 15th Army been sent to Normandy and been mauled by Allied  vast numbers and airpower little would have been in the way once the breakout occurred.

    Your thoughts?


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    Had the 15th Army been sent to Normandy and been mauled by Allied vast numbers and airpower little would have been in the way once the breakout occurred.

    The case could indeed be made that, if this had happened, the war would have been shortened.  On the other hand, the case could also be made for the opposite scenario: that sending the 15th Army to Normany could have resulted in the Germans mauling the Allies there, thus delaying an Allied victory rather than shortening it.  The Allies devoted considerable resources to making the Germans believe (or more precisely to reinforcing their existing inclination to believe) that the Allies would land at the Pas-de-Calais, so that the Germans would concentrate their strength there (where the Allies weren’t planning to invade) and thus weaken themselves elsewhere (including Normandy, where the Allies were planning to invade).  Invading Normany with the 15th Army there would have been tougher than invading it with the 15th Army elsewhere.  Would it have been a decisive enough difference to cause Overlord to fail?  My guess would be no…but one never knows.  At any rate, I’m sure the Allies considered themselves well-served to see the bulk of the Wehrmacht defending Calais on that particular day.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Hi Worsham and Marc.
    I think I agree that the 10 Inf Divisions watching the coast would have hampered Allied efforts to break out. They would have freed  up the Panzer Divisions for offensive action too.
    The problem for the Germans  from the start was Armoured Divisions holding the line,a job  which was better done by the less mobile and less motivated Inf ones.
    I can see your reasoning though Worsham.

    I think you will find the Divisions in September were for the most part recostituted ones.
    I am sure the Germans were unable to get much  over the Seine after Falaise and the Coastal Divisions, of which 15th Army was mostly made up of, would haven been last  in the order of crossing as militarily they were of little use after 10 weeks of combat.
    Great question again. Thank you.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    If the 15th Army would have been sent ,the Allies would have found them self defeated and back in the water!

    The Beachheads weren’t that stable so that they( couldn’t AeV) could be knocked out, they still needed supplies and reinforcments.
    But it basicly depends on how you properly act on a actual threat.
    I gain confidence to say that it didn’t needed that much to blow the whole Invasion since there are many unanswered question why a solid working war machinery like the Germans had at that time didn’t work properly!
    I don’t believe in coincidence and leave it to a non plausible answer such as “they were tricked and not aware of the whole situation!”.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @aequitas:

    I gain confidence to say that it didn’t needed that much to blow the whole Invasion since there are many unanswered question why a solid working war machinery like the Germans had at that time didn’t work properly! I don’t believe in coincidence and leave it to a non plausible answer such as “they were tricked and not aware of the whole situation!”.

    You mentioned something similar in another thread on D-Day (http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=9716.0).  If I understand you correctly (and I may be misunderstanding), you’re saying that you have doubts about the conventional interpretation of why the German army stayed concentrated at Calais rather than moving forcefully against the Normandy beachheads (the conventional view being that the Germans were fooled by Operation Fortitude and other deception measures).  I assume that this means you favour an alternate interpretation, and I’d be interested in hearing what it is.  Your previous post seems to suggest that the true explanation is that the German army deliberately avoided counterattacking the Overlord invasion forces, but it doesn’t go into much detail and it doesn’t seem to state what the German army’s motivation was for behaving in this way.  I’m also not sure how this interpretation can be reconciled with the stubborn resistance the Germans put up in Normandy’s bocage countryside in the weeks following the D-Day landings, or with their lengthy and fierce defence of Norman ports like Cherbourg and Norman cities like Caen.  Could you elaborate on these points?


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Betrayal

    The possibility exist that the Westheer of the Germans was betrayed by high ranking GERMAN Generals and Officers who tried to team up with the Western Allies and allowing them to land by sabotaging everything that might hinder a Western Invasion at Normandy.

    Let us ask our self a few questions:

    Why were not a single or ANY German Submarines at sea in that area of Invasion?

    Why was the German Luftwaffe, wich was stationed in West France sent away?

    What was the reason of delay for the Personal mines wich have been required by Rommel?

    • Germany had large depots of french personal mines stationed in France, millions.
    • Organisation Todt and R.A.D mens were able to deploy vast numbers of those Rommelspargels but what was left were those mines. Had the Rommelspargel been equipped with those mines ,the U.S. paras would not have been able to engage in battle with men in numbers.

    Blind German Sea Artillerie?
    Why had every single “Ziel­folgegeräte” wich is a Targeting devise to aim on moveable targets on sea,go to inspection a few days before D-Day?

    Why was the III. Flakkorps sent away from Normandie and who ordered it?

    • about the III. Flakkorps: It was a full motorised AA corpse with the modern 8.8 models '41 and middle AA guns, consisting of 4 Flaksturm Reg. very good equipped.

    Why did peoples of the OKW restricted Fritz Bayerlein in his planning and ordered him to set the tanks in an formation wich would not allow him to move fast enough? Who was planning such stupid things and why did they deny Bayerlein to go back to the usually Formation?

    Why had the PLD move at daylight ?
    -Through experience from Afrika and Italy, the Germans knew that after an Invasion the Airforce will follow and gain air superiority. Why ordered Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann such a move?

    Did the Germans and also Hitler know about an oncoming Invasion?
    It looks like they did. Agents like Elyasa BAZNA (›Cicero‹) and Mathilde CARRÉ (›La Chatte‹) delivered good Informations from diplomatic circles as well as from the Resistance.
    Cicero even managed to make a mikrofilm about the Invasionsite, it is just unknown and disputed how accurate it was but Hitler mentioned “Normandie” in one of those discussions about possible landings from the Western Allies.
    About the timeline, it was used a tip of the before mentioned Agent that it could be around May or June.

    I’m not shooting for any conspiracy Theories rather aplying it to open minds, since I think a lot of those things before,during and after D-Day happend just don’t match, simple as that.

    21-eafc51cd2e.jpg
    lageskizzeck7.jpg



  • That is the weirdest conspiracy theory I have ever heard.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Aequitas,

    You need to read “Bodyguard of Lies”.

    The Allies “let” the germans capture a body in a high ranking uniform, with what seemed to be -very- detailed information on the coming invasion.

    Hence the whole reason they made Patton sit on his hands too.

    The reasons the germans were in such disarray, is because they were planning against an entirely different attack.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Gargantua:

    The Allies “let” the germans capture a body in a high ranking uniform, with what seemed to be -very- detailed information on the coming invasion.

    Bodyguard of Lies (which I haven’t read) apparently covers Allied deception operations in Europe in 1943 and 1944, so the D-Day deceptions would indeed fall in the scope of the book – but I’m wondering if the part you mention about the dead body with secret papers actually refers to Operation Mincemeat, which was part of the deception operation for the Sicily landings in 1943.  The Germans fell for it in 1943, so it would reflect badly on them if they’d fallen for the same trick again in 1944 prior to Overlord, assuming that the Allies tried to re-use the same trick (which I wasn’t aware that they had).


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    I read bodyguard of lies over a decade ago… I was confused about the order of events, thank you for clarifying operation mincemeat in my memory!

    That said, the allies used a series of deception methods ahead of D-Day

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Fortitude

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bodyguard

    See operation Fortitude, which was part of Operation Bodyguard (Which I thought was outlined in the book?)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Hi Aequitas. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I wi not discount that there may have been a few who favoured  peace with the West; they may also have been able to sabotage the things you mention.
    That said, I think Fortitude was the main reason for the 15th Army’s remaining were it was.

    Let us also  not forget that the V1 Rocket sites were in the Pas de Calais, so the Germans could not pull out of there for fear they would lose them.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    Hi Wittmann,
    I know, with the comment:
    @aequitas:

    If the 15th Army would have been sent ,the Allies would have found them self defeated and back in the water!

    The Beachheads weren’t that stable so that they could (AeV fixed) be knocked out, they still needed supplies and reinforcments.
    But it basicly depends on how you properly act on a actual threat.

    I wanted to demonstrate that any German Force could break up the whole Invasion.
    There were so many chances to cause the Invasion to fail, but shear luck doesn’t justify how a lot of things happend.

    Deception, hmm happend on both sides and I did not go into detail for that in my previews comments, because it is not the Focus on what I’m reffering to.
    Besides the questions I raised are not staying in any contact to any deception at all.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Air power and mechanical problems getting to the assembly areas was a problem for the tank battalions.
    Two companies of the 101SS reached the flank of Panzer Lehr with 14 operational tanks on the 12th June having left  their position East of Paris with 30.


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Keep in mind that all the “best” troops, were grinding Russians up on the eastern front.

    And slave labour wasn’t as reliable as it used to be.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    @Gargantua:

    Keep in mind that all the “best” troops, were grinding Russians up on the eastern front.

    And slave labour wasn’t as reliable as it used to be.

    Bloody Frenchies. Anybody would have thought they were badly treated by the occupying Germans
    They never had it so good!

    Some of those “best” troops were close enough to shake a few British tail feathers.
    Anyone who had fought in Russia was going to give his best in Normandy, especially when told that this was the one theatre that could reverse the situation.
    Push the Western Allies into the sea and the war could still be won.



  • I´m just reading Anthony Bevoor´s “D-Day”.

    The 15th army would have severed as a perfect obstacle in case the allied had made landing at Pas-de-Calias. But it was one with it´s equippepment, training etc. Just there, not ably to move and engage effectivly in combat in a field combat. 15th army was a 10 inf. div. army fied with their coastal artellry batteries and defense positions.

    It consided of 10 infantry divisions, trained to defend this particulary area, which was military logical, not due to Operation Fortitud. This part of the coast could not being left undefended.

    Instead the Germans send their reiforcements from ALL other fronts, not only weakining the already falling-apart Army Group centre in Belarussia.

    Those , mostly SS (Panzer) divisions and high quality Wehrmacht divisions, made up for the most effective defense of a small territory that has become legendary in the military history.

    The infantry divisions from 15th army, at most 50% where realistic to move to Normandy, since such strategic area can¿t be left without ANY defence at all!

    Hence that leaves us with max. 5 infantry divisions entering the Normandy front.

    They could have been deployed on the american sector, thus slowing down, uphelding Cobra, but since after they eventually where being used up, the same sitation would acure: a thin german front, without reserves. maybe max. 1 month it could had baught the germans, max, probably less! This since more troops would have triggered Hitler to order suicide-counteroffensives like that on Mortain before 1-2 times, and hence using up this reinforecements rapidly.

    Eberbach, Rommel and other commanders trying to assemble panzer offensives, as they had done before on othyer theaters in Rusia, france, Africa, Italy, started several and almost everone where quickly broken up by allied naval artillery, fighter-bombers and the actual dedication to combat that allied troops showed, while defending, even it´s true that fresh troops where utterly ineffective in the allied offensive operations around Caen, Carentian and on the west wing on the american sector.

    Wehrmacht defending Normandy 6th June-14 August was an incredible military achivement. A “normal” defending force of that strength in number of infantry, motorzied units, aircraft, panzer, would have fallen apart in a few weeks, if not days!

    But throwing the Allies into the sea again…¡Imposible! Giving the numerous examples that when elit forces tried it. Defence, yes, almost, just almost unbreakable, but large scale-counteroffensives= ¡Imposible!

    This was also calculated by the western Allies. They knew that the Red Army was going to start a huge offensive which would tie down to bulk of the already exhuasted Wehrmacht, hence 143 was to early, certain of holding a bridgehead and continuing in 1944 from that, yes. But Allied commanders and policymakes thought it, especially after Stalingrad and Kursk, that it was better that the Red Army did the bulk of the work, hence saving approx. 300,000 allied soldiers causalties and material, much of it used up insted by the Red Army, but saving Brittish and American lives ( plus all other nations involved).

    When The Allied invaded France in 1944 they KNEW that would win. Luftwaffe was erradicated, Wehrmacht could  NOT move daytime if hardly at all, the Red Army was soon to start Operation Bagration, pushing hard right onto Berlin!

    So, as allied with Sviet at that time, 1943 would have been the best military option, insted of lurking around in remote Africa and Italy with practcally no chance of really hearting the Third Reich, just diverting some troops from the Russian front.

    Head on attacks, on France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and especially Norway costs would have cost a lot more, but also made a much more damage to the German military potenial. This if the Brittish (and Americans) had continued bombing the Ruhr area as they did march-oct 1943, when they insted turned to bombing Berlin, the most terrible mistake in the war! Adam Tooze wright that if this “Battle of The Ruhr” had continued German steel and coal production would have been reduced to such low levels that the Wehermacht would be put out of supply of steel in a couple a months or at most a year, making it hardly impossible for Germany to produce military equipment!!!

    I have before thought that halting the 15th army had a great impact, but it did not. if the Allied had choosen to land at both Normandy and then at Pas-de-Calais it would had been meeting a formidable defense force, inflicting heavy cualsties among the landing allied troop, on ships, aircraft, but they where tied to their fixed costal positions and only effective there- not as reinforcements in Normandy.


  • 2019 2018 2017 '16

    @Gargantua:

    Keep in mind that all the “best” troops, were grinding Russians up on the eastern front.

    And slave labour wasn’t as reliable as it used to be.

    Not all but many…

    Of any new designed German weapon come up to a few hundreds of dead slave workers who helped building it  :-(.
    (or sabotaging it ,psst just whisper)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you for your first post MatiasH.
    I confess I own Beevor’s D-Day, but started and did not finish it.
    Normandy is one of my favourite WW2 subjects.
    I cannot remember why I put down the book; must have seen another title  and started that!



  • Lets not all forget that the true implications to landing on Normandy that day were to secure Western Europe from falling under communistic or anti western governments. The outcome of the war was long decided by this point. As to the theory’s of German cooperation with western allies, it would make sense as the looming threat from the east was in process of advancing the greatest force of manpower ever assembled in history of all wars. Following Kursk the Russians were well on their way to reaching Berlin first, which worried not only the Germans but also the western powers.


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