18 May 1940
  • German troops captured Antwerp, Belgium; meanwhile, the German government re-incorporated into its borders the territory that Germany ceded to Belgium per the Versailles Treaty. In France, Erwin Rommel's German 7th Panzer Division reached Cambrai where it halted to consolidate his supply lines; in the past 5 days the division advanced 85 miles and captured 10,000 French prisoners and tanks, suffering only 150 casualties. The French called the German 7th Panzer Division the "Ghost Division" for its ability to strike in unexpected and vulnerable places. Elsewhere in France, German troops captured Petonne and Amiens. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German submarines U-60 and U-62 departed Kiel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Arthur Seyß-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar of the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Arthur Seyß-Inquart | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt, noting "if American assistance is to play any part it must be available [soon]." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • HMS Effingham was scuttled by torpedo after suffering serious damage incurred on the previous day after striking the Faksen Shoal off Norway. ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
  • Walter Grabmann, flying a Bf 110 heavy fighter, was shot down by British Hurricane fighters over Douai, France; he parachuted to safety but was captured. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | Douai, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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