Diary for Wednesday, May 15, 1940:
Hoth’s tanks defeat French 1st Armored Division west of Dinant; latter loses 125 of its 175 tanks. By nightfall, shattered French 9th Army is in full retreat west of Meuse and its commander, General Corap, is replaced by General Giraud.
German 6th Army launches major attack on Anglo-French front in Belgium (Dyle Line), but is bloodily repulsed.
FORMAL CAPITULATION OF DUTCH ARMY (isolated Dutch and French forces hold out in Zeeland, Walcheren and Beveland until May 17).
DUTCH CAMPAIGN LOSSES:
|Killed soldiers||2,890||c. 3,500 (incl. wounded)|
|Planes||over 160||over 162|
Holland: First issue of a Dutch underground news-sheet, the Geuzenactie. Dutch resistance groups subsequently publish approx. 1,000 clandestine newspapers, news-sheets and pamphlets.
British destroyers Valentine (sunk) and Winchester (badly damaged) bombed in Scheldt Estuary.
RAF BOMBER COMMAND BEGINS STRATEGIC AIR OFFENSIVE AGAINST GERMANY. 99 aircraft (1 lost) sent to attack oil installations and marshalling yards in the Ruhr; targets only slightly damaged (night May 15-16). Germans announce that they consider city of Brussels a legitimate military target. Radio Brussels bombed.
France: PANIC IN PARIS on reports of German break-through at Sedan. Many thousands of civilians leave city; government departments burn secret files; Premier Reynaud telephones Churchill: ‘We are beaten; we have lost the battle !’.