10 May / Friday
Troopers take off from Cologne using
Ju-52s towing 11 gliders -
7 - 8 men within each.
Released in the night unseen and unheard
the unit glides 13 miles to their target:
German XIX Corps cross frontier.
Heinz Guderian commander.
1st Panzer Division spearheads
armored column headed for Sedan.
French aerial reconnaissance report -
2 mechanized masses in Ardennes headed to Meuse.
Guderian's armored reconnaissance
drives off French cavalry unit of 2nd Army.
Confused retreat from town.
Desperate civilians mixed among
Guderian uses infantry in rubber boats to
200 Stuka dive-bombers provide overhead support.
German engineers assemble pontoon bridge at Glaire.
Tanks begin streaming across unimpeded.
Guderian's XIX Corps creates bridgehead
5 miles deep on west bank of the Meuse.
Cars with Belgium plates appear on streets.
Townspeople report hearing sounds of distant gunfire.
Fragments of bad news begin appearing in the press.
Allied air assault on Glaire bridge fails.
Heavy casualties result flying into thick
canopy of German antiaircraft fire.
French counterattack on German thrust repulsed.
3 panzer divisions consolidate advances
west of Sedan.
French Prime Minister Paul Reynaud to Churchill:
"The German Army has broken through
our fortified lines south of Sedan."
People shopping, enjoying the weather.
More Belgians are seen on the streets.
Families prepare kids for back to school
There's talk of evacuating women and children.
Prime Minister Churchill given assurance
Sedan breach will be plugged -
General Alphonse Georges, deputy to
General Gamelin, Supreme Allied Commander.
Paul Reynaud is told by his Defense Minister -
General Gamelin has no plan for countering
the Sedan breakthrough.
Guderian's armor defeats the final French defense.
It's open roads all the way to the English Channel.
Arras was reportedly bombed during the night.
Cars with license plates from Aisne and Pas-de-Calais
join the Belgian traffic through town.
Report to General Georges, French Field Commander -
50 mile front along Meuse crumbles / 9th Army in full rout.
Allied Commander General Gamelin
discovers his phones have been cut to
General Blanchard's 1st Army.
Guderian's tanks are at the Oise River,
50 miles from Sedan.
The bridgehead now includes General Reinhardt's
2 panzer divisions from Montherme
and the 2 panzer divisions that crossed at Dinant,
led by General Hermann Hoth.General Gamelin tells Defense Minister Daladier:"Germans may be in Paris tonight."
Prime Minister Renaud and his cabinet decide toremain in Paris.Leaving now would create a panic among citizens.
Report to General Gamelin:
"The disorder of this Army is beyond description.
Its troops are falling back on all sides. The Army
General Staff has lost its head. The roads are
clogged with routed troops."
Prime Minister Renaud fires General Gamelin.
New Allied Commander General Maxime Weygand
takes 3 days to arrive from Syria.
Phone lines to nearby St. Quentin are cut.
Anxious residents question refugees for news.
The cars streaming out of Amiens now include locals.
BEF commander ignores order from British Cabinet to attack.
Such ideas are wishful thinking when you haven't the ammo.
Bertram Ramsey, Admiral - Royal Navy
begins organizing ragtag flotilla of Navy and
private vessels in order to save their army
from capture with a plan named
Guderian's XIX Corps arrives in Abbeville,
a coastal town along the English Channel.
He pivots his force to move north toward Dunkirk.
Prime Minister Churchill orders
ready or not.
© Tom Taylor