The German Defense - OB West 1944

Check the Normandy calendar of 1944

Famous allied commanders of the Normandy campaign.

OB West - The structure and organization
of the german armed forces in the west.

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Facing left to right:
General von Schweppenburg
General von Blaskowitz
Field Marshal Sperrle
Field Marshal von Rundstedt
Field Marshal Rommel
Admiral Krancke

Backs to camera, left to right:
General Plocker
General Bluementritt
General Speidel

Gfm. Gerd von Rundstedt

GenMaj. Günter Blumentritt

Gfm. Erwin Rommel

GenLt. Hans Speidel

GenOb. Friedrich Dollmann

Gen. Max Joseph Pemsel

Gen der Art. Erich Marcks

Gen. Geyer v. Schweppenburg

GenLt. Karl-Wilh. v. Schlieben

Oberst Freiherre v. der Heydte

General Erich Marcks stood at his long table studying the war map spread out before him. He was surrounded by his staff.
They had been with him ever since the birthsday party, briefing the 84th Corps commander for the war games in Rennes. Every now and then the general called for another map. It seemed to his intelligence officer, Major Friedrich Hayn, that Marcks was preparing for the 'Kriegsspiel' as though it was a real battle, instead of merely a theoretical invasion of Normandy.
In the midst of their discussion, the phone rang. The conversation ceased as Marcks picked up the receiver. Hayn recalls that "as he listened, the general's body seemed to stiffen." Marcks motioned to his chief of staff to pick up the extention phone.
The man who was calling was GeneralMajor Wilhelm Richter, commander of the 716th Division, holding the coast above Caen. "Paratroopers have landed east of the Orne" Richter told Marcks. "The area seems to be around Bréville and Ranville.....along the northern fringe of the Bavent Forest..."
This was the first official report of the Allied attack to reach a major German headquaters. "it struck us" Hayn says, "like lightning." The time was 2:11 a.m. (British Double Summer Time).
Marcks immediately telephoned GeneralMajor Max Pemsel, chief of staff of the Seventh Army. At 2:15 a.m. Pemsel placed Seventh Army on Alarmstufe II, the highest state of readiness. It was four hours since the second Verlaine message had been intercepted. Now at last the Seventh Army, in whose area the invasion had already begun, had been alerted.
Pemsel was taking no chances. He awakened the Seventh's commanding officer, GeneralOberst Friedrich Dollmann. "Herr General" said Pemsel, "I believe this is the invasion. Will you please come over immediately?"
As he put down the phone, Pemsel suddently remembered something. Among the sheaf of intelligence bulletins that had come in during the afternoon, one had come from an agent in Casablanca. He had specifically stated that the invasion would take place in Normandy on June 6......
('The Longest Day' by Cornelius Ryan)

Château De Chiffrevast - Headquaters of the 84th Corps on D-Day

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Generalfeldm. Rommel in Normandy

Click here to read more about Armeegruppe B and Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommes fateful trip to
Germany on June 4, 1944.

Click here for the Order of Battle, German Forces in the West, June 6, 1944

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