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Allied invasion in September 1939

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  • Allied invasion in September 1939

    What difference would it have made?

    Everyone expected a longer Poland-campaign. So maybe the allies intended to invade Germany once they had fully arranged their forces.
    That never happened as we all know.

    So what if the Allies had invaded Germany in maybe mid-September 1939?
    How would it have effected the Poland campaign, the western front and in the end the outcome of WW2?

    1. Poland campaign
    In my opinion, no real difference. The Poles held out without allied help for 2 more weeks anyways in hope for assistence.
    Finishing Poland wouldn't have been more difficult with the diversion of some forces to secure the western front.

    2. Western Front
    The ill-prepared Allies wouldn't have made a breakthrough along the difficult southern Rhine terrain.
    It's no coincidence that the Allies invaded Germany in 1945 through Belgium and Holland.
    All it would have caused would be massive losses on the allied side and also considerable losses on the German side defending, but not as grave.

    3. Outcome of WW2
    Well, there is always the butterfly effect...
    So it's impossible to tell what would have happened if Hitler would have gone to bed 2 seconds earlier when he was seven years old...
    But back to business. I doubt, it would have had any effect on the outcome.

    ------------------

    What's your take? Do you think the Allies could have ended WW2 in 1939, had they invaded Germany when Germany invaded Poland?
    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stuka Rudel View Post
    What difference would it have made?

    Everyone expected a longer Poland-campaign. So maybe the allies intended to invade Germany once they had fully arranged their forces.
    That never happened as we all know.

    So what if the Allies had invaded Germany in maybe mid-September 1939?
    How would it have effected the Poland campaign, the western front and in the end the outcome of WW2?

    1. Poland campaign
    In my opinion, no real difference. The Poles held out without allied help for 2 more weeks anyways in hope for assistence.
    Finishing Poland wouldn't have been more difficult with the diversion of some forces to secure the western front.

    2. Western Front
    The ill-prepared Allies wouldn't have made a breakthrough along the difficult southern Rhine terrain.
    It's no coincidence that the Allies invaded Germany in 1945 through Belgium and Holland.
    All it would have caused would be massive losses on the allied side and also considerable losses on the German side defending, but not as grave.

    3. Outcome of WW2
    Well, there is always the butterfly effect...
    So it's impossible to tell what would have happened if Hitler would have gone to bed 2 seconds earlier when he was seven years old...
    But back to business. I doubt, it would have had any effect on the outcome.

    ------------------

    What's your take? Do you think the Allies could have ended WW2 in 1939, had they invaded Germany when Germany invaded Poland?
    Can you say Operation Sealion in The Spring of 1940?????

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Duke William View Post
      Can you say Operation Sealion in The Spring of 1940?????
      I don't follow you, please elaborate.
      "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

      - Jean-Paul Sartre

      Comment


      • #4
        Had the French launched an offensive in the third or fourth week of September it would have gained little ground and suffered some heavy casualties before grinding to a halt in the Saar. The transfer of German divisions and air units from Poland would have ended the offensive by the end of the month or the first few days of October. At this point the French would have withdrawn into the Maginot Line having accomplished little and lost more.

        The actual campaign the next spring would have been little altered in the long run as the French offensive would have been of short duration and the losses not heavy enough to really matter (other than weakening some of the Active and Category A divisions). The failed attack against the West Wall may have cemented the idea of the power of the defence further into the minds of the French command. The experience, rather than cause more training for the army in offensive operations, may have caused the French to dig more trenches, etc., and firm up the need for finding good defensive terrain for the upcoming battle (the Dyle Plan) Perhaps it might put a healthy fear of the Maginot Line more firmly into the German high command as well ensuring that they looked elsewhere for their own solution.

        End result would most likely still have seen the Germans choose an "alternate" attack to a repeat of the Schieffen Plan and a French defeat in June.
        The Purist

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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          Had the French launched an offensive in the third or fourth week of September it would have gained little ground and suffered some heavy casualties before grinding to a halt in the Saar. The transfer of German divisions and air units from Poland would have ended the offensive by the end of the month or the first few days of October. At this point the French would have withdrawn into the Maginot Line having accomplished little and lost more.

          The actual campaign the next spring would have been little altered in the long run as the French offensive would have been of short duration and the losses not heavy enough to really matter (other than weakening some of the Active and Category A divisions). The failed attack against the West Wall may have cemented the idea of the power of the defence further into the minds of the French command. The experience, rather than cause more training for the army in offensive operations, may have caused the French to dig more trenches, etc., and firm up the need for finding good defensive terrain for the upcoming battle (the Dyle Plan) Perhaps it might put a healthy fear of the Maginot Line more firmly into the German high command as well ensuring that they looked elsewhere for their own solution.

          End result would most likely still have seen the Germans choose an "alternate" attack to a repeat of the Schieffen Plan and a French defeat in June.
          I seem to recall reading that the French were not planning on going on the offensive until sometime after 1940 in order to allow French War Industries to begin turning out newer and improved weaponry. I really should re-read the books that I have about the Fall of France.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
            I seem to recall reading that the French were not planning on going on the offensive until sometime after 1940 in order to allow French War Industries to begin turning out newer and improved weaponry. I really should re-read the books that I have about the Fall of France.
            Actually, they figured that they and their allies would need until 1941 to amass the manpower and materiel in sufficient number to engage the Germans *after* they had bled themselves white in offensive action. French doctrine was based on the concept the "fire kills" and that the defence held sway over the offence even more so than in 1918 because of advances in weapon technology. They believed that an army, properly deployed in depth and with ample reserves, could react to breaches and the line and through judicious use of firepower, close the breach with counterattacks.

            The French realised that these counterattacks would require mobile forces and they created a force of 7 motor infantry divisions, 5 Mech Cav divs, 3 Light Mech divs and the 4 heavy armoured divs. Local support for counterattacks was to be provided by the numerous independant tank battalions (formed into regiments) and attached to various army and corps HQs. The tools were there, the methodology and training was not.

            The problem the French had was in training and in recognising how the "pace" of warfare had changed in the German method. The troops had little if any training in attacks and the nature of organising a "Methodical Battle" was too cumbersome to allow for the rapid response required to meet the pace set by the Germans.
            The Purist

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

            Comment


            • #7
              invade germany in 1939...

              with what?
              where?
              "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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              • #8
                The Frenchies would have sent in their tanks piecemeal with the infantry instead of getting the tanks together for one punch.
                Last edited by Conlin; 28 Aug 07, 19:00.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Conlin View Post
                  The Frenchies would have sent in their tanks piecemeal with the infantry instead of getting the tanks together for one punch.
                  Well,...when dealing with pillboxes, mines, obstacles and dragons teeth I do not see how a massed tank attack would have helped. An attack against a fortified line is exactly what "Methodical Battle" was supposed to to be able to tackle but unfortunately for the French in 1939, they hadn't the training to carry it out, nor would the strategy of bleeding the enemy of his superior strength have yet taken place. Nonetheless, it would be more correct to state that the French did not have enough trained reservists to back up the 'Active' divisions for a long term offensive.

                  A hypothetical attack into the Saar would require at least one battalion of tanks per attacking infantry regiment supported by two or three regiments of artillery (battalion, regimental, divisional and corps assets). The space between the lines was to be staurated by fire and the enemy defences "prepared" by heavy and continuous bombardment. At H-Hour the attacking infantry would advance behind a creeping barrage supported by the tanks. More artillery would be used to pin the enemy in his trenches and bunkers and yet more artillery would interdict known and suspected reserve positions and approach routes. Army cooperation squadrons would be overhead to strike at routes beyond the reach of artillery and to strike enemy troop concentrations and artillery positions missed by the gunners.

                  The depth of the advance in this instance would cover perhaps 5-6 kms before it was halted. The troops would dig in to repel the expected counterattacks, tank units concentrated into a reserve. Once the counterattacks were repulsed the guns would be dragged forward to new positions and a new attack planned.

                  Fresh troops from the reserve regiment would replace those in the first attack while the artillery again began to pound the enemy positions for two to three days. Repeat as above.

                  How this would have worked against an unshaken enemy dug in behind concrete and mines is open to debate.
                  The Purist

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                    invade germany in 1939...

                    with what?
                    where?
                    My point exactly.
                    The Purist

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What would have happened if they did, and failed, miserably, destroying most of their strength??

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        A hypothetical attack into the Saar would require at least one battalion of tanks per attacking infantry regiment supported by two or three regiments of artillery (battalion, regimental, divisional and corps assets). The space between the lines was to be staurated by fire and the enemy defences "prepared" by heavy and continuous bombardment. At H-Hour the attacking infantry would advance behind a creeping barrage supported by the tanks. More artillery would be used to pin the enemy in his trenches and bunkers and yet more artillery would interdict known and suspected reserve positions and approach routes. Army cooperation squadrons would be overhead to strike at routes beyond the reach of artillery and to strike enemy troop concentrations and artillery positions missed by the gunners.
                        Sounds like a large scale version of Plumer's 1917 'Bite and Hold'.
                        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
                          Sounds like a large scale version of Plumer's 1917 'Bite and Hold'.
                          Meeeehhhh,....sort of, "Methodical Battle" went a bit further. Expand the above to an army frontage and one can see the resources and coordination needed. Because the French were horribly afraid of a repeat of the casualties incurred in WWI they planned these battles with tight controls and rigid timelines for obtaining objectives. There would no further attacks after the first bound until it was determined the enemy had further exhausted himself in numerous counterattacks. Only then would the next bound forward be executed.

                          If the enemy front was broken,...that is no more reserves were available,... then the cavalry would be slipped through the front units where they would form a screen to cover the advance of main body to the next objective and locate new enemy positions. If the cavalry arrived on the objective its role was the to cover the deployment of the main body as it prepared for the next round of attacks. However, there was no real plan to "exploit" a breach in the line as in "Blitzkreig" as an open field run would require too many chances and the possibility of surprise, casualties and lose of control. The cavalry was to be kept on a fairly short lease, as at Gembloux in 1940 and the Ardennes (advance and screen).

                          Remember,...the first thing driven into every French soldiers head was "Fire Kills" and that firepower trumped maneuvre in almost every phase of operations. It is not hard to see why the French seemed a bit slow to react to German moves in 1940, they were simply not trained "to react".
                          The Purist

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The French would have been the foundation of any invasion, but were ill prepared for the war. I guess even with the phony war, they were still ill prepared. Britain's professional BEF was prepared and well trained, but small and lightly equipped with armor. They would not have been able to mount an offensive against a German army equipped with Panzer Mk. 4s. If anything, it would have made the allies weaker, the French sector would surly collapse, the British would only have been able to advance so far due to their size, and a general pursuit/counterattack would have been set in motion. Because France and Britain deployed in a defensive position, they were able to hold on to French territory much longer had they spent valuable resources fighting a better equipped German army during an allied invasion.

                            "If it wasn't for the BEF, France would have fallen faster than Poland."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jt1863 View Post
                              ..."If it wasn't for the BEF, France would have fallen faster than Poland."
                              How do you figure this? The Main German assault fell on the French 2nd and 9th armies along the Meuse not on the BEF at Louvain. When the the Germans broke through the BEF and 1st French armies were forced into a fighting withdrawal to the coast with the BEF ending up at Dunkirk and the bulk of the French encircled at Lille. After Dunkirk the rest of the battle was fought almost solely buy the French with only a few divisions of British troops to help out.

                              Nine British divisions along the length of the front (a tenth div in the Maginot Line) did not make that great an impact on the first phase of the campaign and even less in second.
                              The Purist

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

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