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What if Belgium and the Netherlands join the Allies in the war against Germany?

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  • What if Belgium and the Netherlands join the Allies in the war against Germany?

    On 1, September 1939, Germany invades Poland. What happens if Belgium and the Netherlands revoke their neutrality, close their frontiers and join the Allies in their war against Germany? That would give them about 9 months to build up their armed forces, prepare and rearm against the Germans before Hitler's big offensive the following May.

    What would the wratcheting-up of those two country's war industries have meant against Germany? Belgium had the Browning, Fabrique Nationale and Madsen Arms Works and Holland had Fokker, who produced some potentially good aircraft plus a number of other armaments factories as well. They also had the makings of a relatively large, modern, navy that was building in their yards.
    Last edited by johnbryan; 30 Apr 08, 18:46.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    The Allies could have used them as an air base and an alternative to landing in France on D-day.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
      On 1, September 1939, Germany invades Poland. What happens if Belgium and the Netherlands revoke their neutrality, close their frontiers and join the Allies in their war against Germany? That would give them about 9 months to build up their armed forces, prepare and rearm against the Germans before Hitler's big offensive the following May.

      What would the wratcheting-up of those two country's war industries have meant against Germany? Belgium had the Browning, Fabrique Nationale and Madsen Arms Works and Holland had Fokker, who produced some potentially good aircraft plus a number of other armaments factories as well. They also had the makings of a relatively large, modern, navy that was building in their yards.
      I not know for sure but I would be surprised if Belgium and the Netherlands had not mobilized in 39. I do not see it really making a big difference. The Netherland would not voluntarily flood their land which is what it would need as a minimum for defence. Not sure what more Belgium could contribute beside what they did. All the Navy in the world would not save France.
      FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PatBC View Post
        I not know for sure but I would be surprised if Belgium and the Netherlands had not mobilized in 39. I do not see it really making a big difference. The Netherland would not voluntarily flood their land which is what it would need as a minimum for defence. Not sure what more Belgium could contribute beside what they did. All the Navy in the world would not save France.
        The problem is that neither the Dutch nor the Belgians were prepared to wage an offensive war. Even if they had joined the conflict in September 1939 they could not have contributed much to any attack on Germany prior to May 1940.
        Signing out.

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        • #5
          Oh your thinking of offensive, I was thinking defensive
          FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PatBC View Post
            Oh your thinking of offensive, I was thinking defensive
            I was considering whether they could make a difference. If they stay defensive it'll make no difference at all and if they try to take to the offensive it could actually turn out to be in favour of the Germans. It's a sorry truth that none of the Western European nations were capable of taking offensive action in 1939 or 1940, at least not at the strategic level, and that's the only way that the Wehrmacht were going to be stopped at that time.
            Signing out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
              I was considering whether they could make a difference. If they stay defensive it'll make no difference at all and if they try to take to the offensive it could actually turn out to be in favour of the Germans. It's a sorry truth that none of the Western European nations were capable of taking offensive action in 1939 or 1940, at least not at the strategic level, and that's the only way that the Wehrmacht were going to be stopped at that time.
              Agreed. I had not considered offensive
              FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"

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              • #8
                First of all with the Royal Navy operating from Dutch ports and the addition of the small but good Dutch navy would make the German invasion of Norway, at least of anywhere other than Oslo, a much riskier operation possibly to the point of cancelling altogether.


                Nine months is probably too short a time to do much about the weak Dutch army (far inferior to that of Belgium) but it would be stronger, and having a French army actually on their soil rather than having to dash belatedly to their aid would increase the Dutch power of resistance by perhaps three or four fold.


                For Belgium the Allies would almost certainly defend the frontiers and with nine-months of hard labour and a refocus from the Antwerp-Namur-Givet line the already quite impressive frontier defences would become a formidable barrier and with the Allies defending a shorter line than that envisaged under Plan 'D'.

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                • #9
                  The Germans still break through the crust and the Allied forces don't have the mobile reserves to counter them. If anything, the presence of French troops in the Netherlands and the spreading of said mobile reserves even further would make the 'sickle cut' even more effective.

                  Do Dutch ports have suitable AA defences or will the RAF be required to provide fighters flying CAP?
                  Signing out.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                    The Germans still break through the crust
                    Easy-peasy

                    and the Allied forces don't have the mobile reserves to counter them.
                    The Allies dissolved them?

                    If anything, the presence of French troops in the Netherlands
                    As opposed to motoring there?

                    and the spreading of said mobile reserves even further would make the 'sickle cut' even more effective.
                    Ah, the Allies do have mobile reserves but spreadly thin.

                    Do Dutch ports have suitable AA defences or will the RAF be required to provide fighters flying CAP?
                    Do the Boche want to get involved in a serious air campaign before May 10th 1940?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                      Easy-peasy
                      Yep

                      The Allies dissolved them?
                      Nope.

                      As opposed to motoring there?
                      Le Taxi?


                      Ah, the Allies do have mobile reserves but spreadly thin.
                      Justly.

                      Do the Boche want to get involved in a serious air campaign before May 10th 1940?
                      Does Fighter Command?
                      Signing out.

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                      • #12
                        Mouth watering scenario for a red-blooded Dutchman.

                        Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                        First of all with the Royal Navy operating from Dutch ports and the addition of the small but good Dutch navy would make the German invasion of Norway, at least of anywhere other than Oslo, a much riskier operation possibly to the point of cancelling altogether.


                        Nine months is probably too short a time to do much about the weak Dutch army (far inferior to that of Belgium) but it would be stronger, and having a French army actually on their soil rather than having to dash belatedly to their aid would increase the Dutch power of resistance by perhaps three or four fold.


                        For Belgium the Allies would almost certainly defend the frontiers and with nine-months of hard labour and a refocus from the Antwerp-Namur-Givet line the already quite impressive frontier defences would become a formidable barrier and with the Allies defending a shorter line than that envisaged under Plan 'D'.
                        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                        The Germans still break through the crust and the Allied forces don't have the mobile reserves to counter them. If anything, the presence of French troops in the Netherlands and the spreading of said mobile reserves even further would make the 'sickle cut' even more effective.

                        Do Dutch ports have suitable AA defences or will the RAF be required to provide fighters flying CAP?


                        Agreed so far from a purely military view. Nine months is too short a period to re-arm. The Dutch and Belgians as Allies may have held out longer in May 1940 but in the end they would have to give in as well, I'm afraid.

                        For quick understanding: indeed the Belgian Army in 1940 was stronger both quantitatively as well qualitatively than the Dutch Army, (unimaginable as that is now)

                        The Royal Dutch Navy as well as the Air force (provided by own Fokker industries) was (much) better and bigger than the Belgian. One has to keep in mind however that the Dutch used to send many of its navy ships to the Dutch East Indies. As one of the Allies in Europe perhaps they would have kept some in the North Sea.
                        The Scandinavian campaign would have been much riskier with a not so neutral and very competent Dutch navy (especially when one includes its second to none submarines) on the flank, that the whole operation 'Weseruebung' might have been cancelled. Also the huge Dutch merchant fleet may have contributed greatly in facilitating the transport of French, British (and Belgian?not Dutch!) troops to Norway.

                        About the Dutch AA defence I have mixed feelings. They did manage to shoot a big part of the German airborne division out of the air, but couldn't prevent the bombing of Rotterdam.
                        BoRG

                        You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by captainsennef View Post
                          About the Dutch AA defence I have mixed feelings. They did manage to shoot a big part of the German airborne division out of the air, but couldn't prevent the bombing of Rotterdam.
                          What I was thinking was what might happen if Dutch ports were operational around the time of the Norwegian jaunt. A couple of well-timed air attacks would certainly disrupt operations, maybe sink a few ships. I doubt whether the Germans would actually take the Norway option, maybe an earlier Fall Gelb followed by a variation on Weserubung.
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            Re: "About the Dutch AA defence I have mixed feelings. They did manage to shoot a big part of the German airborne division out of the air, but couldn't prevent the bombing of Rotterdam."

                            The Dutch had some fine aircraft. The only problem was, they were largely caught on the ground on the first day of the German surprise attack. Given a nine month grace period, the Dutch Air Force would have had alot more Fokker G-1a and DXXI fighter planes built and with trained pilots at the controls. Those aircraft not flying aloft on patrol would have been in sitting in bomb-proof reventments on the ground.
                            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                            • #15
                              If they joined the Allies Germany would just crush them anyway, if the French and British couldn't stop the Germans in 1940, no way the Netherlands or Belgium would have done much in 9 months.
                              "All Glory is Fleeting"

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