Had the Germans placed their entire Panzer tank force near the Normandy beaches would that have been enough to repel the D-day invasion force?
The D Day
In the morning of June 6, 1944, the combined troops led by the American and European Allied invasion planners organized to attack Germany and conquer Hitler’s army. But in order enter into Germany, they needed to penetrate the ports overcoming Hitler’s Army resistance and offload their supplies from the ships. The Germans would be waiting for them at the ports and provide much resistance. They had various entry ports including Normandy, Gold Beach, Omaha and Sword beach.
Early that morning, numerous attacks were launched at different places. At the Utah beach, the German boats were easily driven off and none of the allied forces landed at their designated spots as the guiding ships were sunk by landmines while the boats were drifted by winds and waves.[i] General Theodore Roosevelt Junior, son of President Roosevelt, ordered the war to start there after they had landed. At Omaha, things did not go according to the allied invasion planners’ speculations as the attacking troops were hit by the Germans long before landing, and the airstrikes could not help them because of the heavy clouds causing poor vision on the ground.
At Gold Beach, the British troops faced almost no enemy fire and had a good landing that went as expected. At the Sword beach, the plan of striking from air to help the marines and ships in safe landing worked out and the allied troops penetrated. There were several attacks on Hitler’s army at numerous sea entries into their then territory, and this led to a lot of confusion. At one point on that day, the Germans believed that the massive invasion was to happen at Pas-de-Calais wile it was already happening at Normandy. The Allied planners also had a message passed that made the French railway system damaged so that the Germans had a hard time in movement.[ii]
Even if the entire Hitler’s army was to be deployed at Normandy, they could not have stopped the invasion. The fact that they were attacked at numerous ports and had weather and terrain advantages over their attackers and still gave way is proof enough that they could not withstood the Allied forces. There were also many other reasons as to why the Germans failed apart from being caught by surprise at Normandy. The German generals feared Hitler so much for the reason that he never trusted them. There were instances when they requested support to drive the attacking armies back and Hitler gave them orders to continue with counter attacks instead, without any back up. Sometimes they could not launch attacks without his orders even when situations were calling for. Owing to poor means of communication or simple inconveniencies like Hufrer (an army commander) being asleep and could not be woken left them with Hitler as the only one who could give commands[iii]. Germans also had communication means that could be tapped by the Europeans and when vital information was captured, it was used to their disadvantage. An example is when the Luftwaffe was dangerously short of aircraft fuel. Knowing this, the allied war planners bombarded Germany’s synthetic fuel sources for air strikes as soon as they could spare the planes.[iv] The Absence of many German senior officers at war also contributed to their fall.[v]
[i] Mitchell G., The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II. 2nd Edition. NY: Alpha Books, 2004. Cited at <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/D_Day.html>
[ii] Mary Barbier, D-day deception: Operation Fortitude and the Normandy invasion p. 192
[iii] Williamson Murray, Allan R. Millett A war to be won: fighting the Second World War p. 423
[iv] Mitchell G., The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II. 2nd Edition. NY: Alpha Books, 2004. Cited at ;http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/ww2/D_Day.html;
[v] Russell Hart, Stephen Hart Northwest Europe 1944 – 1945 (p. 29)