Goth, Ernst, born 28-07-1897 in Ingelstadt, dreamed of becoming a teacher but ended up commanding the German troops on Omaha beach. Although the German high command believed the main allied invasion would come around Calais , Adolf Hitler (see Hitler Paula) (did you know) believed an invasion was possible in Normandy and with Generalfeldmarschall der Panzertruppe,Erwin Rommel decided to reinforce the troops there. This new formation of the 352nd Division under command of Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss, had three regiments -the 914th commanded by Oberst Ernst Heyna, the 915th under Oberst
Karl Meyer. Ernst Heyna.
Karl Meyer, he was killed on 07-06-1944 and the 916th under Oberst Ernst Goth. Grenadier Regiment 916 was formed and initially billeted in the village of Les Mesnil Rouxelin , just north of St. Lo. The entire division was based predominately on the surviving elements of the 321st Infanterie Division which had been mauled at Kursk. Other elements were from the 268th Infanterie Division and 546th Grenadier Regiment, the later forming the base for Grenadier Regiment 916. The men from the 546th were mostly men who survived the fighting in Stalingrad and had been lucky enough to have been evacuated. Along with other recovering veterans from all theatres of the war who were recovering in rest camps in France, these formed the base of the division. The Generalleutnant der Infanterie, Kommandeur der 91st Infanterie Division , 1st killed German General on D-Day,Wilhelm Falley and General der Artillerie, Kommandeur LXXXIV Heeres Grup, also killed in action, Erich Marcks were killed in battle. The 916th was positioned on the stretch of coastline that became Omaha beach.
Ernst Goth was the highest German commander on D-Day. The operation Overlord, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan who died age 73, on 19-03-1967, in Northwood, was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea and air elements under direct Anglo-American command with over 160.000 soldiers landing on 6 June 1944: 73.000 Americans, 61.715 British and 21.400 Canadians. 195.700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5.000 ships were also involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and materiel from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval gunfire support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Casualties at Omaha on D-Day numbered around 5.000 out of 50.000 men, most in the first few hours, while the Germans suffered 1.200 killed, wounded or missing. Franz Gockel a German Soldier of 352nd Division, claimed to have shot hundreds of American soldiers of the 116th Infantry Regiment “The Bedford Boys” on Omaha Beach, stationed at his Widerstandnest 62, with his Czech water-cooled MG, machine gun, from WW I, a booty from the Czechian invasion in 1939.
After the Allied landings in Normandy, Goth was transferred to Poland and in 1945 was taken prisoner by the Americans and discharged in 1946.
Death and burial ground of Goth, Ernst.
Ernst Goth died at the old age of 89, on 04-01-1986 and is buried with his wife Julia, born Kempter, who died age 78 in 1979, on the Waldfriedhof in Munich. On this cemetery are also buried the next persons, Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Commander of the Troops Exercise Grounds in Maria ter Heide, Heinrich Curtze, Generalmajor der Infanterie, Kommandeur Wehrmacht Operaties Staff,Ernst Detleffsen, Free Corps commander Ritter Franz von Epp, SS Obergruppenführer, Kommandeur General II SS Panzerkorps, Paul “Papa” Hausser