71 Wing RAF lost 10 Fairey Battles and five Bristol Blenheims. To restrict enemy movements and communications, German fighters swept the area to cut land-lines and strafe fortifications, with some shooting of radio antennae off command posts. Fliegerkorps.  • Iraq Assault Engineers and 1st Panzer Division neutralised the guns at Bellevue Castle, and cleared the bunker positions along the Meuse River from the rear.

265 Panzerbefehlswagens. On 12 May, Sedan was captured without resistance and the Germans defeated the French defences around Sedan on the west bank of the Meuse.

[78], On the left side of the Bulson ridge, the Germans encountered 13 French tanks with support from infantry near Chéhéry. It was on the northern bend of the Sedan Meuse loop that the Luftwaffe was to make its maximum effort, between Gaulier and Wadelincourt. The town would fall to each side over the next 48 hours, as offensive followed counter-attack. Within Sedan, there was mounting chaos as the French were hammered by more than 400 German guns mounted in a semicircle on the high ground around the town. The 147th Fortress Regiment was the backbone of the 55th Infantry Division and was to occupy the bunker positions on the Meuse.  • Technology [4], No. Alone, the tanks tried to attack and failed. Lafontaine had had a mission plan since 20:00 on 13 May to defeat the Germans and retake the Meuse bridgeheads, but he waited for an order to proceed. [46], The German Generals, in particular Guderian, were relieved that the Luftwaffe had prevented the Allied bombers from knocking out their supply bridges.

[36], Such actions damaged the cohesion of the units that were initially strong. Despite the other two battalions being held up further south, by 20:00 the central Hill 247 had been taken. [76][77], French military doctrine dictated that the tanks, mostly FCM 36s, were to advance with the infantry. Due to a combination of its being late and the attacks of its sister units, the enemy defences were alerted in advance of the 2nd Panzer's offensive.

The cost to the Luftwaffe was just six aircraft, three of which were Ju 87s.

150 Squadron RAF of the RAF Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF) flew 10 sorties against the targets in the early morning.

When they arrived, they had only had a couple of shells per gun owing to the logistical tailback in the Ardennes.


During the Battle of Maastricht in the Netherlands, the Groupement de Bombardement (Bomber Groups, or GB) had its squadrons reduced. Here the position was truly hopeless. [46][53] General Marcel Têtu, commander of the Allied Tactical Air Forces ordered: "Concentrate everything on Sedan. The encirclement destroyed the best units of the French Army, including a prisoner of war total of 40,000, but significant forces did escape (139,732 British and 139,037 French). Of those, the 55th Infantry Division got 422. The French had prepared, to an extent, for a German breakthrough at Sedan, and accordingly placed X Corps available for a counter-attack. [8] The 10th Panzer Division, under the command of Generalleutnant Ferdinand Schaal, had 44 Panzer I, 113 Panzer II, 58 Panzer III, 32 Panzer IV and 18 Sd.Kfz. After preparatory raids, the medium and dive-bombers were to smash the French defences in a concentrated blow lasting 20 minutes.

[55] The last bunker to surrender did so at 22:40 hours on 13 May. However, the German artillery became increasingly effective and the French position ever more untenable. A strong attack at this point by the French armoured units could have prevented Guderian from breaking out of the Meuse bridgeheads and changed the outcome of the campaign. No. The nine Kampfgruppen (bomber wings) of Bruno Loerzer's II. [8] The 2nd Panzer Division, under the command of Generalleutnant (Lieutenant General) Rudolf Veiel, had to hand 45 Panzer I, 115 Panzer II, 59 Panzer III and 32 Panzer IVs. GBA 18 was escorted by 15 Bloch 152s of GC I/8. The Germans achieved the Meuse crossing after just 57 hours.

Kleist agreed that such a delay was unacceptable, so he agreed to Guderian's plan. [44] The Luftwaffe committed two Sturzkampfgeschwader (dive bomber wings) to the assault, flying 300 sorties against French positions, with Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 alone flying 201 sorties. Despite being repeatedly outmaneuvered by the Germans, Mac-Mahon—accompanied by Napoleon—decided to advance north toward the Belgian border, before swinging to relieve Metz. Guderian decided to push for the Channel, even if it meant ignoring the High Command and Hitler himself. [41], By nightfall on 12 May, Guderian's XIX. To Guderian, this was madness and would throw away the victory at Sedan and allow the enemy time to recover and reorganise its still formidable armoured units. [75], The French had an opportunity to throw the Germans back into the Meuse but they missed their chance owing to poor staff work. Emperor Napoleon III was ill and suffering severe pain, but he could not retreat toward Paris because such an admission of failure would doom the Bonapartes. Enemy small arms fire ensured that crossing the river at Pont Neuf bridge could not be done in rubber assault boats as intended.
Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 struck first in the morning of 13 May.  • Lapland [71], Lafontaine had hesitated over the 24 hours since the afternoon of 13 May. [56] The bulk of the 174 artillery pieces available to the French at Sedan were concentrated on the 2nd Panzer Division's front.  • Home front

 • Normandy [18], Nevertheless, while Kleist accepted the folly of the Flize detour, he insisted the offensive concentration point should be made west of the Ardennes Canal. Fliegerkorps flew 900 missions against the 360 of VIII. [58], In the central sector, at Gaulier, the Germans began moving 3.7 cm Pak 36 light infantry field artillery across the Meuse to provide support to infantry across the river. [23], The French Army authorised fresh attempts to increase the strength of the fortifications in the autumn of 1939, but severe winter weather prevented the pouring of concrete and the delivery of the necessary materials.

[47] Loerzer and Richthofen committed two Stuka units to the attack.

1,470 aircraft[3]

[57], All attempts to land on the southern side of the Meuse failed.

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