Fact of the day: 25th June

On this day in 1940 France officially surrendered to Germany at 01:35.

Germany launched an offensive against France and, for reasons of military strategy, also attacked the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May 1940.

That same day the United Kingdom occupied the Danish possessions of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes to pre-empt a possible German invasion of the islands.

The Netherlands and Belgium were overrun using blitzkrieg tactics in a few days and weeks, respectively.

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The French-fortified Maginot Line and the main body the Allied forces which had moved into Belgium were circumvented by a flanking movement through the thickly wooded Ardennes region, mistakenly perceived by Allied planners as an impenetrable natural barrier against armoured vehicles.

As a result, the bulk of the Allied armies found them trapped in encirclement and were beaten.

The majority were taken prisoner, whilst over 300,000, mostly British and French, were evacuated from the continent at Dunkirk by early June, although abandoning almost all of their equipment.

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