TitleInterrogation report by 1 Canadian Army, 1944 June - Aug.
DescriptionInterrogation report by 1 Canadian Army, 1944 June - Aug.
SourceUK_National_ArchiveReferenceWO 223/10


(8 Jun 1944 - 22 Aug 1944)

Ref Map: France 1/100,000 Sheet -7F

Preparations for the Invasion


13. 21 Panzer Div , along with 2 and 116 Panzer Divs , came under Army Gp B for tactical employment, although their training was directed by Panzer Gruppe West. Thus, on D-Day, 21 Panzer Div did not know what Army of corps was to direct it the moment the battle was joined. Gentl FEUCHTINGER had been given definite instructions that, in the event of an invasion, he was not to make any move until he had been given his orders from Army Gp B. The delay that subsequently ensured before 21 Panzer Div was committed against The Allied forces was due to this complicated and cumbersome chain or comd . To further muddle the picture 47 Panzer Corps had arrived in VERNON about the 28th May with the object of controlling the Panzer formations of Army Gp B. As far as 21 Panzer Div was concerned, it never did come under comd of 47 Panzer Corps. The Inf Corps of Seventh Army consisted of 81 Corps at ROUEN and 84 Corps at ST L0.

14. The warning system in the event of invasion consisted of two alarms; Alarm 1 confined all ranks to their billets and Alarm 2 had them all actually sitting in their vehicles prepared to move. Neither or these alarms were used when the invasion took place. The disposition of 21 Panzer Div in NORMANDY extended from PERIERS 0576 as far South as FALAISE, and from THURY-HARCOURT 9446 as far East as MEZIDON 2756, an area of over three hundred square miles. Its tactical role was both to support 716 InfDiv defending the coast and to act as a tactical reserve in the rear areas. The need for playing this dual role resulted in neither one being done effectively.

15. HQ of the div was at ST PIERRE-SUR-DIVES 2749, with a tactical HQ at THEVILLE 2751. The Panzer Regt spread itself out in the area FALAISE-MORTHEAUX-COULIBOEUF 2439- SASSY 1945 - JORT 2344. 125 Panzer GrRegt had its I bn well South at MAGNY-LA-CAMPAGNE 2252 with its II Bn almost on the coast at SANNERVILLE 1368. 192 Panzer GrRegt was similarly disposed with the I Bn at CARPIQUET 9769 and II Bn at GAZELLE 0376. The anti tkBn was in a coastal defence role at PERIERS 0576 while the arty was well back in the area of THURY-HARCOURT 9446 and BRETTEVILLE-SUR-LAIZE 0653. The wide dispersion of the units of the division was due to the thinness of German Troops on the ground, and the desire to defeat the invasion on the beaches and have a tactical reserve at one and the same time.

16. Not only was 21 Panzer Div dispersed on the ground so that a concentration or all its forces in a short time was virtually impossible, but it was practically emasculated of all its striking power to give effect to the Rundstedt - Rommel compromise plan. If the invasion came within the area or the Orne River the Northernmost two Infbns , one from each of the Panzer Grenadier Regts, were to immediately be put under comd of 716 InfDiv . The A TkBn of twentyfour 8.8 cm guns and the flak unit were also to be taken away from 21 Panzer Div , the former going to 716 InfDiv and the latter to the CAEN flak comd . By this order, any hope of 21 Panzer Div constituting an effective counter attack force immediately following an Allied landing was irrevocably and

(Archive transcripts © Copyright Normandy War Guide)

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