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Thread: Fall of France

  1. #166
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    OK I read your post about awhile ago and it has nagged me about responding - mostly because of current parallels - in which I am involved. I am not criticising your military analysis - which I largely agree with but I think alot of the pure military analysis misses the political influence on these events. The Dutch and Belgians did not want to declare on Germany as they were a. scared stiff and b. more inclined therefore to compromise solutions with Hitler even after it had become compromise was not possible. However being smaller nations bordering the Hitlerite regime (I will not call it Germany because many Germans were not fascists as in any dictatorship) they did not wish provoke Hitlerite military response by welcoming the allied Anglo French forces into their territory.

    Britain and before that England historically fights for the "Low Countries" and even before that Burgundy for strategic reasons; they have the invasion ports if an invasion of Britain is planned. Thus is was natural that once Belgian neutrality had been breached that the BEF would rush to their assistance to defend the ports if nothing else.

    The real problem politically was that the offensive was not taken while the Nazi's were busy in Poland and that the Belgian and Dutch did not - albeit for somewhat understandable reasons - allow the allies in the first place.

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    What happens if the Germans don't do Poland in 39? Leave Poland, Hungary etc. as a buffer to the USSR. Russia and Germany form a variation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germans instead go west. France still falls. Germany will be strapped of natural resources and economy is going bankrupt, but can expend more resources on the Med and Africa. Will Malta fall? If it does it, does it change the outcome in Africa? They still can't do Sea Lion

    The US still comes in 41,but Japan is content in China no conquest of European territories, no Pearl Harbor. More Naval resources. Shorter Battle of the Atlantic? With more men and resources freed from the Pacific could they be absorbed and used in Africa, or does Africa unfold as it does in terms of US numbers to engage in combat and all that supports it?

    Are the German able to hold Western Europe.
    Last edited by Dazed; 31 Dec 17, at 07:26.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    What happens if the Germans don't do Poland in 39? Leave Poland, Hungary etc. as a buffer to the USSR. Russia and Germany form a variation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germans instead go west. France still falls. Germany will be strapped of natural resources and economy is going bankrupt, but can expend more resources on the Med and Africa. Will Malta fall? If it does it, does it change the outcome in Africa? They still can't do Sea Lion

    The US still comes in 41,but Japan is content in China no conquest of European territories, no Pearl Harbor. More Naval resources. Shorter Battle of the Atlantic? With more men and resources freed from the Pacific could they be absorbed and used in Africa, or does Africa unfold as it does in terms of US numbers to engage in combat and all that supports it?

    Are the German able to hold Western Europe.
    I don't think Germany were ready to take on France in 39. They hadn't yet proved their new tactics worked. They'd used their airforce in Spain but I'm not aware of any combined operations. Maybe you know different?

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    What happens if the Germans don't do Poland in 39? Leave Poland, Hungary etc. as a buffer to the USSR. Russia and Germany form a variation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germans instead go west. France still falls. Germany will be strapped of natural resources and economy is going bankrupt, but can expend more resources on the Med and Africa. Will Malta fall? If it does it, does it change the outcome in Africa? They still can't do Sea Lion

    The US still comes in 41,but Japan is content in China no conquest of European territories, no Pearl Harbor. More Naval resources. Shorter Battle of the Atlantic? With more men and resources freed from the Pacific could they be absorbed and used in Africa, or does Africa unfold as it does in terms of US numbers to engage in combat and all that supports it?

    Are the German able to hold Western Europe.
    Then Stalin invades Germany in 43.

  5. #170
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    i doubt it, Stalin didn't think he was ready to take on Germany until 1944-1945 at the earliest. plus, he never started a fight unless it was overwhelmingly in his favor. seeing how bad the Russians did in the Winter War would probably dissuade him from fighting Germany anytime soon.

    if Hitler didn't have a thing about hitting the USSR, i wonder if Stalin would have tried to beat up on Japan instead.
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  6. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    I don't think Germany were ready to take on France in 39. They hadn't yet proved their new tactics worked. They'd used their airforce in Spain but I'm not aware of any combined operations. Maybe you know different?
    Maybe not '39, but what about '40? Sure, German forces wouldn't have had the important combat experience in Poland, but without that invasion there is no state of war between Germany & Britain/France. It is fair to assume that Britain & France are in a lower state of preparedness. Probably the same for the Low Countries.

    Lets say 1938/9 play out as per history to a point. Germany & Russia sign the M/R Pact. and divide up Eastern Europe minus Poland, which becomes a 'buffer' (unless you live in E.Prussia). Stalin invades Finland, Hitler occupies the rest of Czech & prepares to invade France in 1940. He gets those Russian resources. Stalin gets his biggest rival neck deep in a war with the Western powers while he takes over his part of the world and maybe looks further East.

    The Germans may not have experience in 1940, but they still have better officers & better tactics. Is there any reason to believe France will do better in this scenario than it did in OTL? Without a state of war with Germany will the BEF even be properly deployed in France in before Germany attacks? Will French forces be as fully mobilized?

    If Germany attacks France in 1939 it will lose. If it does it in 1940 I'm betting it wins.


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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i doubt it, Stalin didn't think he was ready to take on Germany until 1944-1945 at the earliest. plus, he never started a fight unless it was overwhelmingly in his favor. seeing how bad the Russians did in the Winter War would probably dissuade him from fighting Germany anytime soon.

    if Hitler didn't have a thing about hitting the USSR, i wonder if Stalin would have tried to beat up on Japan instead.
    Here is an ugly thought for Japan. It is spring 1942. War has begun in the Pacific, but with Britain not diverting equipment to Russia the fight in Malaya & Burma has consumed more men & resources. Japanese military strength is stretched from Burma to the Solomons and Russia has been sending more equipment to the KMT & Communists. Hitler is busy fighting in North Africa, having declared war on the US. Stalin has a very big military and no wars to fight.

    There is a very ugly scenario where Russia sends a very big army into Manchuria, grabs all the bits it wants & then leaves Japan with the choice of fighting a land war it isn't equipped to fight or giving up the jewel in the crown of its empire and continuing the fight against the Allies with reduced resources. The only real danger for Stalin is that he is forced to leave too big a force in Manchuria and Hitler decides that he really, really does want that lebensraum.


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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i doubt it, Stalin didn't think he was ready to take on Germany until 1944-1945 at the earliest. plus, he never started a fight unless it was overwhelmingly in his favor. seeing how bad the Russians did in the Winter War would probably dissuade him from fighting Germany anytime soon.

    if Hitler didn't have a thing about hitting the USSR, i wonder if Stalin would have tried to beat up on Japan instead.
    All it takes is to show how weak Hitler actually was and Stalin would be more than tempted. If Hitler was not going to do BARBARROSSA, then he would have most certainly done SEA LION and you and I both know that was a disaster waiting to happen.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Maybe not '39, but what about '40? Sure, German forces wouldn't have had the important combat experience in Poland, but without that invasion there is no state of war between Germany & Britain/France. It is fair to assume that Britain & France are in a lower state of preparedness. Probably the same for the Low Countries.

    Lets say 1938/9 play out as per history to a point. Germany & Russia sign the M/R Pact. and divide up Eastern Europe minus Poland, which becomes a 'buffer' (unless you live in E.Prussia). Stalin invades Finland, Hitler occupies the rest of Czech & prepares to invade France in 1940. He gets those Russian resources. Stalin gets his biggest rival neck deep in a war with the Western powers while he takes over his part of the world and maybe looks further East.

    The Germans may not have experience in 1940, but they still have better officers & better tactics. Is there any reason to believe France will do better in this scenario than it did in OTL? Without a state of war with Germany will the BEF even be properly deployed in France in before Germany attacks? Will French forces be as fully mobilized?

    If Germany attacks France in 1939 it will lose. If it does it in 1940 I'm betting it wins.
    I follow you completely but there is one slight problem, namely the Polish corridor. There's no way Hitler will let that one go and he can't take it and not take Poland out.

  10. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dazed View Post
    What happens if the Germans don't do Poland in 39? Leave Poland, Hungary etc. as a buffer to the USSR. Russia and Germany form a variation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germans instead go west. France still falls. Germany will be strapped of natural resources and economy is going bankrupt, but can expend more resources on the Med and Africa. Will Malta fall? If it does it, does it change the outcome in Africa? They still can't do Sea Lion

    The US still comes in 41,but Japan is content in China no conquest of European territories, no Pearl Harbor. More Naval resources. Shorter Battle of the Atlantic? With more men and resources freed from the Pacific could they be absorbed and used in Africa, or does Africa unfold as it does in terms of US numbers to engage in combat and all that supports it?

    Are the German able to hold Western Europe.
    If Germany goes west in 39 they are going to suffer horribly. Poland was far less mechanized and had a much smaller military but inflicted almost 80,000 casualties on Germany. Germany learned, when she hit France who had more than 4x the troops and many times more that in modern equipment but only managed twice the causalities.

  11. #176
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    All it takes is to show how weak Hitler actually was and Stalin would be more than tempted. If Hitler was not going to do BARBARROSSA, then he would have most certainly done SEA LION and you and I both know that was a disaster waiting to happen.
    Hitler would have done a Sea Lion....but that just destroys the Kriegsmarine and even more of the Luftwaffe, while leaving the Wehrmacht untouched. Hitler was...touched...but he wasn't so crazy as to send in troops on transports with the Royal Navy unbeaten.

    moreover if Stalin actually DOES attack in 1943 or 1944, he would probably get his @$$ handed to him on a silver platter. no LL, Deep Battle is yet largely untested, with 1941-like readiness levels...and offense is more difficult than defense. the problem with BARBAROSSA was that the Germans just -couldn't- get to all of the Russian formations, well, here is Stalin doing just that.
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    Here is an ugly thought for Japan. It is spring 1942. War has begun in the Pacific, but with Britain not diverting equipment to Russia the fight in Malaya & Burma has consumed more men & resources. Japanese military strength is stretched from Burma to the Solomons and Russia has been sending more equipment to the KMT & Communists. Hitler is busy fighting in North Africa, having declared war on the US. Stalin has a very big military and no wars to fight.

    There is a very ugly scenario where Russia sends a very big army into Manchuria, grabs all the bits it wants & then leaves Japan with the choice of fighting a land war it isn't equipped to fight or giving up the jewel in the crown of its empire and continuing the fight against the Allies with reduced resources. The only real danger for Stalin is that he is forced to leave too big a force in Manchuria and Hitler decides that he really, really does want that lebensraum.
    well, the North Africa campaign for Germany would a walkover. No USSR fight means that Rommel actually gets resources worthy of a campaign, especially if Sea Lion goes to hell. Rommel could have double the men and material and it still wouldn't be even half of one wing of Barbarossa.

    but yeah...if Manchuria is taken by the Soviets, the Soviets could then essentially run right into Korea and split the rickety Imperial Japanese Empire, i mean the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, right in half. and suddenly there goes what, 50% of Japanese industry, with the supply lines badly cut for rubber, oil, etc from Japan's recent conquests in Southeast Asia.

    it really would suck in terms of world affairs because the US would STILL need to fight a grinding attrition campaign throughout the Pacific, while the Russians pretty much take what they want in continental Asia. it'd be an easy campaign for the Russians, unlike any attack on Germany in Europe.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Hitler would have done a Sea Lion....but that just destroys the Kriegsmarine and even more of the Luftwaffe, while leaving the Wehrmacht untouched. Hitler was...touched...but he wasn't so crazy as to send in troops on transports with the Royal Navy unbeaten.
    Blitzkreig started to failed precisely because the Luftwaffe could not hit Soviet supply lines and with the numbers even more reduced, German reccee would tentatively give the advantage to the Soviets which precisely is what Soviet doctrine, even pre-war calls for.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    moreover if Stalin actually DOES attack in 1943 or 1944, he would probably get his @$$ handed to him on a silver platter. no LL, Deep Battle is yet largely untested, with 1941-like readiness levels...and offense is more difficult than defense. the problem with BARBAROSSA was that the Germans just -couldn't- get to all of the Russian formations, well, here is Stalin doing just that.
    I never said Stalin would win but Stalin already had his capable Generals. There is no telling who would be in command this far into the butterfly effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    well, the North Africa campaign for Germany would a walkover. No USSR fight means that Rommel actually gets resources worthy of a campaign, especially if Sea Lion goes to hell. Rommel could have double the men and material and it still wouldn't be even half of one wing of Barbarossa.
    What's stopping the British Indian Army from simply marching east?

  15. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    well, the North Africa campaign for Germany would a walkover. No USSR fight means that Rommel actually gets resources worthy of a campaign, especially if Sea Lion goes to hell. Rommel could have double the men and material and it still wouldn't be even half of one wing of Barbarossa.
    Rommel getting more kit would obviously help him. It would have to physically get there though and there is that thing called the med in between....and hey more planes for the luftwaffe to fly and more for the SAS to blow up!

    but yeah...if Manchuria is taken by the Soviets, the Soviets could then essentially run right into Korea and split the rickety Imperial Japanese Empire, i mean the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, right in half. and suddenly there goes what, 50% of Japanese industry, with the supply lines badly cut for rubber, oil, etc from Japan's recent conquests in Southeast Asia.
    My money is on the Japanese, the Russians lack of winning anything against the Japanese thus far is hardly convincing and yeh I'm being polite.
    it really would suck in terms of world affairs because the US would STILL need to fight a grinding attrition campaign throughout the Pacific, while the Russians pretty much take what they want in continental Asia. it'd be an easy campaign for the Russians, unlike any attack on Germany in Europe
    China and India would consume the Russians and spit them out a bit like the German army attacking Russia in 41-43 We saw what happened in Afghanistan in 79-89

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