0330: The Germans react slowly

Later the Germans would realise what was happening but in the middle of the night they were confused.

Later the Germans would realise what was happening but in the middle of the night they were confused.

Andre Heintz was a member of the French Resistance, living in Caen:

My task that night was to watch the headquarters of the German 716th Infantry Division next door to our house, although I would have much preferred to carry out acts of sabotage. I was quite surprised that nothing happened at the headquarters until 3.30am. I had already met my mother on the stairs at 2am – she couldn’t sleep because of all the planes going over, and the sound of bombing in the distance.

Afterwards I learned that there were already about 20,000 Allied paratroops in Normandy at that time, but the headquarters only stirred into action at about 4.30am. At about 8am they all evacuated the headquarters. I later learned they had moved to a nearby tunnel.

At about 4.30am my mother was up again, saying that it had to be the landings. Of course I couldn’t say yes or no, because I had been sworn to secrecy, but I told her perhaps we should fill some bottles with water. She also had the great idea to cook some potatoes – and lucky she did that, because at 8am there was no more gas, water or electricity. These services were only restored again six months later.

Read the whole of his story on BBC People’s War

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