German casualties at Sedan 1940 ???

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Markus Becker
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German casualties at Sedan 1940 ???

Post by Markus Becker » 03 Mar 2006 21:24

I found the following information on wikipedia:

The French infantry units there (of 55th Infantry Division) were routed after many hours of the heaviest air bombardment the world had yet witnessed. Even then the German elite infantry units that pushed them out lost up to 75% of their effective strength.

OK, the bombardment was intense but hardly caused any casualties, but what 75% german casualties? Frieser´s account in “Blitzkrieg-Legend” makes no mention of such extreme losses. It rather indicates the exact opposite. Some guys in a german forum could also not confirm anything that get´s even close to this and are pretty certain the 75% is the casualty rate of a single company or even a platoon. Things got somewhat “ugly” later, as David says here, but that was a) days later and b) not in, but near Sedan. Anybody having more detailed information?
Last edited by Markus Becker on 04 Mar 2006 21:22, edited 2 times in total.

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 04 Mar 2006 00:03

Hello Markus,

From my readings, if you consider only 13th May and the area of Sedan itself (not the other sectors like Dinant, Houx or Monthermé also on the Meuse River), the German troops suffered only around 150 KIAs (I don't remember if I have red a number of WIAs) scattered in different battalions. In no way did they suffer 75% losses.




The main German attack will be sustained at Sedan by the incomplete 55e DI, a reserve division, which has to face the "Grossdeutschland" regiment, the 1.PzD, the 2.PzD and the 10.PzD.

The 55e DI is composed of :
• 213e RI (not on the frontline)
• 295e RI (incomplete – the 1st battalion was destroyed in Bouillon)
• 331e RI

The 71e DI on its right is composed of :
• 120e RI
• 205e RI (not on the frontline)
• 246e RI

These divisions have no AA guns (only MGs used in AA role) and have respectively only 12 and 8 AT guns (instead of 62) to defend a front of about 25-30 km per division. There is also a big lack of ammunition hand grenades. The men are 29-40 years old and they lack training. Since 1939 these men were rather used for labor/pioneer tasks. The 213e RI and 205e RI are far on the rears (the 213e RI is in La Neuville-a-Maire and the 205e RI is next to Yoncq). The 295e RI has been reduced, one battalion having roughly been lost in Bouillon. Therefore only 4 reduced regiments are on the front to defend the Meuse River. The 71e DI is also roughly devoid of divisional artillery, which has been included in the 9th Army corps.

The area of Sedan itself is only defended by 6 companies of the 147e RIF (fortress infantry regiment), 3 companies of the 295e RI (55e DI) and 6 companies of the 331e RI (55e DI). The 1st company of the 11e BM (11th MG battalion) is reinforcing the position south of Donchéry. These 16 French companies, roughly the equivalent of 1 strong regiment and weak fortifications will have to face the concentrated assaults of the 1.PzD reinforced by the "Grossdeutschland" elite infantry regiment, the 2.PzD and the 10.PzD. The German superiority in Sedan is simply astonishing.

On the south-western bank of the Meuse River there are several fortifications but most of them are not achieved, they often lack armament, doors or adequate crenels which have to be completed by sand bags. The fortifications are armed only with FM 24/29 LMGs, Mle1914 Hotchkiss HMGs, very few 25mm Mle1934 guns and 37mm TR16 infantry guns. There are also several dismountable Mle1935 turrets armed with a Mle1914 Hotchkiss MG and generally equipped with a camouflage/anti grenade nest around the turret (the MG barrel itself is protected by armor). There are also several open emplacements for Mle1914 Hotchkiss MGs, a few 81mm Stokes-Brandt and Brandt Mle1927/1931 mortars, several former Navy 65mm guns and a few 75mm Mle1897 guns more on the rear.
There are also AT mines but far less than expected. The French doctrine plans the deployment of 1370 mines/km on 1 row or 2740 mines/km on 2 staggered rows. The mines are placed in linear groups of 5 on a length of 2.50m, the groups being separated by 1.40m gaps. At Sedan thousands of AT mines had been laid months before the campaign. Unfortunately they were reported to have been adversely affected by damp (or removed because of the rain) and so were dug up to be fixed or preserved for later use. Sadly, time did not permit them to be laid again, which was kind of unfortunate. Only about 2000 AT mines and an unknown number of AP mines were deployed on a total of only about 70 km all along the frontline. As a comparison, Rommel used about 500,000 AT mines on 70 km in El Alamein in 1942. The 55e DI for example had still 422 AT mines stored in a dump but they were not used. The officers were concentrated on trying to improve the unachieved fortifications, trenches and foxholes for the troops.

On 12th May 1940, the French HQ is still convinced that the main German attack is located in Belgium and in the Netherlands. The Germans are also thought to need about 1 week to concentrate enough artillery and to prepare the crossing of the Meuse River. But, the Germans will initially replace the lack of artillery by the biggest air support concentration of History at this time.

On 13th May, the Luftwaffe placed 61% of its total operational air assets at the disposal of Gruppe Kleist for the assault on the Meuse River. The following numbers are given by Rothbrust :
• 420 Messerschmitt Me109
• 180 Messerschmitt Me110
• 270 Junkers Ju87
• 900 Heinkel He111, Dornier Do17 and Junkers Ju88 bombers
--> 1770 aircrafts (1170 bombers and 600 fighters)

Never before were so many bombers concentrated on such a small area. Concentrated over the small Sedan sector alone there are 51% of these aircrafts :
• 280 Messerschmitt Me109
• 90 Messerschmitt Me110
• 180 Junkers Ju87
• 360 Heinkel He111, Dornier Do17 and Junkers Ju88 bombers
--> 910 aircrafts (540 bombers and 370 fighters)

These 540 bombers escorted by 370 fighters are concentrated during 4 hours over the single 55e DI. The Junkers Ju87 dive bombers alone make 1,215 sorties on Sedan, on a front of only 4 kilometres long. The Luftwaffe targets systematically the unachieved bunkers, the artillery positions, the communication and command posts. It is therefore roughly without artillery support that the weak French first line will have to stop the German assault. Each French battery entering in action is silenced by the Luftwaffe.
During 4 hours, the French troops are heavily bombed. The psychological shock of this air attack is even stronger than for the first use of combat gas during WW1 according to several testimonies. Heavy bombings occur every 20 minutes on the men hidden in their trenches. The 55e DI is devoid of AA weapons and unable to return fire. All the communication by telephone lines between the first lines and the rear are cut. Battalions, companies and platoons are roughly isolated.

During these 4 hours of bombing, no allied fighter appeared to stop the German aircrafts despite support had been asked from the beginning, adding to the bad effect on the morale. All the allied fighters are too busy in other areas.
The French gunners remain hidden in their foxholes and trenches during the bombings. The French infantry is also pinned down, cut from the others, roughly deaf but also blind. The banks of the Meuse River have disappeared in the dust of the explosions and later in the German smoke screen just before the German assaults.

During the bombings the German troops deploy for the attack, without being worried about the French artillery. Ther German assault is launched on 13th May at 15h00 (French time) :
• 2.PzD (general Veiel) at Donchéry
• 1.PzD (general Kirchner) + "Grossdeutschland" regiment for the main effort at Gaulier
• 10.PzD (general Schaal) at Wadelincourt

The available German artillery, the German AA artillery (including 8.8cm FlaK), AT artillery and the German tanks fire from the opposite bank and replace the Luftwaffe to support the crossing. The Luftwaffe targets then the rear lines (HQ, artillery positions, dumps, cross-roads, rail-roads etc.), which will be bombed all day long while the first lines will face the German assault troops crossing the Meuse River on inflatable boats.

The crossing of the 2.PzD is an immediate failure. The Germans in front of Donchéry sustain at first heavy losses and the crossing is defeated because of the intense French MG fire. At 17h30, one group (12 guns) of the 45e RA opens fire on the 2.PzD, which is really unlucky : unable to cross the river and then shelled rather intensively. The 2.PzD will only begin to cross the Meuse River around 22h00, after the successes of the 1.PzD at Sedan itself.

Concerning the 10.PzD, only 2 platoons (86.IR) and several engineers manage to cross the river. They seize by surprise 2 French fore-posts (bunker 220 and fore-post next to the destroyed railroad bridge). The French crews (including WIA) are captured and half of them are executed. Nonetheless, these German platoons are roughly blocked along the bank. They are pinned down and quickly out of ammunition. The crossing point of the 10.PzD has been spotted by a French forward observer ordering a well adjusted artillery fire. The French artillery manages to block the German at 300m from the bank on their side and destroys the river crossing equipments of the 69.IR. Only at the end of the afternoon more German troops will reinforce the 2 first platoons. The elements of the 10.PzD will then benefit from the breakthrough of the 1.PzD and advance about 2 km in the French lines. They meet the "Grossdeutschland" regiment around 18h00 at Wadelincourt.

The 1.PzD and the "Grossdeutschland" regiment are concentrated on a front of less than 2 km around Gaulier, between Glaire and Torcy (eastern part of Sedan). Just before the assault, a Nebelwerfer / artillery unit attached to the 1.PzD creates and maintains 2 smoke screens : one at the level of the Glaire-Sedan road and one more on the rear, along the railroad.
The first assault wave consists in 2 battalions of the 1.Schützen Regiment and 2 battalions of the "Grossdeutschland" regiment for a total of about 2,400 men. To face them on the "French" bank there are only 2 rifle platoons and between them only 4 men with 2 LMGs, for a total of 64 men.
There 64 men are part of the 2 French companies (7th company of the II/147e RIF, capitaine Cordier and 6th company of the II/295e RI, capitaine Auzas) defending alone the area between the Meuse River and the Bellevue-Wadelincourt line. About 300 French soldiers in the first lines have to face the 2,400 Germans of the first assault wave.

The "German" bank is also higher than the "French" bank. The German tanks and guns on the opposite bank can fire directly on the French troops and rare bunkers. Just before the assault, a bunker at Torcy and a blockhouse at Glaire are neutralized, as well as the 2 LMGs between the 2 French platoons. Only the bunker at Torcy will fire several MG bursts. The German crossing is not hampered by the French artillery. To conquer the French positions defended by these 300 French soldiers, the German assault troops will nonetheless need 2h30 (until 17h30).
Many little infiltrations occur, benefiting from the shock and the destruction resulting from the air attacks. Each time a resistance is met the German troops avoid it and go on. Many French positions, cut from the others, are attacked from the rear.
At 17h30, the 1.PzD reinforced by the "Grossdeutschland" regiment is the single division achieving a significant breakthrough. The 4 battalions of the first German wave are reinforced by 3 extra battalions (1 of the 1.PzD and 2 of the "Grossdeutschland" regiment).
After the neutralization of the 2 French companies, these 7 German infantry battalions will face 3 French companies around Fresnois, in front of hill 247 and south of Wadelincourt. The German troops at Wadelincourt are also reinforced by the first elements of the 10.PzD. The French troops are moving back to the northern edge of the hilly woods of La Marfée. Frenois itself is taken around 19h00.
The German remains very cautious in front of the La Marfée woods. A French 25mm AT gun platoon whose guns are towed by Renault UE tractor are reinforcing the French troops but immediately sent back to the rear since there are no German tanks. The only other tanks present in these woods are 4 disarmed Renault FT17 tanks used as pioneer tractors. The Germans may have thought that there are French tanks and it could explain the extreme and amazing caution in front of a position held by only 100 French soldiers.
The infantry of the 1.PzD reaches the south of Donchéry at 22h00 and enables the crossing of the first light elements of the 2.PzD. At 23h00, 2 German companies of the 1.PzD reach Cheveuges and advance on the road next to Chéhéry, reaching the most advanced positions of the German breakthrough.

During the same time, at 18h30 capitaine Fouques commanding artillery batteries from the 169e RAF north of Chaumont (south of the La Marfée woods), phones to the commander of the regiment (lieutenant-colonel Dourzal) and reports gunfire at 500m of his position and the possibility of the presence of French tanks. It remains possible that he thought that there were French tanks because of the same reason than the Germans (Renault UE or Renault FT17 tractors in the woods) or simply because he was too nervous. K.H. Frieser does not think that the presence of the Renault UE tractors of the AT platoon corresponds with the time frame but he seems not aware of the presence of the Renault FT17 in these woods. At 18h45, lieutenant-colonel Dourzal phones to colonel Poncelet, commanding all the artillery of the area. Poncelet asks for extra information but Dourzal keeps saying that he would be encircled in the next 5 minutes and confirms the presence of German tanks. Poncelet orders then the retreat of the French artillery units.
On the first lines the companies of the 55e DI and of the 147e RIF are still fighting desperately but the artillery units (especially the artillery from the Army Corps but also from the 55e DI and 71e DI) will flee away. The rumours of the presence of German tanks near Bulson (despite the fact that no single German tank has actually crossed the Meuse River) will cause what is known as the "Bulson panic".
While the first lines are still fighting courageously in a desperate situation, the rear troops are abandoning their position in panic. The HQ of the 55e DI follows the movement, without being able to check the information. The panic spreads in the rear lines, many men abandoning their weapons. 2 artillery groups of the 55e DI and 5 heavy artillery groups of the Army Corps abandon and/or scuttle their gun before retreating.
This event is often generalized to caricature the whole 1940 French army. Colonel Poncelet will commit suicide a few hours later. This courageous officer had fought during WW1 and felt responsible for the mess, but the actual responsible officers are capitaine Fouques and lieutenant-colonel Dourzal.
All the retreating artillery units with many horse-drawn wagons, ammunition trailers, guns etc. will congest the trails, lanes and the single national road from Sedan to Vouziers. Added to the civilian refugees, these men will considerably hamper the movement of other French units moving to counter-attack the German breakthrough.

General Gamelin in the French high-command at Vincennes receives only at 23h45 the first message indicating that the Germans have crossed the Meuse River !

Guderian is satisfied of having crossed the Meuse River but the German high command is a bit angry. The crossing happened indeed east of the Ardennes canal instead of west of the canal as ordered. Guderian has refused to follow the orders because the planned area contained more open terrain and the German troops would have been easily spotted and more endangered. Von Kleist later recognized that Guderian made the good choice.
On 13th May evening, except very few still resisting French platoons in the first lines, the 55e DI has been pushed back at the level of the La Marfée heights.

The Germans have established a 6 km wide and 3 km deep bridgehead. It is an important German success, but most of the infantry, all the vehicles and the heavy armament of the XIX.Panzerkorps are still on the north-eastern bank of the Meuse River :
• 787 tanks
• 168 armored cars
• 18 15cm sIG.33 auf PzI
• 6 8.8cm FlaK (Sfl) Sd.Kfz.8
• all the attached StuG III (at least 6 of Sturmgeschütz-Batterie 640 included in the "Grossdeutschland" IR)
• all the attached Panzerjäger I (at least Panzerjäger Abteilung 521 with 18 Panzerjäger I, attached to 10.PzD)
• all the artillery and 8.8cm FlaK

More than 1000 AFVs are in front of Sedan itself but have not yet crossed the river. Despite the omnipresent Luftwaffe, a quick and strong French counter-attack would still be able to close the door to the German army.

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Markus Becker
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Post by Markus Becker » 04 Mar 2006 15:58

Thanks you. Plenty of information, just as I expected it. Do you know any books about the French Campaign, that are available in English or German, preferably written by french authors? Reading your various postings convinces me, such books are worth buying. Frieser´s book was fine, but it had little information about the second part of the Campaign(Fall Rot).

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Post by Wade1066 » 04 Mar 2006 22:50

David Lehmann,

Great detail! I am interested in your opinion (and anyone else) on whether it matters or not to differentiate between the infantry's role at Sedan as a "break in" rather than a "breakthrough". Also, how accurate is the rest of my argument?:

I would argue that Balck and the other German infantry’s bridgehead represented no more than a ‘break in’. In other words, they fought their way into the French line, but did not actually pierce, or “break out”, of it. The French line, though disorganized and poorly led even before Balck crossed the Meuse, was still intact and willing to fight, which it did courageously up until Guderian‘s armor arrived and routed them through fear and destruction.

Here is a chronology according to von Mellenthin, in Panzer Battles:

13 May, morning: LTC. Balck, with maximum Luftwaffe support, crossed the Meuse and established a bridgehead.

13 May, evening: Fearing his bridgehead was vulnerable to enemy action, Balck decided to enlarge it by marching six miles south and occupying Chemery.

14 May, morning: At Chemery, Balck’s infantry found itself in danger of attack from an advancing French armored brigade. Fortunately, before the French counterattacked, German anti-tank and armor elements had arrived.

Based on my interpretation of the events, I would conclude that Balck’s infantry, though having had established a sizeable bridgehead into the French line, had not yet broken out of it, which had proven to be deeper than the French bunker and artillery positions along the southern bank of the Meuse. Remember, beyond the bunker and artillery positions existed French infantry lines and armored concentrations, which had remained largely intact. Though uncoordinated and poorly led, most fought bravely even after Balck has established his bridgehead.

Interestingly, the fear of German armor, manifested in the form of a false panzer sighting, resulted in more disruption of the French line, which was held by the French 55th Infantry Division, than anything Balck’s infantry regiment had achieved through direct action. Also, despite Balck’s actual advance, there were still forces available for a French counterattack, including tank and infantry regiments.

Thus, the French line had yet to be broken through. In fact, it wasn’t until the first elements of the First Panzer Regiment had arrived that the French armored brigade, which was threatening the survival of Balck’s lone infantry regiment at Chemery, was engaged and destroyed. Even then, another counterattack was being organized, in the form of an entire French armored division. Due to the destruction of the earlier counterattack, however, it was abandoned, signaling the destruction of the entire French line.

In conclusion, I would differentiate between Balck’s “break in” of the French line with Guderian’s armored “break out”. In any case, however, Sedan demonstrated an ad hoc attempt at combined arms, of which that battle resulted in an important development. According to von Mellenthin, from Sedan onward, battles were engaged using mixed battle groups, or Kampfgruppen. I would offer an alternative interpretation of the events at Sedan, of which neither the infantry nor the armor, alone, achieved the "breakthrough":

infantry + air/artillery = break in
armor + infantry + air/artillery = break out
infantry break in + armor break out + air/artillery support = breakthrough

(my main sources are von Mellenthin's Panzer Battles and McCarthy and Syron's Panzerkrieg)

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 05 Mar 2006 07:53


You can find more from what I wrote about the Ardennes and the Meuse until 15th May here :

You will see that on 14th May only 1 tank battalion counter-attacked.

In my word or .pdf document I have added scanned maps etc.

To be followed with a report about the 15th - 25th May combat in the Mont Dieu area (Stonne, Tannay etc.). I have already written something about the battle around Rethel on the Aisne and Retourne Rivers on 9th to 11th June.

Concerning the English / German sources that would be worth reading, except Frieser's book (now available in English and not only German and French) I have only red Jefferey Gunsburg work :
His book "Divided and conquered" and 2 articles :
• "The battle of Gembloux, 14-15 May 1940 : the 'Blitzkrieg' checked" (Jeffery A. Gunsburg, the journal of military history 64 (January 2000), 97-140)
• "The battle of the Belgian plain, 12-14 May 1940 : the first great tank battle" (Jeffery A. Gunsburg, the journal of military history 56 (April 1992), 207-244)

Other English sources might be useful and don't completey ignore or caricaturize the French Army as it happens ... Have perhaps a try with these ones (but I did not read them) :

Julian Jackson's "The Fall of France" (OUP 2003)
Horne's "To Lose A Battle"
"The Collapse of the Third Republic" by Shirer
"Why France Fell" by Guy Chapman
"The War in France & Flanders" by Ellis
a picture book with text "The Fall of France-Act With Daring" by Martin Evans.

Otherwise the sources I use are mostly written in French :

Main "technical" sources :
• "1940 L'infanterie" (collection armes et uniformes, François Vauvillier)
• "Chars B au combat - Hommes et matériels du 15e BCC" (Stéphane Bonnaud)
• "Cours des officiers spécialistes artificiers - conférence sur les munitions" (Parc régional de réparation et d'entretien du matériel de Bourges, mars 1940)
• "Denkschrift über die französische Landesbefestigung" (Berlin 1941)
• "France 1940 – l'armement terrestre" (Stéphane Ferrard)
• "Hommes et ouvrages de la Ligne Maginot" (3 volumes, Jean-Yves Mary et Alain Hohnadel)
• "Il était une fois la Ligne Maginot" (Jean-Bernard Wahl)
• "Kennbläter fremden Geräts" (Heft 8a und Heft 8b) (Berlin 1941)
• "L'armement de l'infanterie française 1918-1940" (Gazette des armes, special edition)
• "L'automobile sous l'uniforme" (François Vauvillier)
• "Les automitrailleuses de reconnaissance – tome 1 : l'AMR 33 Renault" (François Vauvillier)
• "Les automitrailleuses de reconnaissance – tome 2 : l'AMR 35 Renault" (François Vauvillier)
• "Les engins blindés français 1920-1945" (Pierre Touzin)
• "Les matériels de l'armée de terre française 1940" (2 volumes, Stéphane Ferrard)
• "Les véhicules blindés français 1900-1940" (Pierre Touzin)
• "The French army 1939-1940 – organisation, order of battle, operational history" (4 volumes, Lee Sharp)
• Direction Générale de l'Armement, various official technical documents from 1939-1940
• Service Historique de l'Armée de Terre
• Trackstory n°1 : Somua S35
• Trackstory n°2 : Panhard 178
• Trackstory n°3 : Renault B1bis
• Trackstory n°4 : Renault R35/40
• Various 1936-1940 French military manuals including :
---o "Aide-mémoire de l'officier de cavalerie en campagne" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1939)
---o "Aide-mémoire de l'officier de réserve d'infanterie" (Lieutenant-Colonel Arendt, 1940)
---o "Aide-mémoire d'instruction pour les unités de chars légers – instruction tactique du chef de char" (1936)
---o "Aide-mémoire du mitrailleur" (Capitaine Vidal, 1939)
---o "Aide-mémoire pour les travaux d'état-major" (Ecole Supérieure de Guerre, 1939)
---o "Connaissance et emploi des armes et engins de l'infanterie " (Lieutenant-Colonel G. Paillé, 1937)
---o "Description et entretien du matériel et des munitions de 155 C. Mle1917" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1932)
---o "Instruction générale sur le tir de l'artillerie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Instruction générale sur le tir de l'infanterie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Instruction pour les unités dotées d’armes lourdes" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Instruction provisoire pour la pièce de mortier de 60mm modèle 1935" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1938)
---o "Instruction provisoire pour les sections d'éclaireurs motocyclistes d'infanterie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Instruction sur le matériel automobile, la conduite des véhicules et les colonnes automobiles" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1939)
---o "Instruction sur l'emploi tactique des grandes unités" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1937)
---o "La recherche des renseignements dans les corps de troupe et les unités subordonnées – annexe 1 au règlement de l'infanterie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1939)
---o "L'enseignement du combat" (2 volumes, Commandant Bouron, 1936)
---o "Manuel du gradé de l'armée de l'air" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1938)
---o "Manuel du gradé d'infanterie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Manuel du gradé du génie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1936)
---o "Manuel du mitrailleur de terre contre avions – instruction provisoire pour les sections de mitrailleuses de D.A.T. modèle 1930" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1937)
---o "Manuel du service en campagne de cavalerie" (Lieutenant-colonel A. Dalmay de la Garenne, 1938)
---o "Notice d'emploi des chenillettes d'infanterie" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Notice provisoire de la tourelle APX.1" (Atelier de Construction de Puteaux, 1936)
---o "Notice provisoire de la tourelle APX.4" (Atelier de Construction de Puteaux, 1937)
---o "Notice provisoire de la tourelle APX.R" (Atelier de Construction de Puteaux, octobre 1936)
---o "Notice d'instruction sur le canon de 75mm SA Mle1935 - figures" (Lieutenant Courtier, 1939)
---o "Notice de canon de 47 SA 1935" (Ministère de la Guerre, Septembre 1939)
---o "Précis de tir et armement de l'infanterie" (Lieutenant-Colonel G. Paillé, 1939)
---o "Règlement de l'infanterie – Première partie – instruction" (Ministère de la Guerre, 1940)
---o "Tables de tir du matériel de 47mm Mle1937 – projectile perforant modèle 1936" (Ministère de la Guerre, 24 septembre 1939)

Other sources (Unit Histories, battles etc.) :
• "1939-1940, batailles pour la France" (Patrick de Gmeline)
• "39-45" magazines
• "Abbeville 1940 - avec la division cuirassée de Gaulle" (Jean Marot)
• "Ardennes 1940 – tenir !" (Gérald Dardart)
• "Avec la 3e DLM et le corps de cavalerie" (G. Delater)
• "Avec le 15e BCA – notes de guerre" (Edouard Vincent)
• "Avec les héros de 40" (Marc-André Fabre)
• "Batailles & Blindés" magazines
• "Blitzkrieg à l’Ouest, Mai-Juin 40" (Jean-Paul Pallud)
• "Boulogne 1940 – mourir en chantant" (André-Georges Vasseur)
• Bulletin de liaison de l'association des amis du musée du canon et des artilleurs :
---o N°15 : L'artillerie dans la bataille des Alpes en 1940 (partie 1)
---o N°17 : L'artillerie dans la bataille des Alpes en 1940 (partie 2)
---o N°18 : L'artillerie en mai 1940 dans la bataille de Gembloux et le repli vers Dunkerque
---o N°20 : L'artillerie en mai et juin 1940 dans la Ligne Maginot
---o N°23 : L'artillerie de la 3e DIM du 14 mai au 7 juin 1940 - sud de Sedan - bataille de Stonne
---o N°25 : L'artillerie lourde hippomobile dans la Blitzkrieg de 1940
• "Ceux de la cavalerie 1939-1940" (Francis Rico)
• "Ceux de l'artillerie 1939-1940" (Etienne Dubuisson)
• "Ceux des chars – 45 jours, 45 nuits" (Pierre Voisin)
• "Ceux de l'infanterie 1939-1940" (Jean Tournassus)
• "Combats par -30°" (Henri Chenavas)
• "Comme des lions – mai/juin 1940 – le sacrifice de l'armée française" (Dominique Lormier)
• "Corps à corps avec les blindés" (Henri Lespès)
• "De Gaulle sous le casque – Abbeville 1940" (Henri de Wailly)
• "Des forêts d'Alsace aux chemins de Normandie – La 43e division d'infanterie dans la guerre, 3 septembre 1939 – 26 juin 1940" (Thibault Richard)
• "Divided and Conquered : The French High Command and the Defeat of the West, 1940." (Jeffery A. Gunsburg, 1979)
• "En auto-mitrailleuse à travers les batailles de mai" (Guy de Chézal)
• "Fallait-il sauver le char Bayard ?" (René Boly)
• "Franc tireur en uniforme" (André Sernin)
• "Gembloux 1940 … Echec à la 4e Panzer" (Marcel Pieret)
• "Gembloux" (Henri Aymes)
• "Groupe Franc" (Albert Merglen)
• "Guderian's XIXth Panzer Corps and the Battle of France : Breakthrough in the Ardennes, May 1940." (Florian K. Rothbrust)
• "Histoire de la ligne Maginot" (Roger Bruge)
---o volume 1 : "Faites sauter la ligne Maginot"
---o volume 2 : "Offensive sur le Rhin"
---o volume 3 : "On a livré la ligne Maginot"
• "Histoires de Guerre" magazines
• "Historica" magazines
• "Historique des 2e et 202e régiments d'artillerie – campagne de 1939-1940"
• "Historique du 7e bataillon de chars légers F.C.M"
• "J'étais médecin avec les chars" (André Soubiran)
• "Juin 1940 – combats sur le Rhin et dans les Vosges" (J.-Martin Busser)
• "Juin 40 le mois maudit" (Roger Bruge)
• "Juin 1940 sur la Basse-Somme" (P. Vasselle)
• "Koh Chang, the unknown battle – Franco-Thai war of 1940-1941" (Jurg Meisler, World War II Investigator, XIV, 1989, 26-34
• "La 2e division d'infanterie pendant la campagne de 1939-1940 – Le lion des Flandres à la guerre" (Robert Villate)
• "La 3e division d'infanterie motorisée 1939-1940" (General Bertin-Boussu)
• "La 36e division d'infanterie à l'honneur, 1939-1940" (F. Soulet)
• "La bataille de France, mai-juin 1940" (Pierre Lyet, 1947)
• "La bataille de Rethel 16 mai – 10 juin 1940" (Robert Marcy)
• "La bataille au sud d'Amiens, 20 mai – 8 juin 1940" (P. Vasselle)
• "La campagne de 1940" (Christine Levisse-Touzé)
• "La division de fer dans la bataille de France, 10 mai - 25 juin 1940" (Pierre-Georges Arlabosse)
• "La division de Metz (42e DI) pendant la bataille de France" (Général Pierre Keller)
• "La division de Savoie (28e DIA) pendant la guerre 1939-1940" (Revue de Savoie 1941/1942)
• "La Ligne Maginot Aquatique" (Paul Marque)
• "La randonnée du 9e Zouaves 1939-1940" (Lieutenant-colonel Tasse)
• "La tragédie d'Amiens – mai juin 1940" (P. Vasselle)
• "La victoire évaporée – Abbeville 1940" (Henri de Wailly)
• "L'Arme Blindée Française (volume 1) : Mai-juin 1940 ! Les blindés français dans la tourmente" (Gérard Saint-Martin)
• "L'arrière garde meurt mais ne se rend pas ! La tragédie des Flandres, 1940" (Pierre Porthault)
• "La Xe Armée sur la Basse-Somme, en Normandie vers le réduit breton mai-juin 1940" (general Altmayer)
• "Le 1e Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes" (Pierre Dufour)
• "Le 19e Groupe de Reconnaissance Divisionnaire (1939-1940)"
• "Le 7e GRDI dans les combats du 10 mai au 4 juin 1940" (Laurent Soyer)
• "Le 9-9 dans la tourmente 1939-1945" (André Mudler and Yves Lacaze)
• "Le coup de faux – Assassinat d'une ville" (Henri de Wailly)
• "Le défaut de l'armure : nos chars pouvaient-ils vaincre en 1940 ? Enseignements et perspectives nouvelles" (Georges Ferré)
• "Le dernier carroussel – défense de Saumur 1940" (Robert Milliat)
• "Le mythe de la guerre-éclair – la campagne de l'Ouest de 1940" (Karl-Heinz Frieser)
• "L'effondrement – 1940" (Henri de Wailly)
• "Les Cadets de Saumur" (Patrick de Gmeline)
• "Les Cadets de Saumur" (Antoine Redier)
• "Les cinq jours de Toul" (Pierre Ordioni)
• "Les combats du Mont-Dieu – Mai 1940" (Gérard Giuliano)
• "Les combattants du 18 juin" (Roger Bruge)
---o volume 1 : "Le sang versé"
---o volume 2 : "Les derniers feux"
---o volume 3 : "L'armée broyée"
---o volume 4 : "Le cessez le feu"
---o volume 5 : "La fin des généraux"
• "Les Corps Francs 39/40" (Patrick de Gmeline)
• "Les mille victoires de la chasse française, mai-juin 1940." (Jean Gisclon)
• "Les Panzers passent la Meuse" (Paul Berben and Bernard Iselin)
• "Les soldats de 40 dans la première bataille de Normandie – de la Bresle au Cotentin" (R.G. Nobécourt)
• "Les soldats de la drôle de Guerre" (François Cochet)
• "Les Spahis au feu, la 1e Brigade de Spahis pendant la campagne 1939-1940" (Général P. Jouffrault)
• "L'escadron de Segonzac" (Olivier d'Ormesson)
• "Mai - Juin 1940 : défaite française, victoire allemande, sous l'oeil des historiens étrangers" (Maurice Vaïsse)
• "Mai - Juin 1940 : les combattants de l'honneur" (Jean Delmas, Paul Devautour and Eric Lefèvre)
• "Mai - Juin 1940, les blindés français" (Ronald Mc Nair)
• "Militaria" magazines (especially special issues n°4, 8, 17, 21, 31, 34)
• "Orage en Champagne, l'ultime bataille – 12 juin 1940" (Claude Antoine)
• "Quelques-uns des chars 1939-1940" (René Bardel)
• "Sedan – mai 1940" (Claude Gounelle)
• "Souvenirs d'un engagé volontaire 1936-1940" (André de Lipski)
• "Tank-fighter team" (Lieutenant Robert M. Gérard, 1943)
• "The battle of Gembloux, 14-15 May 1940 : the 'Blitzkrieg' checked" (Jeffery A. Gunsburg, the journal of military history 64 (January 2000), 97-140)
• "The battle of the Belgian plain, 12-14 May 1940 : the first great tank battle" (Jeffery A. Gunsburg, the journal of military history 56 (April 1992), 207-244)
• "The French Army 1939-45 (2 volumes)" (Ian Sumner, François Vauvillier and Mike Chappell, Men-at-arms series n°315, Osprey)
• "Une bataille 'oubliée' de la seconde guerre mondiale : Stonne, Le Mont Dieu, Tannay. 14-25 mai 1940" (Bernard Horen)
• "Une pièce anti-char de 25 du 2e RTM à Gembloux" (Louis Brindejonc, Revue Historique des Armées n°1-1987 pp 66-73)
• "Une vie de char" (Robert Le Bel)
• "Weygand, De Gaulle et quelques autres – La Somme 16-28 mai 1940" (Henri de Wailly)



User avatar
G. Trifkovic
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Post by G. Trifkovic » 05 Mar 2006 14:28

Mr. Lehmann,

Many thanks for the detailed account of the battle!


Iron Duke
Posts: 56
Joined: 23 Mar 2005 01:39
Location: UK

Post by Iron Duke » 07 Mar 2006 02:42

Markus Becker wrote:Thanks you. Plenty of information, just as I expected it. Do you know any books about the French Campaign, that are available in English or German, preferably written by french authors? Reading your various postings convinces me, such books are worth buying. Frieser´s book was fine, but it had little information about the second part of the Campaign(Fall Rot).

The best book in english (perhaps any language) on Sedan is Doughty's "the Breaking point: Sedan and the fall of france 1940".

I thought Frieser's account was also exellent. I read the recent english translation.

Both these works are good in examining the failure of french doctrine during the battle which, IMHO, is at the heart of what happened at Sedan. Doughty wrote "Seeds of disaster" on the development of French military doctrine between the wars which is usually cited as second to none on the subject, although almost impossible to get hold of these days. I will try and return at a better hour (it is 01.30 GMT) to comment on David's thorough analysis. It's a fine essay but I don't agree with all his conclusions.

Fall Rot is not as frequently well covered since the issue was not really in doubt at that point. It tends to be dealt with as an "Aftermath" or "final moves" chapter. I'm not aware of any work that focuses solely on it, or even treats it at the same length at the first period of the campaign.


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