History of LXXXII Armeekorps (May 1942 - June 1944)
The history of the LXXXII Armeekorps began on 25 May 1942 when the Höheres Kommando zbV XXXVII was renamed. The headquarters were located in Lille and the corps commander was General der Infanterie Alfred Böhm-Tettelbach, with Oberst i.G. Wilhelm von Ditfurth as Chef des Generalstabes and Oberst i.G. Otto Lichtschlag as erster Generalstabsoffizier. On this date the corps was made up of four coastal divisions guarding the French coast from the Schelde estuary to Wimereux, to the north of Boulogne: the 306 Infanteriedivision, the 304 Infanteriedivision, the 106 Infanteriedivision and the 321 Infanteriedivision.
On 1 May 1942 the 306 Infanteriedivision reported to the corps that the Unterabschnitt Ostende-Hafen was taken over by KzS Schneider, as ordered.
On 8 May 1942 the Korpskartenstelle 437 was transported out of the corps area.
On 28 May 1942 the Höheres Kommando received the message that the 2 Nebelwerferbatterien still missing with the AR 371 would be transported to that unit. On the same day, it was also reported that the spotted fever situation in the 106 Infanteriedivision had reached it high with a total of 40 positive cases, 3 under observation and 19 being dismissed from hospital and new cases were no longer to be expected. The division itself would only be completely ready for service on 26 June.
On 29 May 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps issued guidelines with respect to the operational use of the VGAD units Also on this day, the corps received the message that the departure of the 371 Infanterieidvision would start on 15 June.
On 30 May 1942 the Auffangstab of the 23 Infanteriedivision arrived in the corps area and was located in Charleroi. This division had been depleted by the heavy fighting on the Russian front with Heeresgruppe Mitte and was sent to the West to be rebuilt. The division was officially subordinated to AOK 15 on 26 June. Also on this day, the corps issued orders concerning the organisation of gas defences, as well as training in these matters.
On 31 May 1942
the Korpskartenstelle 407 arrived with the corps.
On 2 June 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps issued orders concerning security measures for telephone connections.
On the night of 3/4 June 1942 the corps was faced with an allied commando raid, Operation Bristle. The target of the raid was a German radar site, at Ste-Cecile-Plage between Boulogne and Le Touquet. The raiding force which was provided by No. 6 Commando was defeated by the strong German defences. During the return voyage at around dawn the naval force was attacked by German fighter aircraft which damaged two Motor Launches and one Motor Gun Boat, killing one Commando and two naval personnel and wounding another 19, only the arrival of Royal Air Force preventing further damage and losses. The raid occurred in the area of the 321 Infanteriedivision.
On 4 June 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps issued changes to the Neue Westwall order to its divisions, as a result of the changes in the denomination of the fortification defences at the coast. In this document the terms Widerstandsnest, Stützpunkt and St¨tzpunktgruppe were defined.Also the term Festungsbereich was changed into Verteidigungsbereich.
Apparently, a reserve unit had been built in the area of the 106 Infanteriedivision in order to reinforce it. This unit, called Reservegruppe Thomé, consisted of the Stab Panzerjägerabteilung 106 and the Radfahrschwadronen 304 und 306. Between 8-12 June 1942 the "borrowed" units returned to their own divisions and the entire unit was replaced by the II Bataillon/Infanterieregiment 239 of the division.
On 9 June 1942 the corps reported that the relief operation of the units from other divisions in the area of the 106 Infanteriedivision was further in progress. Also on this day, On the same day the Generalkommando ordered the setting up of Fallschirmjagdkommandos in the future area of the 23 Infanteriedivision by the Auffangsstab of that unit. Replacemnt of the Jagdkommandos established earlier by the Oberfeldkommandantur in this area was to be arranged with the latter unit.
On 10 June 1942 the corps reported that due to the ongoing withdrawal of the 370 and 371 Infanteriedivision, these units could no longer be deployed in the event of an enemy landing. Instead of the Panzerbrigade 100 the Panzerregiment 202 now came.
On 11 June 1942 the 106 Infanteriedivision reported the unit's operational readiness for coastal defence. On the same day the corps reported that, in order to boost defences in the middle sector of the 321 Infanteriedivision (where the landing attempt took place), the Radfahrabteilung 106 and the IV/ AR 107 would be subordinated to the 321 Infanteriedivision as reserve for this sector. The former reserve battalion of the 321ID would be deployed at the coast to bolster defences there. On the same day, the Marinebefehlshaber Kanalküste voiced his protest ageinst the decision (taken by the AOK15 in the aftermath of the allied landing attempt) that permitted the artillery to open fire at will without taking into account that own shipping might be hit. He requested the Kommandierenden Admiral Frankreich for a decision in this matter.Finally on this day, the following electricity works were planned to be put out of action in case they were at risk from enemy action: Zeebugge, Ostend-Slijkens, Zandvoorde, Nordschoote, Coudekerque, Calais and Boulogne-Outreau. This action was prepared by the Technische Abteilung IX.
On 12 June 1942 the Radfahrschwadronen of the 304 and 306 Infanteriedivisionen, which had been temporarily subordinated to the 106 Infanteriedivision, were transported to their parent units. Also on this day, it was decided that the Beutepanzer, which were currently operational with the divisions, would be integrated into the coastal defences, after their replacement by 4,7cm Panzer auf Selbstfahrlafette.
On 13 June 1942 the corps command communicated that the 712 Infanteriedivision was to take over the right half of the area occupied by the 306 Infanteriedivision, thus from the Schelde estuary to Blankenberge-Wenduine. This area was to be divided into 2 Regimentsabschnitte with 2 batallions in each sector guarding the coastline and one batallion in reserve. The right-hand sector ran from Terneuzen to the Dutch-Belgian border with a Schwerpunkt to be established at the Schelde estuary in Breskens, while the left-hand sector reached as far Blankenberge-Wenduine with Schwerpunkt in Heist-Zeebrugge. The division would also take over the strongpoints of the Grenzwachregiment Clüver iin the former sector. The regiment of the 306 Infanteriedivision thus freed, the 579 Infanterieregiment, was to become corps reserve in area Diksmuide, Kortemark Torhout. The 712 Infanteriedivision was planned to arrive in the Gent area on 17-18 June.
The Einsatzbefehl of 14 June for the 712 Infanteriedivision was to prevent any landing on the left bank of the river Schelde and to prevent any ship from steaming up the river. For this purpose the border guards of the Grenzwachregiment Clüver were tactically subordinated. The city of Antwerp, however, was the responsibility of the Militärbefehlshaber. The headquarters of the 306 Infanteriedivision was to move from Bruges to Diksmuide. Also on this day, the commander of the 321 Infanteriedivision complained about the lack of officers, the age of those officers, the shortage of civilian labour and the lack of construction material and telephone wire in the sector of his division. Finally on this date it was reported that improvised units made up of (German) civilians had been raised as contingency units. Thus, the following units were mentioned:
On 15 June 1942 the Radfahrabteilung 106 and the IV/ AR 107 arrived with and were subordinated to the 321 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day, OBWest ordered that when Flak units were confronted with both air and land targets, the local Flak commander was empowered to decide with threat to give priority.
On 16 June 1942 it was reported that the the Korpreserve, Infanterieregiment 573, which had been freed up as a result of the relief operation with the 106 ID, would be transferred to the Lumbres area. Also on this day the corps requested the official establishment or Etatisierung of no fewer than 68 units (not to mention headquarters units), most of which as bodenständige units (i.e. to man fixed weapons). Interesting, however, is the comment that the official establishment of all these units would result in the strength of the coastal defence divisions being reduced by 5000 men. Also on this day, The units mentioned were:
On 18 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision had arrived with all of its units.
On 19 June 1942 the AOK 15 was informed of the full operational readiness of the 106ID for coastal defence purposes. On the same day, the Luftgaukommando Belgien-Nordfrankreich reported the full convergence of the boundaries of the Flughafenbereiche with those of the corps sector. The relevant Flughafenbereiche were Brüssel, LilleI and St-Omer. Finally on this day, the Generalkommando request the replacement of the sentries at the Leie (Lys) bridges in an to the west of Armentières, who were provided by the 304ID, with the Feldkommandantur 678.
On 20 June 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision took over the right sector of the 306 Infanteriedivision.
On 21 June 1942 the right-hand side regimental sector of the 106 Infanteriedivision was finally taken over by a divisional unit, namely the Infanterieregiment 239. The unit it replaced (Infanterieregiment 573, Korpsreserve) arrived in Lumbres on the same day.with its headquarters in St-Martin, west of St-Omer. Also on this day, the laxt units of the 371 Infanteriedivision had left the corps area. On the Truppenübungsplatz Beverloo the 371 Infanteriedivision had been raised by the AOK 15. This unit was destined to be transferred to the Russian front and was only in the area of Höheres Kommando zbV XXXVII in the period April-June. The division was one of those destroyed in Stalingrad. On the same day the first units of the 23 Infanteriedivision arrived in the Charleroi area.
Starting from 22 June the units which had been reinforcing the 106 Infanteriedivision (notably 2 batallions of the 332 Infanteriedivision (I und III/IR 676) and one of the 320 Infanteriedivision (III/IR 586)) began to move back to their respective divisions, as more units of the 106 Infanteriedivision arrived. On the same day, the Feldkommandntur 678 reported that it would take over responsibility for the sentries at the Leie (Lys) bridges from 24 June by means of French policemen.
On 23 June 1942 the 306 Infanteriedivision officicially handed over the area between the Schelde estuary and Blankenberge-Wenduine to the 712 Infanteriedivision.Also on this day, the Generalkommando provided the divisions with a map showing the coastal water supply infrastructure (Küstenwasserwerken) that would have to be secured in an emergency drohender Gefahr)(. The locations to be secured were Knokke, Heist, Wenduine, Oostende, Middelkerke, Westende, Cabour, Guines, Wimereux, Carly, Tingry, Moulle. The divisions were ordered to report on preparatory measures for the security of these facilities with mention of which forces were envisaged. In the first instance these would be Landesschützen or similar static guard troops. In second instance, German forces not suitable for cioastal defence, e.g. German civilians.
On 26 June 1942 the Armee ordered the immediate subordination of the 23 Infanteriedivision to the AOK 15.
On 29 June 1942 the corps reported to the AOK 15 which measures had been taken to guarantee the security of the Wasserwerken mentioned above. The locations mentioned above would either be secured by regular troops, technical troops, Landesschützen or, in one case, even the OT
On 30 June 1942 the corps received the order from OBWest concerning the boundaries between the Gefechtsgebiet, rückwärtiges Armeegebiet (both the responsibility of the AOK) and the Sicherungsgebiet (responsibility of the Militärbefehlshaber). However, these boundaries would only apply during combat and would take effect in cases of drohender Gefahr, Alarmstufe II or other orders.
1 July 1942 was an important date for the relation between the Heer and the Kriegsmarine. It had long been perceived as a weakness that the boundaries of the naval commands (the Seekommandanten) did not coincide with those of the Armeekorps. On this day that problem was finally resolved, with the boundaries coinciding, in this case with those of the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais. Also on this occasion the Marineartilleriekommandeuren were dissolved at the naval batteries made directly subordinate to the Seekommandanten. Also on 1 July the headquarters of the 712 Infanteriedivision were moved from Bruges to Oostburg and the Artilleriekommandeur 141 was officially subordinated to the LXXXII Armeekorps.
However, on 2 July 1942 a major change also occurred in the boundaries between the corps. On this date the southern boundary of the corps was pushed further south to the Somme estuary. The extra terrain was occupied by the 321 Infanteriedivision. To be able to do this it gave up its right regimental sector to the 106 Infanteriedivision. This move was completed on 6 July. With this new arrangement the boundaries between the divisions were now as follows: the Belgian coast was guarded by the 712 and the 306 Infanteriedivisionen. The 304 Infanteriedivision was located between the Belgian-French border and Gravelines. The 106 Infanteriedivision was stationed from Gravelines to Wimereux. From here until the Somme estuary the 321 Infanteriedivision assumed responsibilities. Also on this day, Generalleutnant Niehoff, the commander of the Oberfeldkommandantur Lille, was appointed Kommandant des rückwärtigen Armeegebiets.
On 3 July 1942 the Generalkommando requested the Luftgaukommando Belgien-Nordfrakreich to relocate 2 heavy Flak batteries in the sector Le Portel - Somme estuary, as this sector only had little artillery and had recently seen an increase in air attacks.
On 4 July 1942 the tactical subordination of the IV/AR 107 to the 321 ID was discontinued.
On 6 July 1942 the takeover of the new sectors of the 106 and 321 Infanteriedivisionen had been completed.
On 7 July 1942 the Generalkommando requested the Luftgaukommando Belgien-Nordfrankreich for the release of the NSKK-Kolonne 5/3 to transport reserves of the 321ID. Also on this day, the AOK 15 ordered the 25th of every month to be called Tag der Gasabwehr from then on.
On 8 July 1942 a German document called the Landeabwehrgeschütz (LAG) the strongest infantry weapon in a strongpoint and underlined the need for the gun crews to be well-trained but also for every man in the strongpoint to be able to operate the gun.
On 9 July 1942 a request for the relief of an number of guard units privides us with a good insight in the troops of the corps being used for guard duties at the time:
On 11 July 1942 the Generalkommando requested the AOK 15 for the establishment of Festungskommandanten for Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne and issued proposals for the organization of the fortresses. Also on this day, OBWest ordered that, in the event of fighting, the civilian population was to be kept in their houses and cellars, with force if necessary.
On 12 July 1942 an order of the Oberbefehlshaber West came into effect which turned the cities of Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne into Verteidigungsbereichen, an important event in the chronology of the Atlantikwall.
On 13 July 1942 further reinforcements of the coastal divisions were ordered. Thus, the corps reserve artillery was now distrubuted to the divisions, with I Abteilung/AR306 deployed between Oostende and De Panne and I Abteilung/AR 304 sent to reinforce the 321 Infanteriedivision and deployed to the north of Etaples. This move was completed on 15 July.
On 14 July 1942 further reinfocements of the coastal defence divisions were ordered. All divisions (except the 106th) were to be reinforced with extra AT (one complete Panzerjägerkompanie and 1 light IG-platoon per regiment), artillery (the establishment of the 3. Batterien) and transport units (1 extra Fahrkolonne). Also, the Nachrichtenkompanie was to be expanded to a full Nachrichtenabteilung. Tellingly, however, the cadres for these units had to be supplied by the divisions themselves. Finally on this day, the request of the corps for fortress commanders to be named was judged unfeasible at that moment in time by the AOK.
On 17 July 1942 an important change occurred in the organisation of the LXXXII Armeekorps. Before this date the northern boundary of the corps had been the river Schelde. However, in an effort to more effectively organize the defence of the river and its estuary, the northern boundary was pushed northwards to also include the islands of Walcheren and South and North Beveland. The units of the 719 Infanteriedivision on these islands were to be relieved by the 39 Infanteridivision (see below). This division was to be subordinated to the AOK15, even though the territorial boundary with the Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber in den Niederlanden remained the river Schelde.
On 18 July 1942 further orders were issued with respect to the deployment of the 39 Infanteriedivision. 1 reinforced infantry regiment and the divisional headquarters were to be located on Walcheren, with one reinforced company on North Beveland and the remainder of the division on South Beveland. The island of Walcheren was to be subdivided into three sectors, while South Beveland would be split up in a northern and a southern sector.
From 19 July 1942 onwards units of the 39 Infanteriedivision and also the 65 Infanteriedivision started arriving in the corps area. These were so-called Walküre II units (Valkyrie in English). The original Valkyrie order only dealt with strategy to ensure combat readiness of units out of scattered elements of the Reserve Army, to deal woth any interanl disturbances, either in Germant or in the occupied territories. Later a second part, 'Valkyrie II' was added, which provided for the swift assemblage of units into battle groups ready for action. The two divisions mentioned were to be given static defence duties on the island of Walcheren (39 Infanteriedivision) and the Antwerp region (65 Infanteriedivision), respectively. The latter division, however, was designated Heeresgruppenreserve and was only subordinated to the AOK for logistical, training and disciplinary purposes. The 65 Infanteriedivision relieved the Infanterieregiment 688 of the 337 Infanteriedivision, which was located in the Antwerp area. After being relieved the regiment was to be transported back to the Rouen area.
On 23 July 1942 the AOK 15 communicated that the Panzerjägerkompanie and -Züge would be rearmed with 7,5cm Pak 97/38 and 40 and some 4,7cm Pak, the latter on Selbstfahrlafette.
On 28 July 1942 it was ordered that, in the event of combat action, foreign civilian workers were to be retained within the divisional sectors for Instandsetzungsarbeiten. The divisions were ordered to start preparations for this contingency.
That the construction of the Atlantikwall required many troops became clear on 29 July 1942, when it was decided that the Infanterieregiment 573, while remaining corps reserve, was also to be employed in the area of the 321 Infanteriedivision for construction work.
On 1 August 1942 the Radfahrabteilung 106 left the 321 Infanteriedivision and returned to its own division. Also, from this day onwards, OBWest forbade leaves and travel into the Gefechtsgebiet for civilians. Further on this day, the Generalkommando was informed by AOK 15 that the latter wanted the corps headquarters moved from Lille further to the west in the area Aire-Lillers. Finally on this day, the corpz was informed of the establishement of a new corps (Generalkommando Y) for the defence of the Schelde estuary and the islands north of it. The 712 Infanteriedivision was to be suordinated to this corps.
On 5 August 1942 the corps informed AOK 15 of the planned headquarters move to Aire-sur-la-Lys.
On 9 August 1942 the 712 Infanteriedivision left the corps command and was now subordinated to the newly-established Generalkommando Y. This also meant that the northern boundary of the corps was now situated in the Blankenberge-Wenduine area.
On 12 August 1942 the corpsheadquarters consisted of the following officers:
On 19 August 1942 the corps headquarters moved from Lille to Aire-sur-la-Lys. On the same day the allies landed at Dieppe in the area of the LXXXI Armeekorps.
On 20 August 1942 the Generalkommando was infomed of the OKH decision to day the Etatisierung of statc units for the operation of static weapons (requested by the Generalkommando) for the time being. Also, further such request were not to be submitted.
On 21 August 1942 the Generalkommando was informed by AOK 15 that the AT-wall in Dieppe had fulfilled its role successfully. As a result, the construction of such walls in all divisional sectors was to be planned and executed. Also on this day, AOK 15 ordered that for each regiment of the corps reserve an artillerybattalion was to be detached.
On 22 August 1942 a German document mentions the existence of a Tankstelle Bahnhof Tanklager Aire.
On 25 August 1942 the Generalkommando reported that the AOK 15, after repeated requests, had been able to succeed in getting the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine to take over a number of guard duties, as a result of which the defensive capabilities of the corps were visibly enhanced.
On 26 August 1942 the corps was infomed that in the context of the further expansion of fortification activies the divisions might be requested to establish Erkündungs- und Einweisungsstäbe, of which the commanders were already to be proposed by the divisions.
On 27 August 1942 the commanders of the avove Erkündungstäbe were suggested by the corps. Their names were: Oberstleutnant Zimmermann (IR580), Oberst Abé (IR581), Oberst von Mayer (IR575), Oberstleutnant Ringenberg (IR240), Oberstleutnant Hecker (IR588) and Oberst von Wedel (IR590).
On 28 August 1942 the corps was informed that between 2200-2400 ständige bunkers could be built in its area and that areas to be particularly fortified were situated east of Calais, south of Boulogne as well as the Somme estuary. This marked the beginning of the construction of the Atlantikwall. The procedure to be followed immediately was 1) large-scale recce to establish main places of effort for labour/material 2) smaller-scale recces to establish Verteidigungsbereiche and Stützpunktgruppen and 3) recces to allocate single constructions.
On 30 August 1942 the above number of 2200-2400 permanent bunkers was divided over the divisional sectors:: 306 ID (360-400), 304 ID (360-400), 106 ID (740-800) and the 321 ID (740-800). Also the detailed composition of the Ausbaustäbe (ordered on 25 August) was provided. Each such staff was to be made up of: Führer, Pionierkommandeur der Division, Vertreter des Festungspionierstabes, Stellungsbauoffizier from each infantry/artillery regiment, Offizier der Heresküstenartillerie, 1 specialist each for MG, Pak and LAG (if different from Stellungsbauoffizier), Vertreter der OT and (if required) 1 officer each of the Marine und Luftwaffe.
On 1 September 1942 Arbeitsschwerpunkte were fixed for the Ausbau der Kanal- und Atlantikküste for each of the divisions in the corps: for the 306 Infanteriedivision this was Oostende and the coastline east of the city; for the 304 Infanteriedivision Dunkirk and the coastline to the west; for the 106 Infanteriedivision the coastline east of Calais, Boulogne and Cap Gris Nez; and finally for the 321 Infanteriedivision the southern sector north of the Somme and the middle and northern sectors. Interestingly, the order also reflected the degree of priority. Also on this day, the LXXXII Armeecorps issued an order, on the basis of observations made by the commander of the AOK 15, to the 306 ID to check the seam with the 712ID and to prosose measures for the increased defence and the cooperation along this seam. In addition, the division was to check the as yet deemed insufficient blicking of roads leading from then coast inland, e.g. by means of tank obstacles.
On 3 September 1942 the Generalkommando informed thet AOK 15 on the results of the various fortification recces carried out. The ports in the corps area were ranked on the basis of the likelihood of enemy attack. Only the port of Boulogne was deemed to be likely to be attacked by the enemy in a major assault. The ports of Oostende, Dunkirk and Calais were considered less important ports, where the existing plans to establish 2nd and 3rd level priority fortress defences were to be carried out without change. Finally, the ports of Nieuwpoort and Gravelines were considered to be without any importance and were just to be turn into Stützpunktgruppen. As far as the further fortification of the coast was concerned, a area of between 4 and 10 kilometers inland was to be established as a Tiefenzone, using old fortresses and natural obstacles. In addition, a new series of strongpoints was to be built inland to block roads. The rear boundary of the Tiefenzone was to be established in such a manner that the divisional artillery and rear services were still located. It was still to be decided whether the divisional headquarters were also to be located in this zone. Of the totall mass of concrete allocated to the corps two-thirds was to be used in the areas of the 321 and 106 Infanteriedivisionen. Finally, one organizational difficulty was also mentioned: the area between Authie and Somme was still commanded by the Festungspionierstab 21, while the remainder of the corps area was managed by the Festungspionierstab 27. Consequently, the corps requested that the latter should also take responsibility of the area between Authie and Somme. Also on this day, the Generalkommndo, based on the Dieppe experience, requested the checking of the positions of all Heeresküstenbatterien and the withdrawal of batteries unsuited for coastal combat, such as the railroad batteries. In a separate document with the same date two specific batteries were mentioned, namely the 1 und 3/HKAA 769 jn the sector between Authie and Somme. A rearward move of these batteries had been requested by the corps to the Seekommandant, but the latter had refused the request.
On 4 September 1942 the 306 Infanteriedivision informed the corps on the deployment of forces along the seam with the 712 ID. This was also reported to the AOK with the comment that the corps commander had personally inspected and was satisfied with the measures taken.
On 5 September 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps received a telex from OBWest. In it he expressed his view that further allied landing attempts were ti be expected in September. In this context, he also launched the new alarm phase Vorwarnung. When this phase was declared corps reserve units were to be ready to move within one hour. On such days the soldiers were to remain near their quarters. The same applied for divisional reserve. The 306 and 321 Infanteriedivisionen were to check to what extent they would be able to move corps reserves by means of motirized transport, without having to call upon the Kampffahrzeugstaffel Drossel.
On 6 September 1942 the corps responded to a telex from the AOK 15, according to which a reserve division could be stationed in the area of the corps in order to intervene in case of Drohender Gefahr or other contingency as local security and defence unit. The corps informed the AOK 15 that such a unit was planned to be stationed in an area Halle-Denain-Mons-Charleroi. Also on this day OBWest issued an order which was a reaction to a commando raid (Operation Dryad) carried out by British commandos in the night of 2/3 September. During this raid on a remore radio station several German soldiers were captured as well as code books, while the radio and lighthouse were wrecked. OBWest ordered all units to check whether such remote outposts were capable of defending themselves. Even though no such remote islands existed within the corps area, the corps, nevertheless, ordered the divisions to check the defensive capabilities of remore strongpoints (e.g. at the end of jetties).
On 7 September 1942 OBWest ordered that all available personnel and material resources of the OT were to be allocated immediately to the building sites of the Atlantikwall. The Erkundungsstäben were ordered to finally determine the locations of the permanenet constructions of which the construction could be started immediately. Bunkers to be constructed primarily were: shelters for 1 or 2 Gruppen, Pak garages with crew, batallion and regimenental headquarters bunkers and garages for LAG with crew. First priority for labour (Arbeitsschwerpunkt) was to be given to Boulogne.
On 8 September 1942 the Oberbefehlshaber West released an order in which every part of the Wehrmacht (Heer, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe) was made solely responsible for guarding and defending its own facilities. This put an end to the practice that army troops were defending naval and air force installations, thus freeing many soldiers for coastline defence.
Negotiations had been going on between the corps and the 16 Flakdivision concerning flak defences for the army troops. On 9 September the 16 Flakdivision allocated 21 heavy and medium Flak platoons (Flakkampftrupps) to the four divisions of the corps.
On 16 September 1942 the organisation of the LXXXII Armeekorps was as follows:
On 18 September 1942 the Generalkommando reponded to a request of the AOK15 to report on how the corps reserve could be transported at short and long distances:
On 19 September 1942 the 106 Infanteriedivision reported that several navy units would be leaving the Calais and Boulogne harbours. Since these had to be replaced by army troops, the division was left without any reserves. In response, the division asked for the establishment of bodenständige Festungsbataillonen for these ports. To this the LXXXII Armeekorps added that it was a dubious practice that forces in KVAs, on which the local commanders had counted, were withdrawn without notice, so that the level of forces constantly fluctuated. However, the corps also realized that this situation could not be avoided and therefore, in its turn, requested the allocation of a static Festungsbataillon for both Calais and Boulogne.
On 21 September 1942 the corps ordered (on the basis of an AOK 15 order) that the OKW was to be provided with reports on planned permanent bunkers.
On 24 September 1942 the corps received orders to establish a new division in its area: the 348 Infanteriedivision. The cadre for this division was to be supplied by the other divisions, thus weakening those once more.
Also on this day an important meeting of officers of all units involved in the fortification of the Channel coast took place. The information contained in the report of is meeting is most interesting. Firstly, we get clear indications as to the length of the Hauptkampflinien or coastlines to be defended: 306ID: 48km, 304ID: 36km, 106ID: 68km, 321ID: 51km, for a total of 203km. Secondly, the officers present clearly express their opinion as to the locations for an expected enemy attack, namely the area between Nieuwpoort and Calais (especially Dunkirk-Calais) and also the southern part of the area covered by the 321 Infanteriedivision. Thirdly, we learn that while the 306 and 304 Infanteriedivision have two regiments along the coastline, the other 2 divisions have 3 regiments in line. Also, the corps reserves are stationed behind the 306 and the 321 Infanteriedivisionen. Fourthly, to counter invading enemy armour the corps had a total of 174 7,5 cm Landeabwehrgeschütze and 140 5cm Kampfwagenkanone (not counting Arko or Kriegsmarine guns). Also discussed was the number of ständige bunkers to be built in the Atlantikwall. For the corps area this number was 2200-2400. The latter number was distributed as follows: 306ID: 400 bunkers, 304ID: 400 bunkers, 106ID: 800 bunkers, 321ID: 800 bunkers.
Also on 24 September 1942 the corps reported in detail on the planned fortification in its sector and this document, too, contains interesting information. The total number of 2400 bunkers mentioned above would require 1680000 cubic metres of concrete. Further details can be found in the document below:
The above document reveals some interesting problems as well, such as the absence of a labour force in KVA C. This was not the only problem. There was also a shortage or sometimes even absence of heavy construction equipment and building materials in some areas. The corps also complained about the disproportionate number of labourers available in the area of the Festungspionierstab 12 (KVA A3 and B) (many labourers for a relatively smaller volume) and the Festungspionierstab 27 (KVA C and D) (few labourers for a relatively large volume).
On 26 September 1942 the Sicherungsbataillon of the 26 Panzerdivision, which was guarding the AOK 15 headquarters in Tourcoing was relieved by the reserve batallion of the Infanterieregiment 581 of the 306 Infanteriedivision.
On 28 September 1942 the corps reported that coastal fortification was running as planned. However, the sector of the 321 ID suffered from an shortage of labour forces. Also the OT had run out of fuel since 26 September, as a result of which truck transports of construction materials and building machine activity on building sites had mostly been discontinued.
Furthering the construction of the Atlantikwall on 1 October 1942 the corps (on the basis of OBWest instructions) ordered its divisions to indicate by 10 October which Panzerstützpunkte they desired and which constructions outside of these they wanted to be equipped with armoured parts. This information was then communicated to AOK 15 on 14 October. The overview of available Panzerteile at this time can be found in the document below:
What is interesting in this overview is that the fortress engineers have only considered Westwall and post-Westwall types. This was not the case in, for example, the Le Havre area. In addition, the amount of ex-Czech armour parts is remarkable. Finally, for the first time new fortress weapons like the leichte Haubitze im Turm and 10cm Kasemattkanone were proposed. Eventually, two of the former were actually constructed on the Mont Lambert in Boulogne.
On 1 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps was made up of the following units:
On 4 October 1942 the corps informed its division on the allied comando raid carried on against the Channel Island of Sark in the night 3/4 October.
On 6 October 1942 one of the infantry regiments in the corps reserve, the Infanterieregiment 579 of the 306 Infanteriedivision was replaced by the Infanterieregiment 581.
On 9 October 1942 the Chef des Generalstabes HrGr D, Generalmajor Kurt Zeitzler, visited the Generalkommmando for a meeting.
On 12 October 1942 the Generalkommando received a new version of an OBWest order, according to which every facility was to be assimilated within a strongpoint. The corps reported that this had been completed with the 304 and 321 ID. With the other two divisions, 306 and 106 ID some facilities were still to be moved. In particular, Seenotbereischaften and OT-Bauleitingen were still located undefended in the front line. Also OT labour forces were still accommodated in camps too close to the coast. A distance away from the coast of at least 2km was recommended for these. In all cases, locations of headquarters, reserve troops and labour forces were to be determined only from a tactical point of view and none other.
On 14 October 1942 the corps gave an overview to the AOK 15 of the number, location and tactical mission of the planned Panzerstützpunkte, to be equipped with Panzerteile. In all, 28 such fortified positions were planned, more than half of which in KVA C. A detailed overview can be found in the document below:
Also on this day, the Generalkommando issued an order for the relief of the current corps reserve unit IR 573 mit I/AR304 by IR 574 mit II/AR304. Finally, on this day the Generalkommando received the Führerbefehl 1 of 8 October with respect to the raising of the relatively low combat strength of fighting units. The Generalkommando was ordered to report by 21 October the Verpflegungsstärke of the divisions as well as the combat strengths of the infantry, artillery, engineer and communications troopsof these units.
On 15 October 1942 the Grundlegender Befehl OKH Nr 1 ordered the corps to reduce their size by 10%. The resulting weakening of the effectives was to be offset by the building of Alarmeinheiten in non-combatatant units. Also, supporting units were to see to chat extent personnel could be missed, so that more weapons could be operated without the actual number of troops being increased. On this day an important change took place in army nomenclature, with all Infanterieregimenter changing their names into Grenadierregimenter, with the change also applying to batallions and companies. Also on this day, further problems in construction the Atlantikwall were reported.While the Festungspionierstab 27 was to use 1120000 cbm in KVAs C and D, it was reported that the OT would only be able to deliver 575,000 cbm until May 1943!.
On 16 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps informed that the division on the overal planning for the fortification of the Channel coast in the sector of the Festungspionierstab 27. The panning involved a total of 1,160,000 m³ armoured concrete. However, under the circumstances existing at the time (available labour, construction batallions, materials) only 800 constructions (575,000m³) could be constructed in the 1. Dringlichkeit until 1 May 1943. The latter amount was further subdivided as follows:
On 18 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps reported to the AOK 15 concerning the infantry protection of Heeresküsten- and navy batteries. In particular, a total of 46 platoons (Züge) of infantry were requested (1 company each for 3 batteries, 1 platoon each for 25 batteries and 2 Gruppen each for 18 batteries)
On 19 October 1942 an overview was provided of facilities that had not yet been integrated into strongpoints. The overview is interesting in the sense that it provides an insight into facilities existing at the time. Mentioned are a Marinepeilstelle in Middelkerke (8 soldiers; 2 trucks 600m apart, 800-900m from the coastline), the NSKK-Hauptkolonne II in Middelkerke (8 soldiers, 200 trucks), the Marinelazarett Idesbald near De Panne, a DAF lager in Malo-les-Bains (to be moved to Mardyck), parts of the OT and NSKK in Rosendaël and OT-Arbeiterlager in Wenduine, Middelkerke, Oostduinkerke, De Panne, Calais, Sangatte, Escalles, Wissant, Audresselles, Ambleteuse, Wimereux, Le Portel and Equihen. Also on this day the Generalkommando reported to the AOK 15 on progress in fortification. This was said to be making good progress, except in the sector of the 321 ID, where there were delays to the problems in the transportation of materials. Finally, on this day, in continuation of the report on the infantry defence of artillery batteries (see above), the Generalkommando reported lacking Flak defences on the army naval artillery batteries on the left wing of the corps sector. More specifically, the corps requested the following for the 321 ID: 6 batteries with each at least 3 Vierlingsflak. Interestingly, it was also reported that the Luftwaffe had replied that it was incapable of providing these forces. The corps expressed its hope that the matter could be resolves in higher places.
Also on 19 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps informed that the division on the overal planning for the fortification of the Channel coast in the sector of the Festungspionierstab 12. The panning involved a total of 560,000 m³ armoured concrete. However, under the circumstances existing at the time (available labour, construction batallions, materials) only 400 constructions (275,000m³) could be constructed in the 1. Dringlichkeit until 1 May 1943. The latter amount was further subdivided as follows:
On 20 October 1942 the corps reported on the combat strengths of its subordinate divisions, showing 2 figures, Verpflegungs- und Gefechtsstärken, respectively: 306ID (12710 and 12088), 304ID (12840 and 9606), 106ID (14804 and 12348), 321ID (16433 and 10650).
On 21 October 1942 the corps, in a document meant for the AOK 15) addressed the issue of an increase in combat power. In the document the corps was very critical of the waste of headquarters personnel in the mant headquartyers of the services, the Militärbefehlshaber and other sich organisations. With some organisational changes, it was felt, many soldiers could be freed to increase combat power. Another important proposal of the corps was for the number of weaponsto be increased without any more troops to operate these. On the whole, it was also felt that more economizing (i.e. more than the 10% reduction which had been ordered earlier) was impossible.
In the period 22-25 October the other corps reserve infantry regiment, the Grenadierregiment 573 of the 304 Infanteriedivision was relieved by the Grenadierregiment 574. The order itself was given on 16 October.
On 22 October 1942 the Infanterieregiment 574 had relieved Infanterieregiment 573 as corps reserve. Also on this day, the divisions of the LXXXII Armeekorps had the following Verpflegungs- und Gefechtsstärken:
On 23 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps had the following Alarmeinheiten:
On 25 October 1942 the relief operation of the IR 573 by the IR 574 had been completed. Also on this day, the corps reported that the precise situation of the Marinepeilstelle Middelkerke was still to be clarified. The NSKK-Hauptkolonne II and the Marinelazarett Idesbald near De Panne were to be moved (see also 19 October above). As for the OT-camps, the AOK 15 would request a decision from OBWest.
On 26 October 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps had the following subordinated Heerestruppen:
On the same day the fortification progress in the corps area was reported as running according to plan, except in the D sector, where there was a temporary standstill due to material an fuel shortages.
On 28 October 1942 the corps renewed its request to the Luftgaukommando Belgien-Nordfrankreich to receive more Flak defences on its left wing. In addition to the 6 batteries already requested above, the corps also requested 2x 2cm Flak for the artillery batteries 7-8/746 and 6/747, as well as a heavy Flak battery for the Stp St-Josse and the area west of Rue.Finally, the corps request the Luftwaffe to activate the Flak position on the Mont de Terre, which was under construction
Also on this day, the Generalkommando issued an order concerning the operational deployment of the OT and the Festungbaubataillone. The OT was to receive construction orders only from the fortress engineer headquarters and was to act completely independently in the construction process, hiring its own labour forces. In principle, the OT was to construct the permanent constructions in the Arbeitsschwerpunkten and the constructions in the streches of coast in between the latter where it had already started construction work. On the other hand the Festungsbau- and Festungspionierbataillone were to build construction is the coastal sectors in between the Arbeitsschwerpunkten (where the OT did not operate). These forces were not to be used for the permanent construction work and their orders could change on a daily basis.
Further on this day, the corps received a telex from the AOK 15 informing it of the planned withdrawal of the Scheinwerferzüge 343/373/374. The corps was asked for proposals as to the further use of the equipment.
On 29 October 1942 the corps announced that on 2 November, a meeting would take place with as subject the construction of the Atlantikwall.
On 31 October 1942 the corps made it proposals with regard to the above searchlight platoons. IR 575, Nachschubkompanie 106 and IR 588/589 would take over Züge 373, 343 and 374, respectively.
On 1 November 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps commander General der Infanterie Alfred Böhm-Tettelbach was tranferred into the Führerreserve OKH prior to his retirement from the army. He was temporarily replaced by the former commander of the 106 Infanteriedivision Generalleutnant Ernst Dehner. Also on this day, the Flughafenbereich St- Omer requested additional armament for the Luftwaffe special sites (i.e. radar sites). In response the Generalkommando ordered the divisions to verify whether the Luftwaffe request was grounded at and whether their request was reasonable in the given situation. At the same time, though, the divisions were advised to take contact with the Luftwaffe radar units to offer the guard soldiers infantry training.
On 2 November 1942 the Generalkommando ordered (on the basis of an earlier AOK15 order) that Pionierbataillon 306 was to undetake combat training of the Bau- und Festungstruppen. Also on this day the Generalkommando issued an order that the training of the Bautruppen and Festungstruppen was to be conducted, starting with training sessions for the commanders and NCOs.
On 8 November the corps was informed bu AOK 15 that American troops had landed in French North Africa. As a result the entire coastal front was put under Alarmstufe I.
On 9 November 1942 the corps reported fortification work to have advanced as planned, except in KVA D due to transport difficulties.
On 10 November 1942 the corps received a telex about the transfer of the 304 and 306 Infanteriedivision to the Russian front.
On 11 November 1942 the corps was informed that for the replacement of the 304 Infanteriedivision the Korpsreserve would be used, but that also the 182 Reservedivision would arrive from the AOK 7 area.
On 12 November 1942 (with additions on 13 November) the corps order was released for the 304 Infanteriedivision to be relieved in the period 22-28 November by the 182 Infanteriedivision. This division, only raised on 27 August in the Saint-Nazaire - Lorient area, was only composed of two regiments (with 5 batallions) and 2 artillery batteries. Interestingly, the regiments of this division were not numbered, but simply called A and B, or also Sturt and Plehn after the names of their commander, while the artillery regiment was likewise known as Artillerieregiment Simon. The lack of manpower in the division was reflected in the use of the term Einsatzverband 182ID. To beef up forces, it was decided to send extra reinforcements to the Dunkirk area, notably the Korpsreserve of the LXXXI Armeekorps, consisting of the Stab Grenadierregiment 677 (Oberstleutnant Kühne), II/GR677, I/GR570 (302ID) and I/AR332 (with 2 batteries). Also, from the AOK 7 area the 182 Reservedivision would be sent. The commander of the 182 Infanterieidvision, Generalleutnant Karl, was to take official command of its sector on 28 November.After having been relieved the 304 ID was to be concentrated in the area St-Omer-Hesdin-Doullens-Bethune. The Wachkompanie of the GR 574 of the division was to stay in Aire until being transported off. For the transport of the latter regiment, as well as the II/AR304 the help of the Kommando Drossel transport unit was available.
On 13 November 1942 a further important change was made to the corps boundary, when the 306 Infanteriedivision was transferred to the LXXXIX Armeekorps. The northern boundary of the LXXXII Armeekorps would now definitely be the French-Belgian border.
On 14 November 1942 OBWest ordered the continuation of Alarmstufe I in the hours of darkness.
On 15 November 1942 the corps ordered that the Grenadierregiment 574, which until this moment had functioned as corps reserve in the area behind the 321 Infanteriedivision was to return to the 304 Infanteriedivision in the period 25-28 November.
On 16 November 1942 the corps reported that fortification work had progressed well, except in the KVA D, due to fuel and transport shortages. Also on this day, the Alarmstufe I currently being ordered was relaxed to Vorwarnung, thus stretching personnel resources to a lesser extent.
On 17 November 1942 the corps received a telex from OBWest concerning the roles of the VGAD in the event of an attack. Only in case of Alarmstufe II was the VGAD to be integrated into the coastal defences. Until that time they were to continue carryin out their specific duties.
On 20 November 1942 the corps ordered the Korpstruppen to organise themselves in such a way that they could be ready to move to Alarmstufe I in the hours of darkness in the shortest possible delay.
On 21 November 1942 the Generalkommando empowerd the divisions to relax the alarm phase Vorwarnung (see above) at their own discretion aftar daybreak. Also on this day, the situation of the heavy infantry weapons at the coast was discussed. Notably, it had appeared that, in spite of the crucial importance of these weapons in repelling an amphibious assault, the weapons were too visible and themselves poorly defended and camouflaged. The order was issued to protect these all-important weapons better.
In the second half of November a for Atlantikwall researchers interesting communication took place between the corps and AOK 15. On 22 November the corps confronted the AOK 15 with two major problems. Firstly, the practical impossibility of simultaneously training the troops and constructing the Atlantikwall defences. It asked the AOK 15 which of these two tasks had the highest priority. Secondly, the corps also feared that the emphasis on the construction of permanent bunkers would set back the equally important construction of field and semi-permanent fortifications (since both persoonel and material resources (OT and fortress egineer units) would be drawn towards the former construction programme. Also on this day, the Generalkommando reported that the due to the disbandment of a number of Hafenkommandanturen the 304ID was to take over responssibility for the port of Gravelines.
On 23 November 1942 the corps reported that the construction of permanent bunkers was going according to pland, with delays in KVA D due to fual shortages. In addition, field fortifications in KVA B were delayed due to the resident division being replaced. Also on this day, an order of OBWest instructed all the Alarmeinheiten to assemble and to be used either at the coast or as local reseves. The Generalkommondo consequently ordered the assembly of these units as local reserves as well as their training for these duties. Finally, on this day, the immediate relief of the 321 Infanteriedivision by the 161 Infanteriedivision was ordered. The 161 Infanteriedivision had come back from the Russian front in early November and had initially been located in AOK 7 for refitting. It was in such a poor state that reinforcements were also deemed necessary here. These were again drawn from the reserves of LXXXI Armeekorps, involving the reinforced III/GR677 being moved to Rue and subordinated to the division. After being relieved the 321 Infanteriedivision was to be concentrated in the area Arras-Hesdin-Longpré-Albert.
On 24 November 1942 the Generalkommando ordered the 321 Infanteriedivision to be relieved by the 161 Infanteriedivision in the KVA D. Also on this day; the corps issued an order concerning the Alarmeinheiten; The reason for this was an order of OBWest on 23 November. In this order the OBWest first noted that double number of tasks in defending the coast was to be carried out with the same number of troops, which had lead to a thinning of defensive strength. Since additional forces were not to be expected, it was important to bolster that strength with the help of own resources. It was therefore ordered that so-called Alarmeinheiten (made up of non-combatant personnel) would be composed and deployed in coastal defence or as local reserves. These units were also to be trained as fully-fledged infantry. On this day, the corps added that, within its area of command, the Alarmeinheiten would only be used as local reserves.
The last week of November saw a major restructuring within the corps' organisation, which would result in 2 of the 3 divisions being replaced and leaving for the Russian front. The case of the 304 Infanteriedivision has already been discussed above.
On 25 November the 161 Infanteriedivision officially assumed command of KVA D, relieving the 321 Infanteriedivision, which was withdrawn to the area Arras - south of Hesdin - Longpré - Albert. Also on this day, the Generalkommando received AOK 15's answer to its question of 22 November above: the construction of the Atlantikwall was seen as having the highest priority and the number of exercises was to be reduced to a minimum of four per month. No doubt, this decision would have negative consequences for the fighting capability of the divisions in 1944. While on the issue of construction the corps reported that building activity went according to plan in the KVAs B and C, but were still delayed in KVA D.
On 26 November 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps was informeed by the AOK 15 that the infantry defence, until then provided by the MAA 602, of the long-range offesive batteries in the Pas-de-Calais had been withdrawn. The 106 Infanteriedivison was ordered to provide these defences, either by means of local nearby reserve, or by a detachment within the strongpoints.
On 27 November 1942 Alarmstufe I was declared in all sectors of OBWest.
On 28 November the 182 Infanteriedivision officially assumed command of KVA B, relieving the 304 Infanteriedivision. By then, the latter had been withdrawn to the St-Omer-Hesdin-Doullens-Béthune area.
On 30 November 1942 permanent fortification progess was assessed as having been delayed in the first half of the month due to transport difficulties and shortages of material. However, these problems were said to have been resolved after a short period. Also on this day, changes were announved to the alarm order of 27 November above. thus Alarmstufe I would only be in force during the hours of darkness until 2 December, after which day Vorwarnung would bein force during the hours of darkness.
On 1 December 1942 the Generalkommando ordered the move of the Kraftfahrzeugstaffel Drossel, until then at the disposal of the corps reserve regiment of the 304ID, to Armentières (changed on 3 December to the area Béthune-Lillers). Also on this day, the Panzerpionierbataillon 93 of the 26 Panzerdivision was put at the disposal of the 182 Infanteriedivision.
On 3-4 December 1942 the 321 and the 304 Infanteriedivisionen started leaving the corps area, which they had completely left on 12 and 15 December, respectively. Also on 3 December the corps ordered that the Kommando Drossel transport unit, after having transported the units of the GR 574 of the 304ID, was to be concentrated in the area Lillers-Bethune-Bruay and was to be kept ready there for the transport of reserves. In addition, the unit was to establish 2 motorized companies as Alarmeinheiten.
On 5 December 1942 the 182 Infanteriedivision reported that the takeover of the Hafenkommandantur Gravelines in the process of the 304ID being replaced by the 182ID had not take place as the duties of this navy unit had been taken over by the commander of the 4/5 Flottillenstammabteilung.
On 7 December 1942 the corps received the order that the third regiments and a light artillery battalion were to be created with the 161 ID. Also on this day, fortification progress was reported as running according to plan in all sectors. Also on this day, the Luftgaukommando BNF responsed to the corps' request of 28 October.In general, the Luftgaukommanso expressed its inability to provide forces. It suggested the setting-up of Alarmgeschützen manned by personnel of the army batteries themselves. The necessary light flak equipment would be made available, subject to approval by Luftflotte 3.
On 8 December 1942 AOK 15 ordered the cancellation of the Vorwarnung condition.
On 9 December 1942 the Generalkommando requested the 16 Flakdivision for two more Flakkampftrupps to be put at the disposal of the 161 ID in KVA D, in addition to the 1 troop already agreed. The reason for the request was that no Flak of a calibre higher than 2cm was based in the sector.
On 11 December 1942, and after the rejection of the request to establish the third regiment with the 182 ID, the Generalkommando now requested the creation of the third battalions of both regiments of the division. If the request was granted it would also mean that the current reserve battalion from the corps reserve of the neighbouring corps could also return to the latter.
On 12 December 1942 the corps was informed that the requested allocation of regimental numbers to the two regiments of the 182 ID had been rejected.
On 13 December 1942 the 321 Infanteriedivision had left the corps area. On the same day the corps reported that the AOK 15 had ordered the pulling-out of the 13 und 14/GR 677 for reorganisation and rearming. These two units were to gather with the 161 ID in Rue.
In order to reinforce the 106 Infanteriedivision it had been given the III Bataillon/Grenadierregiment 677 from the 332 Infanteriedivision by the LXXXI Armeekorps.On 14 December 1942 AOK 15 ordered that this unit was to be pulled out and to be made Korpsreserve behind the 106 Infanteriedivision. On the same day 2 of the latter division's bataillions, together with an artillery batallion, were ordered to prepare for emergencies outside of the division's assigned area. Also on this day the corps commander, accompanied by the temporary army commander General der Panzertruppen von Vietinghoff, inspected the sectors of the 182 Infanteriedivision and the 106 Infanteriedivision. During this visit the weakness of the former division was pointed out: the third battalions of the regiments were missing, as were the engineer and logistics units. The defence at the coast was compared to a necklace (Perlenschnur) withouth any depth. Also the only reserves were the III/GR677 (whose withdrawal was expected) and 1 motorized MG company. There was no real regimental reserves apart from HQ units and some platoons. Special requests were also formulated for the defence of the port of Dunkirk. Specifically, rap-fire guns were requested to defend the jetty and the locks. The 106 Infanteriedivision only requested a solution for the (apparently unsatisfactory) situation at the Marck airfield.
On 15 December 1942 the 304 ID had left the corps area. On the same day the Generalkommando reported that the AOK 15 had ordered that the 26 Panzerdivision was to provide training exercises on anti-tank combat for the coastal defence divisions. Also on 15 December 1942 the LXXXII Armeekorps was made up of the following units:
A second, slightly different, overview on this date shows the composition as follows:
On the same day the LXXXII Armeekorps was deployed as follows:
On 20 December 1942 the corps informed the Festungspionierstäbe that the plans which they had submitted for the construction of strongpoints did not meet the requirments. More specifically, only permanenet constructions had been drawn, while it was the idea that also obstacles, fiield and sem-permannet constructions were indicated.
In the previous weeks the corps had been involved in talks with the Luftwaffe on the deployment of anti-aircraft units (see above). On 23 December 1942 it was agreed that each division would have one schwere Flakkampftrupp (consisting of 2 heavy and 3 light batteries) available in an emergency at 3 hours' notice, with a second one at 6 hours' notice.In addition 1 schwere Flakkampftrupp was available in Abbeville.
On 25 December 1942 the corps received the OKH order that a Panzerjägerkompanie of the 106 Infanteriedivision with 18x 7,5cm Pak 97/38 was to be readied for transport to the Russian front. The unit selected was 1./PzJgKp 106. However, at the same time, the corps drew attaction to the fact that this unit possessed only 5 of the required 18 guns. Also on this day, the Generalkommando informed the AOK 15 that the 7./8. und 9. leichte Fahrkolonne 241 had been on loan to the AOK 9 and that repeated requests for the return of these units had been unsuccessful.
On 27 December 1942 it was decided that the 1./PzJgKp 106.would be completed with 10 guns of the 161ID and another 4 of the 332ID. The company had to be ready for transport on 2 January.
On 30 December 1942 the corps wrote to the Festungspionierstab 12, expressing its agreement in principle with the submitted designs for Schartenstände für Pak und LAG, while nevertheless raising some objections.
On 31 December 1942 the corps reported that the construction work, especially on the Panzerstützpunkte, was suffering from lack of available labour. Also on this day, the OKH ordered OBWest to established the 182 Infanteriedivision from units of the 165 and 182 Reservedivisionen.
At the end of the year the corps was thus made up of the following three divisions: the 182 Infanteriedivision in KVA B, the 106 Infanteriedivision in KVA C and the 161 Infanteriedivision in KVA D.
On 3 January 1943 the relief operation with the 161 Infanteriedivision necessary for the establishment of the Grenadierregiment 336 and II/AR 241 were started.
On 5 January 1943 the Generalkommando reported to the AOK 15 on the prepartions for blocking rivers and canals (Lys-Aire-La Bassée-Kanal-Schelde). Also on this day, the Chef des Generalstabes of the corps inspected the 182 Infanteriedivision and the port of Dunkirk. With respect to the former, the issue of the third battalions for the regiments of the division was discussed. For these units, the 182ID had allocated officers. With this allocation the personal status was as follows: III/GR Sturt: 8 officers, 38 NCOs and 339 other ranks; III/GR Plehn: 10 officers, 77 NCOs and 237 other ranks. It was also made clear that an official order for the establishment was not to be expected, so that the units would have to be completed by taking away strength from the other units of the division. Another point of discussion were the Landeabwehrgeschütze. Construction of field fortifications was to be speeded up, while drawing in new construction firms and the gun crews were to be protected against low-level air attack. Another difficulty was presented by the Marineverpflegungsamt Dünkirchen, whose problem was its location outside the Verteidigungsbereich. Army requests to integrate the facility into a strongpoint were rejected by the Hafenkommandant. It was, therefore, envisaged, to turn the facility into a rear strongpoint itself. A next item on the agenda were supplies. It was noted that, within the port area, supplies for 2500 troops for 3 weeks were available; it was also noted that the Marineverpflegungsamt had considerably larger supplies, so that supplies for 8 weeks would not be a problem. Finally, the Chef ordered an increase in the number of AT-obstacles, canons, barbed wire positions and minefiields. In this context the Hafenkommandant repeated his request for the allocation of modern rapid-fire guns to protect the port entrance.
On 6 January 1943 the erster Generalstabsoffizier Oberst i.G. Otto Lichtschlag, who had fallen ill, was temporarily replaced by Major zV Wittstein. Also on this day, OBWeest added his comments to the OKH order of 31 December to establish the 182 Infanteriedivision from elements of the 165 and 182 Reservedivisionen. OBWest added the important remark that this process was not possible in just one location. Thus, the division would have to be built up in the two sectors of itw two constituting divisions.
On 7 January 1943 the 106 Infanteriedivision reported that the defences of Calais and Boulogne would be severely weakened by the fact that the Kriegsmarine had decided to withdraw the 5 und 6 Flotillenstammabteilung, respectively, from these ports. Both these units had been formed on 15 January 1942 from the respective Marinehafenabteilungen of the two ports. The units would actually be dissolved in the summer of 1943. At the same time, replacement troops were requested. Also on this day, the commander of the AOK15 inspected the 106 and 182 Infanteriedivisionen.
On 8 January 1943 the Generalkommando ordered the transfer of the headquarters of the GR 677. The headquarters would arrive by rail and was to be subordinated to the 161 Infanteriedivision. It was to be accommodated in the Montreuil area.
On 10 January 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the availability of local training grounds for the Auffrischungsdivisionen stationed at the coast. Various training grounds in the coastal sectors were suggested and the AOK15 was asked for a decision.
On 11 January the 16 Flakdivision allocated 1 gemischtes Flakkampftrupp each to the cities of Dinkirk, Calais and Boulogne, with 1 in reserve near
St Omer. Also on this day, the sector of the 106 Infanteriedivision was inspected by the corps commander. In the inspection report it was noted that the Stadtverteidigung Boulogne had no AT-guns. Also troop tunnels for 1 batallion were to be immediately constructed on the Mont Lambert. These were to be constructed by the Festungspionierstab 27. Further on this day, the AOK15 wrote to the corps regarding the 'creation' of the 182 Infanteriedivision.
On 12 January 1943 the corps received the order that it was to establish a new infantry division, the 282 Infanteriedivision, from the 165 Reservedivision and the 181 Infanteriedivision. The 165 Reservedivision had been established on 4 October 1942 by renaming the Division Nr 165 and was headquartered in Dijon as part of the LXIV Reservekorps. For camouflage purposes the 282 Infanteriedivision was ordered to assume this name only from 28 February 1943.
On 13 January 1943 the LXXXII Armeekorps submitted a proposed plan for the western defence of Dunkirk to the AOK15. The plan mentioned that the corps had decided to give up defences at Petite Synthe and Triangle in favour of a more easily defendable line further east, running from the Ile Jeanty to the Ouvrage Ouest. It was further mentioned that the Hafenkommandant had already organised the defences of the inner ring surrounding the port facilities. Also on this day, the corps wrote that that Führer himself had underlined the importance of training in the West. In the sector of the corps, this was especially the case with the 106 and 161 Infanteriedivisionen. In the training process experiences from the Russian front were to be fully integrated. Finally on this day, the OBWest issued execution instructions to the order for the creation of the 282 Infanteriedivision. In this document Rudstedt orderer that the 182 Infanteriedivision was to be renamed into the 282 Infanteriedivision with immediate effect, though the current names 165 and 182 Infanteriedivisision were to be kept for camouflage purposes unti 27 February.
On 14 January 1943 the corps reported on the measures it had taken to bolster manpower defences. In addition to divisional reserves and the organization on non-military personnel in so-called Kampflisten, this also included the Alarmeinheiten. Thus the 106 Infanteriedivision was reported to have 298 men in its Alarmeinheiten, the 161 Infanteriedivision 470 soldiers and the 182 Infanteriedivision 26 men. In addition, the Generalkommando itself had established the following units: from the corps headquarters 1 unit of 319 men, from the Kommando Drossel transport unit 2 companies, each numbering some 150 men, from the railway artillery unit E701 1 unit with 155 men. In addition a mixed Flakkampftrupp of the 16 Flakdivision was said to be in readiness at St-Omer. It was added that a deployment of these Alarmeinheiten at the coast was not envisaged. Due to the lack of a corps reserve these units were needed in the rear areas. For transport the Kolonne Drossel was said to be ready at all times (it was currently located in Armentières for refreshing).In addition, Germans not belonging to the Wehrmacht had been organized into Kampflisten. The grenadier regiments were allocated the numbers 848, 849, 850 with the other units of the division using the number 282.
On the same day the LXXXII Armeekorps issued its order for the relief of the 106 Infanteriedivision. Thus, the 181 ID, its neighbour on the right, was to take over the right sub-sector of the sector of the Grenadierregiment 239 (i. e. the sector Gravelines to Marck).This change was to be completed on 17 February. This change had important consequences as the boundary between the KVA B and C would now be situated at Marck. The 156RD was to take over the KVA C. The division was ordered to deploy as follows:
On 17 January 1943 the corps received the detailed instructions for the creation of the 282 Infanteriedivision. The regiments were to be given the numbers 848-849-850. For reasons of concealment, the division was to carry the name 282 Infanterieidvision only from 28 February onwards.
On 18 January 1943 the corps reported that the constriction at the coast was proceeding according to plan. Also on this day, the corps issued the order (based on an earlier army order) that in cooperation with the relevant Flughafenbereichen the defences of airfields located close to the coast were to be checked. These discussions were held on 18-19 January.
On 19 January 1943 the Generalkommando reported on the status of the building of the 161 ID. The division was said to be complete in manpower after 700 cured soldiers would join it. Training had made good progress. However, the Schnelle Abteilung 241 was reported as being operational only with 1 PzJgKp due to 10 heavy Paks having been given to the 1. /PzJgAbt 106. Also on this day, the LXXXII Armeekorps ordered its divisions to check to what extent the possible leaving of Luftwaffe units from airfields might weaken defences and to report these to the corps. Finally, on this day a Kommandeurbesprechung was held. During this meeting many items were discussed, including difficulties with Alarmeinheiten, the importance of field fortifications, the necessity of providing cover near Landeabwehrgeschütze and the need for more lighting means in the strongpoints. It was also agreed that discussion would be held regarding the defence at the divisional boundaries on 25 January in Boulogne and 26 January in Gravelines and the lack of available hand grenades. Finally on this day, the Marinebefehlshaber Kanalküste ordered units under his command to meet requests of the Heer for help from the navy for infantry deployments at the coast or on the Landfront of Verteidigungsbereiche. In the same document he also mentioned his own preparations in this respect. These included the creation of Hafenschutzkompanien and guard platoons, infantry training of 1 battery in each MAA and the formation of an infantry company, training of gun crews of mobile navy canons for land combat and the provision of trucks for mobility of these units.
Between 20 and 25 January the third batallions of the Sturt and Plehn regiments (see above) of the 182 Infanteriedivision were formed and made combat-ready.
On 22 January 1943 the AOK15 commander inspected the southern sector of the 161ID (from Le Touquet southwards).
On 23 January 1943 the AOK 15 informed the corps that the 1. PzJgKp of the 106 ID, which had been shed by that division, was to be re-established by 1 April. Also on this day, an order determined the supplies for and training of the Alarmeinheiten. Even though the primary mission of the Alarmeinheiten was to act as local reserves, it was made clear that, in the event of an emergency, they could be asked to take over a strongpoint or part of the coast as a single unit. Consequently, training was to take this fully into account.
On 25 January 1943 all divisions in the corps were ordered to establish one Ausbaubataillon or training batallion each.. These battalions were also to function as divisional or corps reserve. For the 161 and 182 Infanteriedivisionen, where a battalion could not be formed for the time being, a training company was to be established.
Also on this day, the planned meeting in Boulogne (see above) took place. It was concluded that 4 naval batteries covered the boundary between the 106/161 ID. However, means of communication were seen as insufficient. Two remarkable points are also that the Flak units requested French or Flemish auxiliary forces to attend to the munition in the many ammunition storages and that the help of women was requested in the kitchens. Finally, orders were issued to hold more fire exercises at the boundary between the 2 divisions. Further on this day, a meeting was held between the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais and the Chef des Generalstabes of the corps. Here are some of the points discussed. The mine barrage in the port entrance of Calais would only be laid after the netrance had been dredged to a depth of 6m. Currently, the port entrance was being secured by means of a Trossensperre, while in about 8 days it would be reinforced by a buoy barrage (Bojensperre). The navy also expressed its wish for the replacement of the 17cm canons of the 3/HKAA 769 at the Pointe de St-Quentin by a 10.5cm battery, for which the Seekommandant would make the official request. The same Seekommandant also planned the creation of Marine-Alarmeinheiten. In an emergency, these could relieve army units. It would even be possible for the navy to comletely take over the defence of the port of Calais. Also, the navy could make available a larger number of trucks for army units. Also, if units of the navy and air force took over some static defences, more troops of the Heer could be pulled out to be organised into mobille reserves.In return, army instructors would help the navy units give infantry training.
Further on this day the LXXXII Armeekorps issued order for the strengthening of defences, with special attention to the Alarmeinheiten. Thus, the corps ordered to quickly start with the combat training of the Alarmeinheiten, so that they could be used to relieve units at the coast or fulfill function further inland.
On 26 January 1943 a Nahtbesprechung too place in Gravelines (see above). Also on this day, the acrhives contain a report following the inspection visit of some strongpoints by the Stabsoffiziere für Infanterie of the Festungspionierkommandeur XVIII and the Festungspionierstab 27. It was found that some crews were unable to use their static weapons because they had never fired them and the ammunition was stored in the wrong way.
On 28 January 1943 an important development in the compositional nature of the troops guarding the Atlantikwall occurred when word was received that the dearth of troops would be offset by the introduction of a batallion of eastern troops, notably a Turkbataillon. Deployment of this unit was envisaged with the 161 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day, the divisions received orders to act as advisers and trainers for the infantry training of personnel of naval batteries, artillery batteries and railroad batteries. Also on this day, an order concerning corps training course provides us with the location of these course: corps communications course in Aire, corps AT-course in Moere, corps engineer course in Jabbeke, and corps logistics course in Manneville.
On 29 January 1943 the I und II/GR 677 as well as the 13 und 14/677 were transported to their 332 ID. Also on this day, the corps made a proposal to the AOK 15 with respect to the Turkbataillon it would receive (see above). It suggested using the Turkbataillon to relieve the II/GR 363 of the 161 Infanteriedivision in the Abschnitt Merlimont. The eason for this suggestion was that this sector was the "simplest" of the division. Also, the III/GR 363, which was in the process of being established in the area St Josse - Rang du Fliers would be moved to Attin as corps reserve.
On 30 January 1943 a report provides a detailed insight into the Verpflegungs- und Gefechtsstärken of the divisions in the corps:
Also on 30 January the corps commander sent a letter to the Kommandant der Seeverteidigung Pas-de-Calais asking whether the navy would be able to take over some sectors from the army. More specifically, the sectors involved were the Hafenfront of Dunkirk from the strongpoint H2 to H4 (both excluded), the defence of the town and the port facilities, the Hafenfront of Calais from Wn 39 to the battery Fort Lapin, the defence line between the Bastion 2 and 11 and finally the beach front of the Cap Gris Nez sector from the strongpoint Le Chatelet to Audresselles. Finally, on this day, the I/AR332 was transported to the 332ID.
On 1 February 1943 the corps communicated its additional remarks to those formulated by the AOK15 to the grundlegenden Bemerkungen OBWest Nr 19. The divisions were ordered to keep their Kampflisten up-to-date. Also importantly, the Kombattanten were to be trained for combat and it was to be made sure that they had all fired the weapons they were given.
At this stage in the war the threat of an allied invasion was taken very seriously, also by the LXXXII Armeekorps. Also if such an invasion occurred outside the area of responsibilty of the corps, the corps had to be prepared to commit troops. Thus, on 2 February 1943 two contingencies were detailed. In Fall A an entire division would be pulled out, while in Fall B a reinforced infantry regiment could be pulled out of any of the three KVAs. At the same time the AOK 15 ordered the corps leaders to start preparing for contingencies through battle games or Planspielen.
On 5 February 1943 the corps communicated its planned command structure in the first of the contingency situations detailed above. Thus, in Fall A the 106 Infanteriedivision, now said to be the strongest division, was planned to be pulled out. Its southern neighbour, the 161 Infanteriedivision, would then take over one regimental sector, while the remaining two regimental sectors would be taken over by the 182 Infanteriedivision to the north. Interestingly, this document also shows that the navy had by now taken over the Küstenfront of Calais and Cap Gris Nez and had agreed to the same for Boulogne. Also on this day, the Chef des Generakstabes AOK 15 ordered Planspielen to be be performed by the Chefs des Generalstabes of the corps. Finally on this day, the corps clarified some items regarding the Alarmeinheiten and Kampflisten.With respect to the former, two types of Alarmeinheiten were distinguished: Alarmeinheiten I (full units which would be deployed outside their normal billeting area or at the coast) and Alarmeinheiten II (soldiers from headquarters and logistics units which were only expected to defend their quarters and the immediate surroundings). The Kombattanten to be drafted into the Kampflieten were German men of german civilian organisations and german men from non-Wehrmacht units, such as the RAD, OT, NSKK etc.
On 6 February 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 that the 106 Infanteriedivision had established the Ausbildungsbataillon 106. The unit was to be belitted in the OT Lager Robert Ley along the road Guines - Campagne-lès-Guines - Licques. The 161 Infanteriedivision would establish its Ausbildungsbataillon in the second half of February and accommodate it in the area Marles-Marenla-Loison. As for the 182 Infanteriedivision it would initially only establish 1 company and then later 1 batallion.
On 9 February 1943 the 161 Infanteriedivision, too, reported the establishment of the third batallions of its regiments. Also on this day, the corps ordered the 161 Infanteriedivision to send one company of the Pionierbataillon 241 to the 17 Luftwaffenfelddivision in Harfleur (east of Le Havre)
On 11 February 1943 the order was received that the 106 Infanteriedivision, which had just been brought up to full strength, was to be replaced by the 156 Reservedivision, starting on 19 February. In the autumn of 1942 the Division Nr 156 was renamed in 156 Reservedivision. At that time it also moved to the east of Belgium. In November-December 1942 parts of the division became the Division Baltzer, taking the name of its commander, together with units of other reserve divisions. The unit regulary moved between Belgium and the north of France.The replacement of the 106 Infanteriedivision by the 156 Reservedivision for coastal defence duties is more significant that may appear at first sight. This was actually the first time within AOK 15 that a reserve division was inserted into the front line. The division thus combined its coastal defence duties with those of training new recruits. For this reason, the reserve divisions were only tactically subordinated to the army corps. After having been relieved the 106 Infanteriedivision was to be assembled in the area Hazebrouck-Ardres-Desvres-Rimeux, where it would function as Heeresgruppenreserve. Further on this day, the 161 Infanteriedivision reported the finished establishment of the II artillery battalion. Finally on this day, the corps communicated the message from the AOK15 that the 165 Reservedivision (Verband Schaky) would arrive with the 182 Infanteriedivision on 25 rather than 15 February.
On 12 February 1943 the corps received the' official order for the 106 Infanteriedivision to be replaced by the 156 Resevedivision.
In order to bring the newly-built 282 Infanteriedivision (see above) up to strength, use would also be made of the 165 Reservedivision, which was lying in reserve around Dijon.
On 13 February 1943 it was decided that part of the division, the so-called Verband Schaky (named after its commander) was to be positioned with 1 regiment close behind the 182 Infanteriedivision in KVA B, where it was to become Armeereserve. The regiment was to be accommodated in the area Socx-Brouckerque-Looberghe-Merkegem-Bollezele-Zegerscappel-Bissezeele. One of its batallions was also to function as Sicherungsbataillon for AOK 15.
On 14 February 1943 the corps, in its turn, issued its order for the 106 ID to be replaced by the 156 RD. In the relief operation there was also a role for the 182 Infanteriedivision. Thus, the division took over the right-hand side battalion sector from the 106 ID. The boundary bgetween the KVA B and the KVA C was to be the current left battalion boundary of the right-wing battalion of the GR 239 (Marck). The 156 Reservedivision was to take over the remainder of the KVA C until its left divisional boundary as follows:
On 18 February 1943 the interdivisional boundaries between the 182 Infanteriedivision and the 106 (156 Reserve-)Infanteriedivision changed, when the former took over the area between Gravelines and Marck from the latter. Of course, this also resulted in the boundary between the 106/156 Reserve) Infanteriedivision and the 161 Infanteriedivision being pushed further south from Wimereux to Equihen-Plage, south of Boulogne. Also on 18 February the 156 Reservedivision started relieving the 106 Infanteriedivision. Further on this day, the corps was ordered to establish another infantry division, this time the 384 Infanteriedivision as replacement for the division with the same number destroyed at Stalingrad. This new division was to be located as Armeereserve in the area Armentières-Ardres-Desvres-Rimeux. Initially, it was to be built as a Kampfgruppe only with full readiness only planned for 1 September.The temporary cadre for this division was to be provided by the 161 Infanteriedivision. The Kampfgruppe having been built it would be located in the area Aire-Helfaut-Fauquemberges-Borny. Also on this day, units of the 156 Reservedivision started relieving units of the 106 Infanteriedvision in coastal defence. Further on this day, the Generalkommando passed on an OKH order to the 182 Infanteriedivision, ordereng it to establish the gemischte Artillerieabteilung 451 (mot). Finally on this day, the corps wote to the AOK15 to address the bad personnel situation of the 156 Reservedivision. For the missing battalions, the corps requested the Ersatzbataillon 39 for the RGR 26 and the Ersatzbataillon 328 for the RGR 227. The corps also urgently requested the promised new recruits
On 20 February 1943 the corps reported that due to the withdraxal of large numbers of AT and Flak guns and of mortars and machine guns, the infantry defences of the naval batteries Prinz Heinrich, Oldenburg and MIV had seriously been weakened. On the orders of the AOK 15 the corps thus ordered the division to verify whether the infantry defences of these batteries were still adequate.
On 21 February 1943 the first element of the Einsatzverband Schaky (Grenadierregiment 850) arrived in the area of the 182 Infanteriedivision.
On 22 February 1943 the corps commander ordered the corps Gasabwehroffizier to check the gas equipment with the troops 2-3 days every week.
On 23 February the 156 Reservedivision officially took command of KVA C. On the same day the LXXXII Armeekorps was ordered to form yet another new infantry division, the 94 Infanteriedivision (also destroyed at Stalingrad), in the area around Hesdin. Again, the 161 Infanteriedivision was tasked with the establishment of this unit. Until the planned readiness date (1 April) the unit would be Armeereserve.
On 24 February 1943 the coeps reported that the newly-established Pionierbataillon 282 had arrived with the 182 ID.
On 25 February 1943 the corps released a specific order for the establishment of the 384 Infanteriedivision. By 1 April a Kampfgruppe was to be built, while the complete division was to be built by 1 September. The entire process was to be coördinated by the Aufstellungsstab 384ID.
On 26 February 1943 the 106 Infanteriedivision, which had been located in the area Hazebrouck-Ardres-Desvres-Rimeux as Heeresgruppenreserve, began moving to the Russian front. The division had completely left the corps area on 4 March. On the same day the plan for pulling out a division in case of an allied attack elsewhere on the coast was revised, due to the change in divisions present. Thus, it was now the 156 Reservedivision that would be pulled out. The division was to assemble in the area Les Attaques - Pihen - Desvres-Nielles-Audruicq and wait for further orders there. The 282 ID was to take control of the coastal front between the Belgian-French border and Audresselles and the 161 Infanteriedivision between Audresselles and Le Crotoy.
On 27 February 1943 the 156 Reservedivision reported that the infantrry defences of the nval artillery batteries were adequate (see above).
On 1 March 1943 the Generalkommando was informed that it would be allocated 1 heavy artillery battalion near St-Omer in the short term.
On 1-2 March 1943 the corps commander inspected the Calais-le Touquet sector.
On 4 March 1943 it was reported that the 156 Reservedivision only possessed 1 engineer company and that an engineer company of the 191 Reservedivision (part of LXXXI Armeekorps) would be sent to the Boulogne area. Also on this day the first transports of the 94 Infanteriedivision and the 384 Infanteriedivision, which were to be established by the corps, arrived in the corps area. Even though these divisions were raised to re-establish the 6 Armee, lost in Stalingrad, their use for coastal defence duties was also envisaged. Further today, the transport of the 106 ID had been completed. Finally, on this day, the Generalkommando reported on the difficulties it experiences in the electricity supply of bunkers at the coast and requested permission for the immediate establishment of the new wehrmachteigen high-voltage grid.
On 5 March 1943 the commander of the AOK15 inspected the area of the 156 Reservedivision.
In the period 8-13 March 1943 alert exercises were held in Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne under the supervision of the corps commander.
On 10 March 1943 the LXXXII Armeekorps reported to the AOK15 with respect to the rebuilding of the units of the 6 Armee, more specifically the 94 and 348 Infanteriedivisionen. Interestingly, the training level of the two divisions was completely different. While in the former division only the officers had Russian front experience, most of the NCOs and other ranks of the latter division were said to have this experience.
On 11 March 1943 the Pionierkompanie of the 191 Reservedivision arrived in Boulogne (see above). Also on this day, the OB AOK15, General der Panzertruppen von Vietinghoff inspected the Dunkirk-Zuydcoote sector (282 Infanteriedivision).
On 13 March 1943 the Generalkommando stated that, then current situation, a deployment of the 94 and/or 348 Infanteriedivisionen was possible. Thus, the officers of these divisions were ordered to familiarize themselves with the terrain and possible missions.
On 14 March 1943 an large Alarmübung was held in Boulogne and with the 94 Infanteriedivision.
On 15 March 1943 the erster Generalstabsoffizier Oberst i.G. Otto Lichtschlag was tranferred to the Führerreserve and replaced by Oberst i.G. von Sybel. Also on this day, the corps reported on the fortification process as proceeding according to plan.
On 16 March 1943 measures were proposed to maintain order during large combat operations. Specifically, the positions of Strassenkommandant and Kampfkommandant were introduced at this point, as well as important roads and cities and towns where Kampfkommandanten would be established. Kampfkommandanten were planned in no fewer than 28 cities. Also on this day, the corps reported that the possible deployment of Tiger tanks necessitated a verification of the strength of bridges in the corps area. Further on this day, Generalleutnant Pfeiffer took command of the 94 Infanteriedivision. Finally on this day, a Kommandeurbesprechung was held in Boulogne.
On 17 March 1943 the corps reported that the alarm exercise in Boulogne (see above) had shown that a successful defence of the port was not guaranteed. It requestes higher authorities to appoint an officer suited for the role as Hafenkommandant.
On 19 March 1943 the OB 15 Armee inspected the Calais-St-Omer-Aire area. Also on this day, Hauptmann Genz of the XI. Fliegerkorps gave a talk at the corps headquarters and for each of the 3 divisions regarding own and enemy airborne troops and the latter's deployment and way to combat them. For this, Genz was accompanied by the Ic/Lw AOK15 Hauptmann Höfer. In addition to the officers of the three division (161, 156, 282), Oberstleutnant Heinzelmann mit Adjutant and Major Wildfeuer of the Kampfgruppe 348 ID were also ordered to be present.
The seemingly ad hoc nature of troop movement decisions has already been amply demonstrated. One further example occurred when the 94 Infanteriedivision, the first elements of which had arrived barely two weeks earlier (see above) was ordered to the AOK 7 area on 20 March 1943. It had completely left the corps area on 26 March. In its place the 305 Infanteriedivision, another division destroyed at Stalingrad, was now to be raised again in the same area with combat-readiness by 15 April. (order of 21 March). However, as early as 29 March it was reported that the Kampfgruppe 305ID, which was to form the basis of the division, would be able unable to reach its assembly area in Hesdin before 15 April. On the same day the corps was also informed that its 282 and 161 Infanteriedivisionen would probably be sent to the Russian front by 15 April. Replacements for these were said to probably be the 44 and 305 Infanteriedivisionen.
On 21 March 1943 the Generalkommando clarified the code words drohende Gefahr and Vorwarnung for the divisions. The code word drohende Gefahr was created by OBWest to enable him to take up the supreme command of the Western defences (in accordance with Führerweisung 40), to enable him to halt all civilian traffic and to organise train transport for military purposes, and to give all Wehrmacht services the possibility to take preparatory measures for expected further alarm stages. The above also meant that only the OBWest could issue drohende Gefahr.In contrast Vorwarnung could also be issued locally or for certain units or sectors. The code meant that the units involved did not immediately have to go to alarm mode, but was given the possibility to take preparatory measures to do so.
On 22 March 1943 the 94 Infanteriedivision began to be transported out of the corps area. The transport had been completed on 26 March. Also on this day the OB AOK15 inspected the Boulogne area as well as the area to the south until the Canche estuary. Further on this day, an order was issued concerning some training courses. Interesting here are the units and locations mentioned. Thus, the courses for AT and bicycle units were to be held with the 2. Kompanie/Schnelle Abteilung 241 (161 ID) in Bearainville, for engineers with the Pionierbataillon 282 in Bergues, for logistics units with the Kommandeur der Korpsnachschubtruppen in Lillers and for the signals units with the Korpsnachrihctenabteilung 437 in Aire.
On 29-30 March 1943 an inspection trip was held to inspect the deployment of the RAD units in the corps area. The deployment of the RAD units with the 161 Infanteriedivision can be found in the overview below:
The document further details that the four platoons (Züge) of each battalion had received its independent tasks from the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe. Also we are informed that each fourth day, in rotation within the battalions, time was made for training, so that the construction activities were ceased. The document also provides an overview of labour tasks carried out by the RAD:
The document also provides an assessment of their work. The RAD units were assessed as working diligently and expertly. However, lack of experience in dealing with sand required supervision and it was seen as as yet unknown whether the control units of the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe could do this. There was also a shortage of materials to cover and strengthen trenches. Intertestingly, the document also mentions that, since a Tobruk could not be built in dune locations where fire was to be directed downwards, Michelmannständre were to be used for this. Finally, the cooperation between the RAD and the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppen was discussed. Apparently, Major Loos had complained that the tasks for the RAD were partially given in too-short terms and had said he wanted labour plans extending as far as four weeks. On the other hand, several strongpoint commanders had also complained about the fact that the inspectors of the Abschnittsgruppen were giving instructions, for example, for the construction of obstacles and trenches, without having talked to the strongpointcommander first.
On 2 April 1943 the Generalkommando was informed by the AOK 15 would not be replaced by the 44 ID (see above), but rather by the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision which would arrive in the area Bergues-St-Omer-Hazebrouck-Bailleul. On the same day Major Ruemenapp, the Id of the AOK 15 informed the corps that the 161 ID would be replaced by the 191 Reservedivision.
On 3 April 1943 the corps received a telex from the AOK 15 informing it that the 191 Reservedivision would arrive from the area of the LXXXI Armeekorps on 10 April. Also on this day, it was decided that, in order to bolster the artillery strength of the 191 Reservedivision, it would receive the schwere Artillerieabteilung (mot) 460 (which would now not be subordinated to the 156 Reservedivision), as well as a light artillery battalion of the 305 ID. Further on this day, the corps issued a Vorbefehl for the relief of the 161 Infanteriedivision by the 191 Reservedivision, which was to be completed on 15 April and ordered that the 161 Infanteriedivision, after having been relieved, was to assemble in the area Rimeux-Montreuil-Abbeville-Hesdin. Finally on this day, AOK 15 sent a telex informing the corps that the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision would arrive from 8 April onwards.
On 4 April 1943 the first elements of the newly-established 305 Infanteriedivision (more specifically the Grenadierregimenter 870 and 880) arrived. Also on this day, the Generalkommando issued its Vorbefehl for the relieving of the 282 Infanteriedivision by the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision.. The relief operation would presumably start on 8 April. The 281 and 161 Infanteriedivision were to be ready to be transported on 15 April. Also on this day, it was decided that the current taktische Armeereserve, Grenadierregiment 850 of the 282 ID, would be transferred to its new area Estaires-Merville-Bethune-Lillers already on 6 April. The Kraftfahrzeugstaffel Drossel would then later be transported to the area as well. Finally on this day, it was decided that the 282 Infanteriedivision, after having been relieved, was to be moved to the area Hondschoote-Bergues-Bourbourg-Ville-St-Omer-Cassel-Steenvoorde.
On 5 April 1943 orders were given for the Sicherungsbataillon for the Armeehauptquartier, which had been provided by the 282 Infanteriedivision, to be replaced by a batallion of the 305 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day, it was decided that, in addition to the normal corps headquarters at Aire, a secondary headquarters (Ausweichgefechtsstand) would be established in Hallines, 7km southwast of St-Omer, more specifically at the Schloss Paul Dambricourt.
On 6 April 1943 the Generalkommando issued its order for the relief of the 161 ID by the 191 RD in the KVA D. The relief operation was to start on 8 April and to be completed on 12 April. The 191 Reservedivision was to take over the KVA D as follows: Unterabschnitt Nord with the Reservegrenadierregiment 31 in Neufchatel, Unterabschnitt Mitte with the Kampfgruppe Finster in St-Josse and the Unterabschnitt Süd with the Reservegrenadierregiment 267 in Conchil-le-Temple. The divisional headquarters were in Montreuil. The artillery of the division was of special importance. Being a reserve division, it was not fully equipped with artillery and had to be reinforced with other units. Thus, the Artillerie-Abteilung I/21 (divisional artillery) was to be deployed with both batteries. In addition, extra artillery would be added. Thus, the schwere Artillerieabteilung 460, currently statically positioned in the area of the 156 Reservedivision would be added. Furthermore, the I/AR 305 would be added. In addition, a further light artillery battalion would be requested with the AOK15. Finally, the 191 RD would be tasked with setting up an regimental artillery headquarters, to be located in Montreuil. The document also provides an overview of other artillery units present in the KVA D at the time:
On 6-7 April 1943 an inspection trip was held to inspect the deployment of the RAD units with the 282 Infanteriedivision, which can be found in the overview below:
The document contains much further information on the RAD in the KVA B, even complaints, as we shall see below. In the old divisional sector the Abteilungen had received their tasks for the Festungspionierabschnittsgruppe III/12, but the newly-gained sector was under the command of the Gruppe II/27. The latter had only sent a Feldwebel to the RAD, who was far from informed. The RAD had had to turn to the Stellungsbauoffizier of the local regiment to receive its tasks in this sector. The tasks given to the RAD were listed as follows: construction of AT-ditches, removal and re-use of grass streches, construction of obstacles, trenches and barbed wire lines and the construction of field bunkers for various purposes. More controversial was the task the RAD had been given of clearing fields of fire for permanent bunkers in the Verteidigungsbereich Dünkirchen. This was said not to be in accordance with instructiions, which allocated this work to the OT. Also field constructions in a number of strongpoints where the OT was working could only be built after the OT had finished its work. The LXXXII AK thus requested the RAD to send units from the VB Dünkirchen to the sector Malo-les-Bains - French-Belgian border to build field constructions. A further problem was bunker construction in the streongpoints Leo and Luise. Since too much time would be lost in tasking the RAD-Abteilung in Loon-Plage, it was suggested to use the RAD-Abteilung in Oye-Plage, even though the two strongpoints mentioned were in the sector of Gruppe III/12.
In this month two of the corps' three infantry divisions guarding the coast were thus replaced. Firstly, the 161 Infanteriedivision in KVA D was to be relieved by the 191 Reservedivision. Naturally, the 191 Reservedivision, due to its reserve nature was not at full strength. Thus, the schwere Artillerieabteilung (mot) 460 together with a the regimental staff and two light artillery batallions of the 305 Infanteriedivision were temporarily allocated to the division. Secondly, the 282 Infanteriedivision (formerly 182 Infanteriedivision).in KVA B was replaced by the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision. This constituted yet another new development. Answering the call for more troops to be made available, Göring had ordered the formation of Luftwaffenfelddivisionen from redundant Luftwaffe soldiers. Initially, these units remained under the command of the Luftwaffe and were only tactically subordinated to the corps. In both cases the relief movements started on 8 April 1943.
On 9 April 1943 the commander of the 305 Infanteriedivision had taken official command. Also on this day, it was reported that the Stab AR 305 and a light artillery battalion of the AR 305 would be tactically subordinated to the 191 Reservedivision.
On 11 April 1943 the corps command wrote that the troops required to man the Panzerwerke (i.e. bunkers with armoured plating) meant that fewer troops were available for mobile defence and counterattack in the event of a landing. Also, the infantry soldiers were though to be less suited to man the Panzerwerke. Consequently, the corps command asked its divisions whether they wanted the bunkers to be manned by static fortress troops and, if so, how many and for which bunker(s). Also on this day, the corps was informed by the AOK 15 that General der Artillerie Stemmermann was to inspect the defensive readiness of the three coastal defence division from 20 April onwards.
On 13 April 1943 the 18 Luftwaffenfeldivision and the 191 Reservedivision officially assumed command of KVA B and D, respectively. The 156 Reservedivision remained in KVA C. Two of the three divisions of the corps were thus understrength reserve divisions, while the remaining division was actually a Luftwaffe unit. Also on this day orders were issued by the corps for the cooperation between the Kommander des Festungspionierstabes and the Stopi or divisional staff officer for engineer matters. Since the former was responsible for the construction of permanent bunkers and the latter for that of field fortifications and since these two were often interrelated, orders for the cooperation between these two were necessary. These orders were formulated as follows:
On 16 April 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the combat readiness of the Reservepionierbataillon 4 of the 191 Reservedivision.Of the 4 original Ausbildungskompanien the battalion had lost one to the 171 Reservedivision and 1 to the 156 Reservedivision. Of the remaining 2 companies, many soldiers were ill as a result of a diptheria epidemic. To make matters worse, on 14 April the battalion had receive an order to shed another 250 soldiers, this time for the LXVII Reservekorps, even though training was still in progress. In the event that these troops were also to be lost, no combat ready engineers for the 191 Reservedivision would remain! The corps thus requested the AOK15 to delay the ordered shedding of troops until new recruits had arrived and had been fully trained.
On 19 April 1943 the corps chief engineer officer (Stopi) issued an order for the divisions to report on the progress of construction efforts in the form of strongpoint maps. Also on this day the 282 Infantetiedivision and the 161 Infanteriedivision had left the corps area.
On 20 April 1943 the corps passed on AOK15 orders with respect to the continuity of the construction of permanent fortifications. The corps had noticed that, owing to the frequent changing of divisions in the coastal sectors was having a detrimental effect on the continuity of construction. In short the corps would now be responsible for this continuity and the corps would also give all permissions required, specifically in the Verteidigungsbereiche and Schwerpunkte. In the less important sectors the divisions could still be left in charge. Even for naval and air force bunkers the corps would decide their inclusion in the order of priority. Newly-arriving divisions were also to be fully informed by the corps, so that they would be able to join the construction effort immediately. The corps added to these orders that only bunkers included in official bunker programmes could be built and that no changes were possible with the express consent of the corps.Finally on this day, the AOK15 commander inspected the sector of the 191 Reservedivision.
On 23 April 1943 the corps realised that the number of soldiers required to operate the many bunkers built, under construction or planned in its area would far exceed the available manpower. Thus, it suggested to AOK15 the establishment of bodenständige Festungstruppen (stationary fortress troops) to man the bunkers. More specifically, it requested 2 Festungsgrenadierkompanien for KVA B, 1 for KVA C and 2 for KVA D, with one batallion of such troops required in each KVA after the further construction of bunkers.
On 25 April 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the status of the newly-established 384 and 305 Infanteriedivisionen.
On 26 April 1943 the corps issued an order concerning the setting-up, mobility and deployment of Flakkampftrupps. Thus, it was ordered that each heavy and each light Flak battery were to build a Flakkampftrupp. The schwere Flakkampftrupp was to consist of 1 heavy (88mm) and 1 light (20mm) Flak gun, as well as 1-2 MG, while a leichte Flakkampftrupp had 2 light guns instead. In addition all batteries were also to foresee heavy and light guns for mobile ground action (AT). The document also contains an interesting list of all Flakkampftrupps deployed in the KVA B, C and D1, and consequently, a list of Flak units in these areas. The list is processed in the document below:
On 30 April 1943 Oberstleutnant Heinzelmann, until then in the Aufstellungsstab 384ID, was appointed as corps officer in charge of of the deployment of Kampf- and Strassenkommandanten. Also on this day, the LXXXII Armeekorps had the following detailed composition:
The Google Earth animation below shows the location of all units mentioned above and belonging to the LXXXII Armeekorps:
Between 1 May 1942 and 30 April 1943 the following units had joined or left the corps:
On 2 May 1943 the Chef des Generalstabes of the IX. Fliegerkorps visited the corps headquarters and discussed the use of flying forces of the corps.
On 5 May 1943 a meeting was held at corps headquarters to discuss coastal fortification - especially field constructions (feldmässiger Ausbau). Also on this day, the corps received the AOK15 order of 4 May on the planned deployment of a static fortress troop organisation (Festungsstammorganisation). Even though official approval was still outstanding, the preparations were to be started. Finally on this day, the corps commander visited the areas of the 18 LwFd and the 156 RD.
On 6 May 1943 the corps received the grundlegender Bermerkung OBWest Nr 25 on the processing of exercise experiences during air assault exercises.Also on this day, the AOK15 communicated that Reichsminister Speer would inspect OT-units in the corps area on 9-10 May. Finally on this day, the commander of the AOK15 inspected the area of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision.
On 7 May 1943 General der Artillerie Stemmerman, who on the orders of the AOK15 was to inspect the coastal defences, arrived at corps headquarters and would start his inpections in the divisional sectors in the coming days.
On 10 May 1943 the corps ordered that 1 engineer company of each division engaged in coastal defence was to be made corps reserve.
On 11 May 1943 the corps informed the AOK15 that it had learnt from the 156RD that the Hafenwachkompanie Calais (5 NCOs, 127 other ranks) would be withdrawn and that further navy units were to follow. As a result, the navy was no longer in a position to man all the strongpoints, a duty that the Heer would have to take over. The 156 Reservedivision had been able to delay the pulling out of the naval troops from these strongpoints until 16 May, but made it abundantly clear that it was not in a position to take over further strongpoints, especially considering that the division had already taken over 3 strongpoints of the Nordriegel Boulogne. The corps then requested the AOK15 to stop this withdrawal altogether, until replacements were available.
On 12 May 1943 the corps relaunched the above request, as it had learned that the number of navy troops for withdrawal was constantly being increased. Also on this day, the Chef der Infanterieabteilung at the Algemeines Heeresamt, Oberst von Stolzmann, inspected the KVA, especially focussing in infantry bunkers under construction.
On 13 May 1943 the AOK15 had received an answer from the Navy concerning the news and request above. The Hafenschutzkompanie would be withdrawn in 1 June, but replacement by naval units of the Marinegruppe had been requested. This message was also passed on to the 156RD.
On 14 May 1943 the corps commander requested the AOK15 for a decision in a disagreement between himself and the Oberbauleitung Audinghen. Apparently, the latter had voiced technical objections against certain tactical requirements of the corps commander. The corps commander asked the AOK15 to decide that his tactical considerations would trump the OT's technical considerations. Further on this day the corps issued an order. Since, in the event of major combat, it might be necessary to withdraw units from non-attacked parts of the coast, the division of the corps were already to prepare for the extraction of batallions or even regiments. Finally on this day, the corps received a telex from the AOK15 that it was to be taken into account that the 156 Reservedivision would be relieved by the 384 Infanteriedivion by 15 June and the 191 Reservedivision by the 389 Infanteriedivision by 1 July.
On 19 May 1943 the corps informed the AOK15 on the composition of the Vorausabteilungen of the Armeereserven (384 und 305 Infanteriedivisionen). Also on this day, the Armeechef told the corps Ia that 5 static heavy 88mm Pak 43/41 (f) were available and asked him if the corps wanted them. The corps Ia requested allocation to the 191 Reservedivision.
On 21 May 1943 the corps commander attented a Luftlandeübung in the Amiens area. Also on this day, the corps received an AOK15 order of 20 May givng General der Artillerie Stemmermann the mission to oversee the training of the reconstituted divisions of the 6. Armee (in the corps area the 305 and 384 Infanteriedivisionen). These divisions were subordinated to him for training purposes. Finally on this day, the corps ordered that, in coordination with the Flak headquarters of the 16. Flakdivision, 150 Panzervernichtungstrupps were to be trained within the corps area.
On 25 May 1943 the commander of the AOK15 was in the area of the 156 Reservedivision, visiting amongst others the Verteidigungsbereich Calais. Also on this day the AOK15 issued an order, thus reacting to the questions and suggestions in the Denkschrift über die Verteidigungsbereitschaft des Korpsabschnitts drafted by general Stermmerman. Thus, the AOK15 ordered the reconnoitring and planning in time of Sperrabschnitten.
On 26 May 1943 the corps commander wrote to the AOK15 reacting to the Denkschift by general Stemmermann (see above), emphasizing the following points:
On 27 May 1943 the corps commander inspected the strongpoints Hardelot, Golfers and Obelisk (191 RD). Also on this day, the AOK15 communicated that the troops of the Flottillenstammabteilungen could only be counted on in a very limited way as far as land combat was concerned. However, in return, a reinforcing of the Hafenwachkompanien was envisaged: in Dunkirk to 550, in Calais to 450 and in Boulogne to 550 men.
On 28 May 1943 the corps commander held talks with the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais, Konteradmiral Frisius. Also on this day, the Festungspionierstab 27 submitted a message about the inspection of coastal positions in the corps area by Oberst von Holzmann (Chef In 2) Holzmann was surprised to find the permanent fortification to have made such progress, but declared the progress of field fortifications to be insufficient. Finally on this day, the corps received Kampfanweisung Nr 5 of the IX Fliegerkorps about support to the land army in the context of coastal defences.
On 30 May 1943 the corps ordered a check of whether the promised increases in the strengths of the Hafenwachkompanien as replacement for the withdrawn Flottillenstammabteilungen were sufficient.
On 31 May 1943 the corps issued an order on the setting-up and organisation of the Festungsstammabteilungen in the corps area. The personnel for these unitt was to be aged 38 or older and the officers unfit for Osteinsatz. The commander would be known as the Kommandeur der Festungsstammtruppe. Subordinated to the latter would be Festungsstammabteilungen with a maximum of 8 companies for each Abteilung. Each company was to have a strength of between 200 and 350 men. Also subordinated to the Kommandeur would be a Festungsstammreservekompanie, consisting of 200-300 men, and containing the personnel reserves, as well as the necessary wirtschaftliche und waffentechnische Personal. The combat task of the Festungsstammtruppe was the operating of the static weapons and the care and maintenance of these. On no account where the units to be deployed or use as a unit. For the 156 Reservedivision the AOK15 had requested a strength of 8 officers, 377 NCOs and 2086 other ranks.The deployment of the units was envisaged/planned in the following order of priority:
On 1 June 1943 the loss of units of the 305 Infanteriedivision was ordered. The units would be used to build the 334 Infanteriedivision for the AOK1. Also on this day, the corps reported the conclusion of the preparatory actions for the deployment of Kampf- und Strassenkommandanten.
On 2 June 1943 the corps commander inspected strongpoints in Dunkirk. Also on this day the Admiral Kanalküste was at the corps HQ. Finally on this day, a document was produced with conclusion drawn from an airlanding exercise on 21 May.
On 3 June 1943 the 156 and 191 Reservedivisionen reported that they would have difficulties performing their missions as a result of the loss of troops for the divisions of the 6. Armee. The corps passed on these concerns, with its own comments, to the AOK15. Further on this day, the corps ordered the reconnoitring of Sperrabschnitten and the planning in time of defensive measures in these.
On 4 June 1943 the corps was informed that the division being created with the current name 80 Infanteriedivision would be renamed 334 Infanteriedivision (neu), thus keepung in line with the tradition of the 334 Infanteriedivision.
On 5 June 1943 three events occurred. Firstly, the 384 Infanteriedivivision reported that, so far, 1 Regimentsstab, 2 Bataillonen and 1 Batterie were operational. Secondly, the corps received the AOK15 order ordering the losing of units of the 305 and 348 Infanteriedivisionen for the 334 Infanteriedivision. Finally, an order was received from the OKW that the 384 Infanteriedivision was to be transported to relieve the 76 Infanteriedivision. The corps also issued the order for this on this day.
On 7 June 1943 the corps ordered the taking of contact with the commands of the Militärbefehlshaber responsible for the fortification of the deployment locations of the Kampfkommandanten. The corps commander spent this day with the AOK15 commander at the headquarters of the 384 Infanteriedivision and visiting strongpoints in Boulogne. On this day, the corps also received the AOK15 order that the 65 Infanteriedivision was to relieve the 384 Infanteriedivision. The first units onf this division were to arrive on 18 June. The corps allso issued its own order in this respect on this day. The division came from the area of the LXXXIX AK and was to be accommodated in the area Bailleul-Wormhout-Watten-Lumbres-Lillers, with headquarters in Blendecques. Tactically the division would be Armeereserve. For training purposes, it would be subordinated to the General zbV beim AOK15; in all other aspects to the corps. The division was to be ready to transfer to the Russian front on 20 July.
On 8 June 1943 the corps (Artilleriekommandeur) ordered the taking over of the duties of the HQ Mitte/Artillerieregiment 26 by the II/AR712 on 15 June. Also on this dat, the IV Luftwaffenfeldkorps communicated that the Aifklärungskompanie of the corps would be put at the disposal of the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision.
On 9 June 1943 the AOK15 ordered Alarmstufe I on the basis of agent reports on imminent enemy attacks.
On 10 June 1943 the corps informed the 348 Infanteriedivisiion that on 13 June the deputy of the commander of the 65 Infanteriedivision, the commander of the GR 146 Oberst Strahammer would arrive. Until the arrival of the division commander Strahammer would assume command of the units of the 348ID not yet transported as well as the arriving units of the 65 ID. Further on this day, the corps commander with the AOK15 commander visited strongpoints in the northern sector of the 191 Reservedivision. Finally on this day, the AOK15 communicated that the 389 Infanteriedivision would NOT arrive to relieve a reserve division in coastal defence. Rather the 156 Reservedivision and the 191 Reservedivision would each be relieved by a newly-formed static division, the former on 15 July and the latter on 1 August. The corps issued its own order in this respect. As a result of this delay, the planned creation of the 264 Infanteriedivision from units of the 2 reserve divisions was put on hold until the latter had been relieved. Also mentioned in the corps order was that both the 65 and the 305 Infanteriedivision were to be prepare for mobile warfare by all means.
On 11 June 1943 the Aufklärungskompanie of the IV Luftwaffenfeldkorps arrived with the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision and was deployed in strongpoints. Also, in the period 12-30 June the corps would detach 20 members of its Feldgendarmerietrupp 437 to the 191 Reservedivision to man some strongpoints.
On 12 June 1943 the corps supported the request of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision to the IV Luftwaffenfeldkorps to complete the personnel strengths of the Luftwaffenjägerregimenter, which still had 15% missing. Also, on the basis of agent reports, AOK15 again ordered Alarmstufe I.
On 13 June 1943 the corps complained to the AOK15 that its defensive stength as the coast was being weakenend by the departure of navy forces in the ports; air forces on the airfield of Etaples and troops of the OT.
Alarmstufe I was again ordered for the night of 15-16 June 1943.
On 16 June 1943 the first units of the 348 Infanteriedivision began to leave, while the first units of the 65 Infanteriedivision arrived.
On 18 June 1943 the corps commander reported problems and deficiencies noted during his inspection visits and ordered their resolution.
On 19 June 1943 the corps, on the orders of the AOK15, ordered the reconnoitring of Schein- and Riegelstellungen away from the coastline. A later field fortification of these positions was envisaged. Also the corps reported on a message from the Luftgaukommando Belgien-Nordfrankreich stating that several Flugplätze in the corps sector were to be closed. This would mean that these Luftwaffe forces could no longer be counted on for coastal defence.The airfield that would be rendered unusable were:
The airfield would be rendered unusable by the digging of trenches (1m wide and 80cm-1m deep). In contrast the Fliegerhorste Calais-Marck and St-Omer Wizernes were to stay operational. At these airfield, however, the Fliegerhorstkommandanturen would be replaced by Flugplatzkommandos consisting each of some 50 troops and 30 civilians.
On 20 June 1943 the Kommandeur der 65 Infanteriedivision officially assumed command
On 21 June 1943 the AOK15 commander was inspecting the sector of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision.
On 22 June 1943 the corps ordered the Standortkommandantur in Aire to start preparations for the suspension of civilian traffic in Aire in case of combat.
On 23 June 1943 the corps ordered the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision to reduce in size strongpoints for which the available forces did not reach out. Also on this day the Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine visited the corps sector. Finally on this day, the last units of the 65 Infanteriedivision entered the corps area, while the 348 Infanteriedivision had completely arrived.
On 24 June 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the creation of the Vorausabteilung of the 65 Infanteriedivision.
On 26 June 1943 the AOK communicated that the freed up accommodation as a result of the closure of several airfields could be used by the army after approval of the relevant Flughafenbereich. Further on this day the Oberbauleiting Audinghen communicated that a large number of the foreign labourers was to be moved to Germany for reconstruction work there. The OT had requested troops to guard these labourers. The corps, therefore, asked the AOK15 whether this request was to be met or not.
On 28 June 1943 the first parts of the allocated Festungsstammmanschaften had arrived with the 156 Reservedivision.
On 1 July 1943 the issue of the Oberbauleitung Audinghen cropped up a second tipme, though in a slightly different form. The corps had learned that from the ca. 15.000 foreign labourers, some 5.000 were to be sent to the Ruhr in Germany. As if this was not enough, it was also feared that, faced with this prospect, some 1.000 labourers would simply 'disappear'. To make matters even worse, the Oberbauleiter, part of his staff and a large number of construction forms would also leave. The corps pointed out that this would have desastrous effects on the fortification work and thus also the defensive strength in the corps sector. The corps said it was unacceptable that a non-military organisation and headquarters was allowed to make such a decision and recommended that such decisions would only be made by the military. Also on this day, the corps issued a new order for the creation, mobility and deployment of Flakkampftrupps. The order was a reworked order of that of 26 April, ordering a new organisation. Thus, the Flakkampftrupps would now consist of 2 Geschützen 88mm Flak and 3 Geschützen 20mm Flak. The deployment of the units was now ordered as follows:
On 3 July 1943 the AOK15 commander visited units of the 305 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day, the Ia AOK15 informed the corps that the releiveing of the 156 and 191 Reservedivisionen would be postponed. Also on this day the corps, following an AOK15 order of the previous day, ordered a renewed assessment of defensive capabilities and defensive measures.
On 4 July 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the Divisionskampfschulen and the combat value of the Luftwaffenfelddivision.
On 6 July 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on mobile divisional and corps reserves. Also on this day, a meeting took place with the Armeepionierführer concerning floodings by using or destroying locks.
On 8 July 1943 the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision requested the urgent allocation of a least some parts of the Festungsstammorganisation planned for Dunkirk, since it was unable, due to troop shortages, to man several permanent bunkers in the Verteidigungsbereich Dünkirchen.
On 11 July 1943 the corps informed the divisions on a message from OBWest that RAD units, due to their mere basis training, could not be used to man medium and heavy weapons. Taking into account these limitations the RAD men could be deployed in the KVAs.
On 12 July 1943 the AOK15 sent a telex to the corps ordering that the 2/Panzerjägerabteilung 305 was to transfer to the 21 Panzerdivision as a Geräte- und Personaleinheit. The company would not be re-established.
On 13 July 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 that the Festungsstammpersonal reserved for the sector of the 156 Reservedivision had arrived, with the exception of a transport of 300 men. The division of this force into companies had not yet taken place as no officers were as yet available. Provisionally, the division had divided the troops into 2 Festungssatmmabteilungen and had already partly deployed the soldiers in strongpoints and partly trained them to operate the static weapons.
On 14 July 1943 the 65 Infanteriedivision was ordered to reconnoitre the high area between Boursin and Longueville as well as the Höhe 152 (1500m south of Bouquehaut). These heights were considered to be important for observation and control of the rear of the coastal combat zone. Also on this day, the supervision of training the 305 and 65 Infanteriedivisionen passed from the General zbV beim AOK15 to the commander of the LXXXII Armeekorps. The reason for this was that the general had become the temporary commander of the LXXXI Armeekorps.
On 15 July 1943 the corps ordered the relieving of the Wachkompanie with the corps headquarters. The 2/GR 576 of the 305 Infanteriedivision was to be relieved on 20 July by a company of the 65 ID.
On 16 July 1943 the corps ordered the division, on the basis of an AOK15 order, to again check defences of headquarters. This order was given following the destruction of the headquarters of the 6.Italian army in Sicily.
On 17 July 1943 the LXXXII Armeekorps received a new commander. Generalleutnant Sinnhuber too command of the corps, thus relieving General der Infanterie Dehner; who was transferred to the Führerreserve. Also on this day, the 300 men Festungsstammtruppen that were still missing arrived in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision. With this contingent the following numbers had arrived; 120 NCOs and 1319 other ranks. Further on this day, the corps reported that the 'construction' of the 65 Infanteriedivision for use at the Russian front was not completed.
On 19 July 1943 the corps commander visited the central sector of the 191 Reservedivision, especially the strongpoints Atlantik, Cecile, Gabriel as well as artillery positions. Also on this day, the AOK15 informed the corps that the vehicles freed up by the loss of 2/Panzerjägerabteilung 305 would remain available to the division.
On 20 July 1943 the AOK15 informed the corps that OBWest had agreed to the request of the corps for the allocation of fortress troops for the Verteidigungsbereich Dünkirchen. Two companies would be established and 500 troops were to be expected. Further troops would not be available for the time being.
On 20-21 July 1943 the corps sector was inspected by Oberst iG Cullmann, Ia/T with OBWest.
On 23 July 1943 the corps commander inspected the left and right sector of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision and the sector and port area of Dunkirk. Meanwhile the AOK15 commander inspected the middle sector and rear battery positions of the 191 Reservedivision. Also on this day, the corps was informed about an impending order for the creation of a Wehrmachtstab, 1 each for the corps and the army. The corps was also requested to communicate its wishes concerning the composition of the Wehrmachtstäbe.
On 24 July 1943 received a telex from the AOK15 concerning the transfer of the 305 Infanteriedivision to Italy. The division was to be transported immediately following the 26 Panzerdivision and the 1 Fallschirmjägerdivision. The corps gave the order for the transport on this day.
On 25 July 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the combat value of the divisions. Also, in acting on an order of 16 July on Feldersatzbataillone the corps reported the planned strength of these for the 305 and the 65 Infanteriedivisionen.
On 26 July 1943 there were quite a few events. Firstly, the corps commander was inspecting the KVA D (191 Reservedivision). Secondly, the corps issued an order for the departure of the 305 Infanteriedivision. The corps had been informed by the AOK15 that the departure of the 305 Infanteriedivision would commence at noon on 27 July. For the loading the corps requested the 16 Flakdivision for protection of the railways stations used for loading. Thirdly, the Ia AOK15 phoned with the message that the schwere Artillerieabteilung 461 (mot) would depart the area. In addition, the corps was informed of the plan to extract 3 railway batteries
On 27 July 1943 the 305 Infanteriedivision began leaving the corps area.
On 28 July 1943 the corps commander inspected the port of Boulogne. Also on this day, the AOK15 ordered the additional reconnoitring of Riegelstellungen.
On 30 July 1943 both the corps and army commanders were present at a Planspiel of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision. Further on this day, the corps ordered the setting up of an Alarmflakbediening by the troops of the DVA of the 191 Reservedivision and requested the allocation of 2 light Flak guns. The corps did this because it was informed that, while on the one hand the Luftwaffe could not provide Flak forces for the division, the Flak guns themselves were available. Finally on this day, the AOK15 called to say that the 65 Infanteriedivision would depart on 1 August.
On 31 July 1943 the corps received a telex concerning the above departure of the 65 Infanteriedvision and the relieving of the artillery of the division deployed in the KVA D. The corps issued orders in this respect.
On 1 August 1943 the last part of the 305 Infanteriedivision had departed, while the departure of the 65 Infanteriedivision had commenced. The corps ordered the relieving of the Wachkompanie 65 Infanteriedivision by a platoon of the Aufklärungsschadron 1056 of the 156 Reservedivision.
On 2 August 1943 the corps commander was in the sector of the Reservegrenadierregiment 26 of the 156 Reservedivision. Also on this day, the corps ordered the motorized platoon of the Pakstaffel to transfer from Herzeele to Aire. Further on this day, a telex from the AOK15 announced the transfer of the 264 Infanteriedivision in the former area of the 65 Infanteriedivision. Finally on this day, the Kommandeur der Festungsstammtruppen was attached to the corps.
On 3 August 1943 the last units of the 65 Infanteriedivision had left the area. Also on this day, the corps issued its first order with regard to the arrival of the 264 Infanteriedivision, followed by a second order on 5 August. The Unterbringungsraum for the division was the area Wormhoudt-Norausques-Lumbres-Lillers-Bailleul. The Divisionsstabsquartier would be in Blendecques.
On 7 August 1943 the first units of the 264 Infanteriedivision arrived. After settling the subordinations of the division (corps for training and territorial; AOK15 tactically), the corps ordered the division to arrange its Abwehrbereitschaft and Fallschrimjäger- und Luftlandebekämpfung.
On 8 August 1943 the corps commander inspected the corps area .
On 9 August 1943 the AOK15 commander was with the corps.
On 10 August 1943 the corps issued its order for the creating of minefield guides (Minenlotsen). This in order to avoid accidents when taking reserve forces through the minefields.
On 12 August 1943 the AOK15 commander was in the sector of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision. The most important strongpoints, inluding the Verteidigungsbereich Dünkirchen were visited.
On 14 August 1943 the coastal divisions were ordered to prepare the extraction of 1 reinforced batallion or regiment from the coast. Further, all units of the 264 Infanteriedivision had arrived. Further, on the basis of the enemy situation the corps commander issues guidelines for combat. He also spent time with the 191 Reservedivision and the 264 Infanteriedivision.
On 15 August 1943 a telex was received from the AOK15 stating that the 376 Infanteriedivision would arrive in the area, more precisely in the current area of the 264 Infanteriedivision. Instead of the 376 Infanteriedivision the 264 Infanteriedivision would be transferred to Holland. The corps issued an order in this respect. Upon arrival the 376 Infanteriedivision was to become Korpsreserve. Finally on this day, the corps received the OKH order for the creation of the third regiment in the 264 Infanteriedivision.
On 16 August 1943 the corps received a telex stating that the transport movements of the 264 and 376 Infanteriedivisionen were delayed for reasons of transport. Alsoon this day the corps ordered the preparing of corps reserves. The divisions were to make the units mentioned below ready to act as reserve. Important, though, is that a distinction was made between fully-mobile units, semi-mobile units and stationary units. An overview of the units involved has been processed in the document below:
On 18 August 1943 the corps, on the basis of an AOK15 order and as reports on enemy landing preparations in the Channel area persisted, ordered Alarmstufe I for all reserve and rear headquarters between 4 and 6am and until further notice. For parts of the troops deployed at the front erhöhte Gefechtsbereitschaft might be desirable in this critical period.
On 21 August 1943 the 264 Infanteriedivision reported on the status of the Neuaufstellung of the division. Also on this day the corps commander was with the 191 Reservedivisioni.
On 22 August 1943 the corps commander was with the 156 Reservedivision in the Ambleteuse sector. Also the corps ordered a new assessment and updating of the measures ordered on 26 February for Fall A (extraction of a complete division) or Fall B (extraction of a reinforced regiment). In the Fall A case it was envisaged to pull out the 156 Reservedivision from the KVA C, in which case this sector (that is to say the northern and middle sector) would be taken over by the Luftwaffenjägerregiment 36 (complemented by other forces present in the KVA C) and the KVA B would become the responsibility of the Luftwaffenjägerregiment 35 complemented by all soldiers in the Kampflisten). The 191 Reservedivision would send the RGR 31, which itself would be replaced in the KVA D1 by Ausbildungskompanien of the Kampfgruppe Mitte, Alarmeinheiten and soldiers in Kampflisten. At the same time the Reservegreandierregiment 267 was to extend its sector to the right and was to relieve the RGB 497 of the Kampfgruppe Mitte with forces of the RGB 487 and the Ausbildungskompanie; The thus freed up RGB 497 was then to be deployed in the initially occupied only by Ausbildungskompanien of the Kampgruppe Mitte - former sector of the GR 31- in the new right battalion sector of the Kampgruppe Mitte. In terms of artillery, the divisonal artillery was to depart with the division and the remaining 10 Gerätebatterien and Stellungsbatterien were to be spread across the sectors of the other 2 divisions.
On 24 August 1943 the AOK15 commander was with the division commander in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision. Several strongpoints, the port of Calais and the Cap Griz Nez were inspected. The AOK15 was displeased with the position of the Landeabwehrgeschütze at the Stp Pinguin. The corps commander was with the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision for a meeting concerning the terrain (Geländebesprechung).
On 25 August 1943 a AOK15 telex reached the corps headquarters concerning the arrival of the 25 Panzerdivision, which would be Heeresgruppenreserve. The corps issued its order in this respect. The division would be accommodated in the area St Pol-Anwin-Fruges-Campagne-Canchy-Vignacourt-Pas, with headquarters in Hesdin. Any units of the 9 SS-Panzergrenadierdivision still billeted in the area would have to vacate the area north of the Somme. The armoured division would tactically be Heeresgruppenreserve, though for training purposes wa subordinated to the General der Panzertruppen West. In all other respects the division would be subordinated to the LXXXII Armeekorps.
On 27 August 1943 the corps learned from a telex from the AOK15 that the Heeresflakabteilung 284 of the 25. Panzerdivision would arrive in St Pol in the night 27/28 August, for which the corps issued an order. The unit was air-tactically subordinated to the 16 Flakdivision (Flakregiment 132) and to the corps in all other aspects until the arrival of the 25 Panzerdivision. The flak unit was to protect the unloading of the division. The unit consisted of 2 heavy and 1 light batteries. It was to be supplied by the AVL Doullens and would be connected to the Fluko-Abteilung in St Pol
On 28 August 1943 the corps ordered the deployment of engineer company of the 264 Infanteriedivision each in the KVA C and KVA D. Also on this day, the corps commander issued an order that if a strongpoint was not being attacked, it was ordered to help its neighbour under attack. This clarification was necessary since an earlier order had forbidden the troops in a strongpoint from retreating ro the rear or sideways. Moving sideways to help a neighbour was considered attacking and not not retreating.
On 29 August 1943 the last units of the 264 Infanteriedivision had arrived.
On 30 August 1943 the corps commander reported to the AOK15 on the combat readiness of the 264 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day the corps commander was in the sector of the 36 Luftwaffenjägerregiment.
On 31 August 1943 the corps issued guidelines for the organisation and fortification in its sectors. The bunkers were to become more numerous, with a higher density, so that it would be impossible for the enemy to slip through between two strongpoints. Also, field fortification was to be intensified. After splittersichere bunkers had been constructed the main emphasis was now to be on the combat positions and combat weapons in the defence.
On 1 September 1943 the 25 Panzerdivision was subordinated to the AOK15 logistically and as far the building-up of the division was concerned. Also on this day, the corps received a telex from the AOK15 that the Heeresflakabteilung 284 of the 25 Panzerdivision was to be transferred to and deployed in the St-Omer area, where it would tactically be subordinatred to the Stab Flakregiment 431. A quick relief was planned.
On 3 September 1943 the corps received the Grundlegender Befehl OBWest ordering the mobility of reserves.
On 4 September 1943 the corps learned from the AOK15 that the 191 Reservedivision was to be relieved by the 264 Infanteriedivision in the KVA D at the start of October. Also on this day the AOK15 ordered that the most important commanders live in the headquarters bunkers or air-raid shelters to avoid unnecessary losses in case of surprise air attacks. The corps also issued an order in this respect.
On 5 September 1943 the Generalüberprüfungsausschuss (the committee that was to assess the coastal defences) met for the first time in Dunkirk.
On 6 September 1943 the corps commander attended a joint firing exercise with the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision, while the AOK15 commander was in the sector of the 191 Reservedivision.
On 7 September 1943 the corps commander attended a joint firing exercise in the sector of the reserve divisions. Also on this day, and in response to an AOK15 order received on 3 September concerning the mobility of heavy Pak and artillery, the corps added its own comments: mobility was to be provided first for the heavy Pak of the division, followed by the überplanmässigen Pak and finally the bodenständigen Pak.
On 8 September 1943 the corps ordered Alarmstufe I; The reason for this was strong shiping concenrration and movements, combined with minesweeping activity and the constantly increasing number of bombing attacks, now also on coastal batteries, and the agent reports, all pointing to an imminent attack.Also on this day the corps commander issued the Vorbefehl for the relieving of the 191 Reservedivision by the 264 Infanteriedivision.
On 9 September 1943 Boulogne and the Le Portel area were heavily hit by bombing attacks, with +1200 bombs being dropped, causing heavy casualties among the civilian population. Also on this the divisions received questionnairs which they were to use to give an asessment of the defensive strength of their sector.Finally, in exchange for new recruits of the birth year 1925 troops suitable for the Russian front were to be lost and organised into marching batallions. The corps was form the Marschbataillon II.
On 10 September 1943 the AOK15 commander was in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision to see the damage of the bombing attacks, especially in Boulogne.
On 11 September 1943 the corps issued an order to take the necessary preparatory measures in case the corps was to be pulled out of the line and replaced by a reserve corps. At the same time, in a communication with the AOK15, the corps mentioned the units that would leave or remain in such a case. The document is interesting in that it shows us the composition of the corps units. This has been processed in the document below:
Finally, on the grounds of the tense situation, a Sperrstunde as introduced (10pm), by which time all officiers, NOCs and other ranks had to be in alarm readiness in their quarters.
On 12 September 1943 the corps reported that it was to establish Marschbataillon 12 and it issued orders for this. Also on this day the corps again emphasized the importance of foxholes and trenches.
On 13 September 1943 it was reported that the 264 Infanteriedivision, on the orders of the AOK15, was to move 1 batallion to the high area Hermelinghem-Boursin-Combert. The corps commander was in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision.
On 14 September 1943 the corps commander attended a marching exercise with the 264 Infanteriedivision.
On 15 September 1943 300 NCOs and other ranks of the I/Festungsstammabteilung LXXXII were allocated to the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision as 6. Kompanie.
On 16 September 1943 the corps commander was with the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision in the sector Dunkirk-Mardyck.
On 17 September 1943 a telex was received from the AOK15 about the planned transfer of the Luftwaffenfelddivisionen in the army. It was stated that organisational changes - especially with regard to personnel - were only allowed after agreeement from the OKH.
On 19 September 1943 the corps learned from the AOK15 that the relieving of the 191 Reservedivision by the 264 Infanteriedivision would be postponed. It was now to start in the night of 9/10 October.
On 20 September 1943 the corps reported that, on the orders of the AOK15, the static 264 Infanteriedivision had to provide 34 NCOs and 44 other ranks for the creation of the 244 Infanteriedivision. These were to be sent to Maria-ter-Heide.
On 21 September 1943 the AOK15 transmitted the findings of the Überprüfungsausschuss (see above).
On 22 September 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 the operational readiness of the Grenadierregiment 893 of the 264 Infanteriedivision.
On 24 September 1943, and on the basis of conclusions drawn by the corps commander after inspection trips, the corps released an order for the unified steering of fortification work, following the orders given.
On 25 September 1943 the corps commander was in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision. Also, the corps again ordered the splittersichere sheltering of motorized vehicles and horses.Also on this day the corps received the AOK15 order of 24 September ordering the cooperation between all three Wehrmacht services in combatting enemy agents.
On 26 September 1943 the corps received a telex from the AOK15 saying that the 191 Reservedivision would NOT be relieved by the 264 Infanteriedivision, as the latter was to be transferred to Southeast Europe.
On 27 September 1943 the corps issued its first order for the transfer of the 264 Infanteriedivision, to be started on 5 October, to the area of the Oberbefehlshaber Südost. Apparently, some units of the division were on coastal defence/special duties. Thus, the 1 und 7/AR264 were to be withdrawn from the coast and join their division. Also, the 2/Pionierbataillon 264 was to remain at the Mont Lambert to finish its construction duties and its relief would be subject of a later order. Finally, for the Sonderaufgaben Watten and Boursin, relief units would be made available before 1/10.
Also on this day, the corps was informed by a telex from the AOK15, about an order from Hitler, whereby the Luftwaffenfelddivisionen were to be integrated in the Heer on 1 November 1943 at the latest. Further on this day, the corps received a telex from the AOK15 concerning the creation of the 349 Infanteriedivision. First to be established would be the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste, from troops of the 376 and 384 Infanteriedivisionen. This Kampfgruppe would be moved in the area of the 264 Infanteriedivision and would also take over the special duties assumed by this division, amongst others security of the high area near Boursin. Until the arrival of the divisional headquarters from the East, the corps was ordered to establish a provisional headquarters. The Divisionskommandeur, Ia and Ib would be provided by the AOK15. Finally on this day, the corps received an AOK15 order that the Marschbataillon II to be built by the corps would be officially called Marschbataillon Infanterie West Nr.18. Its numbers would also be propped up by 2 companies from the area of the Wehrmachtsbefehlshaber in den Niederlanden.
On 28 September 1943 the corps commander was in the southern sector of the KVA D in connection with an inspection by OBWest. Also on this day, the corps issued the 2. Befehl for the transfer of the 264 Infanteriedivision. This order also dealt with the arrival of the so-called Kampgruppe Kanalküste. From the document we learn that the AOK15 had requested that the Kampgruppe Kanalküste (Teile 384ID, 376ID, Stäbe aus dem Osten) would arrive in the current billeting area of the 264 Infanteriedivision even before 1/10. For unloading this units, the LXXXII AK had designated unloading stations:
Two battalions of the Kampgruppe Kanalküste were to relieve th etwo battalions of the 264ID for the Sonderaufgaben Watten and Boursin. Thus the III/GR 535 of the 384 ID was to relieve the II/GR 891 and one battalion of the 371ID was to relieve the III/GR 892. For the transfer of the 264 ID the corps had requested Flak defence from the 16 Flakdivision.
On 29 September 1943 the corps issued its first order for the building of the 349 Infanteriedivision. In a further order for the building of the headquarters of the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste the corps ordered the Abstellungen required, including motorized vehicles as well as details of accommodation, logistics, missions and composition of the headquarters. Further on this day, the corps sent to the divisions a copy of a grundlegender Befehl OBWest on the use of Garman-loyal Italian soldiers, the so-called Hilfswilligen (Hiwi). The corps learned from the AOK15 that the latter would request 1 Italian Stellungspionierkompanie per division. The 264 Infanteriedivision would receive 320 Hiwis, which it was to use to fill the personnel shortages in the divisional artillery. For the Heeresküstenartillerie in the sector of the AOK15 90 Italians were envisaged. The AOK15 would request more Italians for the Heeresküstenartillerie. Finally, the AOK15 commander wanted to know which measures had been taken to prevent the common accodents with mines and weapons.
On 30 September 1943 the corps issued an order for the departure of the Marschbataillon Infanterie West Nr.18. Also on this day the first trrops from the 376 and 384 Infanteriedivision for the creation of the 349 Infanteriedivision arrived.
In September 1943 AT-defences in the area of the LXXXII Armeekorps were assessed as insufficient. Of the 39 such guns deployed in the corps area, ten had to be shed. The others were deployed in 14 so-called Züge and far from sufficient to defend the +200km coastline of the corps.
On 1 October 1943 the corps commander was promoted to General der Artillerie. Also on this day, further framework troops arrived for the creation of the Kamfgruppe Kanalküste, which became Armeereserve. The first new parts of the Kampfgruppe also arrived.
On 2 October 1943 the corps sent out several orders, not only to the divisions but also to the air force and navy on the basis of the deficiencies mentoned in the conclusions of the assessment of the defensive strength of the corps sector and the ways to resolve those deficiencies (deployment of light and medium Flak, field fortification, alarm procedures, AT-defences, cooperation between the 3 services). Finally on this day, 4./Luftwaffenpanzerjägerabteilung 18, which had been subordinated to the 264 Infanteriedivision, became subordinated to the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste.
On 3 October 1943 the corps learned from the AOK15 that the Marschbataillon Infanterie West Nr.18 was to depart on 10 August. Also, according to a telex from the AOK15, the Stab/Grenadierregoment 868 (355 Infanteriedivision) would arrive from the East for the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste? This also meant that it was no longer necessary to establish a regimental headqiuarters for the Kampfgruppe.
On 4 October 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 on the defensive capability and strength in the corps sector.
On 5 October 1943 the corps issued an order on the new creation of the Pionierbataillon 349 (on the basis of an order received from the AOK15). Also on this day, the 264 Infanteriedivision started leaving the corps area. Finally, all troops for the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste had now arrived and the combat group was organized as follows:
On 6 October 1943 the corps Ia/Fest issued comments to the AOK15 order on fortification planning in order to reach full defensive capability. Also discussed in the document was the establishing of a rear boundary of the Festungskampffeld with suggestions made for the course of this boundary. In addition, Riegelstellungen were also to be established. In terms of fortification it was seen as important that all artillery batteries as well as all Landeabwehrgeschütze would be protected by concrete and that in every strongpoint, if necessary resistance nest, all personnel would be protected in Schusssicher bunkers. Interestingly, it was also made clear that the time spent in bunkers was to be short only (e.g. during carpet bombing). On no account were the bunkers to be planned for long stays (ironically called bettenmässige Unterbringung.
On 7 October 1943 the corps commander was in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision, attending an engineer exercise.
On 8 October 1943 the corps commander was in the sector of the 191 Reservedivision, attending an engineer exercise.
On 9 October 1943 the corps issued guidelines for the use, by the corps, of the reconnoitred firing and exercising ranges Licques and Therouanne.
On 11 October 1943 the corps reported that the construction of field fortifications was strongly hindered by shortages of material and labour.
On 13 October 1943 the corps commander attended a demonstration of radio-controlled tanks at the 25 Panzerdivision. Also, in order to prevent unjustified transfers from the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision to the Luftwaffe, the division was ordered not to make any transfers without the agreement of the corps/army.
On 14 October 1943 an order was issued on a new (third) transfer of personnel 'suitable for the Russian front' (ostverwendungsfähig). For this the corps was to establish the Sammeltransport Nr 6 in Lille.Also on this day, the corps informed the AOK15 that the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision was being bombarded with Luftwaffe orders for the transfer of personnel. Finally, the corps learned from the AOK15 that the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision would receive 1.200 replacements for troops transferred to the Luftwaffe.
On 17 October 1943 the corps learned from the AOK15 that the arival of an Ostbataillon was to be expected at Caffiers in the area of the 156 Reservedivision. The unit would be subordinated to that division tactically and economically.and was to be accommodated in the OT-camp at the Licques shooting range.Also on this day, the corps reported that the AOK15 had expressed its agreement to provide personnel for the infantry training of the Hafenschutzflottillen of the navy.
On 19 October 1943 the corps commander was with the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais to discuss coastal defence, followed by attenting a flooding simulation with the 156 Reservedivision. Also on this day, the corp learned that the Ostbataillon 618 would be assigned to the 156 Reservedivision (see above). The unit would first have to be trained for four weeks and would therefore be unavailable. At the begining of December it was planned to transfer the unit to the Truppenübungsplatz Sissonne.
On 20 October 1943 the 264 Infanteriedivision had completely left the corps area.
On 21 October 1943 the corps commander was with the 18. Luftwaffenfelddovision to discuss the rear boundary of the KVA.
In the period 21-23 October 1943 the General der Pioniere beim ObWest inspected the corps area.
On 24 October 1943 the AOK15 ordered that when deploying the Ostbataillonen, the static weapons were to remain being operated by the Festungsstammtyruppen or German soldiers. The training of the Ostbataillonen on the static weapons was to be ended on 1 November.
On 26 October 1943 a corps order was forwarded to the divions clarifying the concept of the Alarmeinheiten. Also on this day the corps commander was in the sector of the 156 Reservedivision inspecting a bridging exercise. Further on this day, the corps received the Grundlegender Befehl OBWest Nr 31 with additions by the AOK concerning the construction of a coastal defence in depth by the construction of a Zweite Stellung. Finally on this day, the corps issued orders for the provision of mobility for certain units of the divisions: 1 reinforced grenadier regiment (motorized), if possible 1 grenadier batallion per regiment (bicycles), divisional and corps reserves, heavy Pak-artillery, decontamination troops and the räderbewegliche parts of the artillery. The regiments to be made mobile were the Luftwaffenjägerregiment 36 in the KVA B, the Reservegrenadierregiment 26 in the KVA C and the Reservegrenadierregiment 31 in the KVA D1. The batteries of the Heeresküstenartillerieabteilungen 827/738/769 could not be made mobile, even not by means of horses. For these batteries the corps had requested Beweglichmachung with the AOK15.
On 28 October 1943 the corps received the Grundlegender Befehl OBWest Nr 30 concerning security forces and missions. Further on this day the 15t-Fahrkolonnenraum freed-up as a result of the reorganisation of the logistical units of the 376 Infanteriedivision to be used in the establishing of the 349 Infanteriedivision arrived at the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste. Finally on this day, the corps reported that, in order that all MGs deployed in the corps sector were being fully mastered, the MG-Inspizient beim OKH AHA Oberst Butz would be organising a course with the 156 Reservedivision in Calais in the period 22-27 November.
On 29 October 1943 the corps reported that that Höherer Artilleriekommandeur 301 beim OBWest would be inspecting the artillery in the KVA C in the following three days.
On 30 October 1943 the corps reported that, according to an AOK15 telex, the Divisionsstab 217 ID would be sent by Heeresgruppe Süd to the corps area, together with some logistical units. The Divisionsstab was to assume command of the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste (349ID) as soon as possible.
On 1 November 1943 the corps reported that it would receive from the AOK15 a Alarmeinheit for the construction of the 2. Stellung with a strength of 100 men. The unit would be at the disposal in dreimaligen Wechsel von je 14 Tagen. The unit was allocated by the corps to the 156 Reservedivision.
On 2 November 1943 the corps received 2 orders from the OBWest. Firstly, the Einzelbefehl OBWest Nr 36 on headquarters of the WBN and MilBH BNF in the coastal combat zone. Secondly, the grundlegender Befehl OBWest Nr 32.
On 3 November 1943 the corps issued an order to the divisions that the latter were to report on the establishment of Ausbaustäbe and the Kernstücke of the 2. Stellung which were to be constructed immediately.
In the period 4-7 November 1943 the corps commander was in Paris for talks with the Heeresgruppe.
On 5 November 1943 the Chef des Generalstabes, the Ia/Festungspionierstab and the 3 commanders of the Ausbaustäbe were at the AOK15 headquarters in Tourcoing to be informed on the construction of the 2. Stellung. Also the corps communicated its wishes to the AOK15 for a more intensive training in close-combat anti-tank fighting.
On 6 November 1943 the corps, following up on the talks on 5 November above, issued orders for the start of the recces for suitable locations and the use of labour.Decisive for the chosen location was the importance of the terrain. Work was to be started on 15 November at the latest. Further on this day, the corps was informed that the grenadier regiments of the 349 Infanteriedivision were to be given the numbers 911-912-913. Also on this day, the Ostbataillon 605 had arrived in the area of the 156 Reservedivision (subordinated to the Armeepionierführer). Finally, the corps received the Ausführungsbestimmungen for the transfer of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision to the Heer.
On 7 November 1943 the AOK15 informed the corps that it had requested to the LXVII Reservekorps that the new recruits for the IG and Panzerjäger units of the 349 Infanteriedivision were to be trained in the reserve divisions. Also requested was the allocation of training personnel for the infantry and the artillery.
On 8 November 1943 the corps requested the Kreiskommandanten to report on the number of forces that could be accommodated in the towns, so that arriving troops could be billeted efficiently. Also on this day, the divisions were reminded of the necessity of a detailed planning for the labour deployment for the construction of the 2. Stellung so that work could effectively start on 15 November.
On 9 November 1943 the AOK15 communicated that for the creation of the 349 Infanteriedivision not only headquarters would be drawn from the east but also cadres for other units from the 217 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day the corps commander was with the 156 and 191 Reservedivisionen to inspect the preparations for the construction of the 2. Stellung.
On 10 November 1943 the AOK15 communicated that the LXVII Reservekorps had taken over the training of recruits for the IG and Panzerjäger units of the 349 Infanteriedivision.
On 11 November 1943 the AOK15 communicated that the labour forces from the SS-PzD Hohenstaufen and the Panzergrenadierdivision Feldherhhalle were not tactically subordinated.
On 12 November 1943 the corps commander inspected the planned 2. Stellung in the area of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision. Also on this day, the corps received an order that from the 2 Panzerjägerkompanien with the Kampfgruppe Kanalküste 2 extra companies were to be built when building the 349 Infanteriedivision.
On 15 November 1943 construction activity on the 2. Stellung duly started. Also on this day, the corps received a telex from the AOK15 stating that soon 23 schwere Pak 40 and 9 schwere Pak 43 were to be allocated. The corps planned the division as follows: 15 for the 191RD, 12 for the 156 RD and 6 for the 18 LwFd. Finally, today the corps also received the creation order for the 349 Infanteriedivision.
On 16 November 1943 the corps issued an order to the division concerning the detailed preparation of the pulling-out of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision OR the 156 Reservedivisionen OR the 191 Reservedivision in case of an attack elsewhere. Without going into detail, if one of these divisions were to be pulled out of the line, the remaining two would take over its sector.
On 20 November 1943 the corps commander inspected work on the 2. Stellung in the area of the 156 Reservedivision. Also on this day, the corps reported on preparations for the pulling-out of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision and reinforced grenadier regiments of the 156 and 191 Reservedivisionen in case of an attack elsewhere.
On 22 November 1943 the corps issued a new Grundlegender Befehl for the creation of Alarmeinheiten. Also on this day, a telex from the AOK15 was received stating that at the beginning of December 2 Lehrtrupps each with 4 tanks would become available for close-combat AT-training. Finally, on this day the corps requested the allocation of officers from the Führerreserve OKH to lead the Ausbaustäbe. The reason for this request was that the current commanders, i.e. the regimental commanders, could not be missed for several days each week.
On 24 November 1943 the corps released the Besichtigungsbemerkungen Nr 1 on the basis of inspections carried out by the corps commander. Also, the AOK15 communicated that 2 Lehrtrupps each with 4 tanks would become available for close-combat AT-training.
On 25 November 1943 the corps reported that the AOK15 had allocated further heavy AT-guns, so that, with those already allocated included, the following division would be made: 22 for the 191RD, 17 for the 156 RD and 10 for the 18 LwFd. Further on this day, the corps commander inspected work on the 2. Stellung in the area of the 18. Luftwaffenfelddivision. Finally, the corps was informed that the soldiers of the Panzergrenadierdivision Feldherhhalle working on the 2. Stellung would be withdrawn with immediate effect. Replacements were not available. The corps pointed out that this loss meant that it would thus lose about 50% of the deployed labour.
On 26 November 1943 the latter point was further discussed; The loss of 50% of the deployed labour force would make the use of civilian labour necessary. The corps issued an order in this respect. Further on this day, the corps received the order to reconnoitre accomodation in the St-Omer area for a schwere Heerespanzerjägerabteilung to be newly created. Also, the corps Chef des Generalstabes was with the LXXXIX AK in Antwerpen for a Planspiel. Finally, the corps issued an order for the deployment of the Panzerlehrtrupps (see above).
On 29 November 1943 the corps received the proposal from the AOK15 to the OBWest concerning the reorganisation of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision.
On 30 November 1943 the corps issued an order for the demonstrations on close-combat AT-combat, to be held at the corps headquarters on 3 December. Also on this day, the corps issued an order concerning the pulling-out of the 18 Luftwaffenfelddivision and reinforced grenadier regiments of the 156 and 191 Reservedivisionen in case of an attack elsewhere. Finally, the Chef des stabes of the corps held a meeting at corps headquarters on the construction of the 2. Stellung. Present were the Sachbearbeiter of the corps, the OFK Lille, the Ausbaustäbe of the divisions and representatives of the german companies working on the 2. Stellung.
On 4 December 1943 the corps received an order from the höherer Artilleriekommandeur 301 beim OBWest on the deployment and use of the army coastal artillery. The corps commander expressed his opinion on this order and gave further guidelines.
On 7 December 1943 the corps received an AOK15 order clarifying the lighting of the Küstenvorfeld.
On 8 December the corps was informed that a larger number of 2cm Flak guns would become available. The divisions were requested to report their needs.
On 9 December 1943 the corps reported to the AOK15 in response to the latter's order on the readying of reserve.
On 12 December 1943 and in response to an AOK15 order, the corps ordered a new checking of the Kampflisten und Kombattanten. In addition, the training of Schreiber was also to be checked as well as their use in digging activities. Finally the preparations made for the defence of local towns were also to be evaluated.
On 13 December 1943 the corps ordered the re-evaluations of the Dienstanwesungen for the Strassen- und Kampfkommandanten. Also on this day, the Stabsoffizier für Panzerbekämpfung of the AOK15 communicated that a greater number of Ofenrohre (AT-rocket systems) was to be expected in the near future and that the LXXXII AK would be allocated these weapons first.
On 14 December 1943 the corps was informed that the OKH had granted the use of the III/AR384 for the establishment of the 349 Infanteriedivision. Also on this day the corps communited its need for 290 2cm Flak guns.
On 15 December 1943 it was reported that after the release of the III/AR 384 the latter unit would be renamed III/AR 349.
On 16 December 1943 the corps ordered the transfer of the Kommandeur der Festungsstammtruppen from Aire to Ardres. Also on this day, the grundlegender Befehl Nr 22 concerning the reinforcement of the fighting strength of the frontline. Finally on this day, a meeting was held at corps headquarters on the allocation of concrete for purposes of coastal fortification.
On 17 December 1943 the AOK15 ordered the übungsmässige extraction of divisions and the establisment of Pakabteilungen.
On 18 December 1943 the corps requested a special identification on the uniforms of members of the Ostbataillonen on account of the latter giving the Wehrmacht a bad reputation through alcohol-abuse and theft. On the orders of the AOK15 the Ostbataillon 618 was to be transferred on 28 December to Sissonne for three weeks' training.
On 19 December 1943 the corps issued an order concerning the creation of the schweres Heerespanzerjägerabteilung 668. The corps was responsible for establishing this unit, to be completed by 1 February 1944. The commander of the unit was already known, i.e. Major Draeger. Accommodation was planned in the area north of St-Omer, with headquarters in Bellezeele, 14km north of St Omer. The unit was subordinated to the corps in all respects, except tactically the AOK15. Also the corps was informed on a planned inspection visit by Rommel. Finally, it was reported that field fortifications were going as planned in all corps sectors.
On 20 December 1943 further details on the visit by Rommel became known.
In the period 21-24 December 1943 Generalfeldmarschall Rommel visited all sectors of the corps from north to south.
On 22 December 1943 the AOK15 ordered that the Panzerjägerkompanie 1056 was to organise training courses for operating the russian captured 88mm Panzerbüchse 54 Ofenrohr.
On 24 December 1943 a Minensuchbataillon was transferred to Calais for the 156 Reservedivision. Also on this day, the AOK15 ordered the integration of the Ostbataillon 618 into the 156 Reservedivision.
On 25 December 1943 the corps was informed by the AOK15 that prisoners of concentration camps were to become available for construction work. The coastal divisions and the Festungspionierstab 27 were requested to formulate needs. Also on this day the transfer of the Kommandeur der Festungsstammtruppen from Aire to Ardres was completed.
On 27 December 1943 the AOK15 informed the corps that 800 Ofenrohren would be allocated to the corps, 200 for each division (including the 344 Infanteriedivision).
On 28 December 1943 the corps received the Grundlegender Befehl OBWest 34 on the preparations for major combat in the West. Also, in view of the reorganisation of the reserve division of the corps into static divisions the allocation of additional support units for these divisions was requested.
On 30 December 1943 the corps received the AOK15 instructions for the reorganization of the reserve divisions into static infantry divisions. Also on this day, the Seekommandant Pas-de-Calais requested infantry training (especially at night) for his soldiers.
On 13 January 1944 Generalfeldmarschall Keitel stated that Hitler had ordered the construction of 3.000 new artillery and Pak casemates by 30 April. Fortunately, the necessary casemate types had already been designed and issued in July 1943, notably the type 612 and the types 674-680. Some of these types would be built in very large numbers (some 740 of the type R612, 150 of the type R667 and 220 of the type R680. These could be complemented by the R681, released in October 1943. Thus, in the area of the LXXXII Armeekorps 192.000m³ was planned to protect 389 artillery canons.
On 10 February 1944 a meeting took place between the LXXXII Armeekorps and the Festungspionierstab 27. During this meeting the bunker construction programme for secondary artillery armament was discussed. This specifically involved Landeabwehrgeschütze. During the Schartenbauprogramm 30 bunkers for LAG were planned in the sector of the corps. A common bunker type used in this respect was type 612.
Also in this month construction plans were released for the protection of AT-guns in permament bunkers. Thus, within the area of the LXXXII Armeekorps 22 bunkers were to be constructed in 17 strongpoints. For the KVA C the planning was 10 R677 bunkers for 88mm.
On 1 May 1944 the Flakkompanie 148 was located in the Festung Dünkirchen.and the Flakkompanie 147 in the Festung Boulogne. Also on this day the Gefechtsstand of the Führungsabteilung of the 47ID was said to be located 1.5km northeast of Fiennes (southwest of Guines).
On 2 May 1944 the 2. Panzerdivision was transferred to the area Amiens-Albert as planned. The new headquarters of the division were in Courcelles-sous-Moyencourt (northeast of Poix) in the area of the LXVII Armeekorps.
On 3 May 1944 the movement of the 2. Panzerdivision had been completed.