May 15, 1940 – Leaving Laurensberg

1940-05-15By end of the day, the long awaited orders to leave the positions at Laurensberg have arrived. The II./AR 84 is not moving as a monolithic block, military units rarely do. In this case, my grandfather and his Survey Team were attached to the first column moving out – which also means that they would be the first ones to arrive in any new location and would have the ability (and duty) to scout out the circumstances – that is, of course, finding firing positions, surveying the situation but also getting acquainted with the location, quarters, etc. This time, however, they did not get very far. Leaving Laurensberg late on May 15, 1940, they find the roads blocked again and seek quarters in the city of Aachen. Promptly, a visiting British bomber passes by – if the very last sentence in this entry refers to them seeking a more “secure” location than they had before and if the term “-keller” (which means cellar) is to be taken literally or refers to a location is hard to say.

Things had started to move elsewhere as well: so far, the German units had been “pushing” the allied units back – either by direct confrontation or by forcing them into strategic withdraws. But so far, the front line had been stable. Now, things had changed…

At Heeresgruppe A – that is the army group responsible for pushing through the Ardennes in the south, the city of Sedan had been taken three days earlier, on May 12, 1940. The Battle of Sedan evolved, as the German Panzer Divisions crossed the Meuse River and then started to break out of their bridgeheads. When this happened on May 15, the fast-moving tanks deeply penetrated the open and unguarded rear of the allied front-line. The “race to the coast” was on…

1940-05-15 - Lage West HGr. B

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