Diary for Friday, May 10, 1940:
GERMANS INVADE HOLLAND, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG without warning (Operation Gelb = Yellow ) employing 77 divisions (including 10 Panzer and 2 airborne) and 3,500 aircraft. Three Panzer corps – Guderian’s XI, Reinhardt’s XLI and Hoth’s XX – strike through the Ardennes in south Belgium and Luxembourg, towards river Meuse.
Belgian forces withdraw from the Ardennes behind river Meuse, except for two infantry companies (Chasseurs Ardennais), which delay 1st Panzer Division of Guderian’s corps with road blocks.
Anglo-French Army Group 1 (32 divisions, includes BEF) crosses into Belgium (Dyle Plan). General Gamelin, Allied C-in-C issues Order of the Day: ‘Germany has engaged in war to the death against us…. [have] courage, energy, confidence. ‘
Hitler issues Order of the Day: ‘Soldiers of the West Front ! The battle which is beginning today will decide the fate of the German nation for the next thousand years. ‘
Dutch Army carries out prearranged flooding of inundation areas in East Holland. Dutch foil attempted abduction by German paratroops of Queen Wilhelmina. Operation ‘Royal Marine’ begins: 1,700 mines laid in river Rhine by May 17.
Luftwaffe raid airfields and towns in Holland, Belgium and North France at dawn. German airborne forces invade Holland and Belgium, seizing key airfields and bridges. Gliders land storm troops on Fort Eben-Emael in Belgium.
Dutch liners Statendam (28,300 t) and Veendam (15,500 t) bombed and sunk at Rotterdam. Dutch air forces and RAF destroy many Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft over Holland.
RAF Battle bombers make low-level attacks on German tanks advancing through Luxembourg (16 of 32 shot down and remainder damaged).
German aircraft bomb Freiburg (Germany) by mistake. 57 killed and Goebbels blames the French.
Nine Belgian Fairey Fox biplanes intercept group of Me 109 Es; one Me 109 shot down, three Fairey Foxes shot down and six damaged.
RAF bombs lines of communication east of southern Dutch-German border (night May 10-11).
British destroyers, minesweepers and Marines sent to coast of Holland. German troop ship mined south of Oslo. British troops land in Iceland. British and French troops land in Dutch West Indies. Dutch seize 26 German merchant ships in East and West Indies.
British troops evacuated from Mosjoen, south of Narvik.
German Memoranda to Brussels and The Hague justifying invasion. Belgian and Dutch Governments appeal to Britain and France. Queen Wilhelmina makes flaming protest against unprovoked German aggression. Luxembourg Government flees to France. British and French Governments warn Germany against carrying out air raids on civilian targets.
Britain: CHAMBERLAIN RESIGNS. CHURCHILL BECOMES PRIME MINISTER and forms Coalition Government.
France: Temporary reconciliation between Prime Minister Reynaud and the C-in-C, General Gamelin.