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Capitaine Vengeur

70 years ago: Here they come !

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On May 10, 1940, the German armies launched a massive onslaught on expectant France, neutral but expectant Belgium and Luxemburg, and completely unexpectant Netherlands ("Fall Gelb" or "Yellow Plan"). The swift fall of France which followed within only a few weeks was actually one of the most stunning surprises of the War, including for the Germans themselves at that time. It completely reshuffled the cards, as Britain, expecting to stay the rather quiet rear base she had been for all of the four years WWI lasted, was suddenly now to fight alone with the Channel as the frontline.

 

The same day, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the UK, and pronounced his famous speech promising "sweat, blood and tears". Something of a prophecy...

 

The same day, the German paratroops drops on the Netherlands proved the value of the new concept of tridimensional warfare, while the airborne attacks on the roof of the Belgian fort of Eben-Emael, said to be impregnable, proved for the first time the value in battle of the all-new HEAT charges.

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Edited by Capitaine Vengeur

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On May 10, 1940, the German armies launched a massive onslaught on expectant France, neutral but expectant Belgium and Luxemburg, and completely unexpectant Netherlands ("Fall Gelb" or "Yellow Plan"). '........

 

The same day, the German paratroops drops on the Netherlands proved the value of the new concept of tridimensional warfare, while the airborne attacks on the roof of the Belgian fort of Eben-Emael, said to be impregnable, proved for the first time the value in battle of the all-new HEAT charges.

 

Happily the Dutch were not completely taken by surprise as our military attache in Berlin had a very usefull contact in the German Abwehr (intelligence service) and at least parts of our forces were on alert.

As for the airborne assault, indeed the bridges at Moerdijk, Dordrecht and Rotterdam were seized, but in Rotterdam the Germans were contained till the surrender of the town on the threat of bombing , AFTER which the Luftwaffe devastated the town centre after all with 900 people killed.... (resulting in the capitulation of the country)

For the rest it was "a bridge too far" ......

The airborne assaults on the Hague and the surrounding airfields turned into a disaster for the Germans, as all the 3 airfields were recaptured (the fighting at Valkenburg airfield taking place practically on my doorstep) and 1500 prisoners were taken and shipped to England before the capitulation. The capture of the Queen and the governement completely failed. Furthermore about 220 of Ju 52 transports were destroyed on the ground an in the air and could not be used in the planned invasion of Britain.good.gif

It took the Germans a lot of time to rebuild their parachute army and they could only use it again in 1941 in the assault on Kreta....

 

Hou doe,

 

Derk

Edited by Derk

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It took the Germans a lot of time to rebuild their parachute army and they could only use it again in 1941 in the assault on Kreta....

 

Hou doe,

 

Derk

 

And they got their asses kicked there too :clapping:

(Yes, they captured Crete, but at a heavy price)...and Hitler ordered that no such large scale Parachute invasion be used again...effectively turning them into ground based units....silly man!

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1500 prisoners were taken and shipped to England before the capitulation.

 

Quite intelligent. The French only took about 1200 POWs during their whole short war, kept them for themselves, and had to free them when they capitulated. And one of them was Werner Moelders, no less, who was to make a real slaughter during the Battle of Britain !

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The same day, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of the UK, and pronounced his famous speech promising "sweat, blood and tears". Something of a prophecy...

 

 

Only promise ever fulfilled by a politician :lol:

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Hey, hey, we're the Nazi's

And people say we monkey around.

But we're too busy invading

To put anybody down

 

:lol:

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Only promise ever fulfilled by a politician lol.gif

 

Oh, I remember another one: "Within ten years, you won't recognize your cities!" (Chancellor Adolf Hitler to the german people, 1933)

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Oh, I remember another one: "Within ten years, you won't recognize your cities!" (Chancellor Adolf Hitler to the german people, 1933)

 

O yes, and for the rest too he really behaved like a typical politicianblink.gif

(fragment in Dutch from Belgian TV, but very understandable for everyone...)

 

Hou doe,

 

Derk

Edited by Derk

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The german victory over France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the british corps was a victory of brainwork.

While the french and british played with tanks during the 20th and early 30th, the germans solved the problem of modern warfare theoratically. They adopted soviet ideas of fast and deep operations. Connected this ideas with the "Cannae" doctrin, added the close air support idea and the Blitzkrieg doctrin was born.

So they were able to defeat armies with much more and much better tanks. (Dont forget, that the majority of german tanks in 1940 were outdated P-I and P-II)

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The german victory over France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the british corps was a victory of brainwork.

While the french and british played with tanks during the 20th and early 30th, the germans solved the problem of modern warfare theoratically. They adopted soviet ideas of fast and deep operations. Connected this ideas with the "Cannae" doctrin, added the close air support idea and the Blitzkrieg doctrin was born.

So they were able to defeat armies with much more and much better tanks. (Dont forget, that the majority of german tanks in 1940 were outdated P-I and P-II)

 

And in the end they still lost WWII.

 

good.gifrofl.gif

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Typical political outcome.

When the politicians think they are smarter than the Generals and Admirals.

We have seen this many times here in the U.S..

IMHO: The only smart one was George H. W. Bush.

Put Gen. Norm Swartzkopf in charge and leave him alone to get the job done. OOOHRAAH!

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The German victory in against France in 1940 had less to do with the superiority of the German Army (whose equipment was hardly better that of the French or the Brits, especially when you look at the tanks for example), but it was rather caused by the outdated doctrines used by the Allied forces.

It would still be a stretch to assume that the German staff had planned all this in advance, they just made less mistakes than the other side. IMHO it would be closer to the truth to say that the French lost the Battle of France rather than claiming that the Germans won it. Of course, the victory over France, the relative ease how it was achieved and the propaganda soon formed the myth of the "Blitzkrieg", which pretty much backfired when the Germans tried to repeat this "strategy" against the Soviet Union.

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Speaking of Soviet Union, we've had an old banned interview with Marshal Zhukov broadcast on TV.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7117531.ece

I wonder if the video turns up on youtube with subs for your viewing. 4 times Hero of the Soviet Union was as remote from politics as it is possible.

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The airborne assaults on the Hague and the surrounding airfields turned into a disaster for the Germans, as all the 3 airfields were recaptured (the fighting at Valkenburg airfield taking place practically on my doorstep)

Ah-ha! Found it

There's Ypenburg assault scenario in this wargame (free version is fully functional)

http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Camo_Workshop/WW2/WW2_page.html

Scenario #172 "Air Assault on the Hague" in the patched game.

Fun playing for Germany: get troops down, clear the airfield... and get steamrolled by a wave of armour from all sides. Oh, and bicycle troops - never forget bicycle troops.

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Well, there were a few small but important factors which *maybe* made the difference:

A more modern tactic and organisation on the german side, especially the independence of the tank commanders (like Rommel) and the radios the tanks were fitted with (and not to forget the cooperation between ground forces and the Luftwaffe). The allied commanders still thought in WWI scales, equipment and tactics...

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Ezlead, to be fair, in the case of the battle of France, the French Etat-Major was as incompetent as the political power, and like it they gave up any real effort to fight the instant they realised the Germans didn't show up where intended.

They were the ones who ignored doctrinal suggestions from the new generation, who didn't push for a wider and faster adoption of the more recent hardware, who thought the Maginot Line would keep the Germans at bay, and when they simply ignored it, started giving contradictory orders and reacting as if it were 1918.

 

It was a typical exemple of a political and strategic victory, with no clear tactical advantage (the Battle in the Air proved as bloody as the Battle of Britain would be, and until Stalingrad, the French part of the Battle of France remained the bloodiest for the Germans).

 

At least we didn't have our former king betraying us... (it always amazed me the Duke of Windsor didn't meet an untimely death at the hands of a "german U-boat" while en route to the Bahamas)

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Ah-ha! Found it

There's Ypenburg assault scenario in this wargame (free version is fully functional)

http://www.shrapnelg...2/WW2_page.html

Scenario #172 "Air Assault on the Hague" in the patched game.

Fun playing for Germany: get troops down, clear the airfield... and get steamrolled by a wave of armour from all sides. Oh, and bicycle troops - never forget bicycle troops.

Amazing, didn't know that, but no armour whatsoever at Ypenburg (just a couple of Landsverk

armoured cars) and the bicycle troops were mostly with the Light Division southeast of Rotterdam.

But anyway, the days in May 1940 were the beginning of 5 long years of hardship, terror, deportations, murder and other killing, including the "Hunger Winter" of 1944/1945...

The whole thing is still very much alive over here and that will remain so, with new facts, books, pics and stories coming out very frequently, especially on local history. And I am living not very far from the Hague, right in the middle of a lot of history.......

 

Hou doe,

 

Derk bye.gif

Edited by Derk

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Amazing, didn't know that, but no armour whatsoever at Ypenburg (just a couple of Landsverk

armoured cars) and the bicycle troops were mostly with the Light Division southeast of Rotterdam.

Well, armoured cars are the heaviest thing that appears, but armour thickness hardly makes a difference, since paratroops are short on good AT weapons. Ended up hiding in the bushes hoping for a good hand greande throw.

Just checked the scenario agin, seems to be low on bicylcles. But that little unit are the first to come at you from the road North so you remember them well.

 

BTW, did the Dutch get the planes there airborne?

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Well, armoured cars are the heaviest thing that appears, but armour thickness hardly makes a difference, since paratroops are short on good AT weapons. Ended up hiding in the bushes hoping for a good hand greande throw.

Just checked the scenario agin, seems to be low on bicylcles. But that little unit are the first to come at you from the road North so you remember them well.

 

BTW, did the Dutch get the planes there airborne?

 

Historically no bicycle troops invlolved at Ypenburg, though individual soldiers or litlle groups may have requisitioned bicycles in Rijswijk and Voorburg (suburbs of the Hague, just to the west of Ypenburg).

The squadron of Douglas 8A light bombers (comparable to the Fairey Battle) at Ypenburg got airborne but were quite useless as fighters, though they were very manoeuvrable and succeeded in destroying a couple of Germans. They were all shot down. The Fokker D XXI's of 1 JaVa got into the air too and shot down 5 or 6 enemies. Some were shot down and others destroyed on the ground at other airfields after running out of fuel and ammo.

Old Fokker C5 and Koolhoven FK 51 biplanes were camouflaged and parked outside the airfield and were not flown during the initial attack.

More info at Wikipedia

 

Hou doe,good.gif

 

Derk

Edited by Derk

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Historically no bicycle troops invlolved at Ypenburg, though individual soldiers or litlle groups may have requisitioned bicycles in Rijswijk and Voorburg (suburbs of the Hague, just to the west of Ypenburg).

The squadron of Douglas 8A light bombers (comparable to the Fairey Battle) at Ypenburg got airborne but were quite useless as fighters, though they were very manoeuvrable and succeeded in destroying a couple of Germans. They were all shot down. The Fokker D XXI's of 1 JaVa got into the air too and shot down 5 or 6 enemies. Some were shot down and others destroyed on the ground at other airfields after running out of fuel and ammo.

Old Fokker C5 and Koolhoven FK 51 biplanes were camouflaged and parked outside the airfield and were not flown during the initial attack.

More info at Wikipedia

 

Hou doe,good.gif

 

Derk

This May 10, a Dutch Fokker G.1 bomber was the first of the five kills General Theo Osterkamp (32 kills during WW1) scored during WW2. As a WW1 airman, he was very surprised of the destructive effect of his 20mm guns.

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The german victory over France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the british corps was a victory of brainwork.

While the french and british played with tanks during the 20th and early 30th, the germans solved the problem of modern warfare theoratically. They adopted soviet ideas of fast and deep operations. Connected this ideas with the "Cannae" doctrin, added the close air support idea and the Blitzkrieg doctrin was born.

The "Cannae" maneuver is a double envelopment (used at Kiev 1941, for example). Here, it was more of a reedition of the "Austerlitz" maneuver: let the enemy mass his reserves against your right wing, then blast his center with your own elite reserves (a good defensive ground, but depleted of forces). The brilliant point about this strategy was that it left the Allies uncertain about what would follow: will they drive on Paris? envelop the right wing? the left wing?

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It would still be a stretch to assume that the German staff had planned all this in advance, they just made less mistakes than the other side. IMHO it would be closer to the truth to say that the French lost the Battle of France rather than claiming that the Germans won it. Of course, the victory over France, the relative ease how it was achieved and the propaganda soon formed the myth of the "Blitzkrieg", which pretty much backfired when the Germans tried to repeat this "strategy" against the Soviet Union.

During the whole maneuver from Sedan to Dunkirk, the German generals, all of them had known WW1, expected with anxiety for a large-scale French counterattack on their exposed flank. Ending August 1914, the French army was beaten, exhausted, disheartened, and hopelessly retreating; but in September, as the Germans almost touched Victory, she suddenly launched a completely unexpectable counter-offensive that froze the front for more than 3 years. It was "The miracle of the Marne". This time, the aborted local counterattacks stayed bogged down into counter-orders and chaos.

 

Before this surprising "Blitz" victory, the German staff was not that confident about his new mechanized toy (Poland being not considered as a real test). After that, they almost thought that Guderian could drive on water.

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