Battle of Belgium

BelgiumGerman invasion of BelgiumGerman invasion18 days campaign18 Days' CampaignNazi invasion of Belgium18 days of fightingBelgian Campaigninvadedinvaded Belgium
The Battle of Belgium or Belgian Campaign, often referred to within Belgium as the 18 Days' Campaign (Campagne des 18 jours, Achttiendaagse Veldtocht), formed part of the greater Battle of France, an offensive campaign by Germany during the Second World War.wikipedia
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Battle of Hannut

Hannuthard battle behind the river Gette
The Battle of Belgium included the first tank battle of the war, the Battle of Hannut.
The Battle of Hannut was a Second World War battle fought during the Battle of Belgium which took place between 12 and 14 May 1940 at Hannut in Belgium.

Allies of World War II

AlliedAlliesAllied forces
After the French had fully committed the best of the Allied armies to Belgium between 10 and 12 May, the Germans enacted the second phase of their operation, a break-through, or sickle cut, through the Ardennes, and advanced toward the English Channel.
After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, and Yugoslavia joined the Allies.

Battle of Fort Eben-Emael

Fort Eben-Emaeldramatic assaultAlbert Canal
The battle also included the Battle of Fort Eben-Emael, the first strategic airborne operation using paratroopers ever attempted.
The Battle of Fort Eben-Emael was a battle between Belgian and German forces that took place between 10 May and 11 May 1940, and was part of the Battle of Belgium and Fall Gelb, the German invasion of the Low Countries and France.

German occupation of Belgium during World War II

German-occupied BelgiumGerman occupationGerman occupation of Belgium
Belgium was occupied by the Germans until the autumn of 1944, when it was liberated by the Western Allies.
During the following 18 Days' Campaign, the Belgian army was pushed back into a pocket in the north-west of Belgium and surrendered on 28 May.

Belgium

🇧🇪BelgianBEL
The Battle of Belgium or Belgian Campaign, often referred to within Belgium as the 18 Days' Campaign (Campagne des 18 jours, Achttiendaagse Veldtocht), formed part of the greater Battle of France, an offensive campaign by Germany during the Second World War.
German forces again invaded the country in May 1940, and 40,690 Belgians, over half of them Jews, were killed during the subsequent occupation and The Holocaust.

German Army (1935–1945)

German ArmyArmyArmy (Wehrmacht)
The German Army (Heer) reached the Channel after five days, encircling the Allied armies.
The motorized formations received much attention in the world press in the opening years of the war, and were cited as the main reason for the success of the German invasions of Poland (September 1939), Norway and Denmark (April 1940), Belgium, France and Netherlands (May 1940), Yugoslavia (April 1941) and the initial stages of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union (June 1941).

Nazi Germany

GermanGermanyNazi
The Battle of Belgium or Belgian Campaign, often referred to within Belgium as the 18 Days' Campaign (Campagne des 18 jours, Achttiendaagse Veldtocht), formed part of the greater Battle of France, an offensive campaign by Germany during the Second World War.
After outmanoeuvring the Allies in Belgium and forcing the evacuation of many British and French troops at Dunkirk, France fell as well, surrendering to Germany on 22 June.

World War II

Second World WarwarWWII
The Battle of Belgium or Belgian Campaign, often referred to within Belgium as the 18 Days' Campaign (Campagne des 18 jours, Achttiendaagse Veldtocht), formed part of the greater Battle of France, an offensive campaign by Germany during the Second World War.
To circumvent the strong Maginot Line fortifications on the Franco-German border, Germany directed its attack at the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

T-13 tank destroyer

T-13T-13 tanksT13 series
However, the Belgian combat vehicles included 200 T-13 tank destroyers.
The T-13 was a tank destroyer in use with the Belgian armed forces before World War II and during the Battle of Belgium.

47 mm Model 1931 anti-tank gun

47 mm anti-tank gun47 mm Anti-tank Gun Model 193147 mm FRC
The standard Belgian anti-tank gun was the 47 mm FRC, towed either by trucks or by fully tracked armoured Utilitie B-tractors.
The Royal Cannon Foundry 47mm anti-tank gun Model 1931 (Canon anti-char de 47mm Fonderie Royale de Canons Modèle 1931, abbreviated to C.47 F.R.C. Mod.31) was an artillery piece developed in 1931 for the Belgian Army which saw widespread service in the Battle of Belgium in 1940.

Vickers T-15 light tank

T15Char Léger de Reconnaissance'' Vickers-Carden-Loyd Mod.1934 T.15T-15
The Belgians also possessed forty-two T-15s.
It entered service in 1935, and was used by the Belgian Army during the Battle of Belgium in May 1940.

6th Army (Wehrmacht)

6th ArmySixth ArmyGerman Sixth Army
Failure to capture the bridges would leave Reichenau's German 6th Army, the southern-most army of Group B, trapped in the Maastricht-Albert Canal enclave and subjected to the fire of Eben-Emael.
During the invasion of the Low Countries the 6th Army saw active service linking up with paratroopers and destroying fortifications at Eben Emael, Liège, and Namur during the Battle of Belgium.

Battle of the Netherlands

German invasion of the Netherlandsinvasion of the NetherlandsNetherlands
On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium under the operational plan Fall Gelb (Case Yellow). The 9th Panzer Division was attached to the 18th Army which, after the Battle of the Netherlands, would support the push into Belgium alongside the 18th Army and cover its northern flank.
Germany had commenced operation Fall Gelb and attacked the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Luxembourg, in the case of the Low Countries without a declaration of war given before hostilities; France was already at war.

Kampfgeschwader 27

Kampfgeschwader'' 272727th Bomber Wing
I., II., III.) and Kampfgeschwader 27 (III.).
In May 1940 it fought in the Battle of Belgium and Battle of France through to the end of the campaigns in June 1940.

Belgian Navy

BelgiumNaval ComponentCorps de Marine
The Belgian Naval Corps (Corps de Marine) was resurrected in 1939.
During the 18 days campaign, the trawler A4 evacuated much of the government's gold reserve to Britain, while several others helped at the Allied evacuation at Dunkirk.

18th Army (Wehrmacht)

18th ArmyEighteenth Army18. Armee
The 9th Panzer Division was attached to the 18th Army which, after the Battle of the Netherlands, would support the push into Belgium alongside the 18th Army and cover its northern flank.
Formed in November 1939 in Military Region (Wehrkreis) VI, the 18th Army was part of the offensive into the Netherlands (Battle of the Netherlands) and Belgium (Battle of Belgium) during Fall Gelb and later moved into France in 1940.

Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment

Fallschirmjäger-Sturm-Abteilung "KochFallschirmjäger-Sturm Abteilung "Koch1st Air Landing Assault Regiment
The elements drawn from the 7th Air Division and the 22nd Airlanding Division, that were to take part in the attack on Fort Eben-Emael, were named Sturmabteilung Koch (Assault Detachment Koch); named after the commanding officer of the group, Hauptmann Walter Koch.
Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1 (also known as Sturmabteilung Koch) was a German Fallschirmjäger regiment in the Luftwaffe which captured the Belgian Fort Eben-Emael during the Battle of Belgium, took part in the Battle of Crete, and fought on the Eastern Front during World War II.

Sturzkampfgeschwader 77

StG 77Sturzkampfgeschwader'' 7777th Dive Bomber Wing
The German airborne forces were assisted by Junkers Ju 87 Stukas of III./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (StG 2) and I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 (StG 77) helped suppress the defences.
In May and June 1940 it operated in the interdiction, close air support and anti-shipping role supporting Army Group A and Army Group B in the Battle of the Netherlands, Battle of Belgium and Battle of France.

Junkers Ju 87

StukaJu 87Stukas
The German airborne forces were assisted by Junkers Ju 87 Stukas of III./Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (StG 2) and I./Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 (StG 77) helped suppress the defences.
Stukas were critical to the rapid conquest of Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in 1940.

Adolf Hitler

HitlerFührerthe leader
The Belgians had taken measures to reconstruct their defences along the border with the German state upon Adolf Hitler's rise to power in January 1933.
In May 1940, Germany attacked France, and conquered Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Maurice Gamelin

GamelinGeneral GamelinGeneral Maurice Gamelin
Despite the risk of committing forces to central Belgium and an advance to the Scheldt or Dyle lines, which would be vulnerable to an outflanking move, Maurice Gamelin, the French commander, approved the plan and it remained the Allied strategy upon the outbreak of war.
In the first few days of the Battle of Belgium, many Allied aircraft were attacked while still on the ground.

Belgian combat vehicles of World War II

ACG-1 tankBelgianBelgian combat vehicles
However, the Belgian combat vehicles included 200 T-13 tank destroyers.
The Belgian Army had approximately 200 combat vehicles at the time of the German invasion in May 1940.

3rd Panzer Division (Wehrmacht)

3rd Panzer Division3rd3. Panzer-Division
Of the three Panzer Divisions, the 3rd and 4th were to operate in Belgium under the command of the 6th Army's XVI Corps.
In May 1940 it was part of the German forces invading Belgium, advancing via the Albert Canal to Brussels and into France.

Albert Canal

Canal AlbertMaas-Schelde canalMeuse–Escaut Canal
The choice of an established Allied line lay in either reinforcing the Belgians in the east of the country, at the Meuse–Albert Canal line, and holding the Scheldt Estuary, thus linking the French defences in the south with the Belgian forces protecting Ghent and Antwerp, seemed to be the soundest defensive strategy.
The crossing of the canal by the German forces and the destruction of Fort Eben-Emael on 11 May 1940 was a milestone in the German invasion of Belgium.

Chasseurs Ardennais

Battalion "Chasseurs Ardennais10e régiment de ligne10th Regiment of the Line
The protection of the eastern frontier, based mainly on the destruction of a number of roads, was entrusted to new formations (frontier cyclist units and the newly formed Chasseurs Ardennais). By 1935, the Belgian defences had been completed.
In World War II the Chasseurs Ardennais took part in heavy fighting after Belgium was invaded on 10 May 1940; the Germans noted the fierce resistance of the Belgians and the Chasseurs Ardennais were no exception.