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19 May 1940
  • French Army General Maxime Weygand replaced General Maurice Gamelin as Chief of the General Staff and Commander-in-Chief; Marshal Philippe Pétain was made Deputy Prime Minister. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • German General Guderian resumed his attack, capturing territories between Saint-Quentin and Péronne. His troops were now within 50 miles of the English Channel and had cut off the Allied troops in Belgium. British Expeditionary Force commander General Lord Gort issued the order to withdraw toward port cities, including Dunkirk, while Colonel de Gaulle's French 4th Armored Division made a failed attempt to attack Guderian's flank at Montcornet. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Swedish merchant vessel Erik Frisell off Scotland at 0631 hours. The crew of 34 were later rescued by armed trawler HMS Cobbers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Royal Air Force had lost over half of the aircraft it had deployed to France and Beligum by this date. To retain strength for a potential invasion of Britain, the RAF began recalling remaining squadrons back home. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 May 1940
Destroyed Belgian A.C.G.1 tank, Antwerp, Belgium, 19 May 1940

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944