Panzer Advance to the Channel May 1940


Map Code: Ax00287

After crossing the Meuse, the Germans began their advance towards the Channel at astonishing speed. The French were unable to organize any coordinated counterattack as the German Panzers swept through French-ordered halt lines before the French forces had even managed to occupy them. A few counterattacks were met and overcome, including those at Crecy, St Quentin and, famously, at Arras on 21 May, when British tanks confronted the SS Totenkopf division, but were quikly blocked by Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division (known as the ‘Ghost Division’). The Panzers moved so fast that even the combat support services struggled to keep up with them to provide essential supplies. The Germans reached the Channel at Abbeville just seven days after crossing the Meuse, covering 240 miles (386 km) in a week, averaging 34 miles (55 km) per day.

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