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Allied invasion in September 1939

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  • #16
    Had the British even been engaged before the order to withdraw was given?
    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
      Had the British even been engaged before the order to withdraw was given?
      Yep,...first contact by lead elements of German infantry made contact on the 12th or 13th of May and were promptly seen off. After that the Brits, Belgies and French were engaged pretty heavily right through the retreat.
      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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      • #18
        The French did in fact carry out an offensive in 1939, didn't they? As I recall about eleven divisions moved unopposed into the Saarland, penetrating about 8km into Germany before coming to a halt just before the German lines, nervous of the heavily mined territory in front of them. They withdrew to their barracks along the Maginot Line shortly thereafter.

        Such "novel" tactics as setting loose squealing pigs through minefields to clear them were employed during the campaign.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Terranix
          The French did in fact carry out an offensive in 1939, didn't they? As I recall about eleven divisions moved unopposed into the Saarland, penetrating about 8km into Germany before coming to a halt just before the German lines, nervous of the heavily mined territory in front of them. They withdrew to their barracks along the Maginot Line shortly thereafter.
          Yep,...they did. It was a rather cumbersome and ineffecient operation

          Originally posted by Terranix
          Such "novel" tactics as setting loose squealing pigs through minefields to clear them were employed during the campaign.
          Have you a source for this? Seems a bit silly but then again better a pig than a poilu.
          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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          • #20
            I am not sure french were ill prepared at all. their strategy was very sound.

            the latest issue of S&T (France 1940) summarizes the latest schlar's research on France in 1939-1940, and dispells many of the myths there.

            France was well motivated, well defended, had doctrine of mobile defence in depth, had good tanks and more than Germany, had more planes than Germany, etc. but it's strategy was of long term defence (to build up forces from it's colonial empire and allies of which the BEF was a key first start - a sure way to win). Even the Maginot line was a smart idea in fact.

            of course Germany's plans disrupted that. but France was far from a lost fight.


            but invading Germany, across the Siegfried line was not something france doctrine called for - it was for advance a little, secure the gains, under screen of cavalry. it would not have suffered great losses because it woudl not have carried massive attacks like in august 1914. it's infantry doctrine was of "fire kills", i.e. artillery was to be the killer and infantry had to advance slowly, covered and protected. Hardly a strategy for winning breakthroughs, but also one of conservation of force and life.
            "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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            • #21
              Originally posted by piero1971
              I am not sure french were ill prepared at all. their strategy was very sound.
              It is not simply a matter of counting guns and tanks. France had plenty of both but overall level of training in the army was very low.

              Originally posted by piero1971
              the latest issue of S&T (France 1940) summarizes the latest schlar's research on France in 1939-1940, and dispells many of the myths there.

              France was well motivated, well defended, had doctrine of mobile defence in depth, had good tanks and more than Germany, had more planes than Germany, etc. but it's strategy was of long term defence (to build up forces from it's colonial empire and allies of which the BEF was a key first start - a sure way to win). Even the Maginot line was a smart idea in fact.
              Not having that issue I cannot comment but I would approach it with some caution if it is claiming the French army was "well motivated",...that cannot definitely not be said of the vast majority of the troops. The rest is well known except perhaps the strategy of mobile defence and "long war",...both of which have been commented on here previously.


              Originally posted by piero1971
              of course Germany's plans disrupted that. but France was far from a lost fight.
              The results of 1940 would tend to disprove this conclusion.

              Originally posted by piero1971
              but invading Germany, across the Siegfried line was not something france doctrine called for - it was for advance a little, secure the gains, under screen of cavalry. it would not have suffered great losses because it woudl not have carried massive attacks like in august 1914. it's infantry doctrine was of "fire kills", i.e. artillery was to be the killer and infantry had to advance slowly, covered and protected. Hardly a strategy for winning breakthroughs, but also one of conservation of force and life.
              Exactly as commented above in previous posts, "Methodical Battle" would not have won the war for the allies in 1939.
              The Purist

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

              Comment

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