Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How Hitler Controlled the battle of France

The Battle of France is one of the biggest victories of the Wehermacht and a feather in the cap of Hitler. In 42 days the German Army overwhelmed the French and British forces and 1.9 million French soldiers became POWs. Hitler controlled the battle from his bunker known as Falsenenest (Rocky Eyrie). This was located near Bad Munstereifel close to Aachen. It is a small town with a population of about 19,000. The Falsenenest had 4 rooms and was bomb proof. Compared to Hitler’s other war headquarters it was small, but from here Hitler directed the campaign against France. At 0300 am he is reported to have reached Falsenenest and straightaway went to the operations room which contained a large map with dispositions of the German troops. From here he was in direct communication with Field marshal Von Rundstedt the overall commander of the western front. Hitler had himself worked out the plan of battle though he consulted Field Marshals' Von Manstein and Heinz Guderian as well. Credit cannot be denied to Hitler for the victory in the battle of France.
Art 0400 am on orders of Hitler the German war machine began to roll and an invasion of the Low Countries commenced. Hitler copied the Schiffillian plan and put it to good effect. In the war room with Hitler were his staff officer and two generals of the OKW namely Field Marshal Keitel and Field Marshal Jodl. (Both were hanged for war crimes at Nuremburg in 1946). Falsenenest had all the latest communication facilities and Hitler could monitor the movement of his army on the Western front. For the record 10 Panzer regiments and 136 infantry divisions took part in this operation. This was the only occasion Hitler used Falsenenest and later it was never used, but its connection with the battle of France will remain for ever.