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  • Opposing Plans and the Battle of France.

    Mick,

    Have a read of the first three posts of this link (if you have not already) before proceeding with the three following below.

    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ht=France+1940
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

  • #2
    Opposing Plans Part 1 of 3

    Planning for Victory

    The Development of Plan Yellow

    I do not believe that the case can be made that the Germans either lured the allied armies into a huge trap or that the Germans knew themselves whether the final version of Plan Yellow would result in a crushing victory or a horrifying and humiliating defeat. What is further questionable is whether the discovery of the German operational plans in the crash at Mechelen-sur-Meuse was of any value to the Germans in formulating the final draft of the plan. In the following paragraphs, I hope to show that the German plan was as successful as it was due to the explosive drive of the XIX Panzer Corps, the failure of the French command system and the collapse of the poorly trained French units at the point of decision at Sedan. This is not to say that the switching of the main German effort from the central Belgian plain to the southern Ardennes was not crucial in paving the way for the stunning German victory, only that the plan itself, even with Guderian's drive, was no guarantee of success.

    The first mention of committing panzers to the Ardennes came about in the October revision where five panzer divisions would move north and four divisions would move south of Liege (through the Ardennes). All of these were in Army Group B and Rundstedt's army group would secure the flank of the advance towards Sedan. (Page 229, "Strange Victory", Ernest R May). At this point Rundstedt and his staff (including Manstein), requested more troops to help protect the southern flank and guard against an allied counteroffensive into flank or their own offensive into the Ruhr. The staff appreciation also noted that the allies might leave themselves weak south of the Belgian plains if they advanced strongly into central Belgium. If this were to happen, it might open the opportunity to exploit such weakness near Sedan. The OKH initial response declines any strengthening of Army Group A but does take note of the possibilities of some actions near Sedan in the November revision to Plan Yellow. As can be seen, the certainty that the allies would advance deeply into Belgium was not cemented into OKH calculations, those of Army Group A or Manstein's thoughts.

    Come November, as the strength of the German army in the west past the 100 division mark, Rundstedt's army group was assigned the XIX Pz Corps (at the time to consist of two panzer and two motor divisions) at Hitler's insistence. Hitler himself had become intrigued at the idea of a possible victory at Sedan. Hitler further directed that Plan Yellow deployment now become flexible enough that the main weight of armour could be directed either to the north or through the south at or near Sedan (May, Pg 232). Indeed this was the plan that would have gone into effect had not the incident at Mechelen forced Hitler to postpone the offensive.

    Manstein's memoranda on the plan struck the right notes in criticising the proposed operations as coming up short of achieving victory. However, he also admits in his memoirs that just because OKH had not shared their plan for future operations south of the Somme that he believed such plans did not exist or could not be developed later. What caught Hitler's attention in November was the idea of "victory" and Manstein himself did not conceive of the idea of the full weight being directed through the Ardennes towards Sedan and thence to the English at Abbeville (at least in writing) until late December. At about the same time Halder also concluded that the Sedan axis warranted further strengthening when intelligence reports thought they detected some weakness in French deployments between Longwy and Bouillon.

    As late as January, with everyone from Hitler on down through Halder to Manstein was now looking at the Ardennes and Sedan with more and more focus, no firm information on French intentions were available nor had such conclusions been drawn by the major participants on the German staffs. The OKH war diary speaks of Halder's intent on January 6th to make Brussels a main thrust with an assault through the Ardennes only "if the French armies invited it by putting the Ourthe River at their backs". As the plans were further developed it took many more weeks of staff work and planning by OKH before Halder signed off on the final version of Plan Yellow. Halder noted after the war that his holding out for the flexible response of the late winter planning session was based on the fact that they did not know how far the allies would advance into Belgium (Pg 23, "Breaking Point Sedan", Robert Doughty). Despite the acceptance of the plan and the support given to it by Hitler and Guderian, misgivings abounded. It would fall to General Guderian, commander of the largest panzer corps, to prove the case one way or the other.

    To test the possible responses of the French army to developing plan Halder ordered war games in late December to examine three possible scenarios. These scenarios included defending along the French-Belgian border, advancing into Belgium to the Dyle, or advancing to the Albert Canal. In each case Manstein's plan was found to show promise but the possibility of a French counter stroke from the direction of Verdun (the south) was of great concern, especially as the Germans had no idea as to where the French reserves might be located at the time. (Doughty, pg 25). Even later on, when the Germans were more certain in their belief that the allied armies would advance into Belgium and on this assumption made their final dispositions the risks were considered very grave. If the Meuse was not crossed as planned, if the French reinforced faster than expected, if the columns in the forest were spotted early, the whole plan could end in disaster. So many things could go wrong and so much depended on everything going right that few believed the plan would actually work. The question of how the French would respond to the opening German moves was yet to be answered.

    <To be continued>
    Last edited by The Purist; 09 Sep 19, 15:38.
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Opposing Plans Part 2 of 3

      Planning to Avoid Defeat

      French Strategy and the Dyle Plan

      Before turning to the operational decisions made by the French High Command it may be profitable to examine the main tenets of French strategy that led to Gamelin's decisions between the outbreak of war in September of 1939 and the opening of the German offensive in the west the following May. Amongst other factors that must be taken into account in the French military's decision making process that Third Republic France was a liberal democracy with a fractious history balancing on the precipice of a political crisis even as war broke out. To understand why Gamelin finally settled on the Dyle Plan, or Plan D, along with the Breda Variant is the key to understanding why France was so soundly defeated.

      French strategy was defined by the fact she was outmanned by 2 to 1 in men of military age, out produced by Germany's larger and more efficient industry and geographically handicapped by the placement of her largest manpower centres, industrial cities and resource areas. The placement of these centres were almost all defined by a line running from the Swiss border to Paris and then along the Seine River to the English Channel (Doughty, pg 8-10). As such, France must rely on the aid of allies to offset the Germans demographic and industrial advantages and she bent her efforts after World War One to securing this requirement. The French military realised that it would take time for France and her allies to build up the necessary materiel to defeat Germany and thus she adopted the 'Long War' strategy.

      To protect the exposed centres in the northeast France built the Maginot Line to act both as a covering line to protect the army's mobilisation and guard against a surprise attack by the much smaller German army of the 1920's and early 30's. The French right would be covered by a static and fortified zone that would reduce the amount of troops required to defend the northeast, bleeding the German attack while mobile elements of the army stood in reserve to plug any breach and launch counterattacks supported by the flanking positions. This defensive strategy also had the additional benefit that it would free up resources for use elsewhere against the larger Germany army. The Maginot Line was, effectively, a force multiplier. The strength of the fortifications of the Maginot Line would also force upon the Germans an unpleasant choice of assaulting the line frontally or moving west into Belgium, and away from French strategic centres. The intent was to fight Germany on French terms and away from French soil (pg 130, "Arming Against Hitler", Eugenia R Kiesling).

      With the northeast thus protected the French turned their attention to ensuring the protection of French territory to the north. Aware of France's weakening position in an increasingly industrialised world economy the government and military planners realised that France could not fight the war if she suffered even the lose of territory equal to that of 1914-16. Therefore, the French command resolved to fight the battle away from French soil and in the west that meant pushing the battlefield into Belgium. If the Germans were forced westward into Belgium by the presence of the Maginot Line then France would gain the 22 divisions of the Belgian army to add to its own and Britain's strength. Should Holland also be attacked by Germany in an attempt to outflank the Belgian defences or gain bases from which to attack England then a further 10 Dutch divisions would join the allied camp. Since the Germans could not be stopped by the Belgian and Dutch armies on their own the French army must be prepared to move into Belgium and thus keep the battle away from the northern industrial and population centres. The question became one of how far into Belgium the army should advance.

      Finally, the belief entrenched in the minds of the French military survivors from the first war that "Fire Kills" was a foundation stone from which operational and doctrinal decisions were made. It would be a mistake to think that French military thought ceased developing after 1918 for nothing could be further from the truth. As military weapons continued to develop and improve the 1920's and 1930's the belief that "Fire Kills" became stronger than ever and the supremacy of the defence over offence became more solidified in French thinking (Kiesling, pg 120). The belief in the predominance of the defence over attack was such that France anticipating exhausting the German attacks against French defence in depth until the point was reached where the allies would hold a decisive advantage and be able to launch their own carefully planned offensives that would finished of the German army. It is necessary to keep these considerations in mind when examining the events leading Gamelin to the decision to adopt the Dyle Plan and it accompanying Breda Variant.

      When the Polish front collapsed within a few days of the German invasion the French command immediately turned their attention to what steps should be taken when and if the Germans launched an offensive in the west. One of the most vexing problems facing Gamelin in deciding on how to react to a German attack on Belgium was the fact that there had been no liaison with the Belgian command since Belgium withdrew as a neutral back in 1936. A look at the map showed the Belgian army deployed almost as strongly along the French frontier as that of the German and any advance into Belgium was an advance into the unknown. However, since an advance into Belgium was part of French strategy to keep the German army off French soil some sort of plan had to be adopted that would fulfill this mission. Between September and November of 1939, the French command examined numerous possible scenarios; an advance to the Escaut River, which would include occupation of those parts of the Scheldt Estuary with Belgium, an advance to the Namur-Dyle River in central Belgium (Doughty, pg 12). A third option, considered politically unacceptable both within the accepted strategy of forward defence and internationally, was to stand on the French frontier and meet the German attack from prepared positions. The French command also examined the possibility of an Advance to the Albert Canal should Belgian defences hold but this was considered highly unlikely and not explored further.

      The first option, advancing to the Escaut (Scheldt) River, or Plan E, involved an advance of the extreme left wing of the allied army into western Belgium. The line would run from a point approximately 20 miles east of Lille along the course of the river through Tournai then Ghent and to a point east of Antwerp and the Dutch border. The river itself then flowed into neutral Holland and then on to the north sea 50 miles west of Antwerp. The task of wheeling into Belgium would fall to the BEF supported by a French motorised infantry corps on their left. While the mass of the French army stood on the frontier the Escaut deployment would receive the retreating Belgian army and use it to strengthen the allied position between Ghent and Antwerp (May pg. 297-298). This was the initial plan accepted by Gamelin in October as he had little confidence in the Belgians being able to hold their forward defences long enough for the allied armies to advance deeper into Belgium before meeting the Germans. It also worth noting that at about this same time, Manstein's attention was first drawn to the Sedan region while examining the need to strengthen German Army Group A against a flank attack.

      The second option examined by the French was an advance by the allied armies as far as the line running from Antwerp to Louvain, along the Dyle River to Wavre, across the Gembloux Gap to Namur and then south along the Meuse to Givet. The advantages of the Dyle Plan was that it covered much more Belgian territory, pushed the frontline more than 80 miles further into France and took advantage of much more close terrain and major water obstacles. The Dyle itself was not a major river but its very shallow nature would mean receiving the retreating Belgian army would be that much easier. If the Belgians had managed to hold in front of the Dyle it could also be more easily reinforced by the advancing allied army. Behind the Dyle lay wooded highlands that gave way to the sprawling built-up areas of the suburbs of Brussels that presented obstacles to a German advance. On the other side of the Gembloux Gap the west bank of the Belgian Meuse was generally wooded with heights and few towns and villages. The river itself was deep and wide enough to pose a major obstacle to movement as opposed to the French frontier to the southwest that was far more open and rolling farmland. The Belgian and French Meuse was joined at the French border city of Givet which continued the line south to Sedan before the defence turned eastward towards the western end of Maginot Line.

      The terrain benefits of the Dyle Plan made it Gamelin's favourite. Further by mid-November Gamelin received word that the Belgians had made progress in strengthening their defences along the Ardennes canal and that the Dutch had likewise improved their defences facing east in southern Holland. Combined with the expanding size of the BEF and the delivery on more new equipment Gamelin was growing more confident in the (potential) allied ability to resist a German attack. On November 17th he gave the order that the army be ready to implement the Dyle Plan if the opportunity arose (Doughty, pg 14). It was also in November that the first mention of movement of allied troops began to show up in the Gamelin's plans.

      If the allied armies were to venture as far north as Louvain it was noted that the Belgians deployed along Albert Canal between Antwerp and Louvain would need some support. This also led to the idea of linking up with the Dutch forces to the north of Belgian line into a continuous allied front from Zuider Zee to the Swiss border. The forces for this link up were to be drawn from the 7th French Army, moved from the reserve to the far allied left and assigned this task. This addition to the Dyle Plan had the unfortunate effect of removing seven first line divisions (including 1 mechanised and two motorised) from the forces that otherwise might have been in a position to hinder or stop Guderian's drive to the sea. It was a move that was to have a monumental effect on the upcoming campaign.

      As Gamelin was making his changes to the allied plan, on the German side of the hill, the number of panzer divisions assigned to the Ardennes has risen to five, two with XIX Panzer Corps in Army Group A and three more with Army Group B. The remaining five were slated to attack north of the Ardennes and Liege in Army Groups B. As November came to a close the proposed German attack for early December was cancelled due to extremely poor weather and the attack was postponed into the new year. The Mechelen incident early in January was to impose a radical change in the German intentions but the effect of the crash on allied plans is less easy to describe.

      <To be continued>
      Last edited by The Purist; 09 Sep 19, 16:02.
      The Purist

      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Opposing Plans Part 3 of 3

        The Mechelen Effect and Final Dispositions

        The Case Against the Matador's Cloak

        The details of the crash of the ME-108 in Belgian territory and the subsequent discovery of some elements of the German plans did not, as many have suggested, force the German high command to revise the details of Plan Yellow. In fact, the January incident had no impact on the design of the operational plans other than their discovery prompted Hitler to delay the offensive for fear the enemy now knew far too much. Manstein states:

        "In point of fact this misfortune did not lead to any alteration of the operational plan, though it may well have increased the readiness of Hitler and OKH to entertain our Army Group's proposals later on. As it was, a Commander-in-Chief's conference in Bad Godesberg on 25th January of generals commanding Army Groups A and B and their subordinate armies revealed no change in the O.K.H. basic attitude Though the meeting took place some considerable time after the mishap in question, the tasks of the army groups and armies remained the same as before." (Page 118-119, "Lost Victories", Erich von Manstein)

        Once the planned date for the attack had been postponed, the German plan was to evolve bit by bit as Manstein's initial memorandum were further examined and expanded on by Halder and OKH. Between February 20 and the start of the battle a number of war games tested the thesis and the main weight of the German attack shifted further south with two additional panzer divisions being assigned to the Ardennes, leaving only three to the north. The Germans were prepared to execute the daring plan but with few exceptions were anxious about the outcome in the extreme.

        On the allied side the Mechelen incident along with the sound and fury of the initial Germany attacks north of the Ardennes and into Holland is often sited as the main reason for the allied armies moving forward into Belgium and into a carefully laid trap. The evidence does not support this conclusion. As has been noted above the allied plan for the advance and the positions they were to take upon entering Belgium were determined by the Dyle Plan and Breda Variant as far back as November 1939. What occurred along the Meuse between the 12th and 16th of May has more to do with the failure of the French high command to react to an unexpected setback and a further failure of the poorly trained French army to respond quickly enough to a fluid situation. The German tanks in the Gembloux Gap and in Holland as well as the parachute forces attacking the Belgian forts could have doubled the 'noise' they made during the opening moves of the campaign but the simple reality was that the Matador had no cloak to wave to entice the allies forward. Nor is the claim that the French troops were grossly outnumbered at the decisive points along river sustainable at least to the extend that is commonly believed.

        Along the length of the Meuse from Dinant to Sedan stood some twelve French divisions plus their supporting tanks and artillery of the entire 9th Army and the left wing of the 2nd Army. Further, those deployed between Givet and Sedan were occupying positions they had held since September, 1939. Behind the right wing of ten divisions of the French 9th Army stood three more divisions with supporting arms, while behind the left wing of the French 2nd Army stood an additional four divisions. At Rhiems only a few more miles to the south stood three of the four heavy armoured divisions in the French order of battle. To the front of the allied river defences were four out of five French light mechanised cavalry divisions as well as a cavalry brigade and the 3rd Brigade of Spahis. In front of these troops were two more divisions of Belgian troops of the Chasseurs de Ardennais and supporting these were two more divisions further west.

        The failure at Sedan, it all hinged on Sedan after all, was caused by the impact of the strongest panzer corps in the German army striking the weakest link in allied defensive chain. Yet even the defeats suffered at Sedan and Dinant were not irrecoverable for an army that was trained to respond quickly and attack, this army did not exist (Kiesling, pg 173). Nowhere were the numbers so lopsided that properly trained French reserves could not have made a better showing on the battlefield. The one-year conscript and the poorly trained reservist that were a product of the 1923 and 1928 conscription laws and the armies leaders simply lacked the skills to implement even the safest of doctrines. The fallacy behind the belief in "fire kills" was fully exposed at Sedan and elsewhere and the French high command from Gamelin on down were paralysed within the immediacy of the events surrounding them. They never recovered.

        The French were defeated because the German soldier had been trained to think and act autonomously and not to rely on top-down command and control of the battlefield. The German soldier was encouraged to improvise, such actions amongst the French were "anathema" (Kiesling, pg 174). This is not to say that French soldiers did not fight hard in the opening engagements but from the first encounters up through final dissolution they, and their officers, recognised that their method for fighting the current battle were woefully inadequate. They then drew the appropriate conclusions. With the army fielded by France in May and June 1940, whether the Germans struck the French with the heaviest blow at Sedan or elsewhere along the front in Belgium the result would not have been much different.
        Last edited by The Purist; 09 Sep 19, 16:01.
        The Purist

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

        Comment


        • #5
          You should really read K.-H. Frieser's "Blitzkrieg Legend" and perhaps also Florian K. Rothbrust's "Guderian's XIXth Panzer Corps and the Battle of France", both sum up the current state of research very nicely, and Frieser's book in general is one of the best histories ever written for any campaign.
          Most planning documents and so on are documented in H.-A. Jacobsen's "Dokumente zum Westfeldzug".
          Last edited by Michate; 19 Feb 08, 07:38.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Michate View Post
            You should really read K.-H. Frieser's "Blitzkrieg Legend" and perhaps also Florian K. Rothbrust's "Guderian's XIXth Panzer Corps and the Battle of France", both sum up the current state of research very nicely, and Frieser's book in general is one of the best histories ever written for any campaign.
            Most planning documents and so on are documented in H.-A. Jacobsen's "Dokumente zum Westfeldzug".
            Sounds interesting. What are the major tenets of his thesis?
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michate View Post
              You should really read K.-H. Frieser's "Blitzkrieg Legend" and perhaps also Florian K. Rothbrust's "Guderian's XIXth Panzer Corps and the Battle of France", both sum up the current state of research very nicely, and Frieser's book in general is one of the best histories ever written for any campaign.
              Most planning documents and so on are documented in H.-A. Jacobsen's "Dokumente zum Westfeldzug".
              Michate,

              Thanks for the Rothbrust reference, I have not seen it. I enjoyed Frieser's (and I look forward, I hope to a separate volume on Barbarossa).

              Have you read Robert Doughty's The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France 1940? His book, focuses on Guderian's XIX PzK. If so, I would be interested in your comparison.

              rna
              Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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              • #8
                Purist,

                As always, a masterful lay down. You should be publishing somewhere!

                rna
                Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                  Purist,

                  As always, a masterful lay down. You should be publishing somewhere!

                  rna
                  Thanks Richard, but I should have let sit another 24 hours. I've spotted a few typographical and other errors I might have caught had I waited.
                  The Purist

                  Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Gerry..have you found any reliable unformation on the various other plans the French had? I have occasionally found refrence to these, but never any usefull details. Knowing those would add quite a bit to understanding Gamelins thinking, and the development of the Dyle Plan.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                      Sounds interesting. What are the major tenets of his thesis?
                      Doctrine, Mon Amis, doctrine, IIRC, he was more Kleist than Kiesling. One of his main themes was the relative response times each Army had. There is a story in there, I seem to remember, about Kirchner getting across the river, getting a 10 minute old recon report from a Storch about a french counterattack and re-directing Panzers recently crossed to get to the high ground and beat the french off.

                      The french counterattack had taken 18 hours to even get moving etc, Kirchner ruined it with on the spot decision making that took ten minutes.

                      Details are a little sketchy in my head without getting it off the shelf but it's an excellent read. I believe he has authored the eastern front sections of the new volume of Germany and the second world war.

                      regards,
                      IronDuke

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=IronDuke;867811
                        The french counterattack had taken 18 hours to even get moving etc, Kirchner ruined it with on the spot decision making that took ten minutes.
                        [/QUOTE]

                        Well, more like a hour. But your point is excellent. Better some action now than than a perfected plan the next day.

                        This thread reminds me of a similar debate in the US Marines back in the 1980s. There was along running dicussion of Wehrmacht combat methods covering at least a decade. If you pick back through the Marine Corps Gazette of that era (some 10,000 pages) there are many articals thrashing through the endless details. Ultimately a slavish reproduction of the Wehrmachts doctrine and tactics was rejected. But speed of decsion and execution became the the core guidance for USMC tactical and operational thinking. Boyds OODA loop was the example most often refered to. This is not to say we rejected the established concept of detailed planning and staff procedures. Rather those aspects were streamlined and attempts were made to conform them to the concept of speed. Commanders and staff analysis was to be distilled to the esentials and to be proactive or anticipatory rather than reactive.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                          Gerry..have you found any reliable information on the various other plans the French had? I have occasionally found reference to these, but never any useful details. Knowing those would add quite a bit to understanding Gamelin's thinking, and the development of the Dyle Plan.
                          Most well researched sources should cover the the four 'plans' examined by the French for the defence of the northern France. As noted, Plan 'E' was favoured at first because Gamelin had no firm idea what could be expected from the Belgians and it was thought Holland would be left out of the fighting. An advance to the Albert Canal was also examined, the line would have run along the northern border from near Antwerp to the Meuse below Liege and along the river to Dinant, Givet and Sedan. It was a very long front and thought unattainable as it would have required the Belgians to hold the frontier for the better part of a week before the allies could arrive in sufficient strength.

                          On a completely opposite tack, the idea of simply standing on the border and digging defences in depth was abandoned as politically, unacceptable,...abandoning the Belgians to destruction without assistance. Perhaps more importantly, standing on the border would have meant overthrowing the strategic requirement to keep the battle away from French territory and thus protect population, resource and industrial centers. It would have also prevented the French army from taking advantage of any strong defensive terrain. Northern France is largely rolling farmland and the "grain" of the terrain did not lend itself to a defence line running from the southeast to the northwest.

                          The Dyle Plan, truth be told, was probable the best choice. It fulfilled the strategic requirement of forward defence, thus protecting strategic targets in the north. Plan D provided excellent defensive terrain and pushed forward the allied main line of defence within easy reach for the retreating Belgian army and its 22 divisions. The problem for the French was the army was simply not trained to handle anything close to the pace imposed by the Germans on the battlefield. However, it is the Breda Variant that draws the heaviest criticism within Plan D as it removed 7 "good" divisions from the French strategic reserve and took them out of the battle on the extreme left of the allied line. Once there they were to play no major role in the battle but what effect they would have had down south is open to debate.

                          As I've posted elsewhere on this topic,...the battle for France was probably lost in the French Chamber of Deputies back in the 1920's when the short term conscription laws were adopted and the reserves left to their own training schemes.
                          Last edited by The Purist; 09 Sep 19, 15:11.
                          The Purist

                          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by IronDuke View Post
                            Doctrine, Mon Amis, doctrine, IIRC, he was more Kleist than Kiesling. One of his main themes was the relative response times each Army had...

                            Ah, well then,...something we already know from Doughty's "Breaking Point: Sedan". Response times should not come as a surprise to anyone who is familiar with the structure of the French system.

                            Still,...I'll probably have to pick it up despite nearly forty other texts waiting on my shelf to be read.

                            Damn your eyes for the suggestion just the same!!
                            The Purist

                            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Gerry...I was thinking of the plans other than the Escaut & Dyle. The prewar plans particularly, and anything that concerned contingencys for the early weeks of mobilizaton/hostilities. What books might there be that discuss those, besides Doughty.

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