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Diary May 15, 1940

column of French Renault R-35 tank
Picture from this day, taken near Le Havre: a column of French Renault R-35 tanks on the way to the closer coming front line while civilians are fleeing to the west.
Diary for Wednesday, May 15, 1940:

Western Front

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).


Killed soldiers 2,890 c. 3,500 (incl. wounded)
Wounded soldiers 6,889
Planesover 160over 162
Killed civilians 2,500-

Occupied countries

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.

Sea War

British destroyers Valentine (sunk) and Winchester (badly damaged) bombed in Scheldt Estuary.

Air War

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.

Home Fronts

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 !’.

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