Heinrich Severloh (23 June 1923 – 14 January 2006) was a soldier in the German 352nd Infantry Division, which was stationed in Normandy in 1944. He inflicted 1000-1500 casualties while American soldiers were landing on Omaha Beach as part of Operation Overlord.
The site of Severloh’s last active mission was part of a medium-sized emplacement known as “Widerstandsnest 62” (Resistance nest 62). According to Severloh, there were only two or three active emplacements with machine guns in his section of the beach at the time of the landing. He and the 19-year-old Franz Gockel positioned next to him were armed with machine guns. Severloh claimedthat there were just 30 soldiers defending the beach. However, in WN62 alone, there were 19 men. Such large numbers suggest that Severloh’s estimate of thirty men defending the beach is unreliable.
Severloh’s lines of fire almost entirely covered the sections of beach known as Easy Red and Fox Green.
Severloh manned an MG-42 and he fired on the waves of approaching American soldiers with the machine gun and two Karabiner 98k rifles, while comrades kept up a continuous flow of ammunition to him from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Severloh had fired approximately 12,000 rounds with the machine gun and 400 rounds with the two rifles.
Severloh was slightly injured in the face at Omaha Beach.
View out of Severloh’s fox hole over Omaha Beach.