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Was the Normandy section of the Wall complete in 1944?

Discussion in 'Hitler's Atlantic Wall' started by Jim, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    There were two conflicting strategic viewpoints within the German Army as to how the Atlantic Wall should be put to best use.
    Whilst some Officers followed Field-Marshal von Rundstedt, the commander-in-chief on the Western Front (Netherlands, Belgium, and France) who, in the event of an Allied landing, favoured the classic Wehrmacht's solution of mobility, with strong tank counter-attack, such as they had been using since the start of the War, others supported Field-Marshal Rommel who had been commander of Army group B from the Scheldt to the Loire since January 1944 and who wanted to use the Atlantic Wall as a kind of barricade from which to destroy the enemy on the beaches, leaving him no chance to break out.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Field-Marshal von Rundstedt and Field-Marshal Rommel ​

    This strategic dilemma held up the process of fortifying the French coast. In addition, the command structure in the West was fatally flawed, with no one Officer in supreme command, which meant that von Rundstedt could not issue orders to the German Navy or the Luftwaffe, these being accountable to Admiral Krancke and Field-Marshal Sperrle respectively.
    Following Directive #51 (November 3rd 1943) in which Hitler predicted that “The War will be won in the West", Rommel was placed in charge of the Atlantic Wall. Rommel soon made his presence felt in his efforts to strengthen the coastal defences. His plan was to block the troops as they came ashore, and to this end he increased the number of deadly beach obstacles (200,000 in Normandy) and small concrete forts to enfilade the shoreline.

    The construction of a Bunker by the Todt Organisation is underway.

    [​IMG]

    In June 1944, the Atlantic Wall in Normandy comprised 2011 bunkers along the 500km (300 miles) coastline, but of this number, only 1643 were completely finished. In addition to these defences, mines and wooden stakes lay ready to meet the assailants on the beaches. However, while the Wall in Normandy might be said to have been genuinely effective around large Ports like Le Havre and Cherbourg, elsewhere the German defences were far from complete.
     

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