Friday, May 17, 1940 - Germans occupy Brussels

Louis

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On the Western Front... Troops of the German 6th Army (Reichenau) enter Brussels. Antwerp and the islands at the mouth of the Scheldt are also being abandoned but have not yet been taken by the Germans. The British and French forces in Belgium have now fallen back to the Dendre River. General Gort is now worried by the growing threat to his right flank and rear areas and, therefore, forms a scratch force to defend this area. General Mason-Macfarlane is put in command. [He has up till now been Gort's Chief of Intelligence. Gort can be criticized for weakening this important department at such a vital stage.] In the main German attacks Guderian's forces, exploiting the loophole in their orders allowing reconnaissance in force, reach the Oise River south of Guise. On the German left flank, the French 4th Armored Division (Colonel de Gaulle) attacks northward from around Laon. The Luftwaffe attacks them fiercely and prevents any real gains.

Germans go to Nivelles, Belgium, on May 17, 1940.-

In Belgium... The government has moved to Ostend.

In Norway... The British cruiser Effingham goes aground and is lost while carrying men and stores to join the forces south of Narvik.
 

Louis

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Three British soldiers pass a Belgian boy at the French-Belgian border (May 17, 1940). At this time the Germans had already broken through in the Ardennes and were driving toward the Channel. The bulk of the BEF had rushed north to help the Dutch and thus was not in place to resist the Germans in force when they struck through the Ardennes.
 
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