Tuesday, September 29, 2015
From the post-war [WW2] debriefing of General Schimpf. Commanding the German Third Parachute Division [3 FJ] during the fighting in the bocage of Normandy immediately subsequent to the D-Day invasion, 6 June, 1944.
As extracted and of particular interest the influence of the terrain as regarding defensive operations of the 3 FJ. "Peculiarities" of the landscape as it is referred to.
"I am Schimpf commanding and I speak!"
"Peculiarities in the 'Bocage' terrain."
"The peculiarities in the terrain of Normandy were a considerable advantage to the defenders. Good camouflage and cover, as well as limited movement for all enemy vehicles including track-laying vehicles [tanks] on both sides of the roads, were all advantages. The only disadvantage was the limited observation for artillery and heavy infantry weapons. The terrain hindered an attacking enemy in his full development and deployment of air and tank superiority . . . Next to courage and ability, it was the terrain of Normandy that enabled the division [3FJ] to hold off the superior enemy with his modern weapons for so long."
". . . The most effective heavy weapons in this bush war were the mortars." [3 FJ possessing three time as many mortars as the American counterpart and bigger mortars for the most part too.]
Schimpf at that exact moment of time a combat experienced general officer of some gravitas!
Schimpf able to combine 3 FJ organic firepower and ad hoc tactics to severely flummox the advancing American troops. Schimpf apparently an aggressive and dynamic commander perhaps without [?] peer even. That combination of good troops as commanded by a proficient senior officer formidable.
Schimpf also serving as a senior commander of the Bundeswehr! The German army as constituted after 1955.
German general officers of the WW2 era finding an additional career with the Bundeswehr an interesting topic perhaps too worthy of a PhD thesis?