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Kriegstagebuch West der Heeresgruppe A. Teil II 21.2.40 – 31.5.40 Vol. I in a series
Kriegstagebuch West
der Heeresgruppe A.
Teil II
21.2.40 – 31.5.40
Vol. I in a series of XVIII
Translated by John Winner
Dec – Jan 2011/12

This document is a translation of part of NARA micropublication T311 roll 253. In some places it will say "see Anlage" followed by a number. Unfortunaly I do not have the supplement to this Kriegstagebuch, so the Anlage are not available to me. If you are curious about the Anlage you will have to do a little leg work as I am not sure where in the archives they are located or if they still exist.

This document is part of a series that covers the activities of Heeresgruppe A during the invasion of France and later its transfer to the eastern front and redesignation as Heeresgruppe Süd. I am hoping to translate as many document in this series as I possibly can. I believe it will be helpful to fellow researchers. Encompassed in this series will be NARA micropublications T311 rolls 253, 254 and 255. Here follows a list of the documents that will be included:

Vol. I - Kriegstagebuch West Teil II der Heeresgruppe A., 21.2.1940 – 31.5.1940 Vol. II - Kriegstagebuch West der Heeresgruppe A., Operationen 1.6.1940 – 24.6.1940

Vol. III - Kriegstagebuch West Teil III der Heeresgruppe A, 25.6.1940 – 17.10.1940 Vol. IV - Kriegstagebuch West Teil IV der Heeresgruppe A Süd, 18.10.1940 – 31.12.1940 Vol. V - Kriegstagebuch West der Heeresgruppe A Teil V, 1.1.1941 – 14.4.1941 Vol. VI - Tagesmeldung der Heeresgruppe A Abtlg.Ia, 18.10.1941 – 13.4.1941 Vol. VII - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/A.Stab Gotzmann, 5.4.1941 – 16.6.1941 Vol. VIII - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/A.Stab Staufen, 22.4.1941 – 20.6.1941 Vol. IX - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Sonderakt Koluft, I 21.4.1941 – 27.6.1941 Vol. X - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Sonderakt Koluft, II 27.6.1941 – 15.7.1941 Vol. XI - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Sonderakt Koluft, III 15.7.1941 – 4.8.1941 Vol. XII - Heeresgruppe Süd Osten Ic/6 II G.F.P. Berichte, 16.9.1939 – 12.10.1939 Vol. XIII - Heeresgruppe Süd Osten Abwehr Meldungen und Lageberichte, 28.8.1939 –


Vol. XIV - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Sonderakt Lageberichte Ost, 22.8.1940 – 19.5.1941 Vol. XV - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/5 Sonderakt Lageberichte West IX, 3.1.1941 – 29.3.1941 Vol. XVI - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/5 Sonderakt Lageberichte West X, 8.4.1941 – 20.6.1941 Vol. XVII - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Luftflotte 4 I, 22.6.1941 – 12.7.1941 Vol. XVIII - Heeresgruppe Süd Ic/Ia Meldungen, 22.4.1941 – 31.7.1941

Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker of German so this translation may not be 100% exact. When in doubt you will have to perform your own translation. Some German words have been left untranslated. The reason for this is that there are no exact translations of the words into English. Also, ranks, unit designation and some military terms have been left in their original form. Place names will be used as they are shown in the original document. If they are maps or diagrams in the original, I will transfer them to this document.

This document was translated from NARA micropublication T311, roll 253, images 1 – 102, (documnet 11642/7).

The copy I used was downloaded from: Maparchive.ru

If you have any questions, comments or corrections, I can be contacted at isuxors@hotmail.com. Please refer to the document in the e-mail subject.

Quiet during the night

21. February 1940

During the day:

Enemy harrasing artillery fire, about 60 shots from the direction of Montenach on Schneeberg. Our artillery shelled recongnized positions in the forest south of Apach and east of Sierck.

Air activity:

14:45: 4 aircraft at high altitude in an east – west direction over 72.Inf.Div. Our own recconaissance.


Little change, sunny day

22. February 1940

At 12. Armee, quiet night. At 16. Armee lively enemy artillery fire in front of 72.Inf.Div., triggered by recconaissance patrol of Inf.Rgt.226 against Apach.

4 prisoners from the French Inf.Rgt.47 were taken.

During the day:

In the afternoon light artillery fire at 72.Inf.Div. on Schneeberg and south-east of it.

Air activity:

2 recconaissance patrols by 2.(F)/22.

Enemy air activity over the sector of 72.Inf.Div.


Little change, roads mostly free of snow.

Quiet night with no events

23. February 1940

During the day:

Low hostile atrillery fire. Enemy fire upon the forest north-west of Pillingerhof.

Air activity:


4 places not, 5 place in flyable condition


Clear weather. Thawing. River crossings on Our and Sauer not passable. Visibility good.

Movements across the terrain is very difficult.

24. February 1940

Quiet night for both Armeen.

During the day:

Enemy dug trenches at his positions in Apach. Construction of barricades and barbed-wire entaglements was observed. No other military activity.

Air activity:



Warm weather. Partly cloudy and hazy. Increasing temperature. Rising water levels. Otherwise no other change.

25. February 1940

In the whole area of the Armeegruppe it was quiet the whole night.

During the day:

12.Armee: 8:30: A plane of unknown nationality flew over, comming from Germany towards the border of Luxemburg at Dusburg. 16.Armee: Except for light enemy artillery fire, no combat activity. A recconaissance patrol encountered a 50 man detachment of French troops west of Ritzing and pulled back after a small firefight.

Air activity:

Our recconaissance patrol met by hostile anit-aircraft fire. Enemy aircraft over Mottendorf fired on without visible success.


Sunny weather all day. Ground thawing. Visibility very good. Movement on and off road very difficult.

26. February 1940

12.Armee: Quiet night 16.Armee: 22:30 lively enemy artillery fire of about 1000 rounds in front of the postion of XXIII.Armee.Korps. Enemy artillery fire was triggered by the assault troops of Inf.Rgt.124 who attacked with good artillery and machinegun support. The enemy withdrew to rearward positions. No prisoners could be taken.

During the day:

Quiet day. The enemy dug more trenches at his positions. Light disruptive enemy artillery fire.

Air activity:



Hazy and cloudy, Low visibility. Otherwise no changes.

Quiet night

27. February 1940

During the day:

Only light disruptive enemy artillery fire.

Air activity:

Flights over the sector of 72.Inf.Div.

6 airfields not useable, 3 for limited use.


Hazy and later clear. Terrain softened considerably. River crossings on Our and Sauer useable again only with difficulty.

28. February 1940

12.Armee: Quiet night 16.Armee: An attack by reinforced enemy assault troops supported by artillery fire was repelled between 21:00 and 23:00 at Mainmühle. Mutual artillery actions.

During the day:

Low hostile artillery activity against 16.Armee. Otherwise quiet day.

Air activity:



Overcast. Ground softened up to 10 cm, then about 20 cm of frost. Otherwise unchanged.

29. February 1940

Towards the evening light artillery disturbance fire in the area of 16.Armee at Schneeberg. Otherwise quiet night.

During the day:

Besides light enemy artillery disturbance fire in the afternoon no combat activity.

Air activity:



Strong haze all day. Deep solid cloud cover. River crossings unuseable. Visibility poor.

1. March 1940

Apart from artillery fire in the afternoon and night around Perl and Hammelsberg the area of the Armeegruppe reports a good night.

During the day:

Except light enemy artillery activity no fighting.

22:00: According to a telex from O.K.H., Gen.Kdo.XXII. Is to be place under the command of 12.Armee.

Air activity:


5 Airfields not useable, 6 for limited use.


Clear cheerful weather. Ground drying. Visibility very good. Movement still difficult.

2. March 1940

22:30 A hostile aircraft at Wallendorf at a height of 3000 – 4000 m flew from Perl up along the border in the area of A.O.K.4. It departed in a south by south-westerly direction at 22:30, seemingly into Luxemburg [Luxembourg] territory.

During the day:

16.Armee: At 7:00 a recconaissance patrol and a covering squad met a French assault squad at the north exit of Ritzing and a firefight ensued. The enemy assault squad was supported by 2 light batteries with about 150 shots. The enemy shells (7.5cm) were partly white phosphorus and disulphide.

Air Activity:

During the 1 enemy aircraft over the sector of 72.Inf.Div aircraft activity.

In the midday there was other


After overnight frost, cool clear weather. River crossings passable with difficulty. Movements in the field thorugh lunch (thaw) difficult.

3. March 1940

Generaly a quiet night in the Heeresgruppe area.

During the day:

Light mutual artillery fire and occasional recconaissance activity in the area of 16.Armee. On the Sierck – Königsmacher road strikingly increased vehicular traffic and to the north of Diedenhofen increased rail traffic (6 trains between 08:00 and 14:00). The observed traffic is associated with a detachment observed by 72.Inf.Div.

Air activity:

At night 1 enemy aircraft spotted at Gillenfeld and fired at by our Flak unsuccessfuly. Our recconaissance activities were lively. Ingress in the morning of several enemy aircraft.


No changes. River levels falling.

4. March 1940

Quiet night in the Heeresgruppe area.

During the day:

Light mutual artillery fire. Otherwise no combat activity.

Air activity:

Active two-way air activity with mutual defense, but without defense.


Misty morning, sunny and clear later. River levels falling.

5. March 1940

In the area of 16.Armee, hostile attack with heavy mortors on Perl.

During the day:

Quiet the whole day

Air activity:

Brisk air activity at high altitude.


Heavy cloud cover, snow showers. Wet and soggy terrain.

6. March 1940

Quiet night for the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

Light mutual artillery fire, otherwise no combat activity.

Air activity:

Other than 1 enemy aircraft over the sector of 72.Inf.Div. No air activity.


Unstable. In the morning heavy clouds, later clearing. Movements on roads unresticted, terrain difficult for infantry, very difficult for vehicles.

7. March 1940

In the course of the afternoon and the night harassing artillery fire on several occasions

against 72.Inf.Div fire.

22:15, strong enemy partol in front of Perl pushed back by our artillery

During the day:

Light mutual artillery fire, otherwise no combat activity.

Air activity:



Little change. At night, heavy snowfall. Roads in the morning and evening hours passable only with difficulty as they were frozen.

8. March 1940

Quiet in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

Area 4.Armee: no special events. Area 12.Armee: All divisions have reached their new billets Headquarters: 1.Geb.Div. : Neuenahr 2.Geb.Div. : Bad Tönisstein 5.Geb.Div. : Neuwied 21.Geb.Div. : Andernach Area 16.Armee: Other than mutual artillery activity no combat activity.

Air activity:



Morning cloudy, clear and sunny in the afternoon. Roads in the morning and evening frozen for the most part.


Ob.d.H. Arrived in Koblenz after the trip to the 12.Armee and 16.Armee. Ob.d.H. Agrees that XVIII.Armee.Korps remains as they are, the way it is carried out by 12.Armee, ie. With 1.Geb.Div. immediatly behind III.Armee.Korps. Transfer of all armored units was initially rejected, intending to consult with General Guderian in Grafenwöhr. Decision that long-barreled guns between Mosel and Saar are to be quickly installed in the commanded postition, it is proposed that the guns of the Heeresgruppe and 16.Armee in the region east of Mettlach be installed in permanent fortifications. The Heeresgruppe is to take under its command 4.Armee.

9. March 1940

Quiet night in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

In the area of the whole Heeresgruppe a calm day. No artillery or combat activity in the sector of 16.Armee. Since 4 March midday, in Luxemburg territory, the Grundhof road and north to just before its meeting with the Sauer valley road is being torn up.

Air activity:

Apart from a hostile aircraft ingress east of Bittburg, which veered off after being illuminated by spotlight and fired on by Flak there was no other air activity.


In the morning hazy, overcast later. Ground thawing and softened. Therfore movements only possible with difficulty.


Consultation by Ob.d.H. with General Guderian during exercises in Grafenröhr on the transfer of all the armored battalions to training areas. At 19:00 Oberst Buhle called, the Ob.d.H. agrees with the installation of armored battalions in training areas. Ay 20:00 this message was announced to Gruppe Kleist and all agencies involved.

10. March 1940

Between 22:00 and 01:00 ingress of several aircraft of unknown nationality in the area of 16.Armee. No other air activity in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

No special events.

Air activity:

Only our own recconaissance activity.

7 airfields not useable, 6 limited use.


Soild thick cloud cover. River crossings on Our and Sauer good. Roads and terrain softened considerably.


The reorganization of the new billets was finished tonight.

11. March 1940

Quiet during the night in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

Area 4.Armee: Unloading of 87.Inf.Div. In the area east of Köln is on track. Area 12.Armee: No special events Area 16.Armee: Quiet day The leadership of the Armee is temporaraly, from 12 to 16 March, moved to Trier – Pallion. Transportation of 58.Inf.Div. and removal of 72.Inf.Div. is going as planned. Division headquarters of 58.Inf.Div. at Traben from 12 March.

Air activity:

Mutual brisk air and Flak activity. Recconaissance performed.


First clear and sunny, then cloud cover increased. River crossings useable. Movement over ground very dificult.

13. March 1940

The response received from the Chief of the General Staff of the Army to the proposal of the

St.d.H.Gr. From 5 March 1940.


During the afternoon and the night heavy artillery disturbance fire in parts of XXIII.Armee.Korps.

During the day:

4.Armee: To 17:00 only about 1/3 of 87.Inf.Div. Has arrived. Transports run with a 4 – 5 hour delay. 12.Armee: no special events. 16.Armee: low hostile artillery disturbance fire. 58.inf.Div. Has taken over the former sector of the 72.Inf.Div.

Air activity:



Cloudy humid weather. Rain showers. Thick solid cloud cover. Wet roads, passable only in part. Rivers rising.


Meeting of the Ob.d.H. In Koblenz Castor-Hof with all the Ob.d.H.Tr. and Ob.d.Armeen,

including O.B. Ost and O.B. Ost-Grenzabschnitte.

14. March 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe generaly quiet.

During the day:

For transport of A.O.K.4, a few units of 87.Inf.Div. have arrived. Remaining shipments through the night. The rest of the area of the Heeresgruppe with out incident.

Air activitiy:

None. 15 Airfields not useable.


Rain, sometimes hail. River crossings not passable due to floods. Otherwise no changes.

15. March 1940


Several hostile patrols in front of Hammelsberg and Perl repulsed. Otherwise a quiet night.

During the day:

4.Armee: 87.Inf.Div. arrived this morning on the last train. Otherwise quiet day with weak enemy artillery activity at A.O.K.16. No other combat.

Air activity:



Sunny during the day, cloudy later. Roads partially frozen. Ground softened during midday thaw.


State of the Hauptquartier and Stabsquartier after the restructureing (see Anlage 6) 15:00: Meeting between Hitler and the Ob.d.H.Gr.A, O.B. 4., 12. and 16.Armee and Gruppe von Kleist. Hitler first met with Ob.d.H.Gr., then with O.B. 4., 12. and 16.Armee and Gruppe von Kleist

about their missions in the planned implementation in the context of Aufmarches "Gelb" [Fall Gelb]. He does not comment on the presentations, he explained only in the context of policy implementation to the conclusion that the time was dependant on:

a) The weather, which should allow us to bring the fully bring the superiority of the

Luftwaffe to bear.

b) of his forthcomming talks (18.3.) with Mussolini.

c) Of measures which he intended , and yet which are capable of making the conditions of

the offensive, inside and outside, even better.

Quiet night

16. March 1940

During the day:

Light disruptive artillery fire in the area of 16.Armee. Otherwise a quiet day.

Air activity:

In the night, hostile ingress of aircraft in the direction Godesberg – Wittlich. Use of our spotlights and Flak.

14 airfield unuseable, 2 with limited use.


Weather improving. Roads and terrain softened considerably. Movements in the terrain more difficult.


17. March 1940

At 00:00 flew over Prüm at high altitude, at 00:05 flew at high altitude over Dasburg and west across the border, at 00:12 a single aircraft flew at very low altitude over Dasburg from north to south.


After midnight a hostile aircraft flew over the Armee area

Both Armeen used spotlights and Flak activity without success.

During the day:

16.Armee: At noon very lively enemy artilley fire of light and medium calibers at the hill west of Eft (58.Inf.Div.). Enemy batteries detected west of Apach, south-west of Sierck and south of Bois de Merl. No other special events.

Air activity:

In the night brisk hostile air activity. In the day no air activity.


Cloudy and rainy. Thick solid cloud cover. Visibility limited. Movement in the terrain, especially for heavy trucks, is hardly possible.

18. March 1940

22:15 Hostile air activity over Trier, our Flak defense was ineffective.

During the day:

Besides light mutual artillery activity at 16.Armee no combat activity.

Air activity:


13 airfields unuseable, 4 with limited use.


During the day rain, clearing in the evening. Roads wet, paths and terrain softened greatly. Rivers rising, river crossings unpassable.


Presentaion of map to O.K.H. about the planned sequence of movements and the intended

action of the divisions from A-day to the evening of A+4 day.

20. March 1940

Quiet night in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

16.Armee: The billets betweem 71.Div. and 8.Div. were changed on 20 March. New Stabsquartier 71.Div.: Birkenfeld.

Air activity:

No change to the airfield situation.


Cloudy, scattered rain. Movement on ways and terrain very difficult.

Quiet night.

During the day:

No special events

21. March 1940

Air activity:

Own recconaissance flights in the early morning. Dropping of leaflets.


Cloudy with rain showers. River crossings impassable. Otherwise no changes.

22. March 1940

Quiet night

During the day:

In the front section of 16.Armee, light mutual artillery activity.

Air activity:

Our recconaissance flights in the early morning.


Varying cloud cover, mostly bright. Ways and terrain drying out but movement still difficult.

23. March 1940

In the front section of XXIII.Armee.Korps patrol activity with partial contact with the enemy. Otherwise quiet night

During the day:

Quiet day, weak hostile artillery activity. No other combat activity.

Air activity:

Own and enemy air activity. Several enemy sorties in the evening and night. Our Flak defense had no visible success.


Cloudy. Rain showers. Terrain heavily soaked again. Movement in terrain very difficult.


Receipt of written instructions from O.K.H. According to the present situation, O.K.H. has the oppertunity to warn the Heeresgruppe 3 days before A-day so that the timely return of their armor is ensured. Should the situation change, O.K.H. will tell the Heeresgruppe. In this case the aim is to continue training and to move those Abteilung whose implementaion at 11:00 on A-day seems viable. The command is forwarded in writting to Gruppe Kleist, with instructions of the transfer of this decision addressed to the Gen.Kdos. sheared off due to confidentiality reasons.

24. March 1940

On the afternoon of 23 March livelier reciprocal artillery activity in the front section of 16.Armee. Patrol activity with enemy contact.

During the day:

Apart from light enemy artilley disturbance fire in the morning no other combat activity.

Air activity:

Own recconaissance flights in the early morning. Leaflet dropping.

10 Airfields unuseable. 5 with limited use.


Morning overcast, later clearing and serene. Terrain softened but strong. Movement difficult.

25. March 1940

No special events during the night.

During the day:

At the front hostile artillery disturbance fire, essentialy medium caliber, on the forward outposts. Our artillery fired retaliatory barrages on identified targets.

Air activity:

Our own and enemy air activity. On the night of 24/25 several enemy incursions. Our Flak activity was without visible success.


Light clouds, at the moment clear. On weaker ground some places not passable. Rivers falling.

26. March 1940

Some lively hostile infantry and artillery activity.

During the day:

Except low artillery and recconaissance activity no combat activity.

Air activity:

On the night of 25/26, 8 identified hostile incursions. Our Flak activity. Aircraft turned away, but otherwise no apparent success. 3 recconaissance flight of our own. Air battles. Strong enemy anit-aircraft fire.


Shifting weather. 5/10 – 8/10 cloud cover, some rain. Rivers falling. River crossings are still not passable. Movements, except for vehicles, across terrain without restriction.

27. March 1940

Quiet night without incident

During the day:

Except light infantry and artillery activity in the sector of 58.Div. no other combat activity.

Air activity:

Several enemy flights on the night of 26/27. Our anit-aircraft fire without apparent success. Our recconaissance flights against hostile defense.


Changing. Rain and snow showers. Ways and terrain soggy and for the most part not passable. River crossings passable only with great difficulty.

28. March 1940

Light hostile artillery activity in the sector of 58.Div.

During the day:

No special events Ia Oberst Blumentritt to discuss with Chef d. Gen.St.d.H. General Halder reiterates that after crossing the Maas 4. and 12.Armee must not fall out of unity. He believes that the Geb.Div. in the area of Fumey should cross the Maas, which is considerably further north than the A.O.K.12 ordered. Presentaion after the return of Oberst Blumentritt the O.B. and the Chef. Ob.d.H.Gr. decides that it should remain with 12.Armee, the fortification south of Rocoi can be avoided from the outset.

Air activity:

Mutual recconaissance flights. Night time enemy flights.


Overcast. Precipitation. Otherwise no change.

29. March 1940

Area 16.Armee:

Light enemy artillery disturbance fire on Hammelsberg. 2 enemy patrols at castle Meinsberg were dismissed.

During the day:

Quiet day with little mutual artillery fire.

Air activity:

Active mutual air activity over the sector of 58.Div. French recconaissance air activity. 1 recconaissance aircraft, 600 m. High was fired at by our Flak without success.


Overcast, rain and snow showers. In some cases 40 cm of fresh snow. Very soggy terrain, so movements difficult.

Quiet not with no incidents

30. March 1940

During the day:

Besides light mutual artillert disturbance fire no combat activity.

Air activity:

Ingress of several enemy fighters in the afternoon. Our own recconaissance air activity. Use of an aerial spotter for artillery in Sierck.


Weather deteriorating. Hazy throughout the day. Light rains. Main and secondary roads very smooth. Dirt roads and terrain softened considerably. Movement over terrain difficult.

31. March 1940

Quiet in the whole area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

Light mutual artillery disturbance fire in the sector of 58.Div., otherwise no combat activity or special events.

Air activity:

Ingress of several hostile aircraft. Own strong Flak activity without success. Our recconaissance flights.

11 airfields not useable. 4 with limited use.


Improving weather, clouds changing, movement in terrain very difficult.

1. April 1940

Quiet night with no special events

Around midnight ingress of an enemy plane west of Koblenz, it then flew out towards Vianden in Luxemburg.

During the day:

Except light mutual artillery fire in the area of 58.Div. no special events.

Air actuvity:

Brisk air activity, both enemy and ours. Our own recconaissance flights. Ingress of several hostile aircraft. Our Flak defense had no success.


Cloudy, gorund drying out, movemeent difficult.

2. April 1940

Besides light mutual artillery fire on the front of 16.Armee no other events.

During the day:

Particularly quiet day without fighting. Exchange of 26.Inf.Div. with 36.Inf.Div. at A.O.K.16 has begun as planned.

Air activity:

Our recconaissance flights were active. 6 airfields still soft.


In the morning clear, later cloudy. Movements difficult.

3. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe quiet.

During the day:

Quiet day with no events.

Air activity:

No air activity. Airfields again softened greatly.


Weather deteriorating, heavy rain fall, terrain badly soaked.

4. April 1940

Quiet night over the area of the Heeresgruppe.

During the day:

Besides light mutual artillery fire in the sector of 58.Div. The day was quiet. 36.Inf.Div. has taken over the sector of 36.Inf.Div. Div.-Stabsquartier : Wolsfeld (10 km west of Speicher).

Air activity:

No air activity.

11 airfields not useable, 3 with limited use.


Overcast, rain fall, low clouds and fog. Movements on terrain extremely difficult.

5. April 1940

During the night in the sector of 58.Div. Patrol activity with partial enemy contact and light artillery activity. In the other Armee no special events.

During the day:

Lively artillery activity on the front of 58.Div. 18:30: A call from Oberst von Greiffenber, that the tanks in Baumholder, Wahn and Schwetzingen, that were training until 10 April, must be retrieved. This came from the Heeresgruppe.

Air activity:

No air activity. Only a single ingress by an enemy plane. No change to airfields.


Heavy rain. Thick cloud cover, rivers rising. River crossing not passable.

Quiet night.

6. April 1940

During the day:

Areas of 4.Armee and 12.Armee quiet. Area of 16.Armee in the sector of 58.Div. hostile artillery disturbance fire of 200 rounds on the forward positions.

Air activity:

No air activity.

17 airfields unuseable.


Partly cloudy, occasional rain. Otherwise no change.

7. April 1940

In the Heeresgruppe area quiet with no specila events.

During the day:

Areas of 4.Armee and 12.Armee, quiet with no incidents.

Area of 16.Armee Enemy artillery fire was exceptionaly good on the areas of Tettingen and

Wochern, partly on the construction sites of H.K.L

artillery spotters. Assault troops in Apach. Total of losses in assault troop companies and from artillery:

Our artillery fired back using aerial

1 officer dead, 1 officer missing, 13 wounded.

Air activity:

Active aircraft activity by the enemy and our planes. Ingress of hostile aircraft flying in violation of Luxemburg neutrality. Our recconaissance flights against heavy enemy defense.


Cloudless and serene. Terrain still heavily softend, but drying out. No change in the possiblity of movement.

8. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night. At midnight an enemy aircraft ingress Westerwald. Observed it path: Sinzig, Maria-Laach, Gillenfeld, Montabaur. No firing from our Flak.

During the day:

Quiet day, no events. 10:30 Oberst von Greiffenberg meets in Koblenz to inform on behalf of the Ob.d.H

Chef and Ia der Heeresgruppe are in prorgess of the deployment of Greman troops in Dänemark and Norwegen to prevent the imminent occupation by the British and the French and to take over to protection of the neutrality of these two states.


Air activity:

Our recconaissance flights with the dropping of leaflets. Airfields improved.


Overcast and misty, cool, rain. Movement over terrain still limited.

9. April 1940

Quiet night no special events.

During the day:

Remarkably quiet day. Very low artillery activity on the front.

16:00 Meeting of the Ob.d.H.Gr. with the O.B. Of the 4., 12. and 16. Armee as well as General von Kleist. At the same time an Ia meeting. Content of the meeting:

a) Briefing on the situation in Norwegen and Dänemark.

b) Preperation of the "Sofort-Falles" because there ois a possibility for France and England

to break out with a suprise counter-attack in Belgien and Holland.

Air activity:



Overcast, otherwise no change.

10. April 1940

Quiet night with no special events.

During the day:

In the sector of 58.Div. enemy artillery action of about 300 shots. Othewise quiet day.

Air activity:

No air activity. 12 airfields softened, 3 with limited use, 5 fully useable.


Overcast but no rain. Ways and terrain softened considerably. Oppertunities for vehicle movement is still very difficult.


Kriegstagebuch West mit Anlagen


on 10.4.1940

correctly transfered:

correctly recieved:

signed Ferchl

signed von Drabich-Waechter




Overseen by:

signed von Sodenstern


Quiet night

11. April 1940

During the day:

Quiet day, no special events

Air activity:

Ingress by several hosilte aircraft, our Flak had no visible success.

No change to airfields.


Overcast (sometimes clear) and rain showers. Terrain still softened. River crossings useable again.

12. April 1940

Quiet night, no special events

During the day:

Over the area of the Heeresgruppe no special events.

Air activity:

Lively air activity from our side and the enemy. Our Flak had no visible success.

6 airfileds unuseable, 8 limited use, 6 fully useable.


Rainy weather. Some snowfall. Terrain very soggy again. Heavy weapons and artillery in the area are immobile.

13.April 1940

Quiet night with no special events.

During the day:

Quiet day without incident. Light artillery fire on the area of 58.Div An airplane voilated neutrality over Mosel and Sauer at 06:30.

Air activity:

No air activity. Ingress of an enemy aircraft from Luxemburg.

11 airfields not useable, 5 with limited use, 4 full use.


In the morning fog, then sunshine and cheerful. Terrain still very soft. No change in river crossings.

14. April 1940

Quiet night with no special events.

During the day:

Quiet day with no combat activites. Losses from own mines:

1 Oberfeldwebel dead, 2 Unteroffizier and 5 men wounded.

Call from Oberstleutnant Heusinger O.K.H. - Op.Abt. - that it would be decided during the day whether the Panzer Abteilung can be re-routed to exercise areas. If necessary would be moved on 16 April:

2 Abteilung from 2.Pz.Div. to Wahn and Schwetzingen,

1 Abteilung and possibly another to Baumholder. 4.Armee a single tank to Wahn.

On 20 April the tanks should be back. In the course of the day the message comes that the tanks can be relocated.

Air activity:

No air activity. No change in airfields.


Coverd by heavy clouds. Clouds and rain. Terrain softened greatly, movements greatly complicated.

15. April 1940

Quiet night without incidents. Hostile aircraft flew over Luxembourg area between 18:00 and 19:00.

During the day:

In the areas of 4.Armee and 12.Armee quiet during the day with no combat activity.

Area of 16.Armee: After a quiet night, with advanced artillery preperation, the enemy attacked our line of readiness in the forest north of le Bergholte at 05:30. In the minefield the enemy assault troops failed to advance, 58.Div recovered 1 badly wounded Lieutantant and 11 dead. It can be assumed that the enemy suffered more losses. The recovered dead belong to a company of Inf.Rgt.127 (2.Inf.Div.). The rest of the infantry regiments of the 2.Inf.Div. (33., 73.) were confirmed. Captured equipment: 3 l.M.G. 24, 2 grenade rifles, 4 short rifles and hand grenades. The lieutantant is in mortal danger and notto be interrogated. Otherwise a quiet day with low artillery activity on both sides.


An Unteroffizier severly wounded the day before died.

Air activity:

No air activity. Ingress of enemy aircraft, fired on by our defenses without visible effect.

7 airfields not useable, 9 with limited use, 4 fully useable.


Unstable. Rain and snow showers. Terrain very soggy. Movements in terrain for all vehicles very difficult.

16. April 1940

Quiet night in the Heeresgruppe area, no special events.

Addendum to the evening report of 15. April 1940:

Report properly indentified neutrality violation. Several aircraft in Bollendorf.

During the day:

Quiet day for the Heeresgruppe with no incidents.

Air activity:

No air activity. Ingress of single French aircraft. Our defense had no apperent success.

No changes to airfields.


Changing weather. Rain, curretnly hail. Ways and terrain soggy. No change in movement ablility.

17. April 1940

Quiet in the area of the Heeresgruppe over the night.

At 16.Armee mutual patrol activity. Otherwise no special events.

During the day:

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet day with no specail events.

Air activity:

Our recconaissance activity. No enemy aircraft. No change in airfield conditions.


Changing rain clouds. Torrential rains. Terrain useable by tracked vehicles only, wheeled vehicles are immoble.

18. April 1940

Quiet night in the area of the Heeresgruppe with no special incidents.

During the day:

In the whole area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet day with no events. 1 slightly wounded by artillery fire.

Air activity:

No air activity. No change in airfield conditions.


Persistant rain overnight. Scattered rain. Rivers rising. River crossings not useable by

vehicles. Terrain not useable by vehicles. Movements by infantry and cavalry very difficult.

19. April 1940

Quiet in the area of the Heeresgruppe with no special events. 2 lightly wounded from mines, 1 lightly wounded by shrapnel.

During the day:

Quiet in the area of the Heeresgruppe.

Air activity:

Own recconaissance activity but without success. No change in airfield conditions.


Clouds claering, mostly clear day. Temperature rising. Terrain drying but still soggy. Rivers rising. No change in the possiblity of movement over terrain.


On 19 April, telephone conversation between Chef d.Gen.St. der Heeresgruppe, Generalleutnant von Sodenstern and Chef Gen.St. A.O.K.4, Generalmajor Brennecke, about the nature of the use of tanks in the 4.Armee. Outcome:

As a result of the increasing compression of the closures, especially the mining of the Begian border area in fornt of 4.Armee, A.O.K.4 has been concerned about whether it is

advisable under the circumstances to allow the armor to proceed together with the infantry. By a change in the previous procedure, A.O.K.4 hopes to overcome these difficulties through special measures, namley:

a) Distirbute mixed mobile Abteilung.

b) Strengthening of the front line divisions by the motorized engineer companies of the

rearward divisions.

c) Strengthening of the division front line forces through construction and road building.

Also explored was the issue of timely use of 5.Pz.Div. And 7.Pz.Div. (XV.A.K.) southwest of Gruppe von Kleist. A.O.K.4 has not yet considered this idea, but wants XV.A.K. to hold back, if up to the evening of A-day the recconaissance shows that a strong occupation of the fixed positions on the Maas line, Dinant – Givet, that the advance of the Pz.Div. Over the Maas does not promise success. Chef d.Gen.St. d.H.Gr. is considering, in this case the Ob.H.Gr. propose the timley use of XV.A.K. in the Gruppe von Kleist. Personal debate on these issues is being considered.

20. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe quiet night with no specila events.

During the day:

In the areas of 4.Armee and 12.Armee quiet with no special events.

16.Armee area:

Lively artillery activity. Lively mutual air activity from both side. Otherwise a quiet day with no specail events.

Air activity:

Lively air activity from both sides. Our side flew several recconaissance missions. anti-air defense had no visible successes.

3 airfields unusable, 9 with limited use, 9 fully useable.


Mostly clear, almost cloudless. Terrain drying out, Valleys and forests still soggy. Movement within the area improves, but still difficult.

21. April 1940

Area of the Heeresgruppe quiet with no special events.

During the day:

Area 4.Armee and 12.Armee:

Quiet day with no events.

Area 16.Armee:

No infantry combat operations. Hostile artillery fire in the rear areas towards Tettingen, apperantly led by an aerial artillery spotter. Lively air activity with dogfights between the Saar and Mosel.

Kills: 1 Spitfire at Borg, 1 German plane at Büschdorf. German pilot wounded, English pilot not yet recovered.

Losses: By artillery shelling of a construction site, 2 Todt workers killed, several wounded.

Armor and infantry that were in the military training ground, were, as of today transported back to thier living quarters as scheduled.

Air activity:

Brisk air activity from both sides. Several recconaissance flights carried out. Anti-aircraft defense without visible success. State of our airfields greatly improved. 2 airfields not useable (work being done), 10 with limited use, 9 fully useable.


Cloudy, rainy, sunny. Terrain continues to improve. River crossing useable again. Movements for wheeled vehicles still difficult.

22. April 1940

Area of the Heeresgruppe quiet during the night with no special events.

The pilot, shot down in the Messerschmitt yesterday, has died.

During the day:

In the area of the whole Heeresgruppe quiet and without combat activity.

Air activity:

Several enemy air sorties during the night and early hours of the morning. Anti-aircraft

defense without visible success. Recconaissance missions flown. 1 Do 17 of 3.(F)/11 shot down in a air combat.


Clear and sunny. Terrein for the most part dry. River crossings useable. Movement for wheeled vehicles and heavy artillery still difficult.

23. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe quiet night with no special events.

On 23 April at 01:00, at 17.Div., 1 French deserter swam across the Mosel at Temmels.

During the day:

14:00 a call from Oberst von Greiffenberg – Op.Abt. O.K.H. - 1.) 2.Geb.Div. shall begin loading for transportation. 25 April evening time. 2.) Is supplied as a replacement for 25.Div. 3.) Feeding of 25.Div. through Heeresgruppe C to Bad Schwalbach. Then contimue to march through the area of XXX.A.K. In the area of Linz. A.O.K.12 intends to move 5.Div. to the area of 2.Geb.Div. and 25.Div. to the area of 5.Div.

Area 16.Armee:

Light mutual artillery activity. Brisk air activity between the Saar and Mosel; at 11:20 an enemy plane (monoplane) was shot down by 2 Messerschmitt 109 southwest of Perl. It impacted in French territory and burned. Otherwise a quiet day without combat or special events.

Air activity:

Own recconaissance activity. 1 Me 110 damaged by enemy fighters. An He 126 of 2.(H)/21 crashed at Brohl. 2 airfields not useable, 10 with limited use, 9 fully useable.


Serene and clear, rising temperatures to 23ºC. Otherwise no change.

24. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events. Between Waldorf and Niederzissen (area of XVIII.Armee.Korps) one of our planes crashed.

During the day:

No special events. Front of 16.Armee, very light artillery and air activity.

Air activity:

No air activity. 2 enemy recconaissance planes driven away by Flak. No changes to airfields.


Overcast, humid. Movement situation unchanged.

25. April 1940

Area 4. Armee and 12.Armee:

Quiet night without special events.

Area 16.Armee:

At 58.Div. active atrillery and patrol activity, 1 Frenchman captured.


By our own T-mines, 1 dead and 1 seriously injured.

Otherwise a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet day without special events.

Air activity:

No air activity. No changes to airfields.


Early morning mist. Overcast all day. At some times rain showers. Otherwise no change.

26. April 1940

At 16.Armee, light mutual artillery activity.

Losses: 1 wounded by artillery. Otherwise a quiet night in the area of the Heeresgruppe without special events.

During the day:

No special events.

Air activity:

No air activity

3 airfields unuseable, 10 with limited use, 8 fully useable.


Changing cloud cover. Partialy rainy. Otherwise no change.

27. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

No special events. At 16.Armee light mutual artillery activity.


During partol against Apach 1 dead, 1 wounded.

1 wounded by artillery fire.

Changes in Stabsquartiers:


Bad Neuenahr


Rengsdorf (10 km north of Neuwied)


Castle Grünhaus at Mertesdorf

Air cativity:

No air activity.

5 airfields unuseable, 7 with limited use, 9 fully useable.


Overcast. Occasional heavy rains. Terrain softening. Movement for wheeled vehicles difficult.

28. April 1940

Area 16.Armee: Quiet night with very light artillery fire.

Losses: 1 lightly wounded from artillery fire.

Otherwise a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

Quiet day with light mutual artillery activity.

1 soldier died, whose injury was reported in todays morning report. The bulk of 25.Div. Has arrived in thier new billet area.

Air activity:

no air activity. No changes to airfields.


Overcast. Terrain is drying out again, but useable for artillery, tanks and other vehicles with restrictions.

29. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

No special events.

Air activity:

No air activity. Ingress of one enemy aircraft to the Rhine (not attacked). 3 airfields unuseable, 9 limited use, 9 fully useable.


Cloudy. Warm. Othwise no change.

30. April 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

Quiet day without special events.

Call from Oberstleutnant Hausinger to Oberst Blumentritt, that on 4 May at noon everything must be ready, so that we may begin in the shortest possible time.

Air activity:

2 recconaissance missions aborted with no results.

Ingress of one enemy aircraft at Saarburg.

2 airfields unusebale, 10 with limited use, 10 fully useable.


In the morning clearing, cheerful later. Terrain drying out. Movement only difficult for wheeled vehicles.

1. May 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events.

At A.O.K.16 an enemy patol northwest of Merschweiler was repulsed.

During the day:

Without special events.

Air activity:

One recconaissance mission conducted. No changes to airfields.


After morning fog, warm cheerful weather. Otherwise no changes.

2. May 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night; no special events.

During the day:

Quiet day, with some lively artillery fire in the area of A.O.K.16.

Again a call from Oberstleutnant Heusinger to Oberst Blumentritt with repetition of the request that eveything be available at noon on 4 May.

Transmission to the Ia of A.O.K. 4, 12, 16 and Gruppe von Kleist.

Visit by the O.B. Of Luftflotte 3. He emphasizes the need of the Luftwaffe to place the main point of effort in the area of Gruppe von Kleist.

Air activity:

Ingress of several aircraft. Our anti-aircraft defense had no visible effect. One recconaissance flight aborted with no results. No changes to airfield status.


Warm and sunny. Otherwise no change.

3. May 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe quiet night without special events.

During the day:

Between 16:00 and 17:00 the ingress of several enemy fighters in the sector of 58.Div recconaissance missions flown. No changes to airfields.



Clear and sunny in the morning, gathering clouds in the afternoon, cloudy in the evening. Movement possibilities for standard vehicles only difficult in some areas.

4. May 1940

A.O.K.4 and A.O.K.12:

Quiet night without special events.

Area of A.O.K.16:

Other than some lively artillery activity a quiet night.

Losses: 1 Offizier and 1 Unteroffizier lightly wounded by artillery fire.

During the day:

Quiet day without combat and without special events.

Call from Oberst von Greiffenberg (Chef Op.Abt.) to Oberst Blumentritt saying that no decision has been made.

Noon meeting with Hitler.

By telephone, decisions on requests:

a) Y=Zeit must remain 15 minutes before sunrise, despite ever shorter and thus risk that

movements on A-1 day must start in the evening light.

Ensure that appropriate camouflage measures are taken.

b) S – Leute (Ic) may at A-Y-day at 23:00 already exceed the limit. In the evening, no decision.

Air activity:

Ingress of enemy aircraft beyond the Rhein. 2 airfields unuseable, 9 with limited use, 9 fully useable.


Deep soild cloud cover. Local rainfall. Terrain soft again and it is difficult for standard and vehicles and heavy to move.

5. May 1940

Quiet night without special events.

During the day:

Quiet day without combat or special events.

11:00 Oberst Blumentritt requests from Oberst von Greiffenberg the situation. He received an answer, there is nothing new. He will call again on 6 May.

Air activity:

No air activity from either side. No changes in airfields.


Overcast. Rain during the day. Terrain soft again. Partialy passable with tracked vehicles, for horse-drawn wagons and guns only passable with guidance.

6. May 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night without special events.

During the day:

Area of A.O.K.4 and A.O.K.12 no special events. At A.O.K.16 besides minor mutual artillery activity a quiet day. Several artillery strikes on the Wochern church (4 km north-west of Perl).

Losses: 2 dead, 1 badly wounded, 3 horses dead.

12:30 a call from Oberst von Greiffenberg, he will call again on 7 May at the same time.

Air activity:

Ingress of several enemy aircraft (including 12 Hurricanes). No air activity from our side. No change in airfields.


Cloudy and overcast. No precipitation. Slight improvment in the condition of the terrain and the possibility of movement.

7. May 1940

In the area of the Heeresgruppe a quiet night.

At 16.Div. by vehicle accident 1 dead and 4 seriously injured.

During the day:

Area of 4.Armee and 12.Armee:

Quiet day without special events. Area of 16.Armee:

Quiet day with a little mutual artillery activity. 3 patrols had contact with the enemy at Apach and Ritzing.

Losses: 2 lightly injured by artillery fire.

Calls at 12:00 and 13:00, that there is nothing new.

Air activity:

At night and in the afternoon ingress of multiple enemy aircraft. Anti-aircraft defense had no visible success. No change in airfields.


Overcast. Local rain. Movements, apart from there own areas, for vehicles and horse-drawn

vehicles it is possible.

8. May 1940

At 4.Armee and 12.Armee:

Quiet night without special events.

At 16.Armee:

In late afternoon, light artillery activity on the positions of 58.Div. Otherwise a quiet day without special events.

During the day:

In the whole area of the Heeresgruppe a quite day without combat or special events.

Air activity:

Multiple recconaissance missions flown. Enemy anti-aircraft fire hits on one of our aircraft. No changes to airfields.


Overcast. Morning fog, rain showers and thunderstorms. Only movement in places in lower lying ground limited movement for wheeled vehicles.

9. May 1940

Call from Oberst Zeitzler, that General Guderian had reported the following:

As a result of the thunderstorms on the night of 8/9 May the ground and secondary paths are softened so that possible movement of wheeled and tracked vehicles is extremely limited. A few day of sun and wind are neededto improve this condition. 10:00: Passed on to Oberst von Greiffenberg by Generalleutnant von Sondenstern.

13:00: Command from O.K.H.; "Gelb, 10 May 1940, 05:35" The command was immediatly passed on by Oberst Blumentritt by telephone and telex to A.O.K.'s 4., 12., 16. and Gruppe von Kleist.

Given by telephone:

1.) to Oberst Wuthmann at 13:03 (A.O.K.4) 2.) to Oberstleutnant Kübler at 13:05 (A.O.K.12) 3.) to Oberstleutnant Boeckh at 13:07 (A.O.K.16) 4.) to Oberstleutnant von Krosigk at 13:09 (Gruppe von Kleist) The administration was done by Oberst Blumentritt.

14:30: 1.Staffel of Heeresgruppenkommandos moves its headquarters into the barracks in the woods 3 km west of Bitberg, where it arrives at 17:00.

21:45: From the command of O.K.H. - Op.Abt. :


D a n z i g"

By telephone at

21:55 to A.O.K.4

22:15 to A.O.K.12 (Oberstleutnant Kübler) 22:17 to Gruppe von Kleist (Oberst Zeitzler) 22:19 to A.O.K.16 (Oberstleutnant Boeckh)

(Hauptmann Meyer-Welker)

It is passed to the armies by Oberst Blumentritt.

The movements of the Heeresgruppe to run as planned. No special events.

This evening a disscussion took place between O.B. and the Chef des Gen.St.d.H.Gr.

Once again there will be consideration of the opportunities of the upcoming operation.


1.) Air raids on the enemy ground installations is crucial to our success. 2.) Alleged French forces are expected at the earliest in front of 4.Armee at the Ourthe [river] and in front of 12.Armee and 16.Armee on the railway line Namur- Neufchateau. 3.) Strong defenses expected on the Maas: To be pushed through quickly with fast forces and the west bank of the Maas taken. If a systematic assault on the Maas is necessary, it means a loss of time, which excludes the continuation of the imagined operation. Thus, if the tanks remain "stuck" on the Maas, though the attempt was made, by use of the first tangible infantry divisions and useing as much of the artillery of 12.Armee – the way is supported from far forward of the march columns – at one place or another the place of passage "fast track" is forced. 4.) Special measures are not to be taken currently. Everything is prepared. It should run like "clockwork".

Air activity:

Our recconaissance missions. Ingress of some enemy planes. No change in airfield status.


Morning fog. Localized rain, clearing in the evening. Movement limited only in certain places.

10.May 1940

05:35: The Heeresgruppe has begun the march through the Belgian and Luxembourg border as planned. The operation "Storch Gruppe" succeeded at Nives and Witry as well as at Esch. In Luxemburg there was no resistance, except for individual custom agents. Even in front of 4.Armee resistance was low, railways in Luxemburg [Luxembourg] were captured intact. 10:00: The Frach have occupied Esch. Around noon the Heeresgruppe has leading elements in the general line east of Malmedy – St. Vith – Luxenburg [Luxembourg] border. Parts of 76.Div. have taken Stromberg at Perl. Only in the afternoon the enemy appeared before XIX.A.K. in a coherent position in a general line Neufchateau – Rulles – Etalle (Belgium) and before 34.Div. of XXIII.A.K. In a line Niederkerschen – Esch (France). At nightfall:

4.Armee: Line Malchamps – Francorchants – west of Stavelot – Grand Haleux – Vielsalm – Baclain – Sommerain – Houffalize (entirely).

12.Armee: Mabompré – Bastonge – Titange.

Gruppe von Kleist: with leading elements Burnon – Strainchamps – Fauvillers – Rulles - Etalle.

16.Armee: Arlon (entirely) – Habergy – Aubange – Esch (entirely) – Frisingen.

It is felt that the French in Belgium are weak. In general resistance in the afternoon is still low. Hostile artillery appeared only sporadiclly.


Apparently the French were preparing for the invasion with moterized troops in the south of Belgium. Accumulations of enemy tanks in Carignan, Montmedy and Logwy. At Hirson, Charleville, Mezières, and Sedan, accumulations and projections. The Heeresgruppe expects strong French-Belgian forces to attack on 11 May in southern Belgium.

Own situation:

The armies and Gruppe von Kleist have reached all ordered targets and in some cases exceeded.

Air activity:

Luftwaffe attacked enemy airfields, headquarters and communication centers. Subordinated recconaissance units are being used regularly for recconaissance.

On the first day of the attack Luftflotte 3 has shattered the enemy airforce and thus created the basis for air superiority.Air attacks on our ground forces did not take place.


Nearly cloudless with morning fog and mist.

11. May 1940

Orders for armies unchanged.

During the night no special events. At 4.Armee, 5.Div. And 7.Div., under XV.A.K. are ordered to combine and break through to the Maas.

09:45: Luftflotte 3 is asked to delay strong transport movements towards the Belgian border in the Charleville – Hirson – Avesnes area.

10:00: Order by telephone to Ia Gruppe von Kleist, with strong forces to start with on the Semois, to open crossings from the south to push through Florenville to Bouillon.

11:05: Due to repeated transfer of personnel, Ob.d.H. orders Ob.d.H.Gr. that Gruppe von Kleist, with all parts, even 10.Pz.Div. is to immediatly, and as quickly and with as much strength as possible, to force a crossing of the Maas without regards to any threat from the southwest flank.

11:10: Chef Generalstab Heeresgruppe (Generalleutnant von Sodenstern) gives the appropriate order to Chef der Gruppe von Kleist (Oberst Zeitzler). Around noon the following general line has been reached: Spa – Houffalize – Flamierge – Libramont – Neufchateau – Les Bulles.

18:25: Gruppe von Kleist receives the order to force as quickly as possible a Maas crossing. (see Anlage 7)

19:30: Heeresgruppe issues a command, which again determines the orders for tha armies for 12 May. (see Anlage 8)

Also in the afternoon, operations are proceeding according to plan:

In the evening the following have been reached:

4.Armee: Sprimont – Ferrières – Heyd – Hotten – Champlon – Grune.

12.Armee: The forest east of Libin – Libramont – Bercheux. The difficulties, of VI.A.K., in moving forward its tanks is explained by the slopes that are blocking the way.

16.Armee: The forest northeast of Virton – Longwy – Esch – Hellingen – Mondorf.

Gruppe von Kleist: Forward elemants: 2.Pz.Div. on the Semois river at Vresse, 1.Pz.Div. on the Semois river at Bouillon, 10.Pz.Div. on the Semois river at Cugnon.

The elements of the Heeresgruppe in general have reached their goals for the day, and in some cases exceeded them. The enemy in general is weak and inferior. In the south of Belgium, the alleged enemy is apperantly holding out in the Maginot Line, fighting on the Semois and the Maas, apperantly to gain time for a better national defense on the Maas.

The intention for 12 May is beat the enemy – using XV.A.K. Und Gruppe von Kleist - and then penetrate the crossing of the Maas between Dinant and Sedan.

Air activity:

Schwerpunkt of the Luftwaffe (2/3 is fighting the enemy air force). French bombers, laying at great distance, were attacked on the ground and hit hard. The rest of the Luftwaffe was used against transport trains and march columns in central Belgium, especially those that were comming into the south from France. Stuka missions against enemy tanks and railway stations. We launched numerous recconaissance missions.


Clear and sunny. Increasing cloudiness to the west of the Maas.

12. May 1940

During the night no special events. Actions of 4.Armee are delayed by numerous bariers of all kinds. The armies ran patrols as planned.

By noon:

4.Armee: in general west of the Ourthe river Line: Bomal – Durbuy – Nassogne. XV.Korps in action at Achene in Dinant. 12.Armee: Libin – Libramont – Ste. Marie – Laherie. Gruppe von Kleist: Framont – Paliseul – northern Bouillon – Cugnon. 16.Armee: As on 11 May in the evening, the movements were continued as planned. Attack against key terrain in front of the Maginot Line was launched.

In the early afternoon hours, Heeresgruppenkommando had the impression that crossing the Semois river by use of engineers and bridging equipment will establich Gruppe von Kleist to

a considerable extent. It is therefore ordered, at 16:00, that 16.Armee will be supplied

Pi.Btl.666 (mot) with a bridging column from Gruppe von Kleist at Arlon. Pi.Btl.6 9. and 33. are also to be made availabe form Gruppe von Kleist where needed.

Until Heeresgruppenkommando has a clear picture based on available reports and aerial recconaissance, the situation on the Maas cannot be won. In terms of importance, the success and pace of the crossings over the Maas for the continuation and evolution of total operations, it appears a briefing and discussion on the spot with Gruppe von Kleist is necessary. It may be neccesary to initiate actions in the event that the scheduled river crossings of the armored and motorized divisions should meet a strong and planned defense on the Maas.

Chef der Generalstabes der Heeresgruppe (Generalleutnant von Sondenstern) leaves from the headquarters of Gruppe von Kleist (Bellevaux). Accompanied by: Oberstleutnant von Tresckow. Commanding general of Luftflotte 3, General der Luftwaffe Sperrle, joins the trip to regulate on-site interaction of the Gruppe von Kleist with the Luftwaffe for the Maas [Meuse] river crossings.

The result of the disscussion, as the basis for further warfare specified the Chef des Gen.Stabes der Heeresgruppe was authorized by O.B., is the following:

1.) Gruppe von Kleist expects a firmer stance by the enemy on the other side of the Maas than during previous fights. But it is because of the convincing available reports that even now holding fast to will lead to success and that the successful penetration of the Maas front by the armored and motorized divisions, if only at first at one point or another on the west bank, even if only on a small scale, could be held by foot soldiers.

It is therefore agreed:

2.) Gruppe von Kleist trying by all means, even during the night, to take the western bank of the river to gain a foothold, the next morning the strength of the forces was readjusted. Meanwhile, the Gruppe artillery was brought forward.

3.) I the tests during the night fail to succeed, it must be attacked 13 May as planned. The time of the attack is set for 16:00. At 08:00 Fliegerkorps V reinforced by Luftflotte 3 is to begin the prereatory fire attack. In continuous waves, high intensity repetitive bomber attacks will take place from 14:00 to 16:00. General Sperrle ensures any support, but notes that necessary directions to get through during the night. (There is still this evening, the legitimate fear, and the bombing must be limited to the time frame of 14:00 to 16:00)

In the evening the following line has been reached:


V.A.K. Beaufays – Rotheux. VIII.A.K. Warzée – Bende – Bonsin. XV.A.K. Dinant II.A.K. Forest edge south of Wanlin.


III.A.K. Maissin – Jehonville VI.A.K. With Aufkl.Abt. Vouillon – Orgéo, with head of the march column St. Pierre – Grandvoir. XVIII.A.K. Closeing up behind III.A.K.

All armored and motorized units have been ordered, by all means, to take advantage of every oppertunity to force a crossing of the Maas.

Air activity:

Luftwaffe actions against enemy transport and march columns. Area about the same as yesterday. Recconaissance missions done.


Clear and sunny.

13. May 1940

Over the night no special events.


XV.A.K. has forced crossing of the Maas with 5.Pz.Div. at Yvoir and with 7.Pz.Div. at Dinant at 06:30. Otherwise 4.Armee continues its westward advance.


Partly advancing. In part the movement must be stopped to enable the bringing forward of Gruppe von Kleist.


Intends to carry out an attack on Carignan on 15 May. XIII.A.K. Has fought a long stubborn combat on the line Virton – Longwy. XXIII.A.K. Has achived its directed line of defense. Gruppe von Kleist:

A crossing of the Maas during the night did not succeed. The Gruppe contiues to push the approch to the Maas by tightening its rearward units and artillery use to win a crossing which should be forced before 16:00.

An advance party of 6.Pz.Div. Has reached Monthermé.

Impression: The enemy between Manur and Givet from the west to the west of the Maas. Enemy situation the thf forest between Givet and Nouzonville is unclear. Between Charleville and Sedan he defends on the south bank of the Maas.

On the report of the Chefs der Generalstabes on his disscussion with General von Kleist on 12 May, O.B choses for the Heeresgruppe, for Gruppe von Kleist to move forward to personally influence the development of the Maas crossing, which is crucial for the whole operation. The depature time of 09:30 is being postponed because Ob.d.H. Asks for a personal meeting with the Heeresgruppe.

Ob.d.H. Arrives at 12:00, gives an overview on the overall situation and arranges the clarification of various specific issues, including why XIX.A.K. Has not attacked Sedan and northwest of it yet.

The departure of Ob.d.H.Gr. is at 14:00, accompanied by Oberstleutnant i.G. von Trecksow. The outcome of the discussion between Ob.d.H.Gr. and General von Kleist, at the command post (Bellevaux), 9 km northeast of Bouillon, is transmitted by telephone at 13:30 by Oberstleutnant i.G. Von Tesckow. 1.) The crossing of the Maas, prepared and supported by Luftflotte 3 was

successful in to places. While 2.Pz.Div. Occupied the north bank of the Maas, Nouvion and Donchery, 1.Pz.Div. Succeeded in capturing and defending the Frennois – Sedan road south of the river.

The 10.Pz.Div. could advance south of Sedan and protect the crossing of the Maas at Wadelincourt.

2.) Intention of 14 May, Ob.d.H.Gr. stresses the need for rapid acquisition and supporting of a large bridgehead:

Under cover of the south wing, between the Ardennes canal and the Maas in the area of Hirson (XXXII.A.K. at Monthermé and Nouzouville to move) – Montcornet and Rethel access to a bridgehead could be won.

3.) Ob.d.H.Gr. has decided due to the situation, to stay the night at the command post of Gruppe von Kleist, and only after clarification of the situation on the west bank of the Maas on the morning of 14 May for the Heeresgruppekommando, to return to Bastogne.

Anschlußlage evening 13 May:

4.Armee Pz.Div. bulid bridgeheads on the Maas at Yvoir and Dinant. The army is moved to the west of the Maas.

12.Armee No significant enemy actions in specified locations.

16.Armee Francheval – Heights east of Carignan – Margut

Gruppe von Kleist see above (19:30)

Air activity:

Luftflotte 3 supports, with the help of all air corps, the army crossings on the Maas. 2 corps were used in direct support of Gruppe von Kleist. 1 corps to seal off the enemies road approaches and used to attack the enemies reserves. With air superiority won days ago allowed us to overtake the Semois section and the crossings of the Maas without being bothered by enemy aircraft. By direct interaction of Luftflotte 3 with the army, fighting through the fortifications on the Maas, crossings were easier. Stuka operations south of Sedan had a devistating impact on enemy moral, accorcing to statements from prisoners. Jadgführer 3 reported, on 13 May, 100 kills in their area alone.


Changing cloud cover. In general sunny and cheerful.

14. May 1940

Night od 13/14 May, no special changes or events.

By noon:

4.Armee: Expanded the bridgehead west of Yvoir and Dinant and north of Givet. Enemy resistance stiffens. The infantry division come forward.

12.Armee: Advance party of XVIII.A.K at Riven finds enemy. 3.Div. temporaraly assumed by XXXXI.A.K., and together with 2.Div. moves to Nouzonville.

1.Geb.Div.: in action at Rienne, 5.Div. south of St. Hubert and marching to Bièvre, 21.Div. at Libramont.

16.Armee: nothing new.

Gruppe von Kleist: The XIX.A.K. successfully formed a tight bridgehead at Villers – sur Bar – St. Aignan – Noyers. Ready to move against Chéhery.

Ob.d.H.Gr. in the moring drives to the command post of XIX.A.K., and from there to the southern bank of the Maas, where on the western edge of Sedan a discussion with General Guderian takes place. It produces full agreement in the assesment of the tactical situation: XIX.A.K is under heavy cover on its southern flank, this creates conditions for an immediate expansion of the bridgehead west to the Ardennes Canal. Ob.d.H.Gr. emphasizes before his departure, to quickly expand to the area to the west. After further disscussion at the headquarters of Gruppe von Kleist, Ob.d.H.Gr. talks about the urgent need to quickly expand to the area west, with General von Kleist. On the afternoon of 14 May Ob.d.H.Gr. returns to Heeresgruppenkommando in Bastogne.

Details of the course of the day:

1.) Consultation with Ia A.O.K.12:

Considerations, whether the command structure needs to change. Agreement to wait another day. 2.) O.K.H. offers Totenkopfdivision and 11.Schützenbrigade for use. Inquiry to A.O.K.4 whether they are needed. 4.Armee would like to have these units, but does not know when or where yet. 3.)General assesment of the enemy:

Aerial recconaissance related to Paris shows transport movements northeast on most railways from the area around Paris. Apparently the French are moving their reserves for either defense or a counter-attack.

11:00 Departure of I. Staffel to new headquarters in Bastogne.

16:00 Departure of Oberst Blumentritt with the rest.

Staring 16:00 New headquarters ready for work.

In the evening:

4.Armee crossed the Maas to the west. VIII.A.K. Abre – Warnant, XV.A.K. Flavion area – Arthé, II.A.K. Cochenée – Agrimont, V.A.K. In the area south of Lüttich. 12.Armee continued the advance toward the Maas III.A.K. In battle for the Maas crossing at Mezières. 16.Armee with the right flank has reached the staging area for attacks on the Chiers area at Carignan. With the center and left wing the enemy has been thrown back to the Maginot line and advanced positions have been taken. Gruppe von Kleist:

XXXXI.A.K. Since 17:00 in combat on the Maas at Monthermé and Nouzonville. It succeeds in forming a small bridgehead at the loop in the Maas south of Monthermé.

XIX.A.K. had their defensive flank facing south against tough enemy resisitance and stopped many counter-attacks (2-3000 prisoners) and captured the canal bridges at Bencourt and Malmy intact. General Guderian began this evening to move forces to the west side of the canal, per the instructions of Ob.d.H.Gr. Enemy in Vendresse.

Intentions of Gruppe von Kleist: Continue the push to the west. The gradually approching XIV.A.K. To turn south and insert its armored forces into the area of Raucourt for flank protection.

Impression of the enemy:

The enemy fought on the front of the Heeresgruppe fought bravely but without cohesion. Apperantly the pace of our advance comes as a suprise. He moves forces from the area of Paris either to counter-attack against our bridgeheads or to form a defensive front. Upon the arrival of the Ob.d.H.Gr. in Bastogne, this outstand picture of our own and the enemies situation is already clear. During the return journey of the Ob.d.H.Gr. his consideration is supplemented, that it will be necessary to bring the fighting of Gruppe von Kleist and 12.Armee into a certain harmoy with each other, first of all to ensure reliable support of our large bridgehead. After a brief consideration at headquarters the Ob.d.H.Gr. orders the temporary subordination of Gruppe von Kleist to 12.Armee. The army is to create a wide-ranging consolidated bridgehead west of the Maas with its infantry divisions. Then as soon as possible the motorized forces are to advance west to the general line Hirson – Montcornet. (see Anlge) The Ob.d.H.Gr. will visit Ob. der 12.Armee on 15 May in the morning and discuss the situation with him.

Air activity:

Schwerpunkt Luftflotte 3: Support of the armored forces of Gruppe von Kleist and XV.A.K. Armies report continued strong Geman air superiority. Active recconaissance missions.


Misty morning. Daytime 4 – 6/10 cloud coverage. Towards the evening clear sunny weather again.

15. May 1940

No special events on the front. 01:30 comes a new directive from O.K.H. for the continuation of operations. (see Anlage 11) After reaching the line Beaumont – Rethel 4.Armee to Donai, 12.Armee to Bapaume. The right wing of 16.Armee is expanding at le Chesne (Ardennes Canal). Between 12. and 16.Armee, 2.Armee is to be inserted to secure the southern flank at Rethel, then take Laon and La Fère. Thus the urgent request of the Heeresgruppe is met, not to insert 2.Armee – as intended by O.K.H. - between 4. and 12.Armee, and thus send the 12.Armee to secure the south flank, but after the western thrust to leave. The order issued from the Gruppenkommando to individual commands – The summary is in H.Gr.-Befehl Nr. 1 am 16 May 1940 (see there) – were made in the course of the night. At 09:00 the Ob.d.H.Gr. goes to A.O.K.12. (accompanied by Oberstleutnant von Tresckow) During the meeting between the Ob.d.H.Gr. and 12.Armee the Ob.d.H.Gr. emphasizes the following points:

1.) Subordination of Gruppe von Kleist under 12.Armee is to ensure consistency of movement between the motorized forces and the infantry divisions of 12.Armee. It must not result in the tying up of the motorized forces. Gruppe von Kleist must be on "loose reins", and every oppertunity to gain westward must be exploited. 2.) The coupling of the motorized and infantry divisions, as was done in the area around Monthermé by A.O.K.12 on 15 May, dies not correspond to this principle. (It turns out that A.O.K.12 already intends to combine XXXXI.A.K. And Gruppe von Kleist and subordinate them.) 3.) The task of 12.Armee is, regardless to the danger to their southern flank, push behind the motorized forces in a western direction and with 4.Armee gain the line Hirson – Montcornet.

The attention of the Heeresgruppenkommandos, on 14 May and also the following days, is on the threat of an ever-lenghthening southern flank. All measures should be contiunally reviewd and improved to ensure the uninterrupted bringing up of divisions to the fronts of both 16.Armee at Sedan and in the general direction of Laon, and the strip of 12.Armee at Charleville and north of Hirson and Vervins – Marle. In performing the organization of this approach, A.O.K.2 is moved to reserves. Its use on the Aisne front remains subject to timing.

During the day:

The course of the day was in line with the expectaions of the Heeresgruppenkommandos. The motorized forces from 4. and 12.Armee are the forward elements on the general line

Corfontaine (10 km west of Philippeville) – Liart (25 km southwest of Charleville). From

the area of Charleroi several tank attacks were repelled by VIII. and XV.A.K

Sedan, an enemy tank attack resulted in considerable loss of material for the enemy. After major marches and some heavy fighting, infantry divisions succeeds in the front line. The motorized formations follow close behind. VI.A.K. (12.Armee) may be exposed on the roads until evening, only the leading elements reached the Semois.

Also south of

Impression of the enemy:

The enemy's retreat is sometimes in considerable disarray. Guns are left behind, in someplaces whole batteries. About the occupation of the French fortifications southeast of Maubeuge, only the XV.A.K. should push forward, if the enemy does not defend himself seriously, as of this evening their defense is not yet clear.

23:15: Request from Oberst Blumentritt to Oberst von Greiffenberg about the situation in 6.Armee is answered as follows:

6.Armee pushed on the English, French and Belgians near the Dyle position, on the line Löwen – Gembloux. Since the tank attack by the Panzer divisions were unsuccessful, the attack is set to be renewed on 16 or 17 May.

23:30: Chef A.O.K.4 is informed about ths situation. This results in a new position for the army, as it is far to the west on both sides of Philippeville – Mariembourg, which had pushed forces increasingly from the northwest and are threatening the the right flank in the area around Charleroi.

The final considerations of the Gruppenkommando comes in large to the conclusion that 4.Armee can support its own north flank with its own resources, however that a timely screening od the left flank of 12.Armee is crucial for the continuation of this operation. For the first time it considered the issue, that it may be necessary for the motorized forces to

pause at the Oise.

The Ob.d.H.Gr. especially emphasizes that if the enemy under any circumstances be localy successful on the Aisne, or later in the area around Laon. This would have a harmful effect on the overall operation, as this would be temporarily be slowing the pace of our motorized forces.

Air activity:

Luftflotte fights with enemy Nahkampfkorps (VIII.) in front of 12.Armee during the expansions of the bridgeheads. Schwerepunkt for the rest: destruction of the railway lines in the area of Reims – Epernay – Chalons – Verdun and the area of Verdun – Bar le Duc – Luneville – Diedenhofen.


Sunny and clear.

16. May 1940

The night passed uneventfully.

In summary, on 15 May individual commands were issued the the armies for further conduct of the operation and in preparation for the deployment of A.O.K.2 to secure the southern flank, Heeresgruppenbefehl Nr. 1 (see Anlage 12)

At 07:00 A.O.K.12 reports the leading elements of 6.Pz.Div. Have reached Montcornet with the rest at Liart.

For the purpose of the considerations of the previous evening, and in view of the fact that motorized units are scattered to the rear, instructions were made by telephone that the line Beaumont – Hirson – Montcornet – Guignicourt should be crossed only by advanced units. However, the crossing over the Oise, between Guise and La Fère should be taken. To the south to shield the Aisne, for the motorized units to catch up in the west, the infantry corps in the motorized formations should be readjusted.

Up to 13:00 the following is a picture of the situation:

6.Armee (rightmost unit):

On the southern flank of the Dyle position the enemy seems to be soft. Rearward movements from around Gembloux towards Brüssel, Vivelles, and Charleroi are visible.


5.Pz.Div. left flank at Beaumont secures to the north and northwest. 7.Pz.Div. approaching the French border southwest of Beaumont. 32.Div. west of Chimay. All corps gather to the west.


6.Pz.Div. advanced party has reached Guise, the majority of the division is at Lairt. The forward parts of 1. and 2.Pz.Div. are on the line Lairt – Wassigny. VI.A.K. Moves to Sedan

and 10.Pz.Div. to the Sedan bridgehead. Rearward divisions to move up.


The right flank has improved its position and intends to attack. On the remaining front are fortifications.

During the day, 4.Armee with the bulk of motorized units – with great marching lines – and with II.A.K. (12. and 32. divisions) have reached the French border fortifications southeast of Maubeuge. 12.Armee is on the line Hirson – Liart – Rethel, only advanced units have gone farther. The mass of 6.Pz.Div. Has shifted to Hirson.

The enemy retreats, in some places in great disorder and dissolution, to the west and southwest. There is no doubt from H.Gr.Kdo. that the motorized units held by the 12.Armee can easily move over the Oise between Guise and La Fère. This is also the conviction and desire of the leading commanders, especially Guderian and von Kleist.

The risk involves appears, however, as seen from the viewpoint of the whole operation, as unacceptable. The elongated southern flank between La Fère and Rethel is too sensitive, particularly around Laon. It provides an oppertunity for the enemy to attack. One, even local, success by the enemy would jeopardize the continuation of the operation, if not called into question.

A temporary halt in attacks, on the other hand, leaves the decision to continue the attack in

the hands of German leadership, and would give a 24 hour opportunity to shore up the

endangered flank.

Based on this assessment of the situation, Ob.d.H.Gr. must approve crossings of the line Sambre – Oise, and assigns the release of all associations for futher forays to the west.

This, delivered by telephone from Ob.d.H., fully approved the will of the Heeresgruppe, confirmed this evening by telex to the 4. and 12.Armee. (see Anlage 12 & 13)

Air activity:

Focus of the attacks of the Luftflotte is planned to attack railroad and marches across the line Soissons – Villers – Cotterêts – Sezanne Vitry le Francois, the result was a major disruption

of the rail lines. Great success was achieved in combating the march columns, which ran

from southwest to northwest.


Morning mist. Cheerful the rest of the day. Later, especially over western France cloudy.

17. May 1940

In the night no special events.

During the day 4.Armee breaks through the French fortificationa at Sobre le Chateau and Clair faits.

The ensuing local struggles lead by Pz.Div. (5. and 7.) of XV.A.K. At Berlaimont - Landrecie on hte Sombre. Parts of 7.Pz.Div. Push eastwards from Le Chateau. The enemy

resisitance before the Armee was somewhat persistant. Several new units were thrown into the fight.

At 12.Armee, in the evening, Gruppe von Kleist along with the bulk of XXXXI. and XIX.A.K. are on the line La Capelle – St. Gobert – Dercy. Advanced units have reached the Oise to participate in the formation of a bridgehead. East of the Oise enemy resisitance was weak. On the Aisne, a French line of security has been formed (defense or security being performed by the pre-attack forces) whos character has not been determined yet.

The VI.A.K south of Sedan between the Ardennes Canal and the Maas, was struggling to obtain a position, gained no ground against French attacks led by heavy tanks. The persistant deployment of the enemy, are particularly significant to the German leadership, in the context of the long southern flank of Heeresgruppe A.

The 16.Armee was able to reach the line – and stubbornly held out against counter-attacks.

The primary intrest of this day is also on this day is the strenghtening of the long southern flank. After all, the impression is that strong enemy attacks are not expected in the next 2 – 3 days. In addition the situation has relaxed from day to day. The foremost division which in an uninterrupted succession, behind the front of 16.Armee, will reach the neighborhood of Sedan by this evening. The motorized units of Gruppe von Kleist secured the area between La Fère and Rethel.

The Ob.d.H.Gr. therefore decides the advance of the strong advances units of Gruppe von Kleist to the section Cambrai – St. Quentin, this will keep open the most important crossings for 18 May. The bulk of the Gruppe von Kleist will close up on the Oise, the infantry of 12.Armee will follow.

At 13:30 a personal call from Ob.d.H. to Ob.d.H.Gr.:

"The situation on the south flank is considered particularly vulnerable. It suggest that all tangible infantry divisions to form a defensive front between La Fère and La Chesne. In addition to the units approching behind 16.Armee, it is also adviseable to send the rearward units of 12.Armee south."

At 15:00 Hitler meets the Heeresgruppe. Generaloberst von Rundstedt helps him in the presence of the Chef der Generalstab der Heeresgruppe, Generalleutnant von Sodenstern andthe first Generalstabsoffizier, Oberst Blumentritt, come up to speed on the situation. He emphasized the sensitivity of the southern flank and to describe their security measures already taken and those still planned.

The Führer agrees to fully assess the situation and approve the measures already taken. He emphasized particularly the importance, which the south flank, not only for the operation of the whole army, but also politicaly and psychologicaly, have. Under no circumstances should there in this moment, at any location a setback that would give not only the military, but also the political leadership of the enemy a disaterous impetus. Indicating that at this moment there is not a decision for a quick to the channel coast, rather the use of the under- used motorized units for a quick preperation of a reliable defense on the Aisne, in the area of Laon and later at the Somme. Then were all measures, where appropriate, to remedy the loss of initiative in the push to the west.

This decision by the Führer in connection with the afore mentioned phone call to Ob.D.H.

leads to the Heeresgruppenbefehl Nr. 2 (see Anlage 14), to set out the new direction.

With lower adherance to the intent, the section Valenciennes – Cambrai – St. Quentin is ordered to be taken, that the bulk of the motorized troops in the area Maubeuge – Guise – Cricy – Marle – Vervins – Hirson is to close up and the infantry of 4.Armee is to move in, while the XVIII.A.K. and III.A.K. of 12.Armee moves off to the south for defense readiness between La Fère and Le Chesne. This front will then be taken over by 2.Armee while 12.Armee closes up behind Gruppe von Kleist.

Air activity:

Continued air attacks on rail and march columns. Our own brisk air activity. 3 losses from our recconaissance squadrons.


Clear and sunny.

18. May 1940

The night passed uneventfully.

In the morning a meeting with Generaloberst Keitel, Ob.d.O.K.W

of situation maps supplied by O.K.H., has serious concerns about the open southern flank. It is clarified that this map, as always, shows the situation the night before. Generaloberst Keitel gives a report, by telephone, to the Chef der Gen.St.d.H.

Der Führer, on the basis

a) Map of the situation early 18 May,

b) Handed down the order for a rapid formation of a defensive front between La Fère

and Le Chesne.

He was immediatly informed that the enemy has blown up most of the Aisne bridges. So here attacing intentions do not seem to exist.

(During the day Generaloberst Keitel returns a message from O.K.W, by telephone, to the Chef des Gen.St.d.H.Gr., that the Führer has expressed his full satisfaction with the measures taken by the Heeresgruppe and now feels reassured regarding the southern flank. It is still possible for a quick extraction of the motorized groups from this front.)

About 13:00 a telex order (see Anlage 15) from O.K.H. is recieved, underscoring the rapid development of the front between La Fère and Le Chesne. After a telephone conversation between Ob.d.H. and Ob.d.H.Gr., was the transfer of the defensive front to A.O.K.12 (instead of, as previously, to A.O.K.2).

14:00 another telex from O.K.H. concerning the formation of the defensive front. (see Anlage 16)

The necessary amendments to the previously issued command to A.O.K.12 and A.O.K. 2 came by telephone:

A.O.K.12 takes over the defensive front with the corps (XVIII., III., and XVII.) used for this purpose. XXXX.A.K. With 6., 9. and 33.Div. to be staggered behind XVIII.A.K., also be conducted in the area arouns Laon. A.O.K.2 to form a strip following 12.Armee following combined arms formations and parts of the 4.Armee in and east of Hirson will form a new army for the disposal of teh Heeresgruppe.

At 16:45 an order from O.K.H is issued, for the bulk of the mobile units to form on the line Camrai – St. Quentin. (see Anlage 17)

About 21:00 came a order fron O.K.H. for 19 May. (see Anlage 18)

The mobile units are to obtain the area around Arras. A continuation of the attack will then be available to the north, as the western direction is in question. In the Heeresgruppekommando considerations lead to the conclusion of the Ob.d.h.Gr., that 4.Armee, in the next day, and Gruppe von Kleist are to make a foray into Arras under a unified command (concluded by H.Gr.B attacking enemy groups swinging north and northwest). Both are diredtly related. The danger of "divergence" must be prevented.

These considerations refer to Heeresgruppebefehl Nr. 3 dated evening 18 May, through the front of the 4.Armee, and previously 12.Armee, the advancing mobile forces to be subordinate to 4.Armee (see Anlage 19).

Eveing 18 May: The formation of the defensive front between La Fère and Le Chesne by turning off all available forces of 12.Armee, and transmission of command on that front transfered to A.O.K.12. An advanced party and 3 reinforced M.G.-Btl. (mot) – taken from 16.Armee – are charged with the line north Laon – Rethel.

The mobile troops of 4.Armee have in mass reached Bavai and Le Cateau.

The 2.Pz.Div. of Gruppe von Kleist have passed through St. Quentin.

The rest of 4. and 12.Armee have reached the line (see Lagenkarte 18 May).


VI.A.K. has established a defense with 24. and 16.Div

attacks on both sides of Beaumont. VII.A.K. Led the attack ordered by 16.Armee with a large cut through and stormed the stubbornly held French "Panzerwerk 505" west of Margut.

36.Div. Fought enemy tank

Towards the evening was one enemy tank attack againt hill 311 (1200 m west of Olisay), which was held.

Air activity:

Attacks on enemy forces advancing from the general area of Paris. (Support for the pivioting Inf.Div. Of the 12.Armee). Attacks on the railway junctions north and northeast of Paris.


Clear and sunny.

19. May 1940

03:30 a call from A.O.K.16, that before VI.A.K. The enemy is preparing for an armored attack. It asks the Pz.Jäg.Abt. of 10.Div., on the south bank of the Maas at Bulson, to intervine, also a Stuka attack.

In the course of the day Heeresgruppe A due to a bad communications situaation, it recieves no new reports on its remaining divisions.

In the 12.Armee, motorized divisions are replaced by infantry divisions.

The defense between La Fère and Le Chesne is set. The rear divisions of 4., 12. and 16.Armee are closed up.

In the evening Heeresgruppebefehl Nr. 4 is issued (see Anlage 20)

In the area of the Heeresgruppe the forward moblie troops have achived the forward positions Le Quesnoy, Solesmes, Cambrai and the area northeast of Peronne after some fierce battles and skirmishes, and tank against tank fighting.

The south flank between La Fère and Le Chesne is secure, the section of Laon, key points are being held by advanced units and M.G.-Btl. Norht of Laon. On the night of 20 May the area around Laon is to be secured tightly. By the assembly of 29.Div. (mot) northeast of La Fère, and the approach of 2.Div. (mot) already exists, there is no immediate threay to the east flank of La Fère.

Impression of the enemy:

The enemy transported and marched all columns from Belgien to the southwest coast between Arras and behind the lower Somme. Im some cases he is found trying to go back south, at Maubeuge and Camrai by our moblie troops, forcing him do dodge to the west.

In the area around Paris, many rail movements to the north and northeast. Weather the trains are carring troops or empty is not known. From the Compiègne – Sissions area Omnibus columns for Laon, along with artillery and combat vehicles.

To 23:00 no reports about the positions north of Laon.

It is not likely that there are intentions of attacking.

Specificly gaols achived: (see Lagenkarte 19 May)

Air activity:

Attacks on enemy armor before VI.A.K. South of Sedan. Continued attacks on rail transport and march columns south of the Aisne before 12.Armee. Bringing forward of the bunk of Flakkorps I for Gruppe von Kleist for on the ground use against enemy heavy tanks. Own livley recconaissance missions.


Varying cloud cover with alternating light conditions.

20. May 1940

During the night, no special events.

At 07:00 Oberst i.G. Schmundt picked up a situation map for the Führer.

During the morning H.Gr.Kdo. moved to Charleville, it was ready for operations by 12:30.

At noon, the mobile troops (5.Pz.Div.) of 4.Armee succeed in Bouchain, 7.Pz.Div. Of Gruppe von Kleist reach the area of Arras. The right flank of 12.Armee can capture, that is stubbornly defended by the enemy, the Laon area. At Rethel an the enemy bridgehead was

taken by III.A.K., but the canal and Aisne could not be crossed.

By the evening from 4.Armee the Gen.Kdo. XVI as Gruppe Hoth as the command is called, are now assembled under XXXIX.A.K., armoured divisions (5. and 7.) were fed from the area of Heeresgruppe B and fed to nascent armored and motorized divisions. Thus placed under 4.Armee for the continuation of two strong moblie fighting forces (Hoth and von Kleist).

Final positions evening 20 May: (see Lagenkarte 20 May)

It is marked:

a) Due to the success of the moblie troops:

Gruppe Hoth has Bavai and the western edge of the Forêt de Mormal, the enemy is still present, Le Quesnoy taken, is in the approach to Bouchain and Jwuy, and penetrated to Arras with 7.Pz.Div.

Gruppe von Kleist has crossed the Avesnes – le Comte – Doullens road, goes with 2 "Panzertêten" south of Doullens, and penetrated with 2.Pz.Div. into Abbeville!

b) of the progress of the seperate motorized units on the south front:

29.(mot) is available to Gruppe von Kleist, concentrated west of St. Quentin, 2.(mot) will be readjusted to St. Quentin and 13.(mot) is located in the area of Laon and will be relieved by 1.Geb.Div.

c) By the fact that the defense of the southern flank between La Fère and Le Chesne

can be increasingly assured.

A directive from O.K.H. for 21 May is not yet available. Ob.d.H.Gr. orders 4.Armee the

continuation of attacks towards the coast under cover of the Somme line between Abbeville and La Fère (exclusive). At the most important Somme crossings, bridgeheads must be

formed on the south bank.

Assessment of the situation:

Upon reaching the coast near Abbeville, the first end of the operation is reached. To the southwest of the Somme it remains to be seen whether aspiring forces can be taken remains

to be seen. According to the latest reports, there are still long columns in retreat along the

coast on the Somme estuary. In Dünkirchen, Calais and Boulogne extensive embarkations are umderway. The possibility of an encirclemant of the northern group of allied armies begins to emerge. East of Paris, just south of the Marne, the enemy seems to gather new strength. It must be expected that these forces are determined to run a planned counter-attack against our southern flank. An immediate danger does not exist. Also imminent breakout attempts from the area around Lille to the south or southwest are not apparent.

Air activity:

In general, employment of the Luftwaffe, as the day before. Our recconaissance explored

railways in the coastal region. Bombing by enemy aircraft on the approaches to Charleville

during the night.


In the morning hours overcast, later clearing.

21. May 1940

At night, no special events.

One gets the impression that a strong enemy (20 – 30 divisions) north of the line Valenciennes – Montreuil is cut off, and – attacked by Heeresgruppe B – will try to break through to the southwest. 4.Armee is to expect hard battles. Aditional forces to be supplied to it as soon as possible. Their intention, under an artillery concentration, to attack north and northwest with all available motorized forces west of Arras, is approved. The importance of ensuring the Somme behind this attack is noted.

At 15:00 Ob.d.H. arrives and is informed about the situation. According to his view are 30- 40 English, Belgian, Franch divisions sandwiched between Heeresgruppe B, the channel coast and 4.Armee. The cleanup of this situation could take several days to complete. With the measures taken by Heeresgruppe A, he agrees.

Ob.d.H. Then developed his ideas about continuation of operastions on a large scale. There presentation is omitted here for secrecy reasons. In any case, pointed out is the importance of expanding the bridgeheads at Abbeville, Amiens, Peronne and in the direction of Noyen.

At 17:30 O.B. 4.Armee was informed of the views of the Chef des Generalstabes der Heeresgruppe by telephone. There is a consensus at the meeting that the measres taken and intended by A.O.K.4, in particular the movement of tanks to Boulogne and Calais, fully contribute to the situation described.

By telex (see Anlage 21) it was arranged at 15:30 to relieve the 4.Armee, the extension of the portion of 12.Armee placed at the mouth of the Crozet canal on the Somme at St. Simon.

In the afternoon, a new, detailed instruction from O.K.H. (see Anlage 22) sanctioned the advance of armored forces at Calais – Boulogne.

By radio (see Anlage 23) at 16:30 it is reiterated to A.O.K 4 the importance of spacious bridgeheads on the south bank of the Somme.

Evening report:

4.Armee is clearing the fort area of Maubeuge and Forêt de Mormal and continued fighting against tough enemies. II.A.K. was able to rectify the situation at Le Cateau and on 22 May will be able to proceed in a generally west-northwestern direction. At Arras strong attempts to break through by the enemy were intercepted. The fight are not yet completed by the evening.


Remedy the situation between Maubeuge and Le Cateau. Another defense against enemy attacks against the line Cambrai – Arras – St. Pol and grouping for the continuation of the attack to the north. To the south: Use of V.A.K. with 62. and 87.Div. on the Somme and freeing all expendable Panzer and motorized units to attack the north.

12.Armee has won the north bank of the Oise – Aisne – Kanals and is directed here to the defense. By the gradual arraival of the rear units of this army is consolidating here the situation from day to day.

The assembly of the 2.Armee goes according to plan. They can by 22 May brought and closed up at Hirson and south.

A final consideration of this day is for the H.Gr.Kdo. is an essentialy favorable picture. A

certain tension on the front of 4.Armee between Maubeuge – Le Cateau – Arras is unmistakeable. The army (O.B. And Chef) is convinced – especially after the H.Gr.Kdo. Continues to feed intended forces – that the situation will not only be mastered but they are

soon to be on the offensive. West of Arras, where Gruppe von Kleist gained Maontreuil, the situation developed according to plan.

Particular attention will turn to the consolidation of the Somme front.The front of 12.Armee

is no longer at risk. The formation of 2.Armee is making good progress. The Heeresgruppe

has in it already a shock group, which can always be presented to the west.

In the evening of 21 May are given to Heeresgruppe A the directional orders of the day from

Ob.d.H. (see Anlage 23a).

Air activity:

Use of the Luftflotte to prevent enemy withdrawl movements along the coast to the lower Somme and to protect the south front, in particular on the Somme, of the Heeresgruppe. Direct support of the armored forces, by the air force units, on the march to the front. During the night an enemy bombing run on the town of Charleville.


In the morning clear, later overcast.

22. May 1940

01:30 call by Oberst i.G. Schmundt, adjutant der Wehrmacht from the Führer:

Der Führer will be informed of the situation at Arras. There, a strong enemy has tried to break through to the south of Arras. He has succeeded on the evening of 21 May to push back the 7.Pz.Div. at a few points, then the shock was absorbed. A weaker attempt to break through by the enemy betwenn Douai and Arras was dismissed. The Führer asks, that somehow all the available mobile troops on both sides of the Arras area, and west to the sea, the infantry divisions east of Arras, to be adjusted for positions between Maubeuge and Valenciennes. Otherwise, all other infantry divisions of the 12., 2. and 16.Armee be brought sharply to the west. This requirment complies with the arrangments already made by H.Gr.Kdo.

02:00 Oberst i.G. Blumentritt, Chef A.O.K.4 informs General Brennecke about this.

Corresponding command goes out by telex (see Anlage 24)

08:00 calls Generaloberst von Kluge (O.B. A.O.K.4). He shall inform of the measures taken. At 15:00 Arras is to be attacked from 3 sides.

In the area of St. Pol, 8. and 6.Pz.Div. Arrived.

Around Hesdin is the 2.Pz.Div., at Montreuil is the 1.Pz.Div.

The O.B. 4.Armee asked to decide whether Gruppe von Kleist should move as ordered by O.K.H. on 21 May to Boulogne and Calais, or await the cleanup of the situation in

Arras. Ob.d.H.Gr. decides to clean up the situation in Arras, and then only with Gruppe von Kleist advance on Calais – Boulogne.

At 09:00 Generaloberst Keitel (O.K.W.) arrives. He brings again in the night by telephone the already handed down instructions from the Führer, and is informed on the decisions of the Heeresgruppe.

Generaloberst Keitel, after returning to O.K.W., shares the full agreement of the Führer of the measures taken with Generalobersten von Rundstedt. He adds that the Führer in the person of Generalobersten von Rundstedt put special confidence and always his satisfaction over the command of Heeresgruppe A.

The course of teh day justifies the given arrangment of the previous day and until noon on 22 May.

All tangible mobile troops were on the line Arras – Montreuil were brought to defend against enemy attempts to break through. Der 4.Armee, again assumed I.A.K. At Valenciennes and Beaumont will be readjusted, has been granted the right to dispose of the foremost divisions of 2.Armee (27. and 4.Div). The 9.Div. Pushed into St. Quentin and secures the northern edge of town with its Panzerjägerabteilung. 33. and 6.Div. Are present at the Oise, their Panzerjägerabteilungen are at the disposal of A.O.K.4 and are deployed on the southern edge of St. Quentin. Betwenn St. Simon and Fargniers 263.Div linked to the remaining parts of 29.Div. (mot). All waves of rearward divisions close to the west.

The ezcellent leadership of 4.Armee was mastered all difficulties. At anytime was there any doubts about their success. Serious attempts, with armored cars, to break through bythe enemy at Cambrai and Arras were rejected. The army succeeded, the situation between Arras and Maubeuge is essentialy to clean up, while west of Arras Gruppe Hoth and von Kleist penetrated into Calais and reached the region east of Boulogne. In the evening the channel line between Arras and Valenciennes is reached and still occupied by the enemy. The Gruppe Hoth is between Arras and St. Pol, Gruppen von Kleist is between St. Pol and Boulogne on the approach the the north.

The Somme line will be secured by motorized infantry and backed up by infantry divisions.

Between St.Simon and Le Chesne is 12.Armee and the defense is secure. On the right flank of the 16.Armee the preparations for the attack early on 23 May established to improve the position between the Ardennes Canal and the Maas have been completed. The army relies on the rest of the front for there defensive positions.

Intention for 23 May:

Shoring of the front between Valenciennes and Arras to remedy the situation at Valenciennes. Gruppe Hoth will advance to the heights south of Bethune, Gruppe von Kleist between Aire and Gravelines, from the occupation of Calais and Boulogne.

Air activity:

Stuka missions against enemy tanks which had broken through at Cambrai and to support the VIII.A.K. In the battle for bunkers near Maubeuge (we suffered subsantial losses! Not acceptable!) 2 Fliegerkorps directly supporting Gruppen Kleist and Hoth, 2 Korps are still used to cover the left flank. Attacks on road and railway movements.


Overcast, rainy.

23. May 1940

A new instructions from O.K.H. (see Anlage 26) are for completing the encirclement of the

enemy in northern Belgium and France. The task Heeresgruppe A is the task of narrowing the encirclement from the south, with mobile forces across the line Bethune – St. Omer – Calais and swing to the line Armentières – Ypern – Ostende and to the heights Lens – St. Omer to take as soon as possible with infantry forces in hand. In the south the bridgeheads

should be held over the Somme, the bridgeheads are extended in accordance with available forces. It is clear that for 4.Armee to complete these tasks that forces must be continually shifted. By telephone orientation at 15:10, XXXX.A.K., with 9. and 33.Div, is to take over the Somme area between Corbie and Peronne. (see Anlage 27) At the same time, in order to free up the lower Somme, 2.Div. (mot) is deployed as quickly

as possible for Gruppe von Kleist, the O.K.H has requested the use of airborne troops between Abbeville and Amiens. (see Anlage 28)

The application also contributes through a proposed situation assessment (see Anlage 29) by Gruppe von Kleist. Due to the lack of transports they cannot comply with O.K.H., so only the time consuming advance of the infantry on he lower Somme remain.

The present result of late afternoon air recconaissance reveals:

a) Strong enemy in the area of Courtai – Dünkirchen to the southwest line to Bethune

– Calais.

b) South of the Somme motorized columns from Beauvais to Abbeville and Amiens,

from Montdidier to Peronne and Chateau – Thierry to Soissons.

Both findings find no suprises. Which, advised of, 4.Armee must take them into account with their available forces.

On the evening of the day it should be noted, that due to air reports the expected breakout throught the line Bethune – Calais is not carried out, and just south of the Somme lively enemy recconaissance activity was observed. Only against the bridgehead at Amiens was there a weak foray, which was easily rejected. On the fronts of 12. and 16.Armee no special events.

Details: (see Lagenkarte from 23 May)

2.Armee had open plans. Their further showing on the Oise is being considered, initialy they were to occupy it but postponed due to heavy road traffic behind the 4.Armee. Based on these considerations, the Chef des Gen.St.d.H. Had a briefing by telephone with the Chef des A.O.K.4 which is laid down in Anlage 31a, consents and appeals to the fastest examination of the question. Arrives at 24:00 – announced by telephone, with very poor understanding by Oberst von Greiffenberg – a command from O.K.H. at 4.Armee for "the last act", 4.Armee is subordinate to Heeresgruppe B, and a new border between A and B are determined. The Gliederung is to take effect at 20:00 on 24 May.

The Chef des Gen.St.d.H.Gr. in the aforementioned telephone conversation with the Chef der Op.Abt., Oberst von Greiffenberg, that he was not happy about the proposed command structure at this time. The reply of Oberst von Greiffenberg to Generalleutnant von

Sodenstern was understood – communication was unusually poor and suffered from constant interference – which may be taken this view that a change is not to be expected. (further clarification is ommited, since the question has been overtaken by events.)

The Chef der Generalstabes did not submit his assessment of current conditions, as a base for the next day these ideas should be collected, written and ordered and put into the files. (see Anlage 31b)

The ideas are then omitted. (compare development on 24 May)

Air activity:

Own air activity generaly the same as the day before. Recconaissance flight from our squadrons. One Hs 126 shot down by fighters.


Parlty cloudy. Clear in the evening.

24. May 1940

During the night no special events.

From command of the O.K.H. from 23 May (see Anlage 30) the resulting rearrangemnts are initiated. A.O.K.4 is dependent on correspondance by telephone.

At 11:30 the Führer arrives and is informed of the situation by Ob.d.H.Gr

eastwards of Arras would be attacked by the infantry, the mobile units on the other hand can pause having reached the line Lens – Bethune – Aire – St. Omer – Gravelines, he wholeheartedly agrees that Heeresgruppe B can "catch" the massed enemy. He underlined by the emphasis, that it was necessary in general, the armored forces to protect the operations command post, and that a further narrowing of the artillery area only a highly undesirable restriction on the activities of the Luftwaffe would have resulted.

The view, that

In this sense at 12:45 to A.O.K.4. (see Anlage 32)

Further guidance about the intended command leadership from the Führer asked for, Generaloberst von Rundstedt reports that in the evening at 20:00, the reorganization ordered between B and A, from O.K.H., is in effect.

About the Führer's visit O.K.H. (Oberst von Greiffenberg) is informed by telephone by the Ia (Oberst Blumentritt), also reported by telex (see Anlage 33) at 17:30.

Soon after Oberst von Greiffenberg transmitted by telephone the command of Ob.d.H., that the reorganization of the Heeresgruppen was not yet in effect, so 4.Armee remained subordinate to Heeresgruppe A.

Corresponding command was sent to A.O.K.4. (see Anlage 34)

In the evening 4.Armee with VIII. and II.A.K. achived the line south Valenciennes – Denain (south) – Bouchain (south) – Seekette – Cavrelle (northeast) – Arras, with Gruppe Hoth achived Wimy-Höhe, Bethune and Lillers (east), with Gruppe von Kleist achived the line Aire – St. Omer – Gravelines. The encircled enemy stubbornly defended (especially before VIII.A.K.),

but did not attack. At the Somme he was trying, with armored cars supported by attack groups, to push back our bridgeheads, the attempts were rejected.

Before 12.Armee the fortification measures were observed.

The 16.Armee has contiued its scheduled planned attack on it right flank (VI.A.K.), while several counter-attacks, supported by tanks were turned away.

Intentions for 25 May are on the north front, 4.Armee continuation of the attacvks of the right wing groups and the motorized groups, Hoth and von Kleist, to further attack to the northeast, on the Somme- Aisne front defense. 16.Armee to bring the fighting between the Ardennes Canal and the Maas to completion. 2.Armee is to move up to Bapaume.

At 21:00 a command from O.K.H. is received (see Anlage 35), this confims the intentions. It is passed on after telephone confirmation, at 23:00 to A.O.K.4 by telex. (see Anlage 36)

During the afternoon, another order from O.K.H. was received, it concerns the "combing" of 16.Armee. (see Anlage 36a)

The overall impression of the Heeresgruppenkommandos, that for the Somme defense between Abbeville and Amiens the XXXVIII.A.K. with 57. and 9.Div., between Amiens and Peronne the XXXX.A.K. with 87. and 33.Div., between Peronne and Oise the V.A.K. with 62. and 263.Div. are brought up, respectivly brought up, consist essentialy in the fact, that in the last days it is possible to overcome any crisis.

Air activity:

Fliegerkorps I and VIII supported the attack of 4.Armee, in particular Gruppen Hoth and von Kleist.

Fliegerkorps II and V combat troop movements and accumulations in the southern flank. Concentration of all fighter units over Boulogne and Le Havre. Bomb attacks on the ports of Calais and Le Havre. Our own recconaissance activity over the coastal area.


Misty morning then overcast, in the afternoon increasing cloudiness.

25. May 1940

At 00:45 an new instruction, by telephone, from O.K.H. (see Anlage 37), for the continuation of the attacks on 25 May, also the release of Gruppe von Kleist to pass the channel line. It will not be passed on to 4.Armee. The O.B., which the Führer has left explicitly the type of implementaion of combat the 4.Armee is allowed, considers it a matter of urgency, to allow the motorized groups close up only once, if the yare at all allowed to proceed. He added that there is not sufficient time to maintain or exceed the channel line and it may become necessary to come to a new agreement with the Luftwaffe. So it remains – apart from that command given by O.K.H in cipher 3 extending the dividing line between A and B – are the commands issued for 25 May.

At 07:45 an incomming command from O.K.H. for the conduct of 16.Armee (see Anlage 38), by the way it covers the agreement between the Heeresgruppe and 16.Armee, is passed

on to A.O.K.16. (see anlage 38a)

Instructions were received from the Führer by telephone again, not to exceed the channel line, to protect the tanks, and attack boulogne and Calais only if it appears possible to do without a great loss of armor, at 12:35 it was passed on to A.O.K.4. (see Anlage 39)

At 14:00 the 27.Div. from 2.Armee is delivered to 4.Armee and presented at Arras.

At 15:00 Gruppenbefehl Nr. 6 was made. (see Anlage 40) (Essential content telephoned ahead) It orders the continuation of fighting on the northern front of the 4.Armee, which is relieved by use of A.O.K.9 on the Somme, sets the guidelines for measures to be taken by A.O.K.16 in accordance with O.K.H. instructions (see Anlage 40), 2.Armee with early movement into the area around Bapaume.

During the afternoon that the attack on the left wing against tough enemy resistance has gained no ground, while II.A.K. succeeded up to the line Brénièrs – Lens. Air recconaissance reports the actions of a motorized column from the lower Seine in the general direction of Amiens – Peronne.

Towards evening, the situation has changed as follows:

The attack of the 4.Armee, with the east wing is suspended before Valenciennes, Denain and the southwest waterline, the middle has carried forward to the line Henin – Liétard – Lens. The motorized groups stand (as ordered) at the channel in the open. At the Somme the enemy has approached the river east of Abbeville, and attacked south of Corbie (no details). Attack preparations at Picquigny and south of Amiens could be smashed by Stuka use. There is not an indicationthat a serious attack operation stands before the Somme. Also in the north, breakthrough intentions are not recognized. In contrast, the tenacious resisitance against the est wing of 4.Armee and the strikingly strong artillery deployment at Bethune and Merville could very well serve to preserve the freedom of movement for a planned breakthrough operation.

The intention of 4.Armee for 26 May is for the acquisition of the channel line Lille – La Bassée – Bethune.

Before 12.Armee, directed to defend against the enemy.

At 16.Armee , VI.A.K. could conclude, after 3 days heavy fighting between the Ardennes Canal and the Maas.

The beginings of 2.Armee could reach the area northwest of Peronne.

This and with the use of 9.Armee the rear of A.O.K.4 can be cleared.

The battle in northern France is reaching its conclusion. Crises – apart from the purely localized kind – can not occur. The mission of Heeresgruppe A can be viewed as greatly fulfilled.

Air activity:

Air operations in general as the day before. Railway facilities are successfully destroyed in the south. Stuka attacks against transport ships and port facilities in Calais.


As on previous day.

26. May 1940

Night without any special events.

During the morning the situation is as follows:

The success in the continuation of attack, details are not yet available. It is established that the northern group of the enemy is till fighting with extraordinary tenacity.

A radio image of the area south of the Somme permits the assumption that the south as well as southwest of the line Amiens – Chauny, a group of forces of 2 – 3 corps headquarters and 10 – 12 divisions respectivly engaged in the process of assembly. There is also constant radio traffic between this group and the enemy around Lille - Douai – St. Amand fighting our north group.

From Calais and other channel ports landing attemps are reported.

So it seem quite possible that the enemy group south of the Somme could soon advance to the north or northeast to operate in conjunction with the northern enemy group.

Although in term of our own forces there is no serious danger, nevertheless, the question arises, respectivly the need, to finalize the fighting in northern France and thus gain the full freedom of operation in the south.

In this context, it is necessary to consider whether it is correct that the mobile units (Hoth and von Kleist) still adhere to the channel.

The Heeresgruppe maintains further courses of action offered on the line Bethune – St. Omer – Gravelines.

The discussion eventualy leads to, that the Führer releases the actions of Gruppe von Kleist to the east. However Dünkirchen itself is not attacked, only shelled by artillery. Taking advantage of II.A.K.'s successes should also be recognized and armored forces used to break through Lille.

The command for Gruppe von Kleist to advance on Dünkirchen will be given to A.O.K.4 at 13:30.

At 16:15 comes, the individual arrangment summary, orders of O.K.H for 4.Armee to continue its attack. (see Anlage 41) Because the communication lines to 4.Armee have been disrupted, they are brought to A.O.K.4 by an officer in a Storch. The situation reports completed in the course of the afternoon, by air recconaissance, movements from the area of Lille – Douai – Valenciennes to the north and northwest are determined. Loses thereby the presumption of the intended interaction of this group with the enemy forces south of the Somme on the ground, underlines on the other hand the need to close the encirlement in the north.

The issued command has nothing to add. At 13:30 the application to O.K.H. was made, for

the swelling of the ammunition of 4.Armee, whose need in the comming days is likely, the work is to be carried out by the Generalquartiermeister in the north. (see Anlage 42)

The course of the day corresponds to the strength of the enemy. Territorial gains are not at all in some parts, achived in some parts only to a limited extent, Gruppe von Kleist does succeed in taking Calais. Details of the final positions: see Langenkarte. An assessment of the situation will not change.

Intentions for 27 May are – execution of the orders from O.K.H.:

a) Attack by II.A.K. On Seclin and north, to cut off the enemy in he area east of Douai.

b) Attack of the Gruppen Hoth and von Kleist on the line La Bassée – Bethune - Watten, both sides of the mid line Lillers, Merville, Stenvoorde, Neuve Eglise and to link up with 6.Armee (Heeresgruppe B), Artillery on Dünkirchen, and later to advance in an eastern direction towatds Ostende.

The intention for 27 May is reported from O.K.H. at 03:00 (see Anlage 42a)

Air activity:

Direct support of the army at the encirclement of enemy forces. Massed deployment on the enemy troops in the area Dixmuiden – Dünkirchen – Nieuport. Attacks on transports between Boulogne and Calais, and on airfields around Paris. Our air recconaissance lost one Hs 126.


Morning is clear, evening is cloudy.

27. May 1940

The attack from 4.Armee on the enemy trapped in the north has been taken up in the morning hours.

At 11:00 the Chef der Gen.St.d.H., General der Artillerie Halder, has a meeting, in attendance are: The Ia and O.Qu. der Heeresgruppen A, B, C, der A.O.K.2, 4, 9, 12 and 16.

Content of the meeting: plans for the continuation of operations that are for reasons of confidetiality are not laid down here.

In the north the attack moves forward as expected.

In the south on the Somme the enemy attacks Abbeville, Amiens and south of Peronne (bridgehead). The attacks are repulsed with losses to the enemy.

In Dünkirchen and in flemish ports the enemy is embarking.

In the evening was reached:

Marchiennes – Raches – Oignies – Camplin – Alemnes – Fournes – Vieille Chapelle – Merville – Ecke – Cassel West – Lendringhan – Belleceele – Bourbaurg – Ville – Gravelines.

Dünkirchen was attacked with 300 aircraft and bombarded by Gruppe von Kleist with 15 cm guns.

Air activity:

Rolling strike against the trapped enemy with fighters and divebombers. Attacks on transport ships and port facilities at Dünkirchen and Ostende. Our own recconaissance activity over the coast.


Overcast. Partialy closed low-lying cloud cover and rainfall.

28. May 1940

At the meeting of the Chefs d.Gen.St.d.H. On 26 May at O.K.H., basics on the continuation of operations was discussed. (see Anlage 43 and 43a) Based on this information, a reorganization of the forces becomes necessary. The reorganization will be discussed with the Ia's of the armies.

11:00, a meeting with Oberst Blumentritt in Charleville with Ia of A.O.K.12 and A.O.K.16, as well as Hauptmann i.G. Bodenstein (O.Qu.l H.Gr.A).

09:30 Oberstleutnant von Tresckow and Hauptmann i.G. Von Roeder drove to A.O.K.4; there meeting with Ia A.O.K.4, 2, 9 and H.Gr.B. Topic: Reorganization, assembly, staff structure and boundries to the rear for the new mission.

Position in the morning of 28 May: see Lagenkarte from 22:00, 27 May.

The meeting in Charleville between 11:00 and 12:00 with Ia A.o.K.12 and 16 (A.O.K.12 at the same time as A.O.K.16) were told about the points listed above in full.

Afternoon announcement that Ob.d.H. on 29 May at 14:00, that Ob.d.H.Gr. and O.B. der Armeen will meet in Charleville over the new plans.

19:00 Ia 4.Armee was informed of the situation.

VIII.A.K. with 28., 83., 8. and 1. divisions and II.A.K. with 12. and 32. diviosions are removed and collected, as the ring around Lille together with the left wing of Heeresgruppe B has become so narrow that these divisions could be spared.

267. and 11.Div. Have reached the southern edge of Lille.

5.Pz., 7.Pz., SS Totenkopf and 3.Pz.Div. have gained the Lille – Baileul road and found resisitance there. SS-V.-Div. A.H. Battle in Forêt de Nieppe.

8.Pz.Div. Fought on both sides of Hazenbrouck.

6.Pz.Div. has held the enemy at Cassel and encircled them. AN has broken through the fortifications on the Beligian border. Parts of Gruppe von Kleist fought at Wornhout. From here, the front jumps back to Gravelines. Dunkirchen is fired upon by 15 cm Kanone batteries.

Overall impression After the morning, the King of Belgium with his army yeilded, the sitiation in northwest Belgium should be adjusted in a few days.

In the south, the enemy reinforced the south bank of the Somme and takes part in attacks against the bridgeheads at Abbeville, Amiens and Perrone, which are rejected. Serious attack intentions cannot be presumed. Rather, they seem to go about, that the river as a tank obstacle will prevail.

Air activity:

Continuation of the attacks against the encircled enemy. Stuka attacks agains enemy tanks aouth of Amiens. Jagdführer 3 reports 56 enemy aircraft shot down over the channel coast.


Cloudy, covering up 5/10.

The night passed quietly.

29. May 1940

The fighting on the northern front of 4.Armee is nearing its end, but is still marked by tough enemy resistance. Thus the army was only able to make small territorial gains. On the Somme front, the bridgeheads at Abbeville and Amiens – especially at Abbeville – attacked again. It manages, in part with tanks from the southwest to dismiss attacks.

Impression of the enemy:

a) In the north: The enemy fought bravely and tenaciously to gain time and space for

the emberkation of his troops in Ostende and Dükirchen. Attempts to break through to the west or southwest are not expected.

b) On the Somme (before 4. und 9.Armee): The enemy here will form a defensive

front and aspire to use the river as a tank obstacle.

c) Before 12. and 16.Armee: Purely defensive behavior.

The overall situation on the battlefronts, allows the Heeresgruppenkommando all the more, to turn his attention to the matter of the new operation, as the tactical combat of the 4.Armee in the north, now in fact, in close cooperation with Heeresgruppe B, with the subordination of 4.Armee, can now be completed.

On the morning of 29 May is due the new operating principles of O.K.H. a propsal of the force structure, and so on, presented to the future Heeresgruppe A. (see Anlage 44) – Map with the situation maps from 29.5.1940.

The regrouping of the new operations section is in underway.

At 14:00 is in Charleville a meeting with Ob.d.H., with the Ob.d.H.Gr. A and B, as well as th O.B. of 2., 4., 9., 12., 16. and 18.Armee, as well as the Chef des Gen.St. of 6.Armee participated. The contents of the meeting includes the already known operating principles, with special emphasis on the requirement that the enemy may not come to rest. It is not so much a matter of waiting for the delivery of the last division, but rather the fact, that as soon as possible the new attack can occur. The operations order, the content will cover the "fundamentals" (see Anlage 43 and 43a), is to be expected on 1 June.

In connection with this meeting takes the Chef des Gen.St.d.H., just laid down in writing, opinion on the continued operations of the Chef der Operationsabteilung, Oberst von Greiffenberg, note and ask him to also inform the Chef d.Gen.St.d.H. of this. (see Anlage


Oberst von Greiffenberg replies that similar considerations have taken place naturally at O.K.H. and ensures he will provide the information to the Chef des Gen.St.

This evening Heeresgruppenbefehl Nr. 7 was issued (see Anlage 46) for the first assembly and deployment of Heeresgruppe A for the new operation.

Air activity:

Night operations against enemy ports. Also during the day attacks on the city and ports of Dünkirchen and against transport vessels. Sinking of an English destroyer by Flak. In our recconaissance flights, 2 aircraft were forced to land by fighters.


Variably cloudy, cover 5 – 10/10.

Quiet night.

30. May 1940

In the morning, the Ob.d.H. Wants to know how strong is our artillery use on Dünkirchen, every day there would be many thousands embarked in the port.

A.O.K.4 replies that according to the command it was only firing on the approaches to Dünkirchen. Currently fire from 4 – 15 cm batteries and some light artillery from Gruppe von Kleist on Dünkirchen, provided the ammunition situation allows it.

The 4. and 6.Armee are south of Dünkirchen come so close, that Gruppe B has given the line Poperinghe – Bergues as a boundry, to keep the armies from firing on eeach other. Heeresgruppe A now asks for the subordination of Gruppe von Kleist, or better yet, the whole 4.Armee to Heeresgruppe B.

14:55 a call from General Mieth O.K.H : O.K.W. declared that the order not to attack Dünkirchen is outdated.

15:05 transmission of the information to Ia A.O.K.4 by stating there is now the freedom to attack Dünkirchen.

Oberst Wuthmann replies that apperantly Heeresgruppe B on the line Fournes (exclusive) – Ypern behave and ask for orders for the immediate commencement of 6.Armee.

18:15 telephone call from O.K.H. that at 02:00 on 31 May, all of the combat ready german troops in the area of Dünkirchen are to be combined under the command of A.O.K.18. (see Anlage 47) Transfer of this order to A.O.K.4 by telex and by an officer in a car.

Evening, Heeresgruppebefehl Nr. 8 for the new assembly is released. (see Anlage 48)

Final positions:

In the evening the ring around the enemy at Dünkirchen has tightened further; otherwise the situation has changed little. Details: see Tagesmeldung.

Air activity:

Attacks on the port at Dünkirchen and transport ships. Limited recconaissance missions due to bad weather.


Low-lying clouds, mostly closed, the lower limit 300 – 600 m. Ground fog. Rainfall.

Quiet night.

31. May 1940

During the day at 4.Armee:

The area around Dünkirchen, of which the enemy holds only a narrow coastal strip, subordinate to A.O.K.18.

Lille, the situation is adjusted. 4.Armee assigned here with their combined arms formations, to lead them to their future assembly area.

On the Somme further attacks on the bridgeheads at Abbeville and Amiens were rejected.

On the rest of the front of the Heeresgruppe, no special events.

10:00 a call from Ob.d.H. To Chef des Gen.St.d.H.Gr.: The bridgeheads at Abbeville and Amiens muast be kept at their current size and expanded if possible. The instructions are sent by telephone from Oberst Blumentritt to the Ia of A.O.K.4. They report that the reorganization of the Abbeville bridgehead through the uses of the whole 57.Div. is already underway.

10:15 a call from General Mieth to Chef Gen.St.d.H.Gr.:

a) Suggestion, Infantry on the Somme front to ride on the vehicles of the motorized


b) What about a bridgehead at Conde-Folie (between Abbeville and Amiens)? It turns

out that this bridgehead was placed on the 4.Armee situation map by mistake. The O.B. Of 4.Armee has checked the conditions at that place, and is of the opinion that the site for the establishment of a bridgehead is unsuitable, and that therefore the formation would not be commanded. (Heeresgruppe argrees).

In the afternoon O.K.H. issues "Aufmarschweisung Rot". (see Anlage 49) You will now receive, along with the already prepared Heeresgruppenbefehls Nr.9 for the attack of the A.O.K.'s and Gruppe Guderian.

Concluding remarks:

The 1 st operation of the campaign in the west, for Heeresgruppe A as of 31 May, can be considered completed.

The unusually great and rapid success justifies a brief review of its causes.

In the beginning, probably, the fact that the suprise of the enemy completly, despite months

of waiting time was successful and in conjunction with the rapidity of action that the opposite side provoked appears only understandable if one assumes that – lying with Heeresgruppe A – that the Schwerpunkt of the German operation was not detected or to late.

In addition, however, must be mentioned first the effect of the German Luftwaffe. There is no doubt that their first attack on 10 May granted against the enemies ground organization one success was achived, the French-English air force was completly paralized until the last days of the land operations. This was even in seen in the character of the Luftwaffe's ground support, which was ruthless day and night. The cooperation with Luftflotte 3 (General der Flieger Sperrle, Chef: Oberst Korten) was supported by permanent mutual trust. There was no hour, in which Luftflottenkommando 3 was not able to give support. One may well hear – without exaggeration – from the Wehrmacht about the exemplary cooperation between the two parts. A collaboration, on each request, "pro domo" to administration, foreign permenent, and was worn only be the will, in joint military action and selfless camraderie in arms to secure success. It was an important, rather, the imdespensable, prerequeisite for the success created, which must be added , have shown that in all the operations involving ground troops marching and fighting, they far exceeded the most optimistic expectations.

The fact that extra space secured only on the earth and the destruction of the enemy's combat power can ultimately only be accomplished there, assures the army share the glory which belongs to him alongside the power of the Luftwaffe.

He remains here only to determine, that the reckless bravado of the armored arm and motorized divisions , and the unprecedented marches of the infantry, they often intervened just hours after the mobile units entered combat, the opponents were overrun with speed, which neither his leadership or the training of his troops had grown. In particular the information on these services is in the Heeresgruppenkommandos Kriegstagebuch. The leadership, right down to the lower troop leadership, is due recognition.

Air activity:

Regrouping of Luftflotte 3 for the new operation. (Delivery of Fliegerkorps I)


Overlying deep partial cloud cover. Strong haze.