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80th anniversary of the German attack on France through the Ardennes (May 10, 1940)

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  • 80th anniversary of the German attack on France through the Ardennes (May 10, 1940)

    Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of the attack on Belgium. It was a perfect storm of luck by the Germans and failure to adapt to modern warfare by the allies. So many things could have made a difference. I am thinking of the lack of coordination between the British army and the French. The poor use of armor by the Allies. The morale of the French army and even the sabotage by the communists at the behest of Moscow. My question is, given all this, could the allies have defeated the Germans in 1940 or was the loss of France inevitable?

  • #2
    Originally posted by TJN006 View Post
    [....]My question is, given all this, could the allies have defeated the Germans in 1940
    No of course not. It would always taken years to defeat Germany or the Germans.

    or was the loss of France inevitable ?
    That's a different matter.
    Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

    Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post

      No of course not. It would always taken years to defeat Germany or the Germans.



      That's a different matter.
      So the invasions can only go one way in this mountain range?
      Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

      Prayers.

      BoRG

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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Salinator View Post
        So the invasions can only go one way in this mountain range ?
        In 1940 ? I'm afraid so yes.

        Well maybe the French in particular can advance into the Ardennes, they did in fact, but that doesn't 'defeat the Germans' in any way I can imagine...

        Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

        Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TJN006 View Post
          So many things could have made a difference. I am thinking of the lack of coordination between the British army and the French.
          There was very good coordination between the British and French armies. The French told the British what to do and the British did it. Until almost too late.

          My question is, given all this, could the allies have defeated the Germans in 1940 or was the loss of France inevitable?

          As Snowygerry said, the Allies couldn't defeat Germany in 1940 (and probably not at all unless the USA or USSR get involved), they could avoid defeat however. Most obvious ways were to strengthen French 2nd and 9th Army's and to cancel the 'Breda' variant of Plan D.
          The second might see the French with enough mobile forces to cordon the German breakthrough on the Meuse, the former might have prevented a breakthrough altogether.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gooner View Post

            There was very good coordination between the British and French armies. The French told the British what to do and the British did it. Until almost too late.
            Belgium didn't cooperate or coordinate with the Allies until the Germans had kicked in the door.
            You'll live, only the best get killed.

            -General Charles de Gaulle

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            • #7
              Well the allied plan to have yet another war in Belgium didn't suit us.

              "Stopping" the Germans in 1940 means they're stuck here for another 4-5 years.

              Best to have them move on quickly, as happened.

              Want to fight for your country do it at home
              Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

              Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
                Well the allied plan to have yet another war in Belgium didn't suit us.

                "Stopping" the Germans in 1940 means they're stuck here for another 4-5 years.

                Best to have them move on quickly, as happened.

                Want to fight for your country do it at home
                They stayed on vacation with you or the next five years. I've been to Brussels and it isn't that interesting ....
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  Most moved on to Russia fairly quickly, after that it was just a matter of time.

                  Can't disagree with you on Brussels, I only go there to meet the King
                  Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                  Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
                    Well the allied plan to have yet another war in Belgium didn't suit us.

                    "Stopping" the Germans in 1940 means they're stuck here for another 4-5 years.
                    Another war in Belgium suited Germany just fine however. Had Belgium joined the Allies almost at any time before May 1940, there was every chance of stopping the Germans at the border and/or the PFA/PFL positions.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                      Had Belgium joined the Allies almost at any time before May 1940, there was every chance of stopping the Germans at the border and/or the PFA/PFL positions.
                      They did join the allies untill 1936 - they refused to go on the offensive and finish the job started in 1914.

                      Even joined the occupation of the Ruhr but that was abandoned for political reasons.

                      The border was deemed undefendable, there was always going to be a huge gap to the north, PFA/PFL line was to far west, giving up the industrial zone along the Meuse.

                      Thus the Ardennes were abandoned, leaving the Germans a "golden bridge" - the allies never adjusted their plans accordingly.

                      There was also a general reluctance to invite "French communists" in to guard against "German fascists", it was a complicated time...untill '41 when things became clearer.

                      Another war in Belgium suited Germany just fine however.
                      To be fair - told them to stay home also, they should have listened,

                      Belgians usually know best, listen to them
                      Last edited by Snowygerry; 12 May 20, 07:02.
                      Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                      Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snowygerry View Post
                        The border was deemed undefendable, there was always going to be a huge gap to the north, PFA/PFL line was to far west, giving up the industrial zone along the Meuse.
                        Thus the Ardennes were abandoned, leaving the Germans a "golden bridge" - the allies never adjusted their plans accordingly.
                        Good oversight here: http://niehorster.org/021_belgium/fo...ts-part_01.htm


                        The best of the Allied forces on the border with the BEF on the German one from 1939 should have make it pretty safe, with defence in depth if forced to retire.

                        The weak point was always going to be the Ardennes. But even there a determined delaying action could have slowed enemy advance to a crawl. The irony is that Belgium's best troops were there in May 1940 and they could have fought a determined delaying action giving the French time to reinforce the Meuse line.

                        The Germans *may* have though an attack across the Maginot safer.

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                        • #13
                          Ah, sorry -

                          PFN/PFL is the line they actually defended yes, that's where the investment in fortifications was made, and Antwerp.

                          It's KW that's too far west, that was the second line of defense.

                          I'm sure they intended to hold the Germans on the Meuse and deflect them, that part of Belgium would have been acceptable to turn into a battlefield for several years.



                          The "strongholds" on your map there, were defended by the Chasseurs Ardennais alone, under orders to blow up bridges etc and retreat before the enemy, those positions were never intended to be held by the Belgian army after '36.

                          Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                          But even there a determined delaying action could have slowed enemy advance to a crawl. The irony is that Belgium's best troops were there in May 1940 and they could have fought a determined delaying action giving the French time to reinforce the Meuse line.
                          Could have yes, but such orders were never given, which leads me to conclude it was a deliberate choice, unlike the position Liege for example where they clearly wanted to hold but failed.

                          A "golden bridge" if you will.
                          Last edited by Snowygerry; 12 May 20, 08:45.
                          Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                          Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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                          • #14
                            The command that held the Ardennes on may 10th was "group K" named after their commander Keyaerts,

                            Their movements are recorded down to single companies, sometimes guarding 20km of front/border.

                            In Dutch only I'm afraid.

                            https://18daagseveldtocht.be/ardeens...deense-jagers/
                            Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                            Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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                            • #15
                              The southern dot on your map, Arlon, for example was held by :

                              The 1st and 9th companies (without their platoons of machine guns) of the 1st regiment.

                              These companies are commanded by Captain Mathen and include 36 destruction detachments and 2 derailment teams at various vital points in the region.

                              In addition, a small anti-aircraft post in Arlon is manned and the city is defended as a support point.

                              This defense must be carried out until the destruction teams have returned, after which the two companies can return to Neufchâteau via Habay-la-Neuve.
                              The irony of the situation is of course that we now know that, allied commanders at the time most likely didn't, while Germans probably did.







                              Last edited by Snowygerry; 12 May 20, 09:14.
                              Lambert of Montaigu - Crusader.

                              Bolgios - Mercenary Game.

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