Hans von Salmuth
Tysk general. Chef for den 15. armé i Frankrig.
11, 1888, Metz, Ger.--d. Jan. 1, 1962, Heidelberg, W.Ger.), German army
staff officer and field commander in World War II.
I august 1943 blev Salmuth forflyttet til Frankrig for at tage kommandoen med 15. armé, hvis 17 diisioner havde ansvaret for at forsvare den franske kyst fra Le havre nordøstpå til Scheldt-flodens udløb .. against the impending Allied invasion of western Europe. Salmuth's sector included the Pas-de-Calais, the likeliest site of an Allied landing, but in the event, the Allies invaded (on June 6, 1944) the less heavily defended Normandy coast, which adjoined Salmuth's sector on the west. In the days and weeks after D-Day, Adolf Hitler clung to the mistaken belief that the Normandy landings were merely a diversion from the main Allied attack, which he thought was still to come at the Pas-de-Calais. Accordingly, Hitler refused until late July to allow Salmuth's infantry and armoured divisions to move west to help the beleaguered 7th Army defend Normandy against the Allied advance.
At war's end Salmuth was taken prisoner by U.S. forces, and in 1948 he was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. He was released in 1953.