Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 264 May 21, 1940

While Guderian consolidates his position on the English Channel, Rommel bypasses Arras to the West and aims for the coast 50 miles away. However, French and British commanders (notably Churchill) have been urging a counterattack on the Panzer spearhead. 74 British tanks, supported by 2 infantry divisions, attack Rommel’s infantry near Arras. The German 37mm PaK anti-tank guns have no effect on the British “Matilda” tanks. In desperation, Rommel uses his 88mm Flak 18, 36 & 37 anti-aircraft guns in flat fire. The famous “88” anti-tank gun is born. An advanced Panzer regiment turns around and attacks the British from the rear, helping to push the British tanks back to Arras. Rommel has 89 killed, 110 wounded and 173 “missing” (AWOLs, who mostly return).

Narvik. RAF 263 Squadron returns to Norway with 18 Gladiators & 46 Squadron provides 18 Hurricanes. They are unable to provide much protection to Allied warships in Ototfjord.

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