The Darkest hour of the Russian Empire 2
Chapter Four: 1939-1941
Part XXI: The things become balanced
De Gaulle's Free France was occupying quite small territory - a piece of French colonies in the Eastern Africa. At the beginning of their path they didn't look like a real power. But Wrangel decided to unofficially support the general - De Gaulle had similar political orientation and could be useful.
De Gaulle's lands in Africa
General is making a radio speech
On 11 of April after long (but hopeless) diplomatic negotiations Netherlands officially capitulated - technically all European Dutch territories were captured a week later. Queen Wilhelmina fled to Britain, while Dutch government and existing parts of army and navy ran to East India colonies. European global war lost one more Allied participant.
One of German tanks in the Netherlands
The war was going on - and it wasn't totally successful for the Axis - in Greece and Northern Africa Allied troops were crushing weak Italian divisions. Some balance in the war was achieved...
Attacking Greek soldiers
But Germans were ruthless and victorious - on 12 of April Denmark capitulated, making the war nearly bloodless. The Germans occupied Copenhagen without a single shot.
We're victorious, Mein Fuhrer
German soldiers in the Danish streets
In Libya Italian forces were retreating day by day - their strongpoint at Sidi Barrani was encircled by the British. Mussolini was begging Hitler to send expeditionary forces there, but German dictator said that he was busy in Spain...
Situation in the Northern Africa
Italian tankers in the desert
In the North the things were very interesting too - on 27 of April, according to R40 plan, British marines landed in Alesund. Their target was to rapidly occupy Norway and make it Allied. British soldiers were sure that weak Norwegian army, equipped with WW1-era weapons, won't cause any troubles.
Allied invasion in Norway
One of the ships which participated in the assault
In the Far East the Allies had some more reasons for optimism - Chinese army was standing strong against the assaulting Japanese corps - Kuomintang soldiers were near the borders of Manchukuo. To get more free troops and send them to Chinese front, Japan claimed French Indochina. Petain had to agree.
New Japanese territories
Japanese bomber on the raid, trying to crush the Chinese resistance with fire and bombs
April finished and May began - by 5 of May German troops successfully crossed the Spanish border and invaded Northern mountainous territories. Armies of Spanish republic fought heroically - they have nothing to lose but their lifes. Anyway, Germans were advancing - they captured Bilbao, Burgas and some minor cities only in a week. Commander of the German forces in Spain - general Rommel - became a very famous strategist of the Reich...
German operation in Spain
Rommel, a very promising commander, hero of French and Spanish campaigns
While the Germans were taking Spanish cities, Italy was in a great trouble - all her forces in the Balkans were destroyed and Greece occupied Italian Albania. Mussolini decided to find suitable allies in the Balkans to involve them into Axis and punish Greece for such a disaster.
Courageous Greeks managed to push Italians from the Balkans
A Greek flag over Albania
In June Free France started receiving supplies from both USA and Russia. Wrangel officially joined the Lend-Lease treaty and promised to support De Gaulle.
Military help for those who want to fight
The Baron meets a French general to sign the treaty
To be continued
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Next update: February, 1