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France holds 1940

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  • France holds 1940

    The German crossings at the Meuse River fail. They don't get the breakthrough at Sedan and their forces in Belgium end up facing British and French opposition sufficient to hold them near the French border.
    Belgium and the Netherlands have fallen.

    The British and French air forces have been beaten up as has the Luftwaffe. On the Ground the Allies don't have the forces to go on any sort of offensive and dig in. The Germans lack the means to launch a new major offensive themselves. By July stalemate has set in.

    World War 1 1/2 has begun...

  • #2
    Maybe if they declared DeGaulle's nose a fortress...
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    • #3
      The scenario is quite believable. Among other possibilities, the Germans are held up enough for Hitler to get cold feet and not allow an, even delayed, chance at a breakthrough.

      Also, after even a fairly short stalemate allied numbers would increase more than Germans due to 1) slowly increasing British numbers 2) the need to
      keep significant German forces in the east to deter Stalin. And the French/British air forces would increase from both country production and French purchases in the United States. Without dominance in the air and with some allied strategic reserve the german generals might get rather restless with Adolph's leadership.

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      • #4
        Its hard to immagine now, but this is the result that was expected in the West, AND in the East.
        Nobody was more appalled by the fall of France than Stalin.
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

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        • #5
          Some likelihoods:

          Italy doesn't enter the war seeing Germany flounder.

          The British at least try one major offensive to see it shot to pieces.

          Without the Atlantic ports in France the U-boat war goes poorly compared to the historical result.

          The US is more reluctant to enter the war in Europe at all. Lend-Lease doesn't occur. It is "cash and carry."

          France, with Britain's assistance starts a frenzied effort to build a Maginot Line to the Channel.

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          • #6
            Think we discussed this a couple of years ago. Conclusion was that the French army and government were in such a poor state that even Napoleon reborn would not have been able to stop the Germans in 1940.
            "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              The US is more reluctant to enter the war in Europe at all. Lend-Lease doesn't occur. It is "cash and carry."
              The politicians and US business leaders were working their way around to proposing a system of loans, and in the previous Great War. There were several advantage to both sides for this, & the disadvantages would seem less important after the shock and pain of a summer 1940 battle.

              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              France, with Britain's assistance starts a frenzied effort to build a Maginot Line to the Channel.
              Anything on the scale of the CORF project would have required three to five years to become usefull. The French stratigic plan had its army rearmed & retrained in two years & expected Germany to in severe economic straits in two years or less. So even a less construction project would not have been attractive. All the armies present would have spent a lot of time digging entrenchements in depth, but pouring concrete that would not be of use for a year would detract from the rearmament program.

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              • #8
                Getting back to July 1940 note how the Brits did not give up in Norway until France asked for the armistice. With a intact western front there is the question of how long the Allied enclaves in Norway could hold on?

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                • #9
                  For this to happen to Meuse line needed to hold, both in Belgium and France, if just Sedan holds for example but not the forts around Liege, the Germans pour into France from Flanders instead of - as it happened - through the Ardennes.
                  High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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                  • #10
                    There are just too many socio-economic/politcal-military fundamentals to change to make this realistically possible. To generalize, with the old officer corps and generals firmly secured in their positions, any desire for change will be met with a great deal of skepticism and suspicion.....which historically happened. A government teetering on varying degrees of instability and/or unpopularity doesn't help. Also to consider, Germany and the USSR are de facto allies, and this fact is not ignored by the strong Communist influence in France, notably the very powerful Unions and labor organizations. It is still a sensitive and hotly debated topic among a few historians in France about whether or not there were communists which engaged in sabotage and espionage on behalf of the Germans/Soviets.

                    (incidentally, within the French army was a selected "B" class unit compromising of troops whose political leanings were deemed undesirable and these men were place in such units where, ostensibly the army could keep an eye on them and prevent them from spreading their ideological beliefs onto the rest of the army. Albert Camus was in such a unit. They were not trusted to do much, if any fighting were it required of them, and some were already uncomfortable enough about issueing these men weapons. Coincidentally, and very unfortunately, such units were placed in reserve areas near Sedan of all places.)

                    A one-pronged attack might delay the inevitable, but we're still dealing with two very different doctrines. If the Germans are held long enough for the Allies to realize that the Germans are fighting a very different kind of war....it's possible tactics could have adapted to counter this, but this takes time, and something the Allies didn't have was time. I think people tend to be fascinated with the tactics Germany used above all else, but few consider that in the greater scheme of things, it was timing that I feel was on Hitler's side. He couldn't have done it a few years earlier, and waiting too long gives France and UK time to catch up industrially, among other things. It had to be May of 1940, or not at all.
                    Last edited by asterix; 06 May 14, 11:25.
                    You'll live, only the best get killed.

                    -General Charles de Gaulle

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                      Getting back to July 1940 note how the Brits did not give up in Norway until France asked for the armistice. With a intact western front there is the question of how long the Allied enclaves in Norway could hold on?
                      Not correct. The British were out of (Northern) Norway on June 8th. And they had decided to withdraw a week before. Of course, without informing their Norwegian allies......

                      Fred
                      Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
                      River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by leandros View Post
                        Not correct. The British were out of (Northern) Norway on June 8th. And they had decided to withdraw a week before. Of course, without informing their Norwegian allies......

                        Fred
                        Actually, the decision to evacuate, in view of the deteriorating situation in France & the Low Countries, was made, in principle, by the War Cabinet on 23 May, and subsequently ratified by the Supreme War Council. ( CAB 65/13 in the British National Archives contains the relevant papers).

                        Lord Cork was informed on 25 May, and General Bethouart on 26 May. Detailed evacuation orders were prepared, and issued on 31 May, and the Norwegian Government informed on 1 June.

                        The King of Norway was informed on 2 June by the British Minister in Norway, Cecil Dormer.

                        Therefore, the suggestion that the British were, as usual, the villains of the piece is not in accordance with the historical facts, especially since the decision was not made by the British alone, but jointly with the French.

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                        • #13
                          Here is more. What could have made a difference was if the British, instead of advertising their withdrawal so placantly to the Germans, had used their evacuation fleet to reinforce and resupply their divisions in the Dunkirk beachhead. If so, the Germans could not have freed so much forces, ground and air, for their renewed offensive towards central France so fast. And use the RAF to its maximum instead of sparing it to secure their own survival. The Luftwaffe had already been given a proper beating.

                          They had all they needed of artillery and vehicles, among it 200 Bofors guns if I remember correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong. Those long cues of soldiers stretching out into the Channel could instead have been used to shift supplies the other way.

                          Just my opinion.....

                          Fred
                          Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
                          River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
                            Actually, the decision to evacuate, in view of the deteriorating situation in France & the Low Countries, was made, in principle, by the War Cabinet on 23 May, and subsequently ratified by the Supreme War Council. ( CAB 65/13 in the British National Archives contains the relevant papers).

                            Lord Cork was informed on 25 May, and General Bethouart on 26 May. Detailed evacuation orders were prepared, and issued on 31 May, and the Norwegian Government informed on 1 June.

                            The King of Norway was informed on 2 June by the British Minister in Norway, Cecil Dormer.

                            Therefore, the suggestion that the British were, as usual, the villains of the piece is not in accordance with the historical facts, especially since the decision was not made by the British alone, but jointly with the French.
                            Bad enough. They did the same in Greece and the Dutch East Indies, too. And Southern Norway a month before Narvik.

                            Fred
                            Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
                            River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by leandros View Post
                              Here is more. What could have made a difference was if the British, instead of advertising their withdrawal so placantly to the Germans, had used their evacuation fleet to reinforce and resupply their divisions in the Dunkirk beachhead. If so, the Germans could not have freed so much forces, ground and air, for their renewed offensive towards central France so fast. And use the RAF to its maximum instead of sparing it to secure their own survival. The Luftwaffe had already been given a proper beating.

                              They had all they needed of artillery and vehicles, among it 200 Bofors guns if I remember correctly. Please correct me if I am wrong. Those long cues of soldiers stretching out into the Channel could instead have been used to shift supplies the other way.

                              Just my opinion.....

                              Fred
                              Your strategic theories are as eccentric as ever..

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