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June 5th wargames in Rennes


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#1 Hummel

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:43 PM

Suppose the German command structure had NOT decided to head out early and spend the extra time shopping in Rennes. This would mean that the German defenses would have had an intact command structure earlier than they actually did. I don't suppose it would have made a LOT of difference someplace such as Omaha where the Germans put up a hell of a fight, but someplace like Utah or Gold? Or maybe with the paratroop assault/pathfinding the night before the invasion. According to Ryan, quite a few officers (and general officers at that) were away from their commands from early June 5. Needless to say, getting BACK to your command once the invasion had started was more than a little bit problematic (Typhoons, Hurricanes, Spitfires, Mustangs, Thunderbolts, Lightnings, and more than three ships offshore all contributing to the French Roadway problem).

#2 Carl W Schwamberger

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:48 PM

The German division commander responsible for Omaha Beach was present that morning. He first sent his division reserve, a infantry regiment, off to deal with a suposed airbourne concentration near Carentan, not sure if that was entirely his call or orders from the corps HQ. In ether case it was a waste as only stragglers and diversionary material was found. After dawn that same regiment was ordered to counter march east to where the British were landing on Gold beach & attack there. They passed where the US 1st & 29th Div were landing on Omaha, but air strikes and exhaustion from the many hours of marching prevented them from reaching Gold Beach in strength.

I'm not sure if any division commanders were ordered to the Rennes exercise. Or what corps commanders were to attend. As at Omaha beach most of the local division/corps commanders were present at or near their CP that morning. Those were the men who made the critical tactical decisions in the opening hours. The army commanders were to attend the Rennes meeting & exercise, & it is my impression the corps commanders in charge of the mechanized reserve corps were to attend. Had those men been at their CP then in some cases their corps would have been alerted sooner, or perhaps begain moving their battalions sooner. Under the best circumstances few of those units could have reach the battle before nightfall of the 6th June, after the actuall assualt was completed.

Since most of the reserves arriving on the night of the 6th/7th & on the 7th went towards Caen & the British 2d Army then their arriving a half day sooner might make things a little tougher for the Brits. Then again it would also mean more hours of exposure to Allied air and naval gunfire strikes, and taking casualties sooner.

Worst case for the Germans is a reproduction of their counter attacks on the beacheads in Sicilly, Salerno, or Anzio. There massed mechanized forces were shot to pieces by the large caliber naval guns. No guarantee that would happen again, but the track record was not good
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#3 LJAd

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 09:05 PM

the only I know who was present,was von Schlieben,Marcks was unable to go (6 june was his birthday),I have read that von der Heydte(of the airborne troops) was present,but I am doubting,due to his low grade(lieutenant-colonel),maybe also Pemsel (chief of staff of 17th army) could be present .




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