The First Great Tank Battle - PzC 12 France '40
The First Great Tank BattleBy Mike Prucha
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The Battle of Hannut, 12 May 1940: 4. Panzer-Division led Heeresgruppe B's assault against Belgium, cutting through scant Dutch resistance in Limburg on May 10th and all but annihilating Belgium's 7e division d'infanterie on May 11th. After a dispute about whether the Panzers should turn south to help encircle the Liège fortresses or continue the advance deep into Belgium, Generalleutnant Erich Hoepner ordered 4. Panzer west. 3. Panzer-Division, still in Germany, would follow. This westward advance had to wait - most of the division, led by Generalmajor Johann Stever, had to stop for refueling. Nonetheless, on the morning of May 12th, Stever sent one advance battalion (II./Panzer-Regiment 35) forward towards Hannut. There the battalion encountered French tanks and motorized cavalry belonging to 3e DLM, part of René Prioux's elite corps de cavalerie. What started as a limited reconnaissance mission would soon expand into the full-scale clash of armored divisions - the first great tank battle in history. [Size: Small] Design Note: This small scenario covers the clash between 3rd & 4th Panzer and the 3rd Light Mechenized Division on May 12th-13th. The "Gembloux Gap" scenario covers the complete action from the 12th-15th. Retreating Belgian units are ommitted from the scenario.