Eighty years on. 22nd May 1940


In Britain, the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act was passed, giving the government authority over persons and property for the duration of the war.  Banks, munitions production, wages, profits and work conditions were all placed under the control of the state.  Effectively Britain became a temporary dictatorship.*  

Petrol prices in Britain were increased from 11d per gallon to 1s11½d per gallon, an increase of 114%.  (The new price was about 2p per litre in modern UK terminology.)

In Paris, Churchill and Reynaud agreed to a proposal by the new French Commander-in-Chief General Weygand to attack the German salient caused by their thrust to the coast.  This was essentially the same plan as proposed by his predecessor, the disgraced General Gamelin.  However, by that point the Germans were well established and Allied forces in Belgium were too busy making a fighting retreat to consider an attack.

Rommel stopped near Arras, believing he had faced five divisions in the British attack yesterday rather than the actual two divisions with two tank battalions.  Guderian pushed his tanks northwards up the coast towards Calais and Boulogne.

The armed British merchant vessel Dunster Grange defended against a surface attack off Land’s End by U-37 using her deck gun after missing with 4 torpedoes.

*Author’s note.  Considering what Britain was outwardly fighting against, the voting in of these new powers is remarkable.

Game day 265.  Great Britain, its empire and dominions

Situation evaluation:

France & Belgium.  The BEF has six fresh infantry and six fresh armoured battalions in the south-west of Belgium, but the Germans are moving around to the south.  There are enemy armoured forces to the north-east and south-east.  The RAF has four fighter squadrons in France.

In the UK the RAF has two bomber squadrons in the south and three fighter squadrons in the north.

As to local Naval forces, There are two transport ships in Bristol, six warships in Portsmouth, three transports at Scapa flow and five submarines off Denmark, apart from the three transports en route for Narvik.

In addition there are two supply convoys:  three transports off Portugal and one under attack off east Canada. 

Australian infantry are shipping to Egypt and a warship is headed for Singapore.

There are sufficient infantry in Britain to ship to France.  Transports were sent from Bristol and Scapa Flow to the southern ports to transport reinforcements for the BEF.

On the Franco/Belgian border the BEF with six armoured and six infantry battalions, moved south to attack the five German armoured battalions at AW29.  They were supported by four fighter squadrons from the south-west. The Germans lost two armoured battalions, the British suffered no losses.

By this attack the BEF had abandoned Belgium which came under German control.

The five British submarines off Denmark made an attack on the German transport ships in harbour at Fredrikshavn, (AY23) sinking two of them.

In the Atlantic the remaining merchant ship made a desperate attempt to avoid the enemy raiders by sailing south, then east into the Bay of Biscay.  The battleship en route to Singapore docked at Gibraltar for supplies.  The supply convoy from Egypt sailed north through the Bay of Biscay.

The Australians continued their voyage across the Indian Ocean.

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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