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Date: Wednesday, 15 May 1940
Place: Dinant, Namur, Belgium
Cameraman from Lufwaffe Kriegsberichter 4. Kompanie (Lw. K.B.K. 4.) captured the German movement in Dinant, Belgium, mid-May 1940. The vehicle he used is Ford-V8 G81A (popularly known as Ford-Köln 1938). The German’s 5. Panzerkorps drove the Belgian and French screening forces through the Ardennes forest, then sought to cross the Meuse River near Dinant. A breakthrough here, as well as further south at Sedan, would split the Allied forces in two. A protracted and bloody battle was not in the German war plans...speed was of the essence...the blitzkrieg depended on it...Hitler demanded it! The French forces, caught off balance by the sudden attack, were initially aided by the terrain but not for long. Generalmajor Ercin Rommel (Kommandeur of 7. Panzer-Division) was a determined foe and the Meuse River was looked upon as only a temporary delay. It proved a little more than that and provided the vital time for the French armor division to move into the area despite harassing Ju-87 dive bombers and a lack of fuel and organization. The Panzers soon found how inferior their little armored tanks were against the likes of the Char B, which could split any of the panzer metal from long range. Even the lighter French tanks were as good or better. In fact, Rommel only had 24 Pz IV's, which could take on the French tanks. His remaining 68 Pz II or 91 Czech-38 were simply too weak in armor and and in gun.. The French 47mm gun could rip a Pz III apart from 1500 yds. However, the French use and slowness negated their armor and gun to a large extent. German tanks were faster and well commanded and could take on the French tanks by firing from the rear or flank. The Battle at Dinant was a tough fight, but across the sweeping vistas of France, the fast moving Germans caused a French command in chaos. Rommel would also have another surprise in another week or so at Arras. There, the British sent chills down the German command when Matilda IIs launched their counterattack. German fire simply bounced off their thick armor causing Rommel to get desperate. He ordered his four 88mm AA guns to be used at antitank weapons. The rest is history. Date is estimated.