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4. "As to future operations, the Commanding General, Seventh Army is of the opinion that he will only go over to the attack when 2 Para- chute Corps is ready for commitment and when the attack can be co-ordinated with the counter-attack of 1 SS Panzer Corps. Field Marshal ROMMEL concurred with this opinion. However, the defence of CHERBOURG is to be conducted independently and started immediately with the greatest vigour."

General MARCKS acquaints the Chief of Staff with the
unfavourable development at the STE MERE EGLISE

"The enemy had broken out, both to the West, across the inundated land, and also in a Northerly direction towards MONTEBOURG. In the West he has reached PONT L'ABBE. In the North he has crossed the road MONTEBOURG - QUINEVILLE. The Commanding General 84 Corps believes that tomorrow will be the decisive day for the battle of the CHERBOURG fortress. He has given strict instructions that the line reached this evening must be held at all costs. General MARCKS makes the following demands:-

"(a) Exceptional reinforcements of our own air force, to combat the enemy superiority.

"(b) Likewise, the sending in of a large amount of anti-tank weapons. He maintains that the units brought up have been most inadequately equipped, and that particularly, the 'stove pipesā€˜ (bazookas),etc., are effective against enemy tanks only at a few metres range . . . ."

Commander 84 Corps talks to the Chief of Staff

"The advance units of 17 SS Panzer Grenadier Division are stuck in the ST LO area because of lack of fuel.

"The Chief of Staff underlines the fact that it is not only a question of preventing a junction of the two enemy groups in the area of BAYEUX and CARENTAN, but the main task is that of preventing the enemy from cutting off the CONTENTIN Peninsula by a further advance to the West and South-West.

"Headquarters 84 Corps add their intentions thereto; the object is not merely preventing the enemy from taking possession of roadways, but to destroy and wipe out the enemy."

Chief of Staff informs Army Group "B"

"Nothing is known as to whether the enemy has effected a union across the R VIRE. The Panzer Group West has been knocked out by a direct bomb hit on its headquarters; command has been given to 1 SS Panzer Corps . . . road traffic must be dictatorially governed, directly by Seventh Army through the employment of road commanders."

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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Archive: Extracts from Second Army History, 1944 Apr

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