Germany invaded Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands without declaring war. The Luftwaffe bombed French, Dutch & Belgian airfields in the early hours, destroying many aircraft on the ground. Airborne troops were used widely for the first time. German tanks and infantry advanced 10-15 miles into Holland and Belgium. The Allies left their prepared defences and began moving towards the Dyle River in Belgium with the intention holding a line there.
In the Netherlands, German parachute troops secured key bridges and airfields around Rotterdam and The Hague. Ju52 transport planes landed 22nd Flieger Division behind the main defensive line. The Dutch Air Force shot down 18 Ju52s, preventing landings at Ypenburg airfield near The Hague and allowing the Dutch Royal family and government to escape. Allied naval demolition parties evacuated ships and barges from Dutch ports and destroyed stores.
In Belgium, 10 DFS 230 gliders landed 78 engineers on top of the massive Ebel Emael Fort, which guarded the Albert Canal and River Meusse crossings. They used magnetic hollow charge explosives to disable steel and concrete gun emplacements and pen in the 700 defenders. Glider-borne troops also took two key bridges over the Albert Canal.
Northern Luxembourg was occupied, giving German tanks access to roads through the Ardennes forest.
The German-controlled Norwegian troopship Nordnorge was sunk at Hemnesberget by British warships.
The colonial Governor-General of the Netherlands East Indies declared martial law, ordering the seizure of nineteen German cargo ships and the internment of all German nationals.
News of the invasion caused Chamberlain to consider staying on as Prime Minister but he was advised that he could now lead effectively. He resigned and Winston Churchill became the new British Prime Minister.
U.S. president Franklyn Roosevelt froze all Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourg assets in the United States to keep them from German hands.
Switzerland was placed on military alert.
Game day 253. France
In the game Germany had not yet attacked westwards, so France did not react, except to the potential threat. The two convoys continued north through the Bay of Biscay. The troop convoy bound for Narvik was re-routed to Brest.
Credits: Historical information: http://www.worldwar2daybyday.blogspot.com, Wikipedia, Chronicle of the Second World War (JL International Publications, 1994). Background image to game maps: Hasbro Ltd.