Diary for Saturday, February 24, 1940:
MANSTEIN PLAN ADOPTED by German Army High Command. Hitler accepts proposal by General von Manstein – backed by Generals von Rundstedt and Guderian – for drastic revision of Fall Gelb (limited offensive repeatedly postponed since October 1939). Five Panzer divisions with motorized infantry and Ju 87 Stukas are to smash through weak points in the Allied line – hilly and ‘impassable’ Ardennes Forest – then to cross river Meuse at Sedan and drive across North France to the Channel, thereby cutting off main Anglo-French forces (which are to be lured into Belgium by German 6th Army). Preparations for this ‘knock-out blow’ are to be completed (in great secrecy) by March 7.
Germany: Hitler boasts of his achievements in speech at Munich on 20th anniversary of founding of Nazi Party and claims: ‘Germany would not have lost the last war if I had been Reichs chancellor in 1918 !’.
Britain: Chamberlain, in Birmingham, condemns Nazi war aims: ‘destruction of this nation (Britain) and domination of the world’ but declares his continued willingness to reach a settlement with an alternative German Government.
Conference of Scandinavian Foreign Ministers at Copenhagen (February 24-25). Ministers re-assert ‘absolute neutrality’ of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.