Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 263 May 20, 1940

The Panzers reach the sea. In 10 days they have traveled 200 miles from the German border to the English Channel. Almost a million Allied soldiers are surrounded in Northern France and Belgium, leaving Allied plans to defend Belgium and France in ruins.

At 1.40 AM, Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division moves out of Cambrai and in 6 hours advances 20 miles. They pull up 2 miles from Arras, which is strongly held by the British Expeditionary Force, to allow the infantry to catch up.

The advance of Guderian’s Panzer Corps is even more spectacular. At 9 AM, 1st Panzer Division takes Amiens. At 7 PM, 2nd Panzer Division takes Abbeville. At 8 PM, a reconnaissance unit of 2nd Panzer Division reaches the sea at Noyelles-sur-Mer on the Somme estuary. They have covered 50 miles in a day, isolating British, French, Dutch, and Belgian forces to the North.

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