Blitzkrieg in the West, May 1940
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The German plan for the invasion of France consisted of two main operations. In Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes Forest in southeastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg and then along the Somme valley to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium to meet the expected German threat. When British, Belgian and adjacent French forces were pushed back to the sea by the mobile and well-organized German operation, the British government decided to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) as well as several French divisions at Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. After the withdrawal of the BEF, the German forces launched a second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red) on 5 June 1940. While the depleted French forces put up stiff initial resistance, German air superiority and armoured mobility overwhelmed the remaining French forces. German armour outflanked the Maginot Line and pushed deep into France, with German forces arriving in Paris unopposed on 14 June. This caused a chaotic period of flight for the French government and ended organised French military resistance. German commanders met with French officials on 18 June with the goal of forcing the new French government to accept all of the agreements in an armistice offered by Germany. On this trip we concentrate on Fall Gelb/Case Yellow and the events that began on 10th May 1940.