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Test your knowledge
Why did a plane crash in Belgium in January 1940 lead Hitler to say: “It’s things like this that can lose us the war”?
Do you know?
On January 10, a German military plane crash-landed near the Belgian town of Mechelen-sur-Meuse. The aircraft, on a flight from Münster to Cologne, became lost in thick cloud. After it came down, one of the passengers jumped out and raced for a clump of bushes, where he set fire to papers he had taken from his briefcase. Belgian soldiers closed in and retrieved the partly burnt papers. The man was Major Helmut Reinberger, a Luftwaffe staff officer, and the papers were operational plans, complete with maps, for a German airborne attack on the West, to begin on January 14 with saturation bombing attacks on French airfields.