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作者信息   主题: 1940年的法国骑兵部队简介1691

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  发表时间: 2008-2-27 20:15:12             

特别提示:本帖子在 2008-5-18 9:34:07 由用户 412886049 编辑过

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http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=76695
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This article includes the Hannut and Gembloux battles which are already in a separate thread
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In my original Word and .pdf files I have included several maps an photos but I was too lazy to attach them individually here.
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THE FRENCH CAVALRY CORPS IN 1940
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In 1932-1935, the first fully motorized/mechanized French unit, the 1e DLM (Division Légère Mécanique = Light Mechanized Division), was born and developed. The 2e DLM was born in 1937 and the 3e DLM in February 1940. There will be 3 DLMs on 10th May 1940 (1e DLM, 2e DLM and 3e DLM) forming the French cavalry corps under command of general Prioux.
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The DLM is more powerful than the DCR, faster and more mobile. It is a unit fully adapted to modern mobile warfare. The term "light" referred to its speed and mobility.
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The 1e DLM and 2e DLM became very well trained divisions (even at the divisional an corps level) with efficient crews and specialists. Manoeuvres and trainings were organized at large scale in 1935, 1936, 1937 1938, 1939 and the last divisional training in 1940.. They included deep penetration behind fortifications, cooperation with close air support and close inter-arms cooperation. The crew knew their tanks and how to operate them. The gunners were skilled and trained. The 3e DLM formed in 1940 had only reservists who did their military service on horse and some of them discovered their tank a short time before being engaged, except some officers and specialists originating from the other DLMs.
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The cavalry corps and the corresponding HQ is created at the mobilization beginning September 1939. It is under the command of general Prioux until 25th May 1940 when he took command of the 1st army and general Langlois replaced him at the head of the cavalry corps. The cavalry corps contains initially only the 1e DLM and 2e DLM. The 1e DLM is then attached to the 7th army to operate in the Netherlands on 10th May 1940. It is replaced in the cavalry corps by the 3e DLM on 26th March 1940. During the 1940 western campaign the cavalry corps will regroup 1, 2 or the 3 DLMs.
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Each DLM included about 10,400 men and 3,400 vehicles :
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• 1 divisional HQ
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• 1 light motorized brigade (BLM = Brigade Légère Motorisée) with 2 armored cavalry regiments (RC = Régiment de Cuirassiers or RD = Régiment de Dragons).
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1e DLM : 174 tanks (+ 16 reserve tanks) in the 1e BLM
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• 4e RC (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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• 18e RD (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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2e DLM : 174 tanks (+ 16 reserve tanks) in the 3e BLM
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• 13e RD (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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• 29e RD (43+4 Hotchkiss H35 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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3e DLM : 174 tanks (+ 16 reserve tanks) in the 5e BLM
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• 1e RC (43+4 Hotchkiss H39 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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• 2e RC (43+4 Hotchkiss H39 and 44+4 Somua S35)
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• 1 light motorized brigade (BLM = Brigade Légère Motorisée) with 1 armored reconnaissance regiment (regiment de découverte) and 1 RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés = mechanized cavalry regiment)
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1e DLM : 107 armored cars in the 2e BLM
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• 6e RC : 40 Panhard 178 (+1 radio car + 2 reserve armored car)
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• 4e RDP : 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1 (+2 reserve armored cars)
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2e DLM : 107 armored cars in the 4e BLM
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• 8e RC : 40 Panhard 178 (+1 radio car + 2 reserve armored car)
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• 1e RDP : 67 AMR33 / AMR35 ZT1 (+2 reserve armored cars)
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3e DLM : 107 tanks / armored cars in the 6e BLM
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• 12e RC : 40 Panhard 178 (+1 radio car + 2 reserve armored car)
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• 11e RDP : 22 Hotchkiss H35 and 47 Hotchkiss H39
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• 1 divisional AT squadron (EDAC = Escadron Divisionnaire Anti-Char)
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• 1 divisional repair and recovery squadron
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• 1 motorized artillery regiment (with all-terrain tractors)
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• 1 motorized AT battery (BDAC = Batterie Divisionnaire Anti-Char)
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• 1 motorized AA battery (BDAA = Batterie Divisionnaire Anti-Aérienne)
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• 1 engineer battalion (3 motorized companies plus a bridging company)
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• 1 telegraph company
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• 1 radio company
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• 1 carrier-pigeon detachment
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• 1 HQ motor transport company
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• 1 divisional quartermaster group
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• 1 divisional medical group
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During early June 1940, the remains of the 5 DLC were to be converted to a DLM "type réduit", a reduced DLM :
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• 1e DLC as 4e DLM
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• 2e DLC as 5e DLM
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• 3e DLC as 6e DLM
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• 4e DLC as 7e DLM
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• 5e DLC as 8e DLM
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The deteriorating military situation meant only 4e DLM and 7e DLM were actually formed.
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The 1e DLM, 2e DLM and 3e DLM are also reconstituted beginning June, as reduced DLMs, with men evacuated from Dunkirk and who returned to France after a transit in Great Britain. These 5 DLMs fought until 25th June 1940.
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The cavalry tanks are organized in "escadrons" (1 escadron = 1 squadron) and in "pelotons" (1 peloton = 1 platoon). For example in a cavalry unit like the 4e Régiment de Cuirassiers there are : 44 Somua S35 and 43 Hotchkiss H35 (+4 reserve tanks of each model) :
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• 1 regiment command tank (1 Somua S35)
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• 1 Somua S35 squadrons group = 43 Somua S35 :
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--o 1 Somua S35 squadrons group command tank (1 Somua S35)
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--o 1st squadron (21 Somua S35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
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----1 squadron commander tank
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----4 platoons of 5 tanks
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--o 3rd squadron (21 Somua S35s) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
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----1 squadron commander tank
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----4 platoons of 5 tanks
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• 1 Hotchkiss squadrons group = 43 Hotchkiss H35 :
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--o 1 squadrons group command tank (1 Hotchkiss H35)
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--o 2nd squadron (21 Hotchkiss H35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
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----1 squadron commander tank
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----4 platoons of 5 tanks
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--o 4th squadron (21 Hotchkiss H35) (one "escadron" with 4 "pelotons")
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----1 squadron commander tank
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----4 platoons of 5 tanks
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At the beginning of the 1940 western campaign, there are 83 French divisions in the north-east area (3 DLMs, 3 DCRs, 5 DLCs, 72 infantry divisions and 4 cavalry brigades). The 6 DCR/DLM armored divisions were never the equivalent in power and combined arms than a Panzerdivision. There are also 10 British divisions (BEF), 22 Belgian divisions (but their real men strength corresponds only to 12 divisions) and 8 Dutch divisions. The allied had therefore a strength of 123 divisions (113 with the real strength of the Belgian divisions) to face a total of 136 German divisions. There are the equivalent of 13 French divisions on the Maginot line and 6 French divisions initially left to face the Italians.
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The allied Dyle-Breda plan is to stop the German offensive in Belgium and the Netherlands with the French 1st and 7th armies and the BEF, using the Ardennes and the Sedan area as a hinge on their right flank. The 3 French DLMs have to delay the German troops of Armee Gruppe B (3 Panzerdivisionen) and to establish contacts with the Belgian and Dutch armies in order to allow the allied infantry to deploy. The French have therefore a fast mechanical force but lacking in AA protection and without serious air cover.
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The defense of the Ardennes and of the Meuse River is taken in charge by the 9th and 2nd French armies : 7 French divisions generally largely under equipped (sometimes no AA guns like for the 55e DI and 71e DI which had also respectively only 12 and 8 AT guns instead of 62) defended an overstretched front on the Meuse River (from Houx to Sedan - that is 15-30 km for each division whereas an infantry division should theoretically defend a 5-7 km front only) facing 40 German divisions including 7 concentrated Panzerdivisionen, with about 1400 German bombers and attack planes concentrated on a small area during hours. The French troops can there only rely on a good artillery support but only on very insufficient fortifications. The Maginot Line by itself is indeed stopping at the border with the Luxembourg.
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General Blanchard (French 1st army) was opposed to the entry in Belgium, judging the Belgi



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作者信息   主题: 1940年的法国骑兵部队简介1692

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  发表时间: 2008-2-27 20:15:53             

特别提示:本帖子在 2008-3-13 0:31:15 由用户 412886049 编辑过

3. THE FRENCH CAVALRY CORPS AFTER THE 15th MAY
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After the combats in Belgium and in the Netherlands, general Prioux wants to concentrate the 1e, 2e and 3e DLM in the cavalry corps. Nevertheless it seems not possible, all the time the tank brigades are being ordered by the army corps to support different infantry units. Prioux cannot control the fate of his tanks, they are dispersed and cannot be grouped as wished. On 26th May general Prioux takes command of the 1st army and is replaced by general de La Font. After Dunkirk, the tank crews, who are the French troops evacuated in priority reconstitute the cavalry corps but it is only the shadow of the previous one.
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3.1 The grouping of the DLMs in the north (16th-20th May 1940)
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On 16th May the 3 DLMs move back to France. The 1e DLM is deployed south of Valenciennes and Cambrai, attached to the 9th army. The Somua S35 tanks are deployed at Quesnoy and will soon meet German mechanized elements reinforced by AT guns during short but violent engagements. Rear guard elements of the French 9th army are engaged in the forest of Mormal, east of Quesnoy. The 7.PzD (general Rommel) have trapped them in the woods and goes on with its advance, letting the 5.PzD (general von Hartlieb) reduce them.
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On 17th May, the 1e DLM is ordered to block the German tanks. There is also a fierce battle in and around the Mormal forest. The 1e DLM meets the 5.PzD and elements of the 7.PzD. The 1e DLM is far from having all its units but the counter-attack starts at 18h30 from Quesnoy towards Landrecies. The tanks of the 4e RC (colonel Poupel) and the 18e RD (colonel Pinon) are incomplete, inferior in number and forced to disperse to control the assigned area. Nevertheless the morale and the determination are high. During the counter-attack many Hotchkiss tanks are destroyed by 10.5cm filed guns used in AT role. The French counter-attack will significantly delay the 5.PzD.
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On 17th May 1940, the platoon of lieutenant André De Conigliano from the 3rd Squadron of the 4e RC meets elements of the the 4e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés - infantry) in Englefontaine (also on the map) and at 18h00 the platoon received the order to establish a bridgehead at Landrecies. Arriving next to a level/grade crossing in Landrecies the Somua S35 of lieutnant De Conigliano is under intense fire from German AT weapons ambushed at point blank range. His tank is knocked out. The driver, brigadier-chef Fresnais, is killed and the lieutenant is killed too only the radio/loader is rescued. The 4 other tanks of the platoon, under the command of maréchal des logis-chef Léger, break the engagement around 19h15 and pull back towards Englefontaine. They establish a defensive position on the Englefontaine-Landrecies road.
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On 18th May, 12 Somua S35 tanks of the squadron of captain De Segonzac from the 4e RC are holding the town of Jolimetz along with one company of Moroccan tirailleurs in support. During all the day they faced half of the 5.PzD (about 120 tanks and massive infantry, field artillery, AT guns and aviation support) on the move in this area. 1 Somua S35 tank (Maréchal des logis Enfroy) is damaged during a reconnaissance and sent back to Quesnoy. Only 11 French tanks are then controlling the town. The German attack is launched and after a few losses the Germans sent preferentially the heavier Panzer IVs in the town itself. At the end of the day the town was completely surrounded. In 10 vs 1 odd, the French have lost 10 tanks (destroyed or abandoned) and the Germans 26 tanks, mostly Panzer IVs. That is a perfect example of what well-trained French crews were able to do.
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On 19th May, the 1e DLM is again under command of the cavalry corps.
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On 20th May, the 5e DINA (general Agliany) supported by the 1e DLM and the 39e BCC (45 Renault R35 tanks) attack the German 8.ID, 20.ID (mot), 4.PzD and 5.PzD. The combats last all the day long and on the evening several French troops are trapped in the Mormal forest after having sustained heavy losses.
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On 21st May, the French move back to Englefontaine. At 8h00 one battalion of the 24e RTT (Régiment de Tirailleurs Tunisiens) of the 5e DINA, trapped in the forest, launches a bayonet charge under German MG and artillery fire to break the encirclement. At 12h00 300 men of the battalion are KIA and only around 100 men manage to pierce the German lines. The 39e BCC has lost all its 45 tanks and the 18e RD of the 1e DLM has only a few operational tanks.
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The 2e DLM and 3e DLM on their side covered the retreat of the French 1st army from 16th May to 19th May. On 18th May, they launched several violent but limited counter-attacks in the area of Douai.
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3.2 Difficult battles in the Flanders and the road to Dunkirk (21th-29th May 1940)
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On 21st May there is an allied counter-attack at Arras. The British brigade (general Martell) leading the main attack on the Arras-Bapaume on 15h00 consists in :
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Right column :
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• 7th Royal Tank Regiment (23 Matilda I and 9 Matilda II tanks)
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• 8th battalion, the Durham Light Infantry
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• 365th battery, 92nd regiment, Royal Field Artillery (12 25 Pdr howitzers)
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• 260th battery, 65th anti-tank regiment (12 2 Pdr AT guns)
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• One platoon equipped with 3 French 25mm AT guns
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• One motorcycle platoon from 4th Northumbrian fusiliers
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Left column :
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• 4th Royal Tank Regiment (37 Matilda I and 7 Matilda II tanks)
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• 6th battalion, the Durham Light Infantry
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• 368th battery, 92nd regiment, Royal Field Artillery (12 25 Pdr howitzers)
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• 260th battery, 52nd anti-tank regiment (12 2 Pdr AT guns)
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• One platoon equipped with 3 French 25mm AT guns
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• One motorcycle platoon from 4th Northumbrian fusiliers
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• General Martel and is headquarter staff
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That makes a total concerning the equipments of :
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• 60 Matilda I light tanks
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• 16 Matilda II heavy tanks
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• 21 armored cars
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• 24 25 Pdr howitzers
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• 24 2 Pdr AT guns
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• 6 French 25mm AT guns
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The British troops faced mainly the 7.PzD and the SS Totenkopf (mot) division, the 5.PzD was arriving from the east but too late to take part to the battle. The Matilda II heavy tank spread some panic in the German ranks, mainly in the SS Totenkopf positions where several troops disbanded, without sufficient mean to destroy the Matilda II. But the 8.8cm Flak and the use of artillery in direct fire rapidly solved the problem.
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The French troops began their attack later, covering the western flank of the British attack and later the British retreat. They faced the and faced the SS Totenkopf (mot) division and the Pz.Rgt.25 from the 7.PzD. The French forces were composed of elements from the 3e DLM but in fact mainly of the 13e BCC (45 Hotchkiss H35 tanks at full strength). The French had a total of about 60 tanks in this battle, therefore probably about 15 Hotchkiss H39 and Somua S35 tanks from the 3e DLM itself. They were soon confronted to direct 10.5cm artillery and Flak fire as well as PaK and tanks. They were even fired at by British AT gunners. The French tanks destroyed at least 3 Panzer IV and 6 Pz38(t) from the Pz.Rgt.25 while covering the British retreat. There is no precise data concerning the French losses but after the whole battle the 13e BCC had lost about 10 tanks and the 3e DLM itself lost also probably about 10 tanks. The 11e RDP (Régiment de Dragons Portés) had only light losses.
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The British lost 62% of the tanks (47 tanks) before retreating and had about 50% losses in the infantry. 75% of the reconnaissance vehicles (16 from 21), mainly from the Northumbrian regiment were also lost.
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Concerning the whole German losses, the 7.PzD lost 89 KIAs, 116 WIAs and 173 MIAs mostly POWs as well as about 20 tanks and many AT guns and various vehicles. The SS Totenkopf (mot) lost about 100 KIAs and 200 POWs. The advance of the 7.PzD is stopped for the rest of day, therefore only for several hours.
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Elements of the SS



  玉树凌疯,风流涕淌,装傻充愣,我本纯情
作者信息   主题: 1940年的法国骑兵部队简介1694

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  发表时间: 2008-2-27 20:21:50             


呵呵,以前用这些材料写过一篇文章,发表的刊物就是我一直声讨的 较量 。



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