Page 1 of 11 12345678910 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 158

Thread: Fall of France

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    09 Oct 10
    Posts
    1,074

    Fall of France

    Have been thinking and reading a little about the Fall of France lately. Wondering what Wabbits think about the labeling of France's defeat as the most remarkable event of the war?

    Tactical and strategic elements aside, I was especially interested in the operational impact the rapid fall of France had for the Germans. In terms of both capturing vast supplies of equipment of a large modern land based army and of the economic utility of the french state and the impact that had on the German war machine and the significance this had on German operational capabilities? Any one read a good analysis on this....

  2. #2
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,061
    Maginot line idée fixe? To some extent the mentality was fixed by the results of the previous French mentality in WW1 - Attaque à outrance - and it's horrendous cost. Mentally they went to the other extreme and spent a fortune building this 'impenetrable' line of forts all linked underground etc from the Swiss border to the Belgian border. Then mentally they considered themselves safe since the Ardennes was considered impassable.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional
    Albany Rifles's Avatar
    Join Date
    27 Apr 07
    Location
    Prince George, VA
    Posts
    8,288
    I have some thoughts on this but I am busy right now.

    I would like to address them tomorrow.
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 16
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Then mentally they considered themselves safe since the Ardennes was considered impassable.
    I seem to remember the Americans making the same mistake 4.5 years later
    Picture a courthouse with no fuckin laws, Picture a cathouse with no fuckin whores
    Picture a shithouse with no fuckin drains, Picture a leader with no fuckin brains

  5. #5
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 16
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
    Have been thinking and reading a little about the Fall of France lately. Wondering what Wabbits think about the labeling of France's defeat as the most remarkable event of the war?

    Tactical and strategic elements aside, I was especially interested in the operational impact the rapid fall of France had for the Germans. In terms of both capturing vast supplies of equipment of a large modern land based army and of the economic utility of the french state and the impact that had on the German war machine and the significance this had on German operational capabilities? Any one read a good analysis on this....
    It would be interesting to read a book that gave figures on French industrial production that directly aided the German Army. We do know that many French Armoured vehicles were used within the Wehrmacht and so ultimately French stockpiles and so on would definitely have been used in the Balkans maybe on anti-partisan duties in Yugoslavia and occupied territories elsewhere, not necessarily used by the German army but by Subordinate units from fellow axis countries. The PZ 35 acquired from Czechoslovakia was used very effectively in the invasion of France so why not use French Armour. Especially the CharB1's and Somua S35 which were at the time far superior to anything the Krauts had
    Picture a courthouse with no fuckin laws, Picture a cathouse with no fuckin whores
    Picture a shithouse with no fuckin drains, Picture a leader with no fuckin brains

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    12,965
    basically, the incorporation of French war material, the whole-scale looting of the French economy, and the end of one major front was what allowed Battle of Britain/Barbarossa to happen.

    prior to that, the German military and economy were essentially only good for one major operation at a time. Germany prior to the defeat of France was very much a war economy, badly dependent on looting to prevent an economic collapse.

    there's a lot of interesting what-ifs here-- for instance, the attack over the Ardennes only came up because the initial German war plans were presumed captured by the French after a plane with the plans crash-landed in Belgium. prior to that it was pretty much an unimaginative replay of the Schlieffen Plan.
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 16
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    basically, the incorporation of French war material, the whole-scale looting of the French economy, and the end of one major front was what allowed Battle of Britain/Barbarossa to happen.

    prior to that, the German military and economy were essentially only good for one major operation at a time. Germany prior to the defeat of France was very much a war economy, badly dependent on looting to prevent an economic collapse.

    there's a lot of interesting what-ifs here-- for instance, the attack over the Ardennes only came up because the initial German war plans were presumed captured by the French after a plane with the plans crash-landed in Belgium. prior to that it was pretty much an unimaginative replay of the Schlieffen Plan.
    There was no maginot line in 1914.....Plus the French were not allied to the Russians in 1940 as they were in 1914. The scheifflen plan was designed to knock the French out before the Russians had mobilised. Saving the Germans from a two front war.....it didn't work! But Adolfs European tour in 40 did as he'd just signed a pact with Stalin...
    Picture a courthouse with no fuckin laws, Picture a cathouse with no fuckin whores
    Picture a shithouse with no fuckin drains, Picture a leader with no fuckin brains

  8. #8
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    12,965
    had the Germans slammed right into the Maginot line in 1940, there would have been an absolutely grinding fight that would have left France call up reserves. Germany probably would have still prevailed but it would have been one nasty long war. it'd actually be more reminiscent of WWI than WWII.

    pretty high chance Hitler gets assassinated, but you'd still end up with either a slightly less nasty Nazi regime/military junta.
    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

  9. #9
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,500
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    basically, the incorporation of French war material, the whole-scale looting of the French economy, and the end of one major front was what allowed Battle of Britain/Barbarossa to happen.

    prior to that, the German military and economy were essentially only good for one major operation at a time. Germany prior to the defeat of France was very much a war economy, badly dependent on looting to prevent an economic collapse.

    there's a lot of interesting what-ifs here-- for instance, the attack over the Ardennes only came up because the initial German war plans were presumed captured by the French after a plane with the plans crash-landed in Belgium. prior to that it was pretty much an unimaginative replay of the Schlieffen Plan.
    Concur in most, dissent in part.

    The German economy of 39-40 was a militarized civilian economy, it was not on a war footing and retained a lot of slack used to feed the civilian markets. This would prove to be a disaster in late 40, early 41 when Luftwaffe losses could not be replaced. The Luftwaffe that went into Russia had been savaged over England. The impact of another 1500 war planes and crews, plus all those French trucks and artillery tractors may have turned the tide.

  10. #10
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,500
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    There was no maginot line in 1914.....Plus the French were not allied to the Russians in 1940 as they were in 1914. The scheifflen plan was designed to knock the French out before the Russians had mobilised. Saving the Germans from a two front war.....it didn't work! But Adolfs European tour in 40 did as he'd just signed a pact with Stalin...
    France did have fortified regions like Verdun. When the Germans slammed into them, they bled and died. Verdun and the Somme wrecked the German Army in the West. Avoiding the fortified regions is why the Germas went with the big right hook, but then they got greedy and scared at the same time. Instead of moving troops to reenforce the main effort once the French offensive on the frontiers was defeats, they counter attacked back at them. This chewed up several corps. Then they transferred two more east to save a Prussia that as it turned out did not need the troops. The combination left the right wing push too weak to do the job.

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 16
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    France did have fortified regions like Verdun. When the Germans slammed into them, they bled and died. Verdun and the Somme wrecked the German Army in the West. Avoiding the fortified regions is why the Germas went with the big right hook, but then they got greedy and scared at the same time. Instead of moving troops to reenforce the main effort once the French offensive on the frontiers was defeats, they counter attacked back at them. This chewed up several corps. Then they transferred two more east to save a Prussia that as it turned out did not need the troops. The combination left the right wing push too weak to do the job.
    They were very successful against the Czars army. Like you say though they bled heavily in France and Belgium. All this of course led to various military thinkers to devise new ways of conducting warfare... the culmination being German blitzkreig, from then on it was catch up for the Allies
    Picture a courthouse with no fuckin laws, Picture a cathouse with no fuckin whores
    Picture a shithouse with no fuckin drains, Picture a leader with no fuckin brains

  12. #12
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    4,061
    I think in the interwar period it was mostly the Brits who at least started the thinking on larger scale independent armoured forces and Britain started the Experimental Mechanised Force in the 1920s (I think); JFC Fuller and Basil Liddel Heart were involved in the theory. Guderian wrote 'Panzer Leader' in 1929 and later added radios to all his armoured units.

  13. #13
    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Jan 07
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    9,180
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    They were very successful against the Czars army. Like you say though they bled heavily in France and Belgium. All this of course led to various military thinkers to devise new ways of conducting warfare... the culmination being German blitzkreig, from then on it was catch up for the Allies
    Not really. The Germans were late to the party. Liddell Hart & Fuller in the UK and a group of Russian officers led by Frunze, Tukhachevsky and Triandafillov got there first. German officers borrowed heavily from them, in the case of the Russians as a result of close contact in the 20s & early 30s. Had Stalin not murdered so many of the officers behind these ideas, pulled apart those units and let the equipment fall into decline Germany would have faced a force more than capable of matching it in nost respects. France also had a well evolved armored doctrine, but their individual units were not as strong as German equivalents.

    Some aspects of German success owed a lot more to good fortune than good planning. Their crucial close air support and integrated AA owed a lot more to Germany's inability to invest in a large strategic bomber force than to any well thought out plan. Germany also had the advantage of trial runs in Spain and Poland to refine their ideas and iron out some of the bugs in the system. The French would have been a lot more capable had they managed the same.

    The 'catch up' was less than you might think. Because the Red Army was already most of the way there, it had more or less 'caught up' doctrinally within 12 months (maybe less). The British didn't really try. They simply refined their own land doctrine & better equipped their armies.


    Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 08
    Location
    Transylvania
    Posts
    5,074
    Just because it uses tanks does not makes them similar.

    1.It was never bltzkrieg.That's mass media terminology.It's bewegungskrieg ,which is simply "war of movement".
    2.The Soviets adopted nothing and adapted to nothing.They already had it.And it was simply impossible for them to adapt because the German and Soviet approach were conceptually at the opposites.
    It does not make one approach superior to the other and both had tremendous success in the right hands AND against the right adversaries.It just that it makes them incompatible.

    The German approach is based on the auftragstaktik(much lauded in the last decades and the more is praised the less is practiced).Which is essence about using EXISTING opportunities.
    The Soviet deep operations is all about CREATING said opportunities.This might seem trivial,but it leads to very different armies.One is about initiative, agility and flexibility during execution of a given task.The other is about initiative,agility and creativity during the planning phase.

    One puts a premium on agility during the execution phase,the other on ruthless and fast execution of elaborate plans.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  15. #15
    Senior Contributor Toby's Avatar
    Join Date
    06 Nov 16
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    989
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigfella View Post
    Not really. The Germans were late to the party. Liddell Hart & Fuller in the UK and a group of Russian officers led by Frunze, Tukhachevsky and Triandafillov got there first. German officers borrowed heavily from them, in the case of the Russians as a result of close contact in the 20s & early 30s
    I read recently that Liddell Hart was the main source of this story, which he personally nurtured after the 2nd WW. There's absolutely no evidence to support it. Consequently it appears the Germans (Guderian etc) were working independently. As for the Russians, yes I agree they were beheaded by Stalin's purges which greatly weakened the leadership. But if you going to pretend that a nation that had just lost after fielding an army of men with essentially pointed sticks was somehow miraculously transformed into technologically forward thinking strategists that then helped the Germans who they'd just been comprehensively beaten by...well i just think its stretching things slightly.

    France also had a well evolved armored doctrine, but their individual units were not as strong as German equivalents.
    No it didn't, it had better tanks that were poorly fielded

    Some aspects of German success owed a lot more to good fortune than good planning.
    You could say that about any army at any point in history

    Their crucial close air support and integrated AA owed a lot more to Germany's inability to invest in a large strategic bomber force than to any well thought out plan.
    They designed and manufactured small and medium sized bombers to give close support to the Army, it was very effective

    Germany also had the advantage of trial runs in Spain and Poland to refine their ideas and iron out some of the bugs in the system.
    So the Polish army being wiped out in 1 month and 5 days was a trial run ? LOL

    The French would have been a lot more capable had they managed the same.
    They had no appetite for a war and neither did the British and who can blame them after suffering the 1st WW

    The 'catch up' was less than you might think. Because the Red Army was already most of the way there, it had more or less 'caught up' doctrinally within 12 months (maybe less).
    The Red army was a complete mess, German forces commented on how poor their Russian equivalents were in 39 after meeting them at the Bug River. This was then confirmed in Finland months later when the Russian army was humiliated by a much smaller Finnish army

    The British didn't really try. They simply refined their own land doctrine & better equipped their armies
    Not sure what you mean by that . So investing in Commando forces and revolutionising warfare is not trying? If the British hadn't tried as you put it The Soviet Union would have collapsed.
    Picture a courthouse with no fuckin laws, Picture a cathouse with no fuckin whores
    Picture a shithouse with no fuckin drains, Picture a leader with no fuckin brains

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 10 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 10 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The Fall of Pelosi?
    By Ironduke in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 15 May 09,, 22:15
  2. The Fall Of Rome?
    By Ironside in forum Ancient, Medieval & Early Modern Ages
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 26 May 06,, 02:47
  3. The Fall of Communism
    By Leader in forum Multimedia & Jukebox room
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 26 Jul 05,, 10:40
  4. The fall of France
    By tarek in forum International Politics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27 Sep 04,, 23:26

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •