19th March 1940
The German Army Group B, commanded by General Fedor von Bock, with two Armies - the 18th and 6th - crossed the border in the early hours of the morning and swiftly pushed aside the brave defenders commanded by General Henri Winkelman.
With the support of paratroopers and an airlanding division the Germans found themselves quickly on the outskirts of The Hague. However, the masterly defence had frustrated the German timetable and by the 3rd April, the lead elements of the 6th Army were still short of actually entering the capital. Moreover the eastern approaches to the capital via Lake Ijssel had not been crossed and the Dutch air force remained in fighting formation along - more importantly - with II Corps.
There was better news further south - at least initially - where General Gerd von Rundstedt's Army Group A were tasked with moving as swiftly as possible through Luxembourg and the Ardennes region, and then swiftly fanning out once key crossings over the River Meuse were seized. Luxembourg fell quickly and XII Corps were soon besieging Verdun.
At this point however, the attack for Army Group A also ran into trouble. The resistance by the 3rd (Verdun) Garrison was determined and utterly unbreakable. Despite horrendous losses the defenders, evoking the memories of the battle for the city in World War I, refused to withdraw. The German Army found moving forward impossible and von Rundstedt's drive into France stalled.
The Dutch order of battle 19th March 1940. Winkelman's forces defending the west bank of the Maas were wiped out, but the delays imposed on the attackers paid dividends later
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/18/2016 7:53:06 PM >
England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805