Eighty years on. 18th May 1940


Despite the stop order imposed on the German tanks, Rommel pushed 7th Panzer Division on to Cambrai (better known for the British tank action there in 1917) and then halted to consolidate his supply lines and protect his flanks.  Rommel ordered his tanks and self-propelled guns to drive across the open fields and create as much dust as possible, creating the illusion that the advancing force was much larger than it actually was.  The defenders abandoned the town without firing a shot.  He had advanced 85 miles in 5 days, capturing over 10,000 French prisoners and 100 tanks.  His own losses were about 50 dead and 100 wounded.  7th Panzer Division earned the nickname of the “Ghost Division” for its ability to appear unexpectedly.  

Guderian’s 2nd Panzer Division captured Saint-Quentin.

Over six million French refugees took to the roads.  French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud announced he was recalling the ambassador to Spain Philippe Pétain to make him Vice Prime Minister.

The French army started to pull their forces back from Belgium, but without informing the British.  Lord Gort, on discovering the French decision, began to pull the British Expeditionary Force back too.  The Belgian Army was informed the next day.

The German 18th Army captured Antwerp.

German U-boats resumed harassing Allied shipping in the North Atlantic and around Britain after several weeks patrolling the Dutch, Danish and Norwegian coasts in support of the invasions.  U-60 and U-62 sailed from Kiel, joining U-37 and U-43 already at sea.

Game day 261.  Norway

The only Norwegian troops remaining, near Narvik, attacked the German forces.  They lost two of their five battalions while the German three battalions suffered no loss.  The Norwegians fell back to the south-west.

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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