The 709th was a Coastal unit assigned to protect the Eastern and Northern coasts of the Cotentin Peninsula, including the Utah Beach-head and the US airborne landing zones. Its sector was considered to be over a 250 km wide front and ran in a line from the North East of Carentan, via Barfleur-Cherbourg-cap de la Hague to a point west of Barneville.This included the 65 km Land front of Cherbourg.
The Division included a number of 'Ostlegionen' - Eastern units of various nationalities, mainly from the occupied countries such as eastern volunteers, conscripts and former Soviet prisoners-of-war who had chosen to fight in the German Army rather than suffer the harsh conditions as prisoners. Two battalions of the 739th Grenadier Regiment were Georgian Battalions and two other battalions were also designated as 'Ost' units in the Divisional Order of Battle. These battalions were led by German officers and NCOs.