Nearly 2 weeks ago Adolf Hitler had been involved in a plane crash while flying in a Fieseler Storch light reconnaissance plane. On this occasion Hitler had been traveling to northern France for a command meeting with his generals to decide the force structure in the west. The plane developed engine trouble and while trying to land un powered had glided short and came down into trees. Hitler had suffered major injuries to his head and upper body and the doctors of the Reich had said he would remain in a coma for quite some time. Since Hitler’s accident Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers Minister of Propoganda, had assumed command of the Reich. Goebbles, while an ardent Nazi, and doggedly loyal to Hitler, had next to no military experience and had already issued orders for the Generals in the west to do as they saw fit to protect the Reich.
Von Rundstedt had already ordered every German Panzer division to within easy marching distance of Normandy. His advisors had repeatedly tried to tell him that the Allied invasion would be through the Pas de Calais area, but Von Rundstedt had an ace in the hole. A few years ago he had turned a British Pilot and made him a double agent. The pilot, who had married a German woman prior to the war, wanted to see his wife. Rundstedt made him a deal. He would take the pilot to see her, and she would remain unharmed in Germany. But he would have to do him a favor in return for this generosity. The pilot after much discussion had relented and a month ago had discreetly passed documents on to Rundstedt detailing the Allied invasion plans.
Rundstedt sighed and opened the folder on his lap. The confidential file was full of every armored and infantry unit in Normandy. This is what it read:
Diese Einheiten sind zur Zeit in der Normandie stationiert
(these units are currently stationed in Normandy)
1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler
9th Panzer Division
I SS Panzer Corps
II SS Panzer Corps
21st Panzer Division
101st SS Heavy Panzer Division
102nd SS Heavy Panzer Division
10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
17th SS Panzer grenadier Division Gotz Von Berlichingen
243rd Static Infantry Division
2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich
503rd SS Heavy Panzer Division
709th Static Infantry Division
716th Static Infantry Division
916th Grenadier Division
94th Infantry Division
9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
352nd Infantry Division
91st Infantry Division
Panzer Lehr Division
5th Panzer Army
Rundstedt closed the file dismissing the contents from his mind. As He and Rommel drove along the French coastline, he would occasionally catch glances of fortifications that had been built or were being built. All along the route he saw units and troops that were furiously at work. Rundstedt smiled and silently thought to himself that if the allies did invade, he would be ready for them.
Nearly 3 weeks later Von Rundstedt was as satisfied as he could be. In the beginning of the week an unknown assassin had struck Stalin, the Communist leader of the Soviet Union, while he had been at his private Dacha, which is a small private second home usually reserved for the soviet elite in the country. Stalin and most of his guards had been slain and the unknown attacker had crept off into the night. The attacker however had left clues that it was a rival soviet who had perpetrated the crime leading the Red Army to turn to Georgy Zhukov. Marshal Zhukov had shown considerable skill and daring while commanding the red army against the German Hordes, so the Army and the People naturally turned to him. The NKVD, and the KGB naturally stuck together rivaling the Army as they did in normal days. Zhukov knew that in order for him to consolidate his power in Russia, he would have to eliminate the hardliners in the two police services. He also knew that he would have to limit or dissolve the power of the zampolits, or political officers who made sure that the various units of the soviet armed forces toed the line that the soviet leadership required of them. All of these things led Zhukov to swallow a bitter pill and realize he would have a civil war on his hands and that he would never win if he had the Germans taking chunks off of his back while fighting his own people. Zhukov had a message sent to Hitler via the neutral ambassador of Switzerland. A few days after the messages were sent Zhukov met with Hitler in the Ukraine and a peace deal was signed. The Germans would own everything on a line with the Moskva River north and south and west. Anything East of that remained Russia.
This all was carried out in the utmost secrecy. Units fighting on the Russian front were broken up into smaller groups and sent back to the west. The ports in the north where American and English supplies like Americas lend\lease equipment were offloaded from ships was kept manned by the all Russian laborers and Russian speaking German soldiers in Russian army uniforms. This enabled the Allies to continue believing that Russia was still in the fight. All of the equipment delivered was shipped immediately to Germany to be used in “special” units comprised of English speaking SS soldiers who would mislead and destroy the American and English paratroopers due to be dropped prior to the invasion.
It was at this time that Adolf Hitler succumbed to his wounds and died from complications caused by the plane crash. Joseph Goebbels was elected almost unanimously by the Reichstag as the new Chancellor and Fuhrer. Goebbels immediately made Grand Admiral Doenitz of the Kriegsmarine, or navy, his supreme commander of the Armed Forces.
Doenitz immediately repealed the requirement to request the heavy panzer, and regular panzer divisions in Normandy for battle that Hitler had in place. Doenitz also began to send every unit he could reconstitute and reinforce into Normandy for Von Rundstedt. Von Rundstedt was at his headquarters on the early morning of June 6th when he received a note that the token troops in the Pas de Calais area were having dummies with firecrackers dropped on them by air. The colonel in charge in the area had informed Rundstedt that if he hadn’t been warned of this in advance by intelligence then his men would have been scattered all over the peninsula searching for non existent gun battles.
This message let Rundstedt know that the invasion was imminent. He ordered his Heavy Panzer units to Varreville, and Carentan, and Cherbourg. He then ordered his regular panzer units into their positions at Grand Camp, Bayeux, and Caen. These armored units and their accompanying grenadier units would eliminate the dropped troops from the British and American airborne units. Meanwhile units recalled from Russia were being split up and sent to the channel coast to mix the battle hardened men with less trained units, strengthening them up. Rundstedt hung up the phone after giving the last orders. Everything was coming together nicely.
……………………TO BE CONTINUED