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Greatest Blunder: Franco-Prussian vs France 1940 (Round 1)

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  • Greatest Blunder: Franco-Prussian vs France 1940 (Round 1)

    The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71



    Why?
    The brilliant Otto von Bismarck maneuvers the French into declaring war against Prussia. France should have been able to overwhelm the Prussians, but they dither away their advantages & fall prey to some terrible military & political moves from their leaders.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Prussian_War
    http://francoprussianwar.com/
    http://history-world.org/franco_prussian_war.htm

    The French had many things going for them-400,000 regular soldiers armed with one of the best rifles in the world at that time (Chassepot rifle), a working machine gun (mitrailleuse), a large navy (2nd only to Britain), & good artillery. This was matched against about a million Prussian conscripts & their German allies, the Dreyse Needle Gun (not nearly as effective as the Chassepot), and a better railway system. The two major advantages the Prussians had were their artillery (excellent Krupp pieces) & Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke. The French blundered through mobilization, allowing the Prussians to concentrate & implement their strategy. The French commander Marshal Francois-Achille Bazaine was no match for Von Moltke. In a series of running battles (Wissembourg, Spicheren, Worth, Mars-La-Tour, Gravelotte, & Sedan), the Prussians outmaneuvered & outfought the French……but some of the more aggressive Prussian commanders caused tremendous & needless casualties when they attempted to pit the older Prussian rifles against the newer French ones-in many cases only being saved only by their superior artillery. The Emperor, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte III, surrendered at Sedan & his empire crumbled, leading to the unification of Germany.



    Battle of France 1940


    Why?
    This disaster began with the French and British effectively blundering into a trap, anticipating one thing when the Germans were doing quite another. A combination of unexpected direction of the first main German thrust, the sheer speed of their advance and their outstanding CCC (Command, Control and Communications), combined with excellent co-operation between their ground and air elements, put the Allies ‘on the back foot’ from the very beginning. The French and their Allies fought bravely; often with stubbornness and tenacity, and managed to cause the Germans a few nervous episodes but to no avail. All too often their overall co-ordination was ineffective and they were unable to recover their balance enough for a viable defence. A military disaster of huge proportions unfolded with a rapidity that surprised even the Germans themselves and in little more than 6 weeks Nazi Germany had gained control of France, Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands; and expelled the British from the Continent of Europe.


    The ‘Battle of France’, as it is popularly known, fell into two main phases:

    Phase 1:
    The German offensive in the West began on May 10. Believing that the initial main attack was going to come through central/northern Belgium, the bulk of the best BEF units and sizeable French forces drove into Belgium to counter it. The Germans certainly did attack through this area but, the main German armoured thrust was to come instead through the Ardennes further south (Luxembourg and southern Belgium) and then advance rapidly west and north to the Channel coast, trapping the British and French against the sea. This forced an emergency evacuation during the last week of May and into the first week of June; mainly via Dunkirk, which was largely successful, with almost 340,000 British and French troops escaping. French units had played a major role in helping to maintain an effective defensive perimeter, these defences being a significant part of the reason that so many troops managed to escape. However, the Allied forces had been seriously weakened and those remaining in the fight were now in a very precarious position indeed.
    Round 1 to the Germans.

    Phase 2:
    Beginning 5 June, the Germans’ second main thrust went around the Maginot Line. To some extent, the Line had worked as intended (restricting the avenues of invasion to enable, in theory at least, more effective and concentrated deployment of mobile defence) but here again, the speed and co-ordination of the German offensive proved decisive. Despite further stubborn, desperate and valiant French resistance, which did impose some short delays, the Germans drove deep into the French interior, marching triumphantly into Paris on June 14. With the French capital now in German hands, Churchill ordered the withdrawal of the remainder of the BEF; these units, along with Canadians, French, Czechs and Poles being evacuated from Cherbourg and other western ports. Following the resignation of French Premier Paul Reynaud, Petain had taken over and announced on June 17 that an Armistice was being sought. Sporadic fighting continued but the struggle was now all but over, with the Armistice taking effect on June 25.
    Round 2, and victory, to the Germans.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_France
    75
    The Franco-Prussian War 1870-1871
    46.67%
    35
    The Battle of France 1940
    53.33%
    40
    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

    Prayers.

    BoRG

    http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

  • #2
    What evil force caused this matchup? Flip a coin..................
    Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

    Prayers.

    BoRG

    http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

    Comment


    • #3
      I went with the Franco Prussian war. The French had a chance to win but always chose the wrong path.

      I think in 1940 the Germans just had the Doctrinal edge which is a long term path of choices. I just do not see the French winning in the long run no matter what.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Salinator View Post
        What evil force caused this matchup? Flip a coin..................
        Take a wild guess...
        Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

        It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

        Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

        BORG

        Comment


        • #5
          This one is much the same as the two disastrous Russian Campaigns in another match up. Which was the biggest Battle for Dummies?

          Darn hard pick. Can we pick two?


          Coin toss and the winner is

          1940

          1940 the war that France had been preparing for for a long time. They had time to react to the reoccupation of the Saar and Rhineland, Czechoslovakia and Austria. They didn't do a thing.
          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's got to be the Franco-Prussian War. Anybody who's read a little about it will quickly find out that it was a blunder from beginning to the end. Not just one or two but many...

            The fall of France in 1940 was one blunder and then "THE END", plain and simple!

            Therefore my vote goes to the Franco-Prussian War

            And it get's 20% of my vote due to the lovely painting above: "The Last Cartridges"
            Last edited by Stratego; 17 May 10, 04:32.
            Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.- Napoleon

            It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.- Herman Melville

            Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

            BORG

            Comment


            • #7
              Franco-Prussian War easily. From start to finish nothing but blunders from the French. Even the declaration of war was a blunder and it went nowhere but downhill from there for Nappy III and his generals.
              Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by R. Evans View Post
                Franco-Prussian War easily. From start to finish nothing but blunders from the French. Even the declaration of war was a blunder and it went nowhere but downhill from there for Nappy III and his generals.
                Voted 1870 too, with as you state the preliminaries in mind in particular.
                Since their reaction to the Ems telegram, the French (NapoleonIII) seemed to do nothing but the (North-) German (Bismarck's) bidding
                BoRG

                You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MajorSennef View Post
                  Voted 1870 too, with as you state the preliminaries in mind in particular.
                  Since their reaction to the Ems telegram, the French (NapoleonIII) seemed to do nothing but the (North-) German (Bismarck's) bidding
                  Yep. Nappy blundered so badly that the Prussians even got the Bavarians to go to war on their side. The Bavarians had actually sided with the Austrians just 4 years previous.
                  Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stratego View Post
                    It's got to be the Franco-Prussian War. Anybody who's read a little about it will quickly find out that it was a blunder from beginning to the end. Not just one or two but many...

                    The fall of France in 1940 was one blunder and then "THE END", plain and simple!

                    Therefore my vote goes to the Franco-Prussian War

                    And it get's 20% of my vote due to the lovely painting above: "The Last Cartridges"
                    Where do you get only one blunder? It was a long series of blunders, one after the other that led to 1940.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with most of you when you say it's a tossup. The simplified version is that Sedan 1870 and France 1940 were different versions of the same blunder - that of pitting a French force against the German war machine. The Maginot Line?
                      ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                      IN MARE IN COELO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The French had poor command. Did they not have better rifles, yet they could not even stop the Prussians in their tracks.
                        http://www.historynotes.info/wp-cont...of-Austria.jpg

                        Archduke Charles!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Um... tough call.

                          Each time the French declared war against the Prussians/Germans. Each time they suffered a series of cockups that soon led to their being invaded and eventual demise when raw stats suggest they should have won. Each time the French demise served to secure the ascendance of their 'victims'.

                          Franco-Prussian war, albeit only because I suspect 1940 is likely to attract more love.
                          Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            70/71 because they blundered away the immesseaurable advantage to keep the germans divided, weak and thus conquerable.



                            "Salus Ceasari nostro Guilelmo" (Hail Ceasar, our Willhelm) by Friedrich Wilhelm Voigt in 1871 for his Imperial Majesty Willhelm I, King of Prussia & German Kaiser.

                            Quotes the "Rejoice greatly, oh daughter of Zion" by Händel:

                            Daughter Zion, rejoice ye, jubilate loudly, Jerusalem!
                            See, your King comes to you, yes, he comes, the lord of peace
                            Daughter Zion, rejoice ye, jubilate loudly, Jerusalem!

                            Hosanna, Son of David, your people be blessed!
                            Found now your eternal Reich, Hosanna in (heavenly) heights!
                            Hosanna, Son of David, your people be blessed!

                            Hosanna, Son of David! Greetings, gentle King!
                            Eternally stands your throne of peace, you, the eternal fathers child!
                            Hosanna, Son of David! Greetings, gentle King!

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3y9u-dGDOg
                            Ha, wie so stolz und hehr
                            Wirft über Land und Meer
                            Weithin der deutsche Aar
                            Flammenden Blick.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                              This one is much the same as the two disastrous Russian Campaigns in another match up. Which was the biggest Battle for Dummies?

                              Darn hard pick. Can we pick two?


                              Coin toss and the winner is

                              1940

                              1940 the war that France had been preparing for for a long time. They had time to react to the reoccupation of the Saar and Rhineland, Czechoslovakia and Austria. They didn't do a thing.
                              I concur. Everybody in the world knew this was coming. And they still messed it up!
                              History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte
                              _________
                              BoRG
                              __________
                              "I am Arthur, King of the Britons!"

                              Comment

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