The Battle of Boulogne was the defence of the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer by French, British and Belgian troops, during the Battle of France in 1940. The battle was fought at the same time as the Siege of Calais, just before Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) through Dunkirk.

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dbo:abstract
  • The Battle of Boulogne was the defence of the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer by French, British and Belgian troops, during the Battle of France in 1940. The battle was fought at the same time as the Siege of Calais, just before Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) through Dunkirk. After the Franco-British counter-attack at the Battle of Arras (21 May) German units were held ready to resist a resumption of the attack on 22 May, despite the protests of General Heinz Guderian, the commander of XIX Corps, who wanted to rush north up the Channel coast to capture Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk. An attack by part of the XIX Corps was not authorised until 12:40 p.m. on 22 May, by when the Allied troops at Boulogne had been reinforced from England by most of the 20th Guards Brigade.The Guards had time to dig in around the port before the 2nd Panzer Division, which had been delayed by French troops at Samer, then attacked the perimeter held by the Irish Guards at around 5:00 p.m. and were driven off after an hour. The Welsh Guards front was attacked at 8:00 p.m. and again at dusk before cutting off a party of the Irish Guards at 10:00 p.m. The defence of Boulogne was assisted by about eighty light bombers of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and at dawn on 23 May, the German attacks resumed, eventually pushing the defenders back into the town.Royal Navy ships shot their way into and out of the harbour and with French navy destroyers, bombarded German positions as wounded and non-combatants were embarked and landed a navy demolition party. During a lull in the afternoon, a Luftwaffe force bombed the harbour, despite being intercepted by RAF fighters and at 6:30 p.m. the Guards Brigade was ordered to re-embark. The navy destroyers ran the gauntlet of German tanks and artillery to evacuate the garrison. The French defenders around the Citadel above the lower town could not be contacted and only in the morning of 24 May did General Lanquetot realise that the British had gone, which led to reproaches.The French and remaining British troops held out until 25 May and then surrendered. Guderian wrote that the delays in allowing an advance and then the retention of considerable forces to guard against Allied counter-attacks, had forfeited an opportunity quickly to capture the Channel Ports and destroy the Allied forces in northern France and Belgium. An advance on Dunkirk began on 23 May but the next day was halted until 27 May and Dunkirk was not captured until 4 June, by when most of the BEF and many French and Belgian troops had escaped. (en)
dbo:causalties
  • about 5,000 POW
dbo:combatant
  • Germany
dbo:commander
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  • 1940-05-25 (xsd:date)
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  • German victory
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  • 1 panzer division
  • training units
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  • supporting units
  • 2 infantry battalions, 1,500Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corpstroops
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  • 2019-06-08 04:24:00Z (xsd:date)
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  • --05-21
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  • about 5,000 POW (en)
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  • Germany (en)
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  • Heinz Guderian (en)
  • William Fox-Pitt (en)
  • Rudolf Veiel (en)
  • Pierre Louis Félix Lanquetot (en)
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  • Battle of Boulogne (en)
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  • --05-25
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  • France (en)
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  • German victory (en)
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  • The Battle of Boulogne was the defence of the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer by French, British and Belgian troops, during the Battle of France in 1940. The battle was fought at the same time as the Siege of Calais, just before Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) through Dunkirk. (en)
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