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Saturday, 11 May 1940 - The first shock overcome

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Map of the German invasion (may 1940)

At the 10th the Germans had managed to seize the entire Maasfront - as expected - but moreover they had been successful in decisively penetrating the main-defences in East-Brabant at the Peel-Raamline. The previous day had shown some fierce and dramatic fights at many locations along the Maas-front and the Maas-Waalkanaal. But the most dramatic and decisive battle had been fought at Mill. This very intense and bloody engagement between the Dutch and German army even continued well into the early morning of the 11th. The evident German success - that became apparent in the late evening of the 10th - was however enough reason for German commanders to plan the massive logistic challenge that would be unleashed after the Peel-Raamline was broken through. Now the 9th Panzer Division started its engines and would soon pour its units through the holes of the Dutch defence-lines. They would find the 254th and 256th Infantry Divisions under their wings, and were ordered to take a northern route towards the Zuid-Willemsvaart. The other divisions would follow hereafter.

The first French forward units of the 7th Army had arrived in Holland at 2200 hours. They would be the first of many to follow. Their primary task was the safeguarding of the Schelde-entrance and approaches. They were to form an arc-shaped defence around Antwerp and the Schelde preventing German control over the Antwerp sea-harbour traffic. Also they would form the most northern seal on the door to Belgium. The Dutch cause was very much subsidiary to these two main objectives. The Dutch on their part believed that the "long" expected arrival of their new Ally would grant them the opportunity to unleash a joint offensive effort against the much feared German bridgehead at Moerdijk. The Dutch had even some ill hopes of receiving substantial French units as reinforcement to their Fortress Holland defences. No less than four army divisions had been requested to assist the Dutch in their struggle within the Fortress. Ill hopes we said and ill hopes it would proof to be.