Eighty years on. 17th May 1940


The French 4th Armoured Division with 200 tanks commanded by Colonel Charles De Gaulle attacked Guderian’s Panzer Corps at Montcornet.  They took 500 prisoners but make little ground withdrew.

Commander von Kleist ordered the German advance halted and held a meeting with Heinz Guderian, berating him for disobeying orders by advancing aggressively instead of waiting to secure his flank. Guderian offered to resign his command and was ordered to turn it over to next senior general in his corps. When Gerd von Rundstedt learned of what had happened he intervened to allow Guderian to keep his post, and a compromise was reached in which Guderian would be allowed to pursue a “reconnaissance in force.” Guderian resumed advancing anyway while misleading his superiors about his location.

In Belgium, instead of attacking the German salient Lord Gort, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, worried about encirclement by the Panzer thrust to his south, ordered a retreat to the Scheldt River.  This allowed General Reichenau’s German 6th Army to take Brussels.   Louvain, Namur and Malines also fell to the Germans.

Churchill, worried by the panic in the French command, began to think about saving the British Army.  Churchill also considered recalling troops from Narvik.

Game day 260. France

The escorted troopships docked at Brest, but the infantry intended for embarkation were recalled towards the east.  The troop convoy previously headed for Narvic was diverted towards St. Nazaire.

Two French armoured battalions attacked three German armoured battalions on the Belgian border (map AW29).  One French battalion was lost but the Germans lost two, and fell back to the east.  Further south five battalions of German armour (map AX31) were counterattacked by three infantry battalions supported by five fighter squadrons.  Two German battalions were destroyed but the French lost an infantry battalion and two squadrons.  They retreated westwards, pursued by the Germans.  Near the Swiss border (map AX32) six infantry battalions from Algeria desperately attacked the same number of German infantry, losing three battalions to the Germans’ one.

Six infantry battalions and six armoured battalions were deployed around Paris.

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.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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