Wednesday, October 21, 2009

70 Years Ago Today 21/10/39

North Sea: Four Luftwaffe planes are shot down when they attack a British convoy. No damage was caused to the convoy.

Western Front: The French and German armies exchange artillery fire along the border. Everybody is unsure as to what the next step in this war is. On this day the British have finished plugging the gap in the French Maginot Line which only goes as far as the Ardennes forest and does not protect Belgium. The French decision to put its trust in the Maginot line would prove to be one of the greatest military blunders in all history. The French thought that this war would be fought like the First World War and that the army that was best dug in would be in the strongest position. They therefore built the most elaborate form of trench ever conceived. The only problem was it did not go all the way to the coast and in any case modern warfare had changed so much during the interwar period with the development of the armoured tank and the aircraft that trench warfare and the Maginot line had become largely ineffective as the French would find out in spectacular fashion the following Spring. As of this day there are 110 British and French divisions dug in behind the Maginot line. None of them have seen any action yet.

The Western Front 1939

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