Men of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1 May 12, 2020 10:53:38 GMT
Post by Admin on May 12, 2020 10:53:38 GMT
Men of Luftlande-Sturm-Regiment 1 enjoying some cigarettes at the Luftwaffe barracks in Cologne-Dellbrück after the battle of Fort Eben-Emael, 12 May 1940.
The Battle of Fort Eben-Emael was a battle between Belgian and German forces that took place between 10 May and 11 May 1940, and was part of the Battle of Belgium and Fall Gelb, the German invasion of the Low Countries and France. An assault force of German Fallschirmjäger, was tasked with assaulting and capturing Fort Eben-Emael which was considered to be the strongest fortress in the world at the time, a Belgian fortress whose strategic position and strong artillery emplacements dominated several important bridges over the Albert Canal. These carried roads which led into the Belgian heartland and were what the German forces intended to use to advance. As some of the German airborne forces assaulted the fortress and disabled the garrison and the artillery pieces inside it, others simultaneously captured three bridges over the Canal. Having disabled the fortress, the airborne troops were then ordered to protect the bridges against Belgian counter-attacks until they linked up with ground forces from the German 18th Army.
The battle was a strategic victory for the German forces, with the airborne troops landing on top of the fortress with gliders and using explosives and flamethrowers to disable the outer defences of the fortress. The Fallschirmjäger then entered the fortress, killing some defenders and containing the rest in the lower sections of the fortress. Simultaneously, the rest of the German assault force had landed near the three bridges over the Canal, destroyed several pillboxes and defensive positions and defeated the Belgian forces guarding the bridges, capturing them and bringing them under German control. The airborne troops succeeded in holding the bridges until the arrival of German ground forces, who then aided the airborne troops in assaulting the fortress a second time and forcing the surrender of the remaining members of the garrison. German forces were then able to use two bridges over the Canal to bypass Belgian defensive positions and advance into Belgium to aid in the invasion of the country.