Campaign for North Rivett day 2 Posted on 9 Mar 22:30 , 0 comments
The opening (World in Flames) campaign by Germany has caught the French and British allies totally unprepared and with their penchant for Blitzkrieg the Germans took full advantage bursting into France on November 1 1939 even though the weather has turned nasty forcing the Wehrmacht to advance into a snowstorm. Unperturbed they advanced 150 km to the southern suburbs of Lille in the North and outflanking the Maginot line to the south.
British and French rushed to the front to stem the tide, and due to the poor weather, managed to stitch together a line barely 120 km from Paris. Meanwhile the British corps in Antwerp was strongly reinforced with a second corps restricting the German advance to the coast.
Here the line held for 3 months until in early March 1940 the Germans resumed their devastating assault in the west destroying two weak French corps east of Paris driving a huge hole in the lines. They then swung westwards driving straight for Paris.
Western front March 25 1940
The weather in April again slowed the Germans but with the start of May the Wehrmacht destroyed 3 more corps and shattered a fourth bringing their army to the gates of Paris.
Then in June the final German offensive began expending vast amounts of fuel and ammunition in destroying the elite French VII corps and Senegal Militia occupying the capital on May 28 1940.
The French launched furious counterattacks in an attempt to recapture their beloved capital but it was all in vain. Their only success of the campaign was destroying the XI German mech corps and two Geschwader of Dornier 17Zs on the ground when they overran their airfields.
But this was the limit of French resistance and on the 22nd June the French signed the armistice dividing France into two, northern France being occupied and southern France turned into a puppet state with its capital at Vichy.
In Italy Mussolini's policy seemed inscrutable still sitting on the sidelines pondering his options.
Italy recumbent June 1940
But this was all a bluff. After consultations with Adolf at Berchtesgarten, Mussolini on July 12 declared war on the Commonwealth, but not the French! Obviously he was attempting to limit his potential losses, but would this also allow the French transports to ferry British reinforcements unmolested to Egypt?
The answer to that question would have to wait, but Mussolini lost no time in reinforcing Balbo in Egypt who commenced his drive deep into Egypt.
Italy rampant Sept 1940
Joseph Stalin noted all these events with extreme concern and ordered his elite Siberian troops to liberate the oppressed peoples of Iraq from centuries of Turkish and British misrule, invading and occupying the country in a lightning campaign during March and April 1940.
The rest of the summer 1940 was spent in a series of fruitless raids by the Kriegsmarine's U-boats against Britain's vulnerable convoy lines bringing vital supplies and war material from the empire to the mother country.
A strategic bombardment campaign of Britain now began with the British launching reprisal raids on the Ruhr. A surprise German marine landing in Southern England was forestalled at the last moment by the rushed reinforcement of the plucky Glasgow militia to Dover.
The British lion roars July 1940
This forced Hitler to cast his covetous eyes eastward to Russia for a spot of Lebensraum and trainloads of German troops started heading towards Poland.
Just as Stalin started to become exceedingly concerned about reports of German troops movements near the Russia's border, Hitler upped the ante by pressuring Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary to join the tripartite pact. But then completely unexpectedly, large elements of the Wehrmacht was diverted through these countries to Bulgaria.
Wehrmacht tourists in Southern Bulgaria September 1 1940
On the first anniversary of the commencement of World War II, what on earth was Adolf up to?