Allied Forces Initiate Dyle Plan
At roughly 04:00 the first air raids were conducted against airfields and communication centres.
The Allied armies had enacted their Dyle plan on the morning of 10 May, and were approaching the Belgian rear. King Leopold had gone to his Headquarters near Briedgen, Antwerp. The Luftwaffe was to spearhead the aerial battle in the low countries. The Luftwaffe's first task was the elimination of the Belgian air contingent. Despite overwhelming numerical superiority of 1,375 aircraft, 957 serviceable, the counter-air campaign in Belgium had limited success overall, despite thorough photographic reconnaissance, and although it had a tremendous impact on the AeMI, which had only 179 aircraft on 10 May.
Much of the success was down to Richthofen's subordinates, particularly KG 77 and its commander Oberst Dr. Johann-Volkmar Fisser whose attachment to VIII. Fliegerkorps, Generalmajor Wilhelm Speidel, commented "...was the result of the well-known tendency of the commanding general to conduct his own private war". Fisser's KG 77 destroyed the AeMI main bases, with help from KG 54. Fighters from JG 27 eliminated two squadrons at Neerhepsen, and during the afternoon, I./St.G 2 destroyed nine of the 15 Fiat CR.42 fighters at Brusthem. The only other success was KG 27s destruction of eight aircraft at Belesle. A total of 83, mostly trainers and "squadron hacks" were destroyed. The AéMI flew just 146 sorties in the first six days. Between 16 May and 28 May, the AéMI flew just 77 operations. It spent most of its time and fuel withdrawing in the face of Luftwaffe attack.
On the extreme left of the Allies, the Seventh Army ( General
Giraud) was to make for Antwerp and then push on along the
coast to link up with the "Dutch Fortress" on the line Bréda--
St. Léonard. The British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) was to
take up positions along the Dyle river between Louvain and