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  Dragoons at Haut-le-Wastia

Date: 14 May 1940, 0500 hours
Location: At the village of Haut-le-Wastia, west of the Meuse River..

History: A major French counter-attack against the German crossing at Houx was planned for the afternoon of 13 May. A battalion from the 129th Regiment of the 5th Motorized Division (Gen. Boucher) was to hit Haut-le-Wastia, while motorcycle troops supported by machine gun carriers where to support the 39th Regiment. A tank detachment was also allocated for the attack. A series of delays resulted in the action amounting to little more than a minor probe, with the captured ground relinquished at nightfall. With the action planned for 13 May a failure, plans were quickly made to use the 1st Divisional Recon Group (5th Motorized Division) to retake Haut early on 14 May. On the German side, the bridgehead across the Meuse was tenuous at best for the 7th Panzer. Very little in the way of heavy weapons or tanks had been brought across. Haut, taken early by motorcycle troops, was the northern limit of the bridgehead. Holding it was critical not only to protect the bridgehead, but also to protect the flank of Onhaye, through which Rommel planned to break out into the Belgian plain. For the French, any operation which could delay the German timetable gained time for preparing further counter-attacks and defensive position.


View PDF of Dragoons at Haut-le-Wastia Scenario (114KB)

   


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