Historical Article: After Dunkirk

historical-article-after-dunkirk-logoThe Battle of France June 1940

By John Dudek @ The Wargamer

Time: 0900 hours 5 June 1940

Location: The village of Vandy France

The French artillery officer crouched low over the camouflaged WW I vintage, 75mm. cannon pointing towards the turn in the road a hundred yards away from the French farmyard they were concealed in. His gun crew were itching for action that was guaranteed to be not long in coming. As he looked through his binoculars, a column of German tanks, trucks and support infantry vehicles swung into view a few hundred yards distant and the gun crew quickly made their gun elevation and directional corrections. They aimed at the lead tank and awaited the “firing” order. The first round missed the lead tank but nailed the second one immediately behind it. That tank slewed out of line and drove off the road into a ditch to begin burning and “brewing up.” The second French artillery round nailed the lead tank squarely as well and it too began to burn, its crew evacuated the vehicle, only to be taken under flanking fire from hidden French automatic weapons fire. The third tank halted abruptly to begin sweeping the farmyard with machine gun and tank gunfire as the trucks and half tracks behind it began disgorging its supporting troops onto the ground. This was what the French officers in the farm house were waiting for as their Major emerged shouting and waving his sword. “Mes amis! Mes frères! Baïonnettes de charge!” (My friends, my brothers! Charge Bayonets!) A company of enraged, blood thirsty French infantry with bayonet fixed rifles and with their officers leading them, charged the shocked and surprised dismounted German infantry to quickly put them all to the sword, sparing only the rare few who managed to flee. A badly wounded German gefreiter, (private) lying next to one of the burning trucks coughed up blood as he tried to hold in his guts that had been recently pierced by a French poilu’s bayonet. He shook his head in disbelief saying: “I thought the war in France was over.”

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