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Old 10th May 2012, 10:54
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Post New Book: Le piège de Sedan / Sedan, 1940 - Major deception

New Book : Le Piège de Sedan

In subscription to October the 31st 2012... in French

En souscription jusqu’au 30 octobre 2012 : prix 50 euros au lieu de 60.

Auteur : Arnaud Gillet
58, rue du neuf-Bourg
51490 Bétheniville
Adresse mail : mai1940gillet@yahoo.fr

Format A4 (21 cm x 29,7 cm)
216 pages dont 72 pages en couleurs
42 cartes,
36 tableaux,
367 photos dont 123 en couleurs,
site internet : http://lepiegedesedan.e-monsite.com

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En mai 1940, la première puissance militaire qu’est la France a été balayée en quelques semaines.
Du 10 au 12 mai, les Allemands réussissent avec une incroyable célérité à traverser la forêt des Ardennes, se jettent sur la zone fortifiée de Sedan et, de façon toute aussi stupéfiante, parviennent à la prendre en quelques heures, après une traversée d’un fleuve de plus de soixante-dix mètres de large ! La rupture du front français est consommée sans pertes humaines ou matérielles significatives, aussi bien du côté français qu’allemand, loin des offensives meurtrières de 14-18…
La puissante contre-attaque des chars français du lendemain est sabotée par des généraux français et antirépublicains, le général Huntziger à leur tête. L’armée recule sur Stonne – Le Mont-Dieu ouvrant alors en grand les portes de la France... Le général Guderian a peine à croire ce qu’il qualifie de « miracle », et engouffre alors ses divisions blindées dans ce couloir inespéré jusqu’à la baie de Somme.
Ensuite le général Gamelin exige le bombardement aérien des ponts militaires à Sedan, ce que refuse l’armée de l’air à trois reprises ! Pire, elle transmet la mission à la Royal Air Force qui l’accepte à moitié lors des missions de la matinée.
L’armée de l’air affirme ensuite qu’elle enverra l’après-midi tous ses bombardiers disponibles en deux vagues massives, en soutien d’une offensive terrestre fantôme, et exige un effort similaire de la part de son Allié. Face à ce qui s’avère être un chantage, la Royal Air Force, redoutant à juste titre le massacre de son aviation, feint d’accepter, mais sélectionne des ponts loin de Sedan et, pire encore, en plein milieu des troupes françaises !
Mais de mystérieux « contre-ordres » français et britanniques de dernière minute ont été expédiés aux unités. Pas le moindre bombardier français n’attaquera ces ponts, mais des objectifs secondaires pour ceux qui n’ont pas fait demi-tour, et la seconde vague française n’a en fait jamais été envisagée une seconde. Quelques bombardiers britanniques, eux, attaqueront bel et bien les ponts à Sedan : un piège qui a quasiment anéanti l’aviation britannique en Champagne en raison des tirs des Messerschmitt, de la Flak, mais aussi de la D.C.A. et de la chasse française ! Cette désastreuse opération franco-britannique de l’après-midi, jointe aux nombreuses méprises françaises contre leurs alliés, illustrent, en fait, assez bien l’anglophobie d’une partie de l’armée française, à l’instar du maréchal Pétain qui, lui, attend son heure.

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Sedan, 1940 – major deception : in May 1940 – a matter of a few weeks – France, still held as the world largest military power, was brought to her knees.
From the tenth to the twelfth of May, the Germans had just managed to cross the Ardennes forests with astonishing speed, to rush out at the Sedan area, and to gain control of its strongholds with an equally amazing momentum after crossing the seventy metre wide river Meuse. The collapse of the French front had been achieved without heavy human losses or material damage on both sides – far from the deadly offensives of the Great War.
The powerful counterattack carried out south of Sedan by French armour, on the thirteenth of May, was deliberately misled by anti-republican French generals headed by General Huntziger. Consequently the frontline was pulled back to Stonne – Le Mont-Dieu, therefore wide opening the gate to France. General Guderian with amazement qualified that move as “a miracle”, and lost no time in rushing his armoured divisions right to the west through that unexpected gap, towards the river Somme estuary.
It was then that General Gamelin ordered air strikes against the bridges over the Meuse at Sedan. The French Air Force openly opposed that move on three occasions, moreover transmitting the order to the R.A.F. The British accepted to carry out part of the mission, namely the first half concerning the morning strikes.
Then the French Air Force announced that they would assign all their available bombers, in two large waves during the afternoon, in support of an alleged ground offensive, and demanded a similar effort from the R.A.F. Facing what was a virtual blackmail, and understandably expecting the worst for their forces, the British paid lip service but selected bridges just outside Sedan which, to crown it all, were held by French ground troops.
The thing is, mysterious last minute French and British “counter-orders” were sent to bomber squadrons. As to the first French bombing, not a single aircraft – among those that did not in fact immediately return to base – none actually attacked the targeted bridges but secondary objectives. The second wave had indeed not even been considered.
As far as the British are concerned, a few squadrons did strike the bridges at Sedan, a trap which resulted in the almost complete annihilation of the British bombing units based in the Champagne sector. They were shot down by the German Flak and the Messerschmitts, but also by French anti-aircraft guns, and fighters! Indeed those numerous cases of friendly fire not only expose a joint operation disastrously carried out, but also reveal the deep-rooted Anglophobia harboured by some quarters in French forces, of which the best example was a man biding his time – Marshal Pétain.
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