Wednesday, August 15, 2012

German fuel reserve - Normandy 1944

Here is an interesting bit of information regarding the German fuel supply in the West. It seems to me that the Germans responded as if the Normandy operation was the real invasion and not a diversionary operation.

The German petrol situation became even more critical. Between 9 and 13 June the Quartermaster General West dispatched his entire petrol reserve to Normandy.
O. Qu. West released 924.000 gallons of fuel between 9 and 10 June. By 13 June his reserve stocks were down to a mere 7.150 gallons.


  1. I repeat my comment here as it really belongs here.I have read Russell Hart's article on german logistics in Normandy and find it incredibly good. It puts other historians to shame as much of the information was available in NARA files (eg B 827).

    Really the german command look like a bunch of dimbo incompetents flapping around reacting to (predictable ) attacks on fuel depots, bridges and trucks.

    I think Russell Hart is incorrect to say that in Cobra the US outnumbered the Germans by "only" 2:1. (US armoured divisions lined up - 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th ,6th, 7th throw in French 2nd, tanks attached to infantry - I think we are talking well over a thousand kicking around ). But that is a minor quibble and irrelevant to his main points.

    Brilliant history.

  2. re logistics on the german side, this is a story which has not been properly revealed. EG - I remember ficking through some bookor other about 17 SS Div which was opposite the americans in the bocage.

    One account a soldier described seeing the American forces build up prior to Op Cobra 25th July. He said that they were not able to attack easy targets with artillery due to lack of shells!

  3. Further regarding Russell Hart's excellent article, what is needed is a look at army group by and the 7th and 15th Armies records to examine how the german leadership assessed and reacted to the bombing of transport network in France from April 1944 onwards. Particularly to see what they assessed as the likely landing area based on bombingpattern before D-day. Also to what extent they anticipated and put in measures like Seine barges or whether they were behind events and only reacting in panic to the bombing.