APPRECIATION OF THE SITUATION
On either side of the Meuse a high plateau with heights rising to ..... m. Very uneven, in places great differences in height, ravines.
Clayey ground, medium heavy to heavy. Only sparsely (?) populated. The operational area of the Division is on the whole thickly wooded.
The Meuse itself constitutes a marked cleft, deeply cut out. Width of river 100 m. Banks rising steeply and mainly wooded. Observation very difficult.
Parachute troops can be dropped everywhere is ... the bridges.
Air-borne troops can only be landed at points 15 km. west of the Meuse on the line Vitrival, M. ... Posée.
The country is similar in many respects to that of Freuden ... and troop movements ... not very mobile will be hindered. On the other hand, it lends itself to defence by groups ... widely separated.
2. Landing Grounds.
Five landing grounds have been reconnoitred. Of these, three are suitable in mild weather (I, III, V), two are suitable only under certain conditions (II, IV). In frosty weather all are suitable. On the whole some ...... 30 per cent, bad landing conditions as for "Enterprise"(?)
The whole of the landing troops of the division can be engaged.
Time required: Parachuting and landing of the 1st(?) Division. ...... A slight frost gives most favourable conditions ...... reducing as much as possible the jump ...... troops.
3. At the cutting of the Meuse, the Divisions should ...... (objective) ...... and keep open ......
Road-bridge of Annevoie.
Road bridge Yvoir (here point of main action).
Bridge Dinant-Namur (north-west ......)
4. If the country between the Meuse and the French frontier up to ...... should not be occupied by enemy troops, the landing would at first be unopposed. The landing grounds to the north can, it is true, be shelled by the heavy guns at Namur (15 km) if they should be discovered.
However, enemy attacks from the fortress of Namur must be expected very soon, and also perhaps from Charleroi, Philppeville, and Givet.
The chief threat to the division is the arrival of mobile French troops from the line Maubeuge-Hirson-Fumay (40 km.), whose advance units can be on the spot in a very short time.
5. This is why it is essential that, from the beginning of the landing operation, large forces of our own bomber aircraft should be engaged:
--against enemy concentrations on the line Maubeuge-Hirson ...... Fumay;
--against troops and transport moving from that line:
- on the road Mons-Charleroi (especially important);
- on the road Maubeuge-Beaumont-Philippeville (specially important);
- road Philippeville-Givet;
- road Fourmies-Chimay-Couvin-Givet;
- road Rocroi-Mariembourg-Philippeville-Forennes;
- road Rocroi-Fumay-Givet-towards ...... Dinant (specially important);
- railway Mons-Charleroi ...... (important);
- railway Maubeuge ......;
- railway Charleroi ...... (specially important);
- railway PQ ......;
- railway ...... Hastière ......;
- Then, for the protection of the Division ...... road Marche-Leignon-Ach......;
- road Ciney-Evrehailles.
The area where bombing by our own aircraft is forbidden is bounded by:road Rivière-Florette--to a line 4 km. south of the Sambre railway (?) Chatelet through Gerpinnes, Floronnes, up to road Philippeville-Dinant (this railway line is outside the forbidden zone) straight (?) line from the level crossing up to Hermeton (this village outside the zone)--the Meuze up to the Anseremme bridge (bridge included in the zone)--line 4 km. east of the Meuse up to Rivière.
6. Up and down movements of troops can best take place--south of Liège--at right angles to the frontier towards the Meuse, through Malmédy-Ciney, i.e. by the shortest route in enemy territory.
In the given weather conditions, any detour would only cause inconvenience.
Anti-aircraft defence is insignificant here. On the other hand, very strong opposition from enemy fighters must be expected (chiefly French fighters).
The landing and fighting zone of the Division lies also ...... of many French aerodromes. French and British aviation
groups also stationed more to the west fly, on their way to the front, near ......
The intervention of the Division with more than 600 tons of transport planes and at this spot where the effect will be most felt by the enemy decides the chief point of concentration of enemy aircraft.
The Division is threatened more from the air than from the ground. This is why strong heavy fighter and fighter aircraft formations are necessary:
- for the transport, the parachuting and finally the landing (...... very strong protection);
- for supplies;
- against enemy air attacks (continuously ...... and not only according to special orders).
In this case this protection should be incessant ...... G ......
TO satisfy this need ...... fighting area should only be 110 km. from the frontier (?) ...... and should only imply 200 km. flight over enemy territory ......
...... Namur and the immediate vicinity ...... (212 Art.) and light forces Ard...... between Ourthe (here point of main attack) (...... point) and the Meuse ...... 2 Cavalry Divisions.
At Charleroi 3rd Regiment of Gendarmie.
French Forces ...... are concentrated on the frontier ...... ready to march (to the west of the Meuse) ...... Army and parts of the 2ndn Army with mechanized cavalry and infantry Divisions. Forward elements of the Givet wedge. To the east of the Meuse positions are in the course of construction along the railway line Namur-Assesse-Ciney-Jemelle.
2. The Meuse itself is only defended by light forces stationed at the bridges. On the Meuse between Namur and the frontier no permanent fortifications. Special preparations for demolition and blocking are not known here, but are likely.
The region between the Meuse and the French frontier to the west and to the south-west is entirely free from enemy troops.
3. It must be expected that the hostile Walloon population will
wage guerrilla warfare (sharp-shooting from the houses and hedges).
4. The possibility of requisitioning (in order to enable the troops to move rapidly and to keep supplied) should only be considered with reservations owing to the sparsely populated nature of the region.
5. Defence against enemy aircraft in the area of operations of the 7th Air Division (Fl. Div. 7).
In the operational area Namur-Dinant--and in the neighbouring region no fighters nor anti-aircraft defence have been detected so far.
Anti-aircraft guns ...... assumed at Charleroi.
At St. Hubert--1 squadron of single-seaters, only at intervals.
Liège --1 group of single-seaters.
Nivelles --1 group of single-seaters.
Besides important concentrations of French fighters in Ra ...... Verdun.
Grandmenil (33 km. west St. Vith) at intervals.
North of Huy, light anti-aircraft guns.
At St. Hubert, heavy anti-aircraft guns at intervals.
This copy certified correct.
Major, General Staff.
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