Eighty years on. 24th May 1940


The Germans captured the Belgian cities of Ghent and Tournai.  10th Panzer Division attacked Calais but British and French defenders held them off.  Further North, 1st Panzer reached the Aa Canal ten miles from Dunkirk, threatening encirclement of French and British armies in Belgium. Only one BEF battalion defended Dunkirk.  

In agreement with a request from Gerd von Rundstedt, Hitler ordered Paul von Kleist to halt his panzer advance only eighteen miles from Dunkirk, not wanting to risk the tanks getting bogged down in the Flanders marshes, and assured by Göring that the Luftwaffe could prevent any evacuation.  Generals Brauchitsch and Halder protested the order but were told it came from the very top.  Even Guderian, who had bent and ignored orders to get to the coast, had no choice but to comply.

With the BEF trapped in Belgium and the British Isles potentially under threat of invasion, The British War Cabinet decided to bring home their remaining troops in Norway. They informed the French General Béthouart, in command of the attack, who decided to continue with the capture of Narvik anyway before evacuation.

On Empire Day, King George VI addressed his subjects by radio, saying, “The decisive struggle is now upon us … Let no one be mistaken; it is not mere territorial conquest that our enemies are seeking. It is the overthrow, complete and final, of this Empire and of everything for which it stands, and after that the conquest of the world. And if their will prevails they will bring to its accomplishment all the hatred and cruelty which they have already displayed.”

 Assailants working for the Soviet Union attacked Leon Trotsky at his compound in Coyoacán, Mexico. Several bombs were detonated and hundreds of machine gun rounds were fired at the bedroom, causing such extensive damage that the attackers left assuming that Trotsky was dead. However, he and his wife Natalia had taken cover on the floor beside his bed and escaped serious injury.

Two hundred miles West of Brest, France, U-37 sank the Greek SS Kyma carrying 6000 tons of maize and 90 tons of trucks from Argentina to England.

Game day 267.  China

China moved troops eastwards to attack the Japanese all along the border with Kwangtung, with advantageous odds where possible. 

In the north ( map reference DL37) twelve infantry battalions attacked six.    Two Japanese battalions were wiped out but the attacking Chinese lost three.  This left the Chinese outnumbered in the area with nine battalions to the Japanese ten.

Further south (DL45) the outnumbered Chinese armour held off attacking until their supporting infantry arrived.

Further south again (DJ47) six armoured and six infantry battalions attacked six Japanese infantry battalions.  The Japanese lost half their defending force, destroying just one armoured battalion.

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.

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General Whiskers

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

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