Weygand Line - Instructions Read to Troops

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Hoplophile
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Weygand Line - Instructions Read to Troops

Post by Hoplophile » 02 Jun 2022 15:53

A few moments ago, while reading Anthony Clayton's biography of General Weygand*, I came across the following passage, which dealt with the orders for the creation of the "Weygand Line."

"As early as May 26, he had had orders for this strategy approved by the government and issued to forward formations, a decision correct in that the two other alternatives were politically inadmissible. In any event, in military terms, there was no other option. The orders stressed that there could be no retreat, that the fate of the country depended on their execution, and that the defense should be aggressively conducted. In detail he ordered that any German breakthrough must be quickly repulsed by artillery, aircraft, and counterattack; other tactics should be tactical defense in depth by local "hedgehogs” positions, fighting in streets where armor was at a disadvantage, and demolitions. The order was to be read out down the chain of command from major general to ordinary soldiers."

Does anyone have a copy of this order, or a reference that will help me find it?

*General Maxime Weygand, 1867-1965 : Fortune and Misfortune (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015)

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Loïc
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Re: Weygand Line - Instructions Read to Troops

Post by Loïc » 03 Jun 2022 02:55

It is the Ordre général d'opérations n°1184 3/FT
ordre.PNG
I. - The battle on which depends the fate of the country will be fought, without any spirit of hindsight, on the position that we currently occupy.

All the chiefs, from the army commander to the chief of section, must be animated by the fierce desire to fight on the spot until death. If the chiefs set an example, their troops will hold on and they will be entitled, if necessary, to force their obedience.

II. — To be sure of stopping the enemy, you have to show constant aggressiveness
If the enemy manifests offensive intentions in a sector, it is necessary to respond with brutal, rapid counter-preparations.
If the enemy succeeds in making one of those bridgeheads in our front which he uses to push tanks there and then move on to the armored attack, it is necessary, however small this bridgehead, to immediately reject the enemy on its lines by crushing it under the fires of artillery and aviation and by counter-attacking.
Infiltration must be answered with infiltration.
If a unit finds that it is no longer in liaison on one of its wings because the neighboring unit has been shaken, it must not fall back at any price; it must seek to restore the situation and, if it cannot, put itself in hedgehog and constitute a mole of resistance. This is as true for the division as for the regiment, the battalion, the company.

III. — All the rears of the main line, starting from the front and to the greatest possible depth, must be organized in a grid of centers of resistance, in particular on the main access routes by which, hitherto, the Germans have always progressed.
Watch closely for destruction.

IV. — Have the provost bar the rear limit of the Divisions zones.

V. — Division generals must see their colonels every day, colonels their battalion commanders, battalion commanders their companies, captains and lieutenants their sections and men. Activity, solidarity, resolution.

signé Weygand
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Hoplophile
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Re: Weygand Line - Instructions Read to Troops

Post by Hoplophile » 03 Jun 2022 11:51

Thank you, Loïc, this is exactly what I was looking for.

(My search is prompted by the series of decision-forcing cases that I am developing on the defense of the plateau south of Amiens by the 16th Infantry Division on 5 June 1940.)

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