Battle of Stonne 15 May 1940


The Battle of Stonne, part of ‘Fall Gelb’, the German operation to invade the Low Countries, saw fierce fighting between French units and the German 10th Panzer Division and Groβdeutschland Infantry Division as they launched a diversionary attack on the high ground of Mont-Dieu. Fighting began at around 05:00 on 15 May as German units entered the small village of Stonne. French anti-tank guns and a handful of Char B1-bis tanks knocked out some seven German tanks. Despite a successful initial effort, the defenders were forced back once German infantry pushed into the village. The Char B1-bis tanks proved their defensive capabilities as the German tanks struggled to score any damaging hits, whilst two French Panhard 178 armoured cars were destroyed. A large contingent of French armoured units had been congregating near the village for a counterattack on Sedan so fierce fighting ensued for the next two days as the village changed hands 17 times before the Germans finally secured the area.

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