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Extra info for Blitzkrieg France 1940
The “Dyle Plan” was a not wholly satisfactory compromise, establishing a defensive front on the Dyle River in order to protect Brussels. Strong forces were also positioned along the vaunted Maginot Line. As both Holland and Belgium were neutral, a move by Allied forces into Belgium could only be made if invited to do so by its government. This hampered the construction of permanent fortifications along the Dyle Line. The “Dyle Plan” played directly into German hands. If, in response to a German northern offensive, the Allies moved the bulk of their first-line infantry and mobile divisions into Belgium, an unexpected and powerful offensive through the Ardennes—considered by the Allies to be impassible for armored vehicles—to the Channel coast would completely isolate those forces.
In November 1939, Manstein had consulted panzer expert General Heinz Guderian on whether the panzer divisions could be moved through the supposedly tank-proof Ardennes. Guderian replied that it could be done but a maximum concentration of the armored forces would be necessary. Manstein presented his plan a number of times to the General Staff, but the daring proposal was consistently rejected. In fact, Manstein’s persistence became so irritating that he was removed from his position with Army Group A and sent to command an infantry corps far from the battlefront.
The chance to relax is taken whenever possible. Kfz. 222 armored car is ferried across a river on a pontoon raft. The Germans were masters of improvisation and quickly adapted to changing circumstances. Where bridges are not available, the tedious job of fording the river becomes necessary. The panzers received the publicity and the glory, but a large proportion of the transport capacity of the German Army consisted of horse-drawn elements that were an essential part of the campaign. This staff car has seen its share of combat, but it appears to still be operational, if somewhat disorganized.