Sword/Juno/Gold beaches - were the Germans less manned in these areas?

Jun 2015
5,713
UK
#1
The casualty figures for these beaches is little more than 2000 between them, and approximately 60,000 men landed.

The first landing waves would have been problematic, but then with such light casualties, were the British/Canadians better prepared, or did the Germans not have as strong defences?
 
Jul 2016
9,304
USA
#2
The casualty figures for these beaches is little more than 2000 between them, and approximately 60,000 men landed.

The first landing waves would have been problematic, but then with such light casualties, were the British/Canadians better prepared, or did the Germans not have as strong defences?
The only beach that was truly hotly contested by the shoreline defending forces holding them was Omaha. That was largely due to the terrain, the bluffs gave terrific height advantage from the defender, positions that allowed them to fire directly forward as well as along the long axis of the beach (while being defending from direct fires from the sea). Besides that the naval bombardment and aerial bombing was far less effective on Omaha than any other beaches.

As far quality of assault troops who hit Omaha, while the regiments of the 29th Infantry Division were inexperienced, they were well trained and well led, and they'd been reinforced by regiments of the veteran 1st Infantry Division as well.
 
Oct 2015
803
Virginia
#3
Also the higher quality German 352d division opposed the landings on Omaha and part of Gold; while the lower quality 716th Static division defended Sword and Juno, and the 709th Static division defended Utah.

Additionally, many of the amphibious tanks that were supposed to lead the assault on Omaha foundered due to the sea conditions.

Another problem was that the Navy boated the troops much further off shore of Omaha (nearly 20km) than the other beaches (~12km), probably to keep the transports out of range of the Point du Hoc battery. This caused many of the landing craft to miss their target beaches, being swept up to half a mile east by wind and waves.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2016
9,304
USA
#4
Also the higher quality German 352d division opposed the landings on Omaha and part of Gold; while the lower quality 716th Static division defended Sword and Juno, and the 709th Static division defended Utah.

Additionally, many of the amphibious tanks that were supposed to lead the assault on Omaha foundered due to the sea conditions.

Another problem was that the Navy boated the troops much further off shore of Omaha (nearly 20km) than the other beaches (~12km), probably to keep the transports out of range of the Point du Hoc battery. This caused many of the landing craft to miss their target beaches, being swept up to half a mile east by wind and waves.
Good post. OKW rated 352nd as kampfwert II, capable of limited offensive operations, 709th and 716th were rated kampfwert III, capable of defense, the six Ost battalion assigned to the five infantry regiments of those two static divisions were rated kampfwert IV, capable of limited defensive. So, defensive capabilities based on abilities of defenders between beaches varied IMMENSELY.
 

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