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
under command of Generalleutnant Dietrich Kraiss,
had three regiments -the 914th
commanded by Oberst Ernst Heyna, the 915th
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, under command of Generalmajor Georg Zwade, which had been mauled at Kursk. Generalmajor Zwade died in 1968, age 74 in Rheda (Westfalen).
More than 40 German divisions were destroyed during the Battle of Normandy. No exact figures are available, but historians estimate that the battle cost the German forces a total of around 450.000 men, of whom 240.000 were killed or wounded. The Allies had achieved this blow at a cost of 209.672 casualties among the ground forces, including 36.976 killed and 19.221 missing. In addition, 16.714 Allied airmen were killed or went missing in direct connection with Operation Overlord.
Other elements were from the 268th
under command of Generalleutnant Heinz Greine
Grenadier Regiment, the later forming the base for Grenadier Regiment 916. Generalleutnant Greine died 19-11-1977, aged 82. 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
, SS , SS Obersturmführer, Chef 1./SS Pz Grenadier Regiment 38 “Goetz von Berlichingen”, Bruno Hinz
, Goering’s second wife, Emmy Goering-Sonneman
, Generalmajor der Flieger, Commander of the Air Defend Division, Max Ibel
, Hitler Navy adjutant Karl Jesko von Puttkamer
Generalmajor der Flieger, Kommandeur Luftregio Truppe 3, Ernst Weber
, and the famous film maker
. “Triumpf of the Will”, the film chronicles the 1934 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg.