Baden Sollingen. The Hornet's Nest by Chris Bennett

By Chris Bennett

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Sample text

Thus when the first French reports filtered back to Vincennes reporting the presence of erman tanks on the west side of the river, they were in error as it was only at 0720 hI'S that the first Panzers began to cross the river. Prior to that, armoured cars, lorries, half-tracks and other traffic, but certainly not armour, were moving across the bridge in strength. At the time of the bridge's completion, the tanks of I. Pallzer were in bagel' some 16 kilometres fi'om the river, and although they were put on alert to move out as early as 0120 hI'S, it took until 0720 for the first tanks to make it on to the bridge.

It was at edan, during the following three days, that the great drama of the French campaign would be played ut. For the French Army, now ensconced in its defences on the wc tern bank of the river, there seemed to be little reason to be immediately concerned. Indeed, their quiescence and pas ivity was explicable in terms of their assumption that, in the absen e of the large quantities of heavy artillery that would be necessary to blanket the French defences, the ermans could attempt no crossing.

It was also the first time that twO utterly contrasting doctrines of how armour should operate were tested in the arena of combat. The Panzer crews noted many of the limitations inher 'nt in the design of French tanks whi 'h affected their combat etlcctiveness. It was also felt that they were operated in a 'Ieaderless, aimless, badly commanded' and 'tactically inferior' way. lTc which provided close support with Stubs and Hs 123s. Oi' units were shifted south to help in the aerial assault on edan.

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