Eighty years on. 18th June 1940


Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division advanced 200 miles and reached Cherbourg, too late to prevent the Allied evacuation, and rested overnight before attacking the fortifications.  Operation Ariel finished at St. Nazaire and at La Pallice where 2,300 British troops were evacuated.

The Germans captured Le Mans, Belfort, Metz and Dijon.

The Battle of Saumur began.

With 5th Panzer Division only a few hours away, the French cruisers El Djezair, El Kantara, El Mansour, Ville d’Oran and Ville d’Alger transported 1,200 tons of French gold from Brest to Casablanca.  In addition, the French moved 198 tons of Belgian gold on the cruiser Victor-Schoelcher from Lorient to the port of Dakar in French West Africa.  The gold should have been sent, by agreement, to the U.S.A.

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill made another charismatic speech in the House of Commons, commenting on the likely fall of France “the Battle of France is over” and prospects for a cross-Channel invasion by Germany “I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.” He concluded “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour’.”  Note:  this was reported yesterday, but the time difference between my U.S. and European sources occasionally gives rise to discrepancies.

The BBC broadcast a speech by Charles de Gaulle. “Must we abandon all hope?” de Gaulle asked the French people.  “Is our defeat final and irremediable? To those questions I answer – No! Speaking in full knowledge of the facts, I ask you to believe me when I say that the cause of France is not lost. The very factors that brought about our defeat may one day lead us to victory … I, General de Gaulle, now in London, call on all French officers and men who are at present on British soil, or may be in the future, with or without their arms; I call on all engineers and skilled workmen from the armaments factories who are at present on British soil, or may be in the future, to get in touch with me. Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and shall not die.”

Hitler and Mussolini met in Munich to discuss the French armistice request. Mussolini hoped to present Hitler with a list of spoils that Italy wanted to get from the French, but was embarrassed when Hitler displayed no interest in discussing the matter at the time.  Hitler also politely but firmly denied Mussolini’s request to sit at the same table to sign the armistice with the French, leaving the Italians to seek out a separate one.

South-west of Ireland, U-28 sank the Finnish steamer Sarmatia and U-32 sank two Spanish trawlers, Sálvora and Nuevo Ons as well as the Norwegian steamer Altair.

The Battle of Zaoyang–Yichang ended in Chinese victory.

Game day 292. France

France, with its British allies, still had sufficient forces fighting to avoid a capitulation.

Gaming note. It is clear that where I have been referring to “Battalions”, “Squadrons”, etc. that these units are more like divisions or even corps sized units. Henceforth I will refer to all fighting groups as “Units”. You may think of land units as Corps, naval units as Task Forces and air units as Wings or Groups, but they are indeterminate.

All naval units sailed from France towards North Africa.  A convoy already en route reached the straits of Gibraltar.  While six infantry units in Algeria moved towards the Libyan border, twelve more moved towards the coast for shipment to France.

In france six infantry units moved to confront the Italian threat. While two Fighter units attacked the German infantry at AV32.  One unit was lost and the other relocated south-west to AT35.

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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