World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Battle of Montcornet

Article Id: WHEBN0035991709
Reproduction Date:

Title: Battle of Montcornet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Battle of Abbeville, Commanders of World War II, Siege of Lille (1940), 4e Division cuirassée, Atlantic pockets
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Battle of Montcornet

Battle of Montcornet
Part of World War II
Date 17 May 1940
Location Montcornet, France
Result Tactical German victory
Belligerents
 France  Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
Charles de Gaulle Heinz Guderian
Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
Strength
4e Division cuirassée 1st Panzer Division
Casualties and losses
14 killed
9 missing
6 wounded
23 tanks disabled/destroyed or abandoned
100 killed

The Battle of Montcornet, on 17 May 1940, was an engagement of the Battle of France. The French 4e Division cuirassée, under Colonel De Gaulle, attacked the strategic village of Montcornet, then held by the Germans. The French successfully drove off the Germans, but had to retreat later due to lack of support and to the intervention of the Luftwaffe.

Context

On 10 May 1940, the Third Reich had launched a vast offensive against the Netherlands, Belgium and France. After their breakthrough at Sedan on 13 May, the Germans had driven the French troops to a hasty retreat.

The next day, Colonel De Gaulle was appointed commander of the 4e Division cuirassée (4e DCr), comprising 5,000 men and 85 battle tanks, with which he led a counter-attack on Montcornet on 17. The village of Montcornet had a strategic importance as it cut the roads to Reims, Laon and Saint-Quentin, and was a point of transit for the logistic of the 1st Panzer Division.

Battle

On 17 May, at 4:14 in the morning, elements of the 4e DCr marched on Montcornet. After surrounding the village, around noon, B1 bis tanks came under fire from 3.7 cm Pak 36 anti-tank guns and from German Panzers. A number of the B1 bis tanks were lost when they had to be abandoned when they ran out of petrol, and others when they sank into swamps.

De Gaulle ordered infantry to neutralise German defence pockets in Chivres, and D2 tanks to secure Clermont-les-Fermes. Around 16:00, De Gaulle ordered a new attack on Montcornet, but the tank crews having not received detailed maps of the sector, and coming under fire from 88mm Flak guns, the offensive was unfruitful. Around 18:00, German planes intervened, and the 4e DCr retreated to its original positions.

Aftermath

The French lost 23 tanks in the attack, while the Germans had around 100 killed. Colonel De Gaulle would fight another engagement at the Battle of Abbeville.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.