Adolf Hitler Approves the Manstein Plan

Adolf Hitler gave his approval to the Manstein Plan on 17th February, 1940, but it was not activated until the 10th May, when the Luftwaffe bombed Dutch and Belgian airfields and the German Army captured Moerdijk and Rotterdam.

Fedor von Bock and the 9th Panzer Division, using its Blitzkreig strategy, advanced quickly into the Netherlands. Belgium was also invaded and the French 7th Army moved forward to help support the Dutch and Belgian forces.

Manstein’s idea was the opposite to ‘Plan Yellow’ in that the roles of Army Groups A and B were to be reversed. Army Group A, commanded by von Rundstedt, was to spearhead the attack through the Ardennes. Manstein believed that to destroy the Allied front, German troops would have to drive through the Allies between Sedan and Namur. After this, they would drive straight to the sea at Abbeville and encircle the BEF and the French 1st and 7th armies. So instead of driving south to Paris, Manstein believed that the main push of the German army should be north-west – away from Paris.