Strengths of the Allies
- Better tanks, on the average - especially the French Char tanks have thicker armor, especially if compared to the Pz III.
Their Soldiers are fighting with the back to the Wall, with the courage of desparation.
Their opponents have a crazy, labile "Führer" as supreme commander.
- Numeric superiority of about 2 : 1
Same thing in the air - since May 21st, the Royal Air Force has retreated from the theater, now has to take off from English airports, which costs time.
The German Panzers are equipped with Radios and have the better Doctrine, thanks to Heinz Guderian.
The German Panzers are on average faster than the Allied tanks.
The German Panzers are built using iron ore from Sweden, which is of better quality than that from Lorraine used for French tanks
Most French tanks are light tanks, some of them still from World War I
Besides Charles de Gaulle, most French top commanders aren't that competent. (Lord Gort thinks thought that the French generals - on average older than either Brits or German counterparts - have useful experience from WW1)
Since May 23th, the Brits are placed on half rations.
The 1st French Army already lost most of their heavy equipment.
The Allied Troops are slowly running out of fuel. (Even if most Germans don't know about this scarcity.)
The fact that Allied tanks tend to burn more fuel than German panzers doesn't help with this.
Millions of Belgians and Frenchmen are fleeing, getting the Allied Soldiers in disarray.
At least some German commanders (e.g. Erwin Rommel) have good ideas, how to improvise, if things don't run according to Plan.
The German fighting morale is high, the Allied one not so much. A lot of Material was already left behind during the retreat. Some commanders like Général de brigade Albert-Charles-Émile Bruché tried to escape - in his case, in a Citroen car
The fact that the "führer" changed the attack date dozens of times actually helped the Wehrmacht: Their soldiers were kept on their toes, while the Allied ones, doing nothing, were wondering for which purpose they were there.
The Belgian Army is already close to capitulate. (Their supreme commander, King Leopold III, would capitulate on May 27th, although nobody was able to know about that before.)
(No) thanks to the Molotow-Ribbentrop Pact, the CPSU ordered the French and British Communists to sabotage the war efforts of their countries
May 25th - The News of Dunkirk's Fall causes Panic among the Allies. Both Officers and Men have to choose between three to four bad Alternatives: Trying a risky breakthrough at Douai towards Peronne (distance 50 km, by air); trying to hold the line, make or break; risking a surprise coup of Dunkirk, to achieve Evacuation at the end; or capitulation. The Brits and younger commanders tend to a fight, the older Frenchmen and Belgians to capitulation. A few thousand Allied Soldiers per day manage to get picked up at the Belgian Shores by the small Boats at least. These boats have to take the longer Route Y, which means that even getting there takes them eight hours.
Winston Churchill, when learning that Dunkirk has been taken, orders the BEF to try to take it back, to continue Operation Dynamo, for which planning started just five days ago.
May 26th - The most advanced French Troops retreating reach Dunkirk, where the Germans already have created a defense line. First skirmishes end in a draw. German Panzer troops reach Lille, where the Remains of six French Divisions have concentrated.
May 27th - Belgian King Leopold III, supreme commander of his Army, capitulates - without having informed the other Allies about this. The Allied Troops in besieged Calais capitulate too, after a few thousand of them could make the evacuation. Lille is encircled by the 6. Armee (von Reichenau). For a short Moment, the Germans at Dunkirk seem to get into trouble, when the French mass their remaining tanks and start an offensive. The German anti-tank gunners are helpless - but when the Germans divert their anti-air guns from their proper use, they can destroy even the thickly armored French Char tanks. From now on, the French are only able to fight defensively.
French counter-attacks of the 10th Army at Abbeville coming from the South are blocked by the Germans.
May 28th - More than 90% of the Belgian Soldiers have capitulated against the Germans, the Rest continues fighting on the side of the Allies. Almost all of Flanders is now occupied by the Heeresgruppe von Bock; now, the Allied Soldiers can't even flee via the shores. BEF commander Lord Gort escapes with one of the last Ships. Alphonse Juin, one of the Division commanders in the encircled Lille, capitulates with his Troops. The Germans capture about 100 tanks and 300 Guns.
May 29th - The British Expeditionary Force (now under Harold Alexander) has to move Troops to cover their Northern flank, after the Belgians aren't there anymore. Making an Offensive much more dangerous for them. Despite of the difficulties, Montgomery succeeds with this Operation. The German Troops at Dunkirk push their opponents behind the Yser river.
May 30th - Hermann Hoth accepts the capitulation of Lille. The 1st French Army doesn't exist anymore. This is leaving only the BEF in the area around Ypres (once again...) between the rivers Yser and Lys. For one Week, the Men have fought on half Rations, effective strength and Morale have suffered accordingly.
May 31th - The commander Alexander contacts the Germans to negotiate about capitulation. The French counter-attacks at Abbeville are cancelled too, since the Situation seems hopeless.
June 1st - The BEF is dissolving now. Some Soldiers decide to fight their way through the German lines towards unoccupied France in the South on their own. Only few, like "Fighting Jack" Churchill, are successful with this.
June 2nd - Harold Alexander has to sign the BEF's capitulation at Ypres.
Results of the Battle
Even if the German losses (soldiers and panzers) were somewhat higher than in OTL, the Allied losses were several times higher, moving the balance in Germany's favor. Hence, the attack on France ("Case Red") was continued as soon as June 2nd, instead of June 4th.
The captured material alone which the Wehrmacht was able to peruse now was overwhelming: More than 500 usable tanks, more than 2,000 guns, over 10,000 Machine guns, and over 50,000 vehicles.
More than 300,000 men of the Allies had died, were missing, or had become German prisoners of war. Dozens of new prisoners camps (StaLags) were created for their placement.
The British Army wasn't just decimated, but practically halved. About ten Divisions had been lost in the battle, which had to be replaced now. For which there were only bad Alternatives as solutions:
- Raising more Troops in the Dominions and colonies (which would take Months)
Moving Soldiers of other services (Navy, Air Force) to the Army
Sending badly or not at all trained Troops in the war
Moving Troops from the Dominions and colonies to the mother country (which would weaken the latter ones)
The British Empire, which still covered one quarter of the Earth's landmass on maps, now had become weak and attackable everywhere potentially, but barely able to change to the offense. The Troops which now were evacuated as fast as possible from Narvik to Great Britain couldn't change too much about that.
Many competent commanders of the Brits and other good men became prisoners of war now:
- Alan Brooke, who'd become the most important Military advisor of Winston Churchill in OTL
Noel Mason-MacFarlane, responsible for military intelligence at the BEF, who'd become Governor of Gibraltar in OTL
Harold Alexander, who'd fight in Burma and Northern Africa
Chief of Staff Henry Pownall, who'd later serve under Wavell and Mountbatten in OTL
Ronald Forbes Adam, a good Organisator
Giffard Le Quesne Martel, who passed on valuable experiences with German Panzers to the other Brits
William Holmes, who fought in Syria and Northern Africa
Kenneth Anderson, who participated in Operation Torch in OTL...
Other famous commanders like Bernard Montgomery and Arthur Percival
The Heydrich assassins from OTL, Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš.
Because of these losses of barely replaceable commanders, the Western Allies now were lacking leaders who had made experiences about the German Blitzkrieg tactics, especially the usage of Panzers, and in this regard, with Rommel as opponent. Hence, the remaining Troops of the Empire weren't just weaker and worse trained, but also less experienced and demotivated by the defeat.
France suffered too: Since those soldiers evacuated in OTL couldn't be sent back to France, Weygand has even fewer divisions available for defense.
Additionally, the French were discontent because several ten thousand Brits, but just a few thousand Frenchmen had been evacuated. Together with other events, this caused longer-lasting bad relations between the Allies.
On the other side, the Germans were able to use their Experiences from the battle of encirclement for great success later - especially the fact that many Officers had learned from Erwin Rommel how to use anti-air guns against strong tanks. The German Panzers often doing badly in comparison to the Allied ones lead to all of the Pz I and II being delegated for training purposes only, and the Pz III and IV getting stronger cannons faster than in OTL.
Finally, the German victory was an enormous Shock for the Allied Morale and that of opponents of the Nazis in general - and improved the Motivation of the followers of Adolf Nazi. Even if it was doubtful how much of a share he had regarding this victory.
See also: This wiki page