How did the German military divide their forces to fight on two fronts during World War II?I'm interested in the details of how they chose to deploy forces on both fronts against vastly superior...
How did the German military divide their forces to fight on two fronts during World War II?
I'm interested in the details of how they chose to deploy forces on both fronts against vastly superior forces.
Josef Stalin had agitated Churchill and Roosevelt for two years by 1944 to open a second front, while the Germans relied on fortifying the Atlantic Wall to protect the Western Front. This allowed them to concentrate the vast majority of their armor and infantry on the Eastern Front against the growing Soviet juggernaut. This was not a preference on their part, but a military necessity as the full force of the Soviet population and resources were brought to bear against Germany's military.
For example, by the time of the D-Day landings in June of 1944, there were nearly ten times as many German soldiers on the Russian Front as there were in France to defend against invasion. Once the landings were successful, and later on during the Ardennes Offensive, crucial SS and armor units were pulled from the Eastern Front and brought west to season the rookies of the Volkssturm and spearhead the counterattacks west. Those were exceptions to the general deployment that heavily favored the Eastern Front.
The Atlantic Wall was also bolstered by Hitler's U-Boat fleet and the Luftwaffe, albeit unsuccessfully.