Capture of Eben-Enamel. The assault on Belgium

Capture of Eben-Enamel. The assault on Belgium

Adolf Hitler with a group of awarded paratrooper officers of the Koch assault battalion of the 7th Air Division. Officers were awarded Knights Crosses for the successful capture of the strategic Belgian fort Eben-Enamel on May 10, 1940


Blitzkrieg in the West. 80 years ago, on May 28, 1940, Belgium surrendered. Belgian society, feeling completely safe behind the wall of “impregnable” fortifications and counting on the help of England and France, was mistaken. In Belgium, they were waiting for a positional war in the image of the First World War, and received a psychological and lightning war.

Belgium's readiness for war


Officially, Belgium was a neutral country. However, Germany was considered a potential adversary, while France and England were allies. The Belgian military passed on to the French information on the country's defense policy, on troop movements, fortifications and communications. The Belgians had strong fortifications on the border with Holland and Germany. After the Nazis came to power in Germany, the Belgian authorities began to modernize the old and create new defenses on the border. Fortifications in Namur and Liège were renewed, great hopes were pinned on Fort Eben-Enamel (erected in 1932-1935) on the Belgian-Dutch border. The fort was to prevent the Germans from breaking into Belgium through the South Netherlands. Eben-Enamel was considered the largest and impregnable fortress of Europe, controlled the most important bridges across the Alberta Canal, located north of the fort. The Belgians also erected new fortification lines along the Maastricht-Bois-le-duque canal, the canal connecting the Maas and Scheldt rivers, and the Albert Canal.

The Belgians planned to defend the fortifications along the Albert Canal and the Meuse, from Antwerp to Liège and Namur, until the Allies arrived on the Dil line. Then the Belgian army retreated to the second line of defense: Antwerp - Dil - Namur. The allies adopted the Dil plan. According to this plan, while the Belgians fought back on the front lines, the allied forces were to arrive on the Dil line (or the KV line), which ran from Antwerp along the river. Dil and the Diel Canal, then through Louvain, Wavre to the fortified area of ​​Namur. The Dil plan made it possible to reduce the distance and time of the transfer of Anglo-French forces to the aid of the Belgians, reduce the front in central Belgium, free some troops for reserve, and cover part of the center and east of the country.


Map of Belgium fortifications according to the plans of Belgium and the plan "Dil"

The problem was that this plan was designed so that the enemy would deliver the main blow in central Belgium. If the Germans struck the main blow south (which happened), then the allies would be in danger of flanking coverage and encirclement. Belgian intelligence suspected that the Germans would launch a major invasion through the Belgian Ardennes and break through to the sea in the Calais region to block an enemy group in Belgium. The Belgian command notified the supreme allied command of this. But their warning was ignored (like other "bells and whistles").

By the beginning of the war, Belgium mobilized 5 army, 2 reserve and one cavalry corps - 18 infantry, 2 divisions of Arden rangers - mechanized units, 2 cavalry motorized divisions, one motorized brigade and one brigade of border guards. Plus artillery and anti-aircraft units, garrison fortresses and other units. A total of 22 divisions, about 600 thousand people, in reserve - 900 thousand. In addition, there was a fleet, three naval divisions defended the coast. The army was armed with over 1330 guns, a small number of modern French tanks (AMC 35 tanks were only 10). The main combat unit of the armored formations was the T-13 anti-tank self-propelled gun, the T-13 of the B1 / B2 / B3 modifications was 200; there were also several dozen T-15 tankettes, they were armed with machine guns. Aviation had about 250 combat aircraft (including light and transport aircraft - over 370). The fleet update has just begun. Thus, in general, the Belgian army consisted of infantry units and hoped for strong fortifications, natural obstacles (canals, rivers, the Ardennes forest). The army lacked tanks, anti-aircraft artillery and modern aircraft.


Leopold III, king of Belgium, examines a column of tanks


Belgian Air Force Fairey Fox Light Bomber


Arden Chasers

Allied Forces


Immediately after the outbreak of the war, the Belgian army was to be supported by the numerous and well-armed forces of the allies - the 1st, 2nd, 7th and 9th French armies, the British expeditionary army (about 40-45 divisions in total). The 7th French army was to cover the northern flank, with its mobile units (1st light mechanized division, 2 infantry motorized divisions) to leave for Holland, in the Breda region, and render assistance to the Dutch army. The British corps (10 divisions, 1 artillery pieces and 280 tanks) were supposed to cover the Ghent-Brussels area. The central part of Belgium was occupied by the 310st French Army (it included the 1nd and 2rd light mechanized divisions). The 3th French Army was located on the southern flank of the allies (there was only one motorized division in the army). The troops of the 9th Army were located south of the river. Sambras, north of Sedan. The 9nd French Army defended the Franco-Belgian border between Sedan and Monmedi and the northern flank of the Maginot Line on the Belgian-Luxembourg border.

That is, the two weakest French armies covered the area where the Nazis struck the main blow and concentrated a powerful armored fist. Here were the French divisions of the reserve of the first and second stage. They did not have mobile units, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, which reflect the attacks of tanks and aircraft. Therefore, the 9th and 2nd armies did not have a chance to stop the German breakthrough. The most efficient and mobile allied formations were between Namur and the coast, and could not prevent the breakthrough of the German strike group.

“The situation could have turned out completely differently,” the former Hitler general and military historian K. Tippelskirch noted after the war, “if the French command, leaving its troops west of the Maginot line near the French-Belgian border with its powerful field fortifications, would trust, contrary to all "political considerations, the Belgians and the Dutch to prevent the advance of the German armies and would have kept the main forces of their mobile forces in reserve behind the front line." The German general was most afraid of this decision. Therefore, the news of the entry of the three armies of the left wing of the allies (1st and 7th French, British expeditionary) to Belgium caused great joy in the German camp.


British troops in Belgium


The British Army in Belgium May 10, 1940 Belgian girls give flowers to the British


German soldiers at the abandoned Belgian self-propelled gun T. 13B3


German tank column in Belgium, May 1940


Abandoned French B1 bis tanks in Beaumont, Belgium

Shock Ebony-Enamel


In Belgium, the Germans did without the threat of air terror. Belgium, like Holland, was defeated by a wave of fear. Here the Germans also successfully used special forces. On May 5–8, 1940, the Abwehr sent Brandenburg-800 special forces soldiers to reconnoiter the border fortifications of Belgium and Luxembourg. Special forces disguised as tourists. They traveled through a travel agency and photographed enemy fortifications.

On the first day of the war, May 10, 1940, the Nazis won an amazing victory in Belgium. They took the impregnable fort Eben-Enamel (Eben-Emael). Thus plunged Belgium into shock and awe. The Germans took the fortress as a landing force from gliders! At that moment, it seemed like a miracle that paralyzed the will of the Belgians to resist.

The fort was the foremost achievement of military engineers of the time. The fortress stood 10 kilometers south of the Dutch Maastricht and northeast of Liège. The Alberta Canal stretched south to Liege - a serious water barrier that had to be forced to step on the country's capital Brussels. The banks are sheer, reinforced concrete bunkers are located along the stream (every 500-600 meters). The canal covers the old fortress of Liege, the center of the entire fortified area. Fort Eben-Enamel is the northern nodal point of this fortified area. He covered the most important bridges over the Alberta Canal, which were prepared for the explosion. It was impossible to restore the bridges under the fire of the fortress artillery. Also, the artillery of the fort could shell the railway junction and bridges in the Dutch Maastricht itself.

The fortress was located on a hilly plateau, was a fortified area measuring 900 by 700 meters. From the northeast, the stronghold was covered by a 40-meter cliff adjacent to the canal. From the northwest and south is the moat. The fort was considered impregnable and had to drown any attack in the blood. The fort was armed with dozens of guns and machine guns in casemates and rotating armored towers: 75- and 120-mm guns (with their help it was possible to fire distant targets), 47- and 60-mm anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft, machine guns and light machine guns. All firing points were connected by underground galleries. Plus observation posts, anti-tank ditches, floodlights and underground structures. The garrison was over 1200 people, but the fort was located about 600 people, the rest were in reserve outside the fortress.

The Belgians took into account the experience of the First World War, when the fortifications died under the blows of powerful artillery. For construction, reinforced concrete was used instead of ordinary concrete. The cannon casemates were hidden at great depths in the plateau, which made them invulnerable even to 420 mm siege guns. Dive bombers and tanks were powerless against the casemates on the slopes (the Germans did not have heavy tanks then). The Belgians would easily have shot German tanks from existing guns. In addition, the neighboring forts, Pontiss and Brachon, could cover Eben-Enamel.

Thus, in order to invade Belgium, the Nazis had to take Eben-Enamel. By all accounts, the Nazis would have to spend two weeks on this. The fort was supposed to forge two divisions. The Germans needed to pull up siege artillery and a strong aviation group. In the meantime, the Germans would get bogged down at the walls of the fortress, French and British divisions would come up, reinforce the Belgian army with a second echelon and reserves. Belgium will stand, the war will take a protracted character, deadly for the Reich. Therefore, under the protection of Eben-Enamel and other fortifications, the Belgians felt quite confident.

The shock of the Belgians was even stronger when the Nazis took the fort on the very first day of the war. On May 10, 1940, 78 paratroopers of the 7th Air Division (Koch assault squad) landed on the fort with the help of gliders. Such an attack came as a complete surprise to the Belgian garrison. With the help of explosives and flamethrowers, the Nazis destroyed part of the fortifications. The garrison settled in shelters and did not dare to counterattack. When reinforcements approached the German paratroopers, the Belgians surrendered.


Exploded tower of the Belgian fort Eben-Enamel



Captured fortifications of the Belgian fort Eben-Enamel


Wehrmacht sappers cross the blown up bridge in Maastricht

Hitler's Mental Strategy


It is worth noting that the capture plan was invented personally by Hitler. He rejected the traditional methods of dealing with fortresses. There was no time for this. The Fuhrer came up with an original solution. I decided to attack using cargo gliders. They silently descended to the fortifications, landed a strike group, the armament of which had just appeared cumulative charges to crush the fort's armored caps with directional explosions. The plan was fantastic, any mistake could lead to failure, so it was terrifying for military professionals. However, it worked. The Germans conducted a detailed reconnaissance of enemy fortifications, from the end of 1939 began the preparation of a small group of paratroopers, who worked out the landing and assault on the layout.

The Belgians knew about parachute and landings in Norway and Belgium, were ready for them. But they were waiting for the appearance of entire squadrons of "Junkers" with hundreds of paratroopers over the fortress and bridges. They were preparing to shoot down planes and shoot paratroopers in the air, to hunt for surviving paratroopers on the ground, until they gathered in groups and found containers with weapons and ammunition. Instead, silent gliders appeared over Eben-Enamel and landed directly on the fort. A handful of special forces bravely rushed to undermine the fortifications. The garrison was stunned and demoralized.

In addition, the Nazis were able, with the help of intelligence, to find headquarters in the vicinity of the fort, from where an order to blow up bridges across the Alberta Canal was to come. Several diving bomber Yu-87 (the crews trained hard before) on May 10, struck a point strike and destroyed the headquarters. The order for the explosion of bridges over wired communication did not pass. The order was sent with a liaison officer, as a result, only one bridge was late and destroyed. At the same time, German aircraft attacked the fortifications around the fort and surrounding villages, the Eben-Enmal garrison disappeared underground and missed the moment of the attack. On the evening of May 10, the Germans bombed Antwerp. Within a few days, the German Air Force gained dominance in the sky of Belgium.

On the same day, German special forces destroy the Belgian communications center in Stavlo, disorganizing control in the south-east of the country. Also on May 10, the Nazis were able to organize an uprising in the border region of Eipen. From a military point of view, the operation did not mean anything, but had a great psychological effect. After World War I, two border regions, Eipen and Malmedy, were cut off from Germany, giving them to Belgium. Since the 1920s, organizations of German nationalists have been operating there. Already under Hitler, the core of the Nazis arose, who disguised themselves as a hang glider club. When the Third Reich launched the Belgian campaign, veterans and young Nazis rebelled. This created the effect of a powerful performance of the “fifth column” in the country.

Thus, Hitler delivered several powerful psychological blows to Belgium at once. New methods of the Reich war plunged Belgian society into shock and prostration. The simultaneous operation of gliders with paratroopers, the almost instantaneous fall of the “impregnable” fortress, which was to stop the German army for a long time; Luftwaffe punches; the allegedly massive uprising of the “fifth column” and the actions of sabotage agents demoralized the Belgians. Plus, the widespread offensive of the Wehrmacht and the rapid fall of Holland. The Germans did everything synchronously and with lightning speed. The Belgians were cut down by a series of powerful and overwhelming blows.


German motorcyclist on a city street in Belgium


A British demoman is preparing to blow up a bridge near the city of Leuven in Belgium to delay the advance of German units


Column of a telephone company of the 137th Mountain Jäger Regiment of the Wehrmacht on the street of the Belgian city

Panic


Belgian society and leadership were not ready for such a war. Feeling completely safe behind the wall of fortifications and counting on the help of the great powers (England and France), the Belgians made a great mistake, relaxed and were quickly defeated. In Belgium, they were waiting for a positional war in the image of the First World War, when most of the country outside the front line lives on the whole with an ordinary life, and received a psychological and lightning war.

The rapid decline of Eben-Enamel and the entire border system of fortifications caused a wave of panic in the country. Rumors circulated about treason at the top, the only way to explain the collapse of “impregnable” positions and forts on the border, the Germans crossing the Albert Canal. Then in Brussels, terrifying rumors appeared about Hitler's secret weapon - poison gas and "death rays." There was nothing of the kind. Berlin during the Second World War did not dare to use chemical weapons (the enemies had the same arsenals). Rumors about waves of gliders with toxic substances, thousands of Hitler agents who wreaked havoc in the rear, and about the poisoning of water pipes and food, also quickly spread. About the corrupt officials who betrayed the country, about the thousands of German militants who rebelled in Belgium.

The Germans launched a chain reaction of an epidemic of fear. The demoralized and stunned Belgian authorities by their actions only intensified chaos and general panic. New scary rumors were rolling: in France, a coup, power was seized by supporters of an alliance with Hitler; Italy attacked France; the Maginot line fell and German troops were already in France; all villages around Liège Germans mercilessly destroyed. Immediately the roads were filled with flows of refugees, which interfered with the movement of troops. As in neighboring Holland, espionage broke out and a stupid fight began with the “fifth column” (the scale of which was very exaggerated), which disorganized the rear. The flood of signals from vigilant citizens, who saw enemy agents, spies and paratroopers everywhere, flooded the Belgian military.

On the third day of the war, it was announced on the radio that German paratroopers, dressed in civilian clothes and equipped with portable transmitters, were landing in the country. This message was erroneous. Almost all German airborne forces were involved in the Netherlands at that time. On May 13, the government reported that disguised Germans attacked police stations. Later it turned out that there were no such attacks. So in the country the mental panic epidemic spread.

The collapse of the country along ethnic lines began. The units where the soldiers were called up from Eipen and Malmedy were disarmed and sent to dig trenches. They were considered potential allies of the Germans. Historically, Belgium has consisted of German-speaking Flemish and French-speaking Wallonia. The Walloons and Flemings did not like each other. Germany supported the Flemish nationalists before the war, and fascist Italy funded the Walloon nationalists. With the outbreak of war, Brussels ordered the arrest of all Flemish and Walloon national activists. And the local authorities were zealous, throwing everyone in prison. The police grabbed all the "not so", all who seemed suspicious. As early as May 13, the prisons were overcrowded. Deportations of German citizens began, among which there were many Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. Among the "suspicious" were nationalists, communists, Germans, and generally foreigners (Dutch, Poles, Czechs, French, etc.). Some of those detained were shot during general horror.

The collapse of the Belgian army began. The soldiers deserted, talked about the invincible German army, causing new waves of fear. In parallel, all roads in southeastern Belgium were flooded with refugees. The government ordered the railroad and postal and telegraph employees to be evacuated, and all the others rushed after them. The roads were clogged. The troops lost mobility. 1,5 million people have gathered in western Belgium. And the French closed the border for several days. And when the border was opened, the Germans through the Ardennes were already breaking through to the sea. Refugees mixed with retreating from Belgium to northern France, French, British soldiers. It is clear that the combat effectiveness of the Union Army in such an environment sharply sank. The troops also spied on, here and there, "enemy agents" were seized and shot, indiscriminate firing was carried out on ghostly saboteurs. French counterintelligence shot on the spot all those who were suspected of espionage and sabotage.

To be continued ...


German gunners driving through Saint-Lambert square past the city hall in Liege


Belgian refugees and German troops


French tank Char B1-bis No. 309 "Rhone", blown up by its own crew on the city street. During the retreat from Belgium to France on May 16, 1940, the tank, passing along one of the streets of Beaumont, stopped due to lack of fuel. The crew had no choice but to blow up the car and continue the retreat on foot. The machine from the 37th tank battalion of the 1st tank division


Four destroyed French tanks Char B-1bis on Beaumont Street
Author:
Photos used:
https://ru.wikipedia.org/, http://waralbum.ru/
Articles from this series:
Blitzkrieg in the West

Blitzkrieg in the West. How the Holland, Belgium and France fell
Psychological warfare. How the Germans stormed the "Holland Fortress"
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  1. Okolotochny 28 May 2020 05: 38 New
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    Question to the author - Hitler personally developed a plan to capture the fort with the help of gliders and landing ???
    1. Vladimir_2U 28 May 2020 05: 58 New
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      Quote: Okolotochny
      Hitler personally developed a plan to capture the fort with gliders and landing

      And more compass and accounts!
      1. Basil50 28 May 2020 08: 00 New
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        There is something about Hitler’s genius * in the article, but something about the * courage * of the Belgians and their allies is not enough.
        Against the Nazis, it is precisely known how many troops gathered, but how many of them were later atrocious in the SOVIET UNION in the SOVIET UNION, at best, they try not to mention.
        But after 1945, in Benelux, as well as in France, Denmark, Poland, Norway * resistance * against the Nazis, it became a little less than the population of these countries.
      2. tihonmarine 28 May 2020 09: 05 New
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        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        And more compass and accounts!

        Whatever it was, and who counted, but the operation to capture Eben Enamel was carried out amazingly. Just a classic.
        1. Glory1974 28 May 2020 11: 52 New
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          The operation is truly amazing. But not a classic, for those times it was know-how.
          80 commandos against 2000 garrison soldiers.
          Now we can say that this is a classic of the use of special forces.
          If this operation was carried out by the classic Wehrmacht generals, it would be according to plan: 2 weeks of fighting, aviation and artillery, assault, etc.
          1. tihonmarine 28 May 2020 16: 54 New
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            Quote: glory1974
            The operation is truly amazing. But not a classic, for those times it was know-how.

            Everything correctly created, when it becomes a classic, and descendants study on it, and everything stupid goes into oblivion.
          2. passenger 2 July 2020 00: 03 New
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            Just do not need to idealize the German military genius for so much, and succumb to this psychosis of "invincibility."
            Quote: glory1974
            80 commandos against 2000 garrison soldiers.

            Firstly, the Belgians were not 2000, but about 1200, but 80 landing troops - this was only the first wave, during the day reinforcements landed there. As a result, the number of troops reached 400-500 people. But the Belgians still went on the counterattack, trying to drive the Germans, but were not successful, because those, in turn, were covered by attack aircraft.
            Yes there was a shock, yes there was an unconditional victory, a brilliant victory. But do not once again produce incredible myths about the victory of 80 "cool" commandos for 2000 cowardly Belgians. Because in fact it will be a continuation of Nazi propaganda of Goebbels.
            1. Glory1974 2 July 2020 10: 42 New
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              it’s not necessary to idealize the German military genius so much and succumb to this psychosis of “invincibility”

              Yes there was a shock, yes there was an unconditional victory, a brilliant victory. But do not once again produce incredible myths about the victory of 80 "cool" commandos for 2000 cowardly Belgians.

              Where do you see idealization? Where is the myth? Only facts. And the facts are such that the attackers captured an impregnable fort in a few hours, while being in a numerical minority, using new weapons. And you need to know the facts in order to learn from the mistakes of others.
              At the same time, about the brilliant victory in my comments there is not a word, there is no admiration for the special forces, unlike your comment. So, rather, you blow the Goebbels pipe
        2. ccsr 28 May 2020 13: 57 New
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          Quote: tihonmarine
          Whatever it was, and who counted, but the operation to capture Eben Enamel was carried out amazingly. Just a classic.

          I think that the cowardice of the Belgian troops was more affected here than the skill of the Germans, although he carried out the operation brilliantly, judging by the results. Let me remind you that the fortress was the most modern, unlike the Brest fortress of tsarist times, and where the Germans could not do anything, and the last defenders fought for almost a month.
          By the way, even the country's leadership did not behave in the best way:
          The situation in Belgium was becoming more complicated every day. On the further course of events another fact negatively affected. Otto and I learned that the Belgian government, led by Prime Minister Pierlo, was evacuated to France in its entirety and temporarily located in the city of Limoges.
          After the flight, otherwise it is impossible to name the actions of the government, only King Leopold III remained at the head of the Belgian army. The Belgians believed that their king would, repeating the heroic feat of his father, King Albert I, continue the fight against the fascist invaders. The hopes of the people did not materialize. It was possible to understand that the king, having carefully studied the situation in the country and at the front, finally realizing that one could not literally be at a loss for any effective help from the imaginary allies, despite all their promises.
          Apparently trying to stay with all the expected difficulties of living with his people, King Leopold III, learning about the government’s intention to leave the country, decided to firmly not follow Pierlo and all the ministers. Some Belgians claimed that the government’s flight from Belgium was inspired by the French government. It is possible that the king was of the same opinion. In any case, it could be firmly asserted that the king, not intending to cooperate with the Nazis, decided to stay in his country, refusing to flee to France, and then to England.
          The position of the king was further complicated by the fact that all important decisions, all royal decrees, in accordance with the law, had to be endorsed by at least one of the ministers, whose signature should be on the adopted document. That is why Clerical J. Pierlo decided to flee with the entire government to France, and then move to the UK, to London. Of course, in order to deprive the king of the opportunity to make any decisions, including on surrender to the fascist troops, Pierlo included the Minister of War in the government he had evacuated.
          Some of my interlocutors, the Belgians, expressed the idea that Y. Pierlo made his decision to flee the government in its entirety only after he learned about Leopold III's intention to sign the act of surrender. These Belgians claimed that Pierlo acted in the interests of the governments of Great Britain and France, forgetting what sacrifices Belgium and its people could bring to the continuation of hostilities. They even suggested that Pierlo and the entire government left Belgium on May 28, 1940, that is, on the day the king signed the act of surrender. By signing this act, Leopold III voluntarily declared himself a prisoner of war, warning that he would consider himself to be such until the last Belgian prisoner of war was returned to his homeland. True, some, not modestly, argued that the king sought with the help of the Nazi invaders to retain the throne. At the same time, one could even hear allegations that the king in all his actions relied on the right wing of Catholics and Flemish nationalists. As I have already indicated, after surrendering and returning to Brussels, Leopold III, officially retaining his royal title, was again housed in the palace in Laken, where, according to rumors, he had the right to be with his family, as well as with his military retinue and his servants.
          1. deddem 29 May 2020 08: 53 New
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            The whole history of Belgium is a chronicle of conflicts between the Flemings and Walloons, and compromise solutions designed to reconcile them.
            In short, sitting on two chairs spreading apart.

            Leopold's father favored the Francophone, then the pendulum swung back (and the Francophone, of course, took it as a betrayal).

            When reading Belgian history books, you have to look at the author’s surname right away to tweak the filter you need.

            To this is added the hatred of the economy: in the interwar period there was a rich industrial Walloon and a poor rural Flanders, and now there was a rich post-industrial Flanders and a poor, drunk on the abandoned mines of Wallonia.
            1. ccsr 29 May 2020 11: 04 New
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              Quote: deddem
              When reading Belgian history books, you have to look at the author’s surname right away to tweak the filter you need.

              I completely agree with you, but in this case this text is taken from the book of the resident of the Soviet military intelligence Gurevich-Kent, i.e. he saw it without any bias ..
          2. konchitawurst 30 May 2020 19: 36 New
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            Excuse me. But what could the Germans not do with the Brest Fortress? In my opinion, they blocked it, from 22 to 23 the main forces made an attempt to break through and this was the end of the organized resistance.
            1. ccsr 31 May 2020 11: 00 New
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              Quote: konchitawurst
              Excuse me. But what could the Germans not do with the Brest Fortress?

              Grab her landing.
              Quote: konchitawurst
              In my opinion, they blocked it, from 22 to 23 the main forces made an attempt to break through and this was the end of the organized resistance.

              Quote: konchitawurst
              In my opinion, they blocked it, from 22 to 23 the main forces made an attempt to break through and this was the end of the organized resistance.

              This is not entirely true, if only because the fortress was blocked by the German division and used artillery and aircraft to destroy its defenders.
              In addition to the division artillery of the 45th Wehrmacht infantry division, nine light and three heavy batteries, a high-power artillery battery (two ultra-heavy 600-mm self-propelled mortars "Karl" [10]) and a 210-mm mortar division (21 cm Mörser) were used for artillery preparation sixteen). In addition, the commander of the 16th Army Corps during the first five minutes of artillery preparation concentrated on the fortress the fire of two divisions of the same mortars of the 12th and 34st infantry divisions. The total planned consumption of artillery ammunition amounted to over 31 thousand rounds of caliber from 7 mm and above.

              And they fought in the fortress much longer:
              In the cellars of the barracks of the 333rd regiment at the Terespol Gate, the group of A. E. Potapov and the border guards A. M. Kizhevatov who joined her continued to fight until June 29. On June 29, they made a desperate attempt to break south, toward the West Island, in order to then turn east. During the breakthrough, most of its participants died or were captured.
              1. konchitawurst 31 May 2020 20: 02 New
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                The landing on the fortress was not planned to be done. The rest has nothing to do with the topic-Organized command (resistance) was already over in 2-3 days. The defenders fought, it was indisputable but they could not interfere with the further advance of the Wehrmacht troops. defense of the city of Brest. The best units were sent there. Fortresses that were far from the most combat-ready units took it. Because they were not going to take it according to plan
                1. ccsr 1 June 2020 13: 02 New
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                  Quote: konchitawurst
                  The landing on the fortress was not planned to be done.

                  Why, then, since everything happened so well in Belgium?
                  Quote: konchitawurst
                  . Fortress was taken far from the most combat-ready units.

                  This is why you decided that in the first echelon of the offensive the Germans used non-combat-ready formations?
                  Quote: konchitawurst
                  Because they weren’t going to take it according to plan

                  And why, then, was there the 45th division delayed and did not go any further? They immediately began to violate the attack plan?
    2. Krasnodar 28 May 2020 08: 37 New
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      Quote: Okolotochny
      Question to the author - Hitler personally developed a plan to capture the fort with the help of gliders and landing ???

      Hi Aleksey! hi
      Historians (Western) attribute to him the idea and participation in the development
      1. Okolotochny 28 May 2020 12: 28 New
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        Albert, welcome! Yes zadolbali straight with the "genius". Given the fact that the General Staff clearly participated, the Goering department (the paratroopers obeyed him) and the Brandenburg-800. But one "ingenious Hitler" "came up with a plan." It’s just like the cheers-communists for Stalin - almost on his knees he personally developed all “10 Stalinist strikes”. Top leaders give direction, I do not exclude that Hitler indicated in the first place to capture the fort. And the subtleties and nuances of operations are developed by people with a lower rank, this is their destiny.
        With the same success, we can say that the storming of the Amin’s palace and the capture of Kabul was personally worked out by Brezhnev, pored over the plan day and night.
        1. Krasnodar 28 May 2020 13: 12 New
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          From what I read from Beaver and Himings, Hitler suggested capturing with a small assault force, remembering the experience of using assault troops - initially quite successful in the years of WWII. And then specialists worked on the development. )))
    3. antivirus 28 May 2020 09: 05 New
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      apparently it was a bold move, past the old Kaiser “guard”, young nominees G. social elevators in action
      1. Okolotochny 28 May 2020 12: 31 New
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        This is most likely.
  2. rocket757 28 May 2020 07: 14 New
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    The soldiers deserted, talked about the invincible German army, causing new waves of fear.

    panic is a terrible thing! and the panic in the troops is a DISASTER !!!
    And then everything is clear ... to suppress a panic at ANY PRICE !!!
    1. tihonmarine 28 May 2020 09: 02 New
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      Quote: rocket757
      panic is a terrible thing! and the panic in the army is a DISASTER !!


      Maybe not Hitler himself, but his leadership developed methods of "psychic" attacks, but the results were excellent. Moreover, the Nazis knew the mentality of the western man in the street. Competent tactics, especially the use of the Airborne Forces, and the psychological impact, allowed Hitler to tear Europe as short as a Tuzik hot-water bottle as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we also had cases of alarmism, but the people were not mentally broken, we were blinded from another test. But still the Germans fought very competently, a serious adversary from time immemorial.
      1. rocket757 28 May 2020 09: 16 New
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        Quote: tihonmarine
        But still the Germans fought very competently, a serious adversary from time immemorial.

        Ordnung and the “twilight” German genius .... it’s a great human tragedy that all this fell into the service of the possessed corporal.
        1. deddem 29 May 2020 08: 43 New
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          Anyone who speaks of the "ordnung" never drove Deutsche Ban.
          One of the nearly successful escape from Colditz camp in the winter of 1940/41 was frustrated by the fact that the train on the final shoulder was three hours late.
          1. rocket757 29 May 2020 08: 52 New
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            The main thing is to declare more often and publicly ... and how it really is, to know is no longer necessary.
            however, many believe that the German order is ORDER!
            1. ccsr 29 May 2020 11: 12 New
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              Quote: rocket757
              however, many believe that the German order is ORDER!

              And yet, without experiencing any kind of supernatural admiration for their order, I note that we are far from them in this regard - believe me, I have watched the Germans' lives in the GDR for too long.
              And if in February we agreed to meet with the German family, then they’ve calculated everything, set, for example, a date for May, on the indicated day and hour, and be sure that after that you could not communicate for several months, but when you arrived at the appointed time you will see that you were waiting.
              I am not a fan of German pedantry, but in many cases it would not hurt us to adopt something from them, although with our mentality this is unlikely to succeed. As an example, I just agreed with a friend about a meeting that is important for him, and we agreed that we will meet “next week”, here is a typical example of our “order”.
              1. rocket757 29 May 2020 11: 24 New
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                Quote: ccsr
                although with our mentality this is unlikely to succeed.

                Originality for every nation is normal. however, identity is shaped by the habitat including Everything has been formed in our country for a long time, it will not work to remake in a simple way.
                But, just as a fact, getting into a different habitat, a person adopts the rules that exist in it ... in different ways, of course, but basically it happens.
  3. Bolo 28 May 2020 08: 05 New
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    The enemy is strong and treacherous, the more expensive is our VICTORY!
  4. bober1982 28 May 2020 08: 56 New
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    The Belgians’s tanks and planes are ridiculous, where they had to fight with the Dutch soldier, they immediately had to pull their hands up, which happened.
    1. Glory1974 28 May 2020 11: 55 New
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      Fritz also had no less funny tanks, planes a little better. But to fight against the Fritz, of course, the western inhabitants have a thin gut.
      Our somehow managed to break the Fritz and his funny technique.
      1. bober1982 28 May 2020 12: 03 New
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        Quote: glory1974
        Our somehow managed to break the Fritz and his funny technique.

        I would not call our planes and tanks ridiculous.
        1. Glory1974 28 May 2020 13: 21 New
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          T-26, BT-5,7, I-16, I-153 aircraft, the same level as the Belgians.
          1. bober1982 28 May 2020 13: 32 New
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            And what kind of fighters did the Belgians have at the level of I-16 and I-153?
            By the way, our airplanes (main fleet) were outdated, but could fight the Germans on equal terms.
            What could the Belgians bomb with their light bomber?
          2. boris epstein 28 May 2020 14: 27 New
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            Well, in the Hitler Army in 1941, according to the technical specifications, tanks were not much better. Doubles (gun 20 mm, armor 14,5 mm, speed 40 km / h), triples of the 1941 model. (37 mm cannon-since 1942 g-50 mm, armor-30 mm, speed-40 km / h), 35T (37 mm cannon, armor 25 mm forehead and turret, speed 35 km / h), 38T (37 mm cannon , armor 25 mm, speed 42 km / h) Our T-26 single-turret gun 45 mm, armor 25-16 mm, speed 30 km / h, BT-5, 7-gun 45 mm, armor BT-5 -13 mm, BT-7-22-13-72 mm, speed on wheels-52 km / h, on tracks-34 km / h. The four of them, in contrast, were the T and KV. It was not a matter of technology, but of tactics and the complete mobilization of the Wehrmacht. The Red Army from some armies had only headquarters. Part of the mechanized corps was in the process of reformation. Expressing itself in a chess language, the aggressor always plays with white pieces (right of the first move).
      2. Pilat2009 29 May 2020 06: 22 New
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        Quote: glory1974
        Fritz also had no less funny tanks, planes a little better. But to fight against the Fritz, of course, the western inhabitants have a thin gut.
        Our somehow managed to break the Fritz and his funny technique.

        So we and the troops had more. And the territory. Once again I will say that the Germans seized the land more than Belgium and France combined. Yes, and the mobilization reserves are not comparable. And if you count the number of prisoners, France and Belgium will be far behind
    2. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 14: 27 New
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      yeah, to compete on gladiators and foxes with emiles .... If on the first day the Luftwaffe hadn’t bombed all 11 Hurricanes at the airport, the Belgians could still show off a little. Well, at least there would be a chance to successfully bomb the bridges across the Albert Canal.
  5. antivirus 28 May 2020 09: 03 New
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    indiscriminate firing on ghostly saboteurs. French counterintelligence shot on the spot all those who were suspected of espionage and sabotage.

    - and now live happily without remembering "their Beria"
    1. lucul 28 May 2020 10: 15 New
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      - and now live happily without remembering "their Beria"

      But why?
      This is because we are undergoing massive psychological pressure - in order to nurture an inferiority complex in the nation. This is because we must pay and repent.
      Nobody touches them (yet) ...
  6. tihonmarine 28 May 2020 09: 16 New
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    Belgian society, feeling completely safe behind the wall of “impregnable” fortifications and counting on the help of England and France, was mistaken.
    Here is an example of the mistakes that Europe has made since 1938. Everyone counted on France and England, the same Czechoslovakia and Poland, then Finns with norgs, and all of Europe dumped and mixed up by Hitler’s tanks, and without even having time to blink, France itself turned out to be a girl from a brothel. There are a lot of rumors about England, but it is thought for some political reasons, and not for military reasons that Hitler did not break Britain. Now the situation is similar, but all light-trophs and truncated states also cherish the idea that a "big friend" will protect them without asking the question, "Do you need this friend?"
    1. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 10: 44 New
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      Hitler didn’t break Britain.


      he would not tear anything. Hitler was well aware that the colonial empire was too tough for him. He longed to make peace. A gamble with a landing in the metropolis would have given him nothing but migraine.
      1. Pilat2009 29 May 2020 06: 30 New
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        Quote: Dr. Frankenstucker
        Hitler didn’t break Britain.


        he would not tear anything. Hitler was well aware that the colonial empire was too tough for him. He longed to make peace. A gamble with a landing in the metropolis would have given him nothing but migraine.

        The entire shipbuilding industry was on the British Isles, including the Navy base, which drank a lot of blood from the Germans. There would be no one to block the German fleet and shipments, no one to fight Italy in the Mediterranean Sea and Africa. Another thing is to force the English Channel and supporting the supply of invasion troops is no easy task
  7. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 09: 41 New
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    No wonder - the Koch Assault Battalion began preparations for the assault on EE on November 3, 1939.
    I will allow myself a quote from my own post with chips:
    Three times the wise vulture from the Soviet cartoon is right - it’s better to lose three days, but then fly in an hour - and, as a matter of fact, it happened - the lightning operation was the result of many days of exhausting training. How seriously the Germans approached the preparation of the upcoming action, the facts say: a model of the fort Eben-Emael was built in the Hildesheim camp (we recall, by the way, how the Red Army learned to take Finnish pillboxes, "storming" their models from the snow during exercises!), Parachutists were armed in training special paint-throwing (practically paintball) guns. The level of secrecy was such that the name of the unit was periodically changed, the paratroopers were forbidden to call each other by name, write and receive letters, phone or leave the location - violation of the regime was punishable by death - so, two violators of the discipline were shot.
  8. Army soldier2 28 May 2020 09: 56 New
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    I had to serve in Belgium for two years, and a huge number of architectural monuments always surprised me, despite the fact that the territory of Belgium was to some extent the arena of the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and the Second World War. Then he realized that, with some exaggeration, it can be said that the Belgians each time managed to surrender before the enemy managed to charge the guns.
    The fortresses in Namer and Liege are certainly impressive.
    1. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 10: 30 New
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      that the Belgians always managed to surrender before the enemy had time to load the guns.


      why slander? Roerich even dedicated his Sword of Courage, by the way, to the defense of Liège. If the Belgians were such cowards as you paint, then they would accept the Kaiser ultimatum on August 2. But they retained honor. Like the Ardennes huntsmen in the next war.
      1. AllBiBek 28 May 2020 13: 22 New
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        Pavlov’s House alone held out against German troops longer than all of Belgium in both World War II.
        But here is a picture of a daub dedicated to Liège and a brush (to speak with aspiration) of Roerich himself - yes, the argument is more caliber and more deadly than “Fat Berta”, there is nothing to cover.
        1. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 14: 52 New
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          I do not understand this arrogant arrogance. Before the Germans appeared
          Pavlov’s House alone
          , they took possession of a territory of twenty Benelux pieces. 300 km from Bastogne to Ostend is less than from Brest to Minsk. Nevertheless, the Wehrmacht entered Minsk on the sixth day of Barbarossa.
          1. AllBiBek 28 May 2020 15: 01 New
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            During these 6 days, he lost more people and technology than all European companies combined.
            Including Polish.

            In Minsk, one T-28 - a well-known incident - killed more Germans than they lost by capturing Scandinavia.

            But so and so, the Belgians demonstrated exemplary military prowess in WWII, and even preserved military honor.
            1. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 15: 22 New
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              In Minsk, one T-28 - a well-known incident - killed more Germans than they lost by capturing Scandinavia.


              By Scandinavia do you mean only Denmark? Or did the T-28 mow more soldiers in Minsk than the Wehrmacht lost in Norway?
            2. konchitawurst 30 May 2020 19: 41 New
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              Just one T-28 killed more Germans than they lost in Norway?
  9. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 10: 09 New
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    They were preparing to shoot down planes and shoot paratroopers in the air


    yes la-a-ah-bottom - "shoot down" ...)))
    All the air defense of the fort - 4 “hotchkiss” on anti-aircraft gun mounts, two of which jammed immediately, one glider fell on one, the last rangers captured.
  10. Operator 28 May 2020 10: 18 New
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    Another agreement of 1940 - the command of the Belgian army successfully promoted misinformation about the terrible German paratroopers, the rank and file of the Belgian army surrendered in batches.

    The Belgians, with songs and dances, became part of the Third Reich, supplied the whole Wehrmacht war and worked diligently in the SS.
    1. tihonmarine 28 May 2020 10: 54 New
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      Quote: Operator
      The Belgians, with songs and dances, became part of the Third Reich, supplied the whole Wehrmacht war and worked diligently in the SS.

      And most likely they (the Belgians) themselves wanted this. If Hitler asked, then he would not have to fight, as in Austria.
  11. alone 28 May 2020 11: 04 New
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    It is difficult to fight when anarchy, confusion and defeatism are taking place at the top of power.
  12. Glory1974 28 May 2020 11: 45 New
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    On the third day of the war, it was announced on the radio that German paratroopers, dressed in civilian clothes and equipped with portable transmitters, were landing in the country. This message was erroneous.

    It was necessary to counterintelligence to shoot those who transmitted such messages.
    In general, a great example of the organization of psychological warfare. Therefore, learning from the mistakes of others, in the USSR radio receivers were requisitioned from the population, and they left only one source of information - Sovinformburo.
    Nowadays, one can imagine what a powerful information stream of false news can be launched by interested parties if necessary.
  13. Captain45 28 May 2020 13: 07 New
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    On May 10, 1940, 78 paratroopers of the 7th Air Division (Koch assault squad) landed on the fort with the help of gliders. (C)
    And here is what A. Taras writes in his book Commando:
    “On May 10, 1940, at 3.15, 11 Junkers U-52 aircraft took off, each of which towed a DFS-230 glider. On the sides of the gliders was the Granit assault group under the command of Lieutenant Rudolph Witzig- only 84 people. The detachment was armed with MG-34 machine guns, MP-38 assault rifles, 98k carbines, parabellum pistols, four Flammerwerfer-40 flamethrowers, Polish Ur anti-tank rifles and new cumulative charges for piercing fortified towers. During towing, glider with the group commander Witzig, fell off the rope and landed in Germany, he was later delivered with the glider to the fort, and in the absence of the group commander, sergeant-major Wengel took over the command. "(c)
  14. AllBiBek 28 May 2020 13: 29 New
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    Well, actually this fact explains the cruel cruelty of all Europeans in the ranks of the SS, this is the sublimation of cowardice and panic shown in those moments when their Germans playfully captured.
  15. Fitter65 28 May 2020 14: 32 New
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    German motorcyclist on a city street in Belgium
    I did not know that in Belgium it is so cold in May that even the snow on the roof of the car does not melt. Or is this a photo from Northern Belgium?
    1. fuxila 29 May 2020 07: 02 New
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      Quote: Fitter65
      I did not know that in Belgium it is so cold in May that even the snow on the roof of the car does not melt. Or is this a photo from Northern Belgium?

      It’s just this photo was taken in the time of Julius Caesar, in those distant times even the Rhine and the Danube were freezing and walking on it like dry land, so the German in the chariot and the snow on the wagon freezes.
    2. Army soldier2 29 May 2020 09: 45 New
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      In two years of life in Belgium, snow fell only once. He piled on his ankle. All of Belgium stood up - there is no winter tires, no snow driving experience. I’m going to the service, the American masters on his sportcar-type car chains very similar to those that were put on the wheels of the Belarus tractors in the Soviet era in the mud. I ask what he does, he briefly answers: "snow."
      By dinner, all the snow had melted and Belgium returned to normal, the American did not have time to pull the chains.
      True, this was in the mid-2000s, and not in the 40s (otherwise they would accuse him of libel).
      1. Fitter65 29 May 2020 11: 33 New
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        Quote: Army 2
        True, it was in the mid-2000s, not in the 40s

        Well, the photo is tied to May 1940 ...
  16. The comment was deleted.
  17. Free wind 28 May 2020 14: 43 New
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    Tanks destroyed a maximum of 2. in my opinion 2 are simply abandoned. It is interesting what kind of commanders there are with mechanical drivers. that they couldn’t understand that gasoline was ending.
    1. AllBiBek 28 May 2020 15: 04 New
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      Kmk, they logically reasoned that they were running faster than this French pile of iron.
    2. Pilat2009 29 May 2020 06: 36 New
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      Quote: Free Wind
      Tanks destroyed a maximum of 2. in my opinion 2 are simply abandoned. It is interesting what kind of commanders there are with mechanical drivers. that they couldn’t understand that gasoline was ending.

      The same as ours during the first tank battle of the beginning of the war
    3. deddem 29 May 2020 08: 38 New
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      They hoped to find gas in the city at gas stations. Because the rear supply has ceased to exist as a class
    4. Alexey RA 29 May 2020 15: 13 New
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      Quote: Free Wind
      It is interesting what kind of commanders there are with mechanical drivers. that they couldn’t understand that gasoline was ending.

      Usual commanders with mechanical drivers there. And the situation is standard: the supply column came under air strike. Tanks crawled to the nearest city, and the crews went to look for fuel. But the Germans came first.
      EMNIP, Ulanov and Shein wrote that the French BTVs in 1940 and ours in the summer of 1941 were twin brothers. Until the defeat of the German columns by single tanks. smile
    5. konchitawurst 30 May 2020 19: 43 New
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      We had few abandoned tanks on the roads in 41?
  18. Free wind 28 May 2020 14: 54 New
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    A strange decision was to wait for a war with the Germans, and fortifications were built against the Netherlands. the shape of the Hans is so strange, some sort of semi-overalls.
    1. Dr. Frankenstucker 28 May 2020 15: 34 New
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      the shape of the Hans is so strange, some sort of semi-overalls.


      hopping hoist.
    2. Pilat2009 29 May 2020 09: 51 New
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      Quote: Free Wind
      A strange decision was to wait for a war with the Germans, and fortifications were built against the Netherlands. the shape of the Hans is so strange, some sort of semi-overalls.

      It also says that the Germans went to the First World War, and possibly in 1870,
  19. Pacifist with AK 28 May 2020 18: 01 New
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    Quote: Dr. Frankenstucker
    hoist

    He is. Here is the link, very detailed information:
    http://xn--80aaxgqbdi.xn--p1ai/publ/1/vooruzhenie_i_snarjazhenie_nemeckikh_desantnikov/1-1-0-692
  20. Vitas 28 May 2020 19: 01 New
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    Clearly and on the shelves, about the initial stage of the Second World War. Interesting facts about the capture of the countries of Zap. Of Europe.
  21. 16112014nk 28 May 2020 19: 30 New
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    Belgians are only anti-Papuans in Africa heroes.
    As in the proverb: Well done against the sheep, and against the well done the sheep himself.
  22. cat Rusich 28 May 2020 22: 50 New
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    I read articles about how the Wehrmacht captured Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium ... there will probably be articles about the "capture" of Luxembourg, about the capture of France, Yugoslavia and Greece. The author of the article "concludes" - the "victory" of the 3rd Reich (Wehrmacht) to achieve the personal "genius of Adolf Aloisovich Shiklgruber" (possibly Johannovich). Question: the defeat of the Wehrmacht (3 Reich) whose? - maybe this is a “failure” of the generals from the General Staff of the Wehrmacht? Or maybe after June 22, 1941 the Führer "sharply stupid"? Just in an article for some reason, the victory of the Wehrmacht is attributed to the Chancellor of Germany, and the command of the Wehrmacht? - stood on the side of the table with cards? For "objectivity", can I recall memories from the memoirs of colonels, generals, field marshals of the Wehrmacht, how do they evaluate their role and the Fuhrer in the victories and defeats of the Wehrmacht?
    1. Free wind 29 May 2020 08: 53 New
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      They responded differently. The pilot of the Yu-87 dive pilot, Rudel, his mother by the foot, admired Hitler’s military talents, blamed vile generals in all troubles. Hartman fighter pilot on Hitler spoke dismissively. On rewarding Hitler with some kind of cross there, he got drunk in his tit, and almost got into a fight with the rudder, because of the words about Hitler
    2. Alexey RA 29 May 2020 12: 34 New
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      Quote: cat Rusich
      For "objectivity", can I recall memories from the memoirs of colonels, generals, field marshals of the Wehrmacht, how do they evaluate their role and the Fuhrer in the victories and defeats of the Wehrmacht?

      And the memoirs of the beaten generals are all written like a blueprint: all the defeats are the fault of the stupid corporal, all the victories are the merits of the brilliant generals.
      And then historians come, stick their nose in the documents - and there von Rundstedt stops the advance even before the stop by the Führer confirms the stop order. smile