German protiofenziva following the landings and the Allied advance in Normandy (Operation Neptune), took place in the field of american positions around the French Mortain between 7. and 13. August 1944. In allied sources, this offensive also placed under the name of the counter-offensive at Mortain.
The aim of the offensive ordered by Hitler was znovudobýt the position occupied by 1. army US in Cobra and the following days, and reaching the coast in the area of Avranches in the heel of the peninsula of the Cotentin, so that there was a division of the allied troops into two parts and thus cutting off patton's 3. army advancing Brittany, to the south and back east, where it was threatened with encirclement.
the Situation on the front line
The attack was commanded Adolf Hitler 2. August 1944. The commander of the German forces in the West was at that time general field marshal Günther von Kluge. Due to the bad situation on the front was on the attack spěcháno (despite the order to wait for every tank, soldier and aircraft to Kluge and P. Hausser decided not to wait, before the situation gets any worse). There was no tank advance, the tanks were withdrawn from other parts of the queue (mainly of the british-canadian sector), where in other days were palpably missing.
In Hitler's imagination in the attack had to engage eight to nine tank divisions, the Luftwaffe had to deploy all its forces, including the reserves of 1,000 fighter aircraft.
The main German force in the offensive had to be XLVII. panzer corps, but compared to the confused ideas of the Führer could from other parts of the queue to release only 4 tank divisions, of which one incomplete. The offensive, therefore, went with 2. panzer division, 116. panzer division, 2. tank divisions of the SS and parts of 1. panzer division SS, overall, with about 300 tanks. Panzer corps was supported by two infantry divisions and five battle groups made up from the remnants of Tank instruction division and four rozprášených infantry divisions.
Hitler dispatched for the Klugem the deputy chief of staff of the OKW Walter Warlimonta, to supervise the fulfilment of orders. Kluge suggest that the German troops had withdrawn behind the defensive line of the river Seine, and attacked the positions around the Caen but Hitler 4. August 1944 again categorically insisted on the attack in the area of Mortain.
Kluge ordered the attack on the night of the 6th. on 7. August 1944, and in an effort not to reveal the attack not preceded by any artillery preparation. Strike should be conducted against the american 30. infantry division and to the coast. If it was really a surprise, he had a chance to succeed.
the German attack
Despite initial procedure were German troops stopped thanks to the overwhelming allied superiority in the air, while the Germans lost almost half of the tanks involved in the attack. Although fighting continued in Mortain another 6 days, american troops in one day take again the initiative.
Hitler ignored the warning of their subordinates in the field, that the chances of success is very small, and such a concentration of armored forces on the western end of the queue in Normandy will soon lead to destruction. Units were gradually surrounded from the south and with the collapsed east wing of many něměckých units ended up surrounded in falaiské your pocket.
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