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Thread: Fall of France

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    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....

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    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.

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    I have some thoughts on this but I am busy right now.

    I would like to address them tomorrow.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    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
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    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
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    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.
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