La Caine


The Destruction of the German Armoured Forces Headquarters in Normandy
On 6th June, General Geyr von Schweppenburg commanded all armoured units on the Western Front with a total of 400 tanks in Normandy. Since the landings he received his orders not from General Rommel, the commander of Army Group B, but directly from the Fuhrer. The 10th June was an important day for Geyr von Schweppenburg, who had assembled his military staff at his chateau, at Caine near Thury-Harcourt, to the south of Caen. The plan was to prepare an important counter-attack which would change the course of the Battle of Normandy. The staff had only just assembled when an air raid alert sounded and several Typhoons from 83 Group of the Royal Air Force attacked the anti-aircraft defenses and totally destroyed the headquarters, the general’s Chief of Staff and 17 officers were killed. Geyr von Schweppenburg was the only survivor but, was unable to take command again before the end of the month. The Panzer Gruppe West, literally, no longer existed, the entire chain of command had been dislocated to such an extent that 7th Army, Schweppenburg’s superior force, only learnt of the attack 12 hours after the event. As for the counter-attack, ordered by Hitler, it had to be postponed and what remained of the headquarters of armoured forces, in Normandy, was transferred to the central headquarters at Meaux near Paris.