[ My “theme” this year will be World War II. It might be a battle. It might be a character sketch of a leader. It might be a home front thing. It might even be a story from my father. I know there are a lot of fairly talented and knowledgeable World War II nuts on this site, so maybe we can have fun with this and remember some important things]
Our Allied side reasonably believed it would have a hard struggle, but the Nordic nemesis (Syndergaard) would not intimidate or overwhelm them. But Guderian had a plan. The plan was rejected at several levels several times. But finally, just on the eve of the attack, the Germans had decided to try to punch either of two holes. The first in the north of Belgium similar to their route in World War I. This our allies expected. The second attack was through a hilly rocky region so impenetrable (the Ardennes forest) that since Charlemagne, nobody had really tried to conquer it. And thus one of the last Celtic clusters in mainland Europe adopted Charlemagne’s version of French and have remained over all of these centuries.
For the first several days there was chaos with seeming victory going to one side and then the other. Kind of like 6 scoreless innings. But the British and French continued to reinforce to the north and didn’t pay attention to the “back door.” And thus, very few troops of any consequence were available where and when needed. Kind of like sending out Ian Krol, Chaz Roe, and Eric O’Flaherty to get blown away. And just as Rommel personally converted an .88 mm antiaircraft battery into an anti tank weapon at a critical moment, so the Mets pounded this set of unready relievers into submission. The consequence of this was a mad dash by the British to get out at Dunkirk as best they could. Then, a long stall. Kind of like the day off built into the schedule for tomorrow.
And despite the disaster, a young armored brigade commander found himself cut off. He had no support. His brigade dashed for Cherbourg and boarded and got to England. His name was Bernard Law Montgomery. Our Montgomery was Freddie Freeman who contributed 3 hits. He did his job. We may see this again. But just maybe a little farther into the season our Montgomery can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the desert at El Alamein (or Dodger Stadium or Chase Field).