War in the North and West: Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France fall to the Nazi onslaught
Germany invaded Denmark and Norway on April 9, 1940. Copenhagen was captured on the first day, but Norway battled fiercely for a month before the government fled into exile on April 29 and 30. After securing Norway, Germany attacked to the west on May 10, quickly defeating the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Belgium. After Belgium surrendered, British and French troops evacuated Dunkirk by sea on May 30 and 31. Paris fell to the Germans on June 14, and France capitulated on June 22. German troops occupied the northern portion of France, and installed a puppet regime at Vichy in southern France with Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain as head of state.
Pictured Above and Below: A French soldier’s January 2 field post card to his parents in Paris, and a November 15, 1940, United States postal card from the same soldier’s sister in Pittsburgh, addressed to him as a German prisoner-of-war after the defeat of France, censored by Britain at Bermuda and by German camp censors on arrival. As a Jew, Adolf Brandstein suffered especially harsh treatment in captivity. The Stalag IB POW camp was a salt mine at Hohenstein, Germany.
A pair of 1-cent U.S. stamps were removed by the Stalag IB censor.
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