The Admiralty stopped daytime embarkation at Dunkirk due to devastating German bombing yesterday. However, the bulk of the Allied troops have already been evacuated. 19,500 Allied troops embarked from Dunkirk harbour and almost 7,000 from the beaches under cover of darkness. During the day, French troops covering the British retreat started falling back to be evacuated also.
In Norway, while Polish and French troops pursued the Germans eastwards towards Sweden, the British began falling back towards Narvik to be transported home. British aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and Glorious arrived to provide air cover for the evacuation of 26,000 British troops.
U-101 sank the British SS Polycarp south of Land’s End. The British boom defence vessel HMS Astronomer sank off the northeast coast of Scotland after being torpedoed three times in six hours by U-58.
Adolf Hitler entered French territory for the first time in the war and visited the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, where photographers took his picture as he walked around the site with his entourage. The photos, showing the memorial intact, were then published in German newspapers to refute stories in the Canadian media claiming that the Germans had bombed it.
War Secretary Anthony Eden gave a radio address on the Dunkirk evacuation reporting that four-fifths of the British Expeditionary Force had been saved. “The British Expeditionary Force still exists, not as a handful of fugitives, but as a body of seasoned veterans,” Eden said. “We have had great losses in equipment. But our men have gained immeasurably in experience of warfare and in self-confidence. The vital weapon of any army is its spirit. Ours has been tried and tempered in the furnace. It has not been found wanting. It is this refusal to accept defeat that is the guarantee of final victory.”
Game Day 276. France
France collected 5.5 industrial resources from its colonies. The resources of metropolitan France could not be used while the country was in conflict.
In France a counterattack was launched. At AW30 six infantry battalions moving from Paris attacked a single German infantry battalion. No damage was done on either side. South-west of that position, at AV31, six more infantry battalions attacked one armoured battalion and destroyed it. Four fighter squadrons attacked three infantry battalions at AW32. Two squadrons were lost but two battalions were eliminated.
The German assault had, for the time being, been halted.
Six troopships, accompanied by three warships, left Brest and St. Nazaire for North Africa to collect more troops for the battle in France.
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.