The Battle that Saved an Army | Arras 1940 | The Tank Museum

The Battle that Saved an Army | Arras 1940 | The Tank Museum

Encircled by the Germans in North-West France, the Battle of Arras, 21st May 1940, was a successful Allied counter-attack which allowed French and British troops to be evacuated at Dunkirk. Curator David Willey, presents his talk on the WW2 Battle of Arras from home. For more on the Blitzkrieg see David’s Tank Story Hall tour
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  1. Speaking of mythos, never forget the story I read about an French anti-aircraft gunner who was issued a rifle and exactly 10 rounds of ammunition sealed in a cardboard box he was expected to return. That's all he ever got before he ultimately surrendered – as he should have, because he was one of hundreds of thousands of French troops who weren't supported in their effort to defend their country by the government. This massive material failure was due largely to the Maginot Line expense. The expense of this fiasco not only removed tactical development, it also made training impossible, and resulted in shortages of basic things like bullets and ammunition when war came. It seems to me that the condition of the French Army as a consequence of this bad leadership and planning was the greatest contributor to the French defeat in 1940.

  2. The battle that saved an Army … of British, I guess you just accidentally forgot to mention British retread to Dunkirk sold their allies, French 1st Army Group, and all Belgium army to the Germans.

  3. Very good explanantion about ww2 mythes! Please, is it possible to mention here on comments the name of the two books you recomended a lecture? Best regards to all people of Tank Museum!

  4. This makes the fall of France more humiliating, overrun by an under-strength German army. Yes, French military was crippled by politics 1918-39 (much like US police and Army in 2021). France had the best airforce in Europe in 39, but it played no significant role. Their national psyche had not recovered from Verdun, just as the Somme left a lasting wound in UK – to this day. The German soldiers had a sense of purpose and were buzzed on meth, although misguided by a handful of evil lunatics.

  5. Messy bookshelves behind him, but I like it. It gives the impression of scholarly pursuits as one would expect to find in a professor's office or den in Oxford or Cambridge. And a fine lecture is given herein.

  6. Fascinating, please put a suggested further reading list to all your video descriptions I would happily purchase books from the Museum shop 🙂

  7. What a laugh. The "great" Czech arms industry. The only thing the Germans got from the Czechs were some small arms and the Hetzer. You can add one of the Marder series to that, but that's about it. Listening to this British azz, you'd think that the Tiger and Panther tanks were being made there. How incredibly stupid.

  8. Nazi Germany was NOT fascist you imbecile. I mean it takes a really stupid person to say that. The Nazis were socialists just like the Stalin and the Soviets. So what did the Soviets do when they were getting the crap knocked out of them??? They basically became national socialist like the Germans. Stalin opened up the churches. Proclaimed the Soviet Union the "Motherland." Sound familiar??? And the war became the "Great Patriotic War" instead of the war against imperial national capitalism.

  9. I read in some book that Germany offered to withdraw from Poland but wanted to keep the German territory that was given to Poland at the end of World War II (Germany wanted its territory back) but the British empire refused.

  10. I can just imagine the panic in the German radio operator’s voice as he screams “Strong enemy tank attack from Arras. HELP, HELP!”

    Does anyone know where one could find the recording of this, if it still exists?

  11. I recently, for about 20 min., watched a presentation by well known and praised historian who wrote yet another book about WW2. I turned it off because he didn't say anything I didn't already know by the age of 16. The man gave no insight into anything you couldn't figure out from watching a post-war movie about the conflict.
    Then there's this guy & you as a listener thinking "holy s..t !, you mean if "a" is the case "x" is a completely different conclusion than I'd originally thought."
    Bring a pencil, cause that happens with every 5th sentence.
    The man is a treasure.