French 4th Armoured Division with 200 tanks including the formidable Char B (under Colonel Charles De Gaulle) attacks Guderian’s Panzer Corps at Montcornet. They take 500 prisoners but make little ground against improvised German defenses and then withdraw. German tankers are shocked by the French lack of aggression. Despite the halt imposed on the Panzers, Guderian is given permission for ‘strong reconnaissance’. He interprets this liberally and advances several km.
The dominos begin to fall in Belgium. Instead of attacking the German salient into Allied territory, British Expeditionary Force commander General Lord Gort sees the danger of encirclement in the Panzer thrust to his South and orders a retreat to the Scheldt River. This allows German 6th Army under General Reichenau to enter Brussels. Churchill, likewise worried by the panic in the French command, begins to think about saving the British Army. Churchill also considers recalling troops from Narvik.