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Could the Germans have conquered France in Fall/Winter 1939?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
    Also I've reviewed the thread and I don't think the conclusion was that the Germans could overrun France in the Fall of 1939 after Poland.
    Actually, I think Purist put it best, with one dissenter out of 12 posts, that The French game plan was so bad and/or outdated that there was nothing that would have changed anything. Besides, I have heard of every German campaign early in the war, "Germany didn't have this, Germany didn't have that" and I'm looking at the results and wondering why the hell the logistics were brought up when the fact is the Germans conquered IN SPITE of their logistics. Eventually this would catch up with them, but for the early campaigns, human ingenuity over 'logisticial certainty' (TM).

    For what it's worth, in my story, the Nazis run a much tighter ship with very little of the cronyism, so for my purposes, the ammunition problem, if it occurs, will be redressed very quickly. I hoped I wouldn't need to peruse Tooze at least until after I finished the first book. Damn you for convincing me otherwise!
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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    • #17
      Yes, the French would have used the same doctrine. This is what I said

      Originally posted by The Purist View Post
      ...A winter victory over France would leave the Germany army unable to move against Russia. The panzer army would likely be heavily worn down and the Luftwaffe weakened as well. The German infantrty would also be weaker and the overall size of the army smaller....
      By the spring of 1940 the German army may have stood triumphant over France but casualties would have been much heavier and material losses even more so. German used the 8 months of the Sitzkreig to expand its army and bring newer models of armour into the expanded panzer forces. A winter attack prevents all this as the few available tank units must play a more conservative role. With fewer tanks in fewer divisions the panzers may have been used more as local breakthrough forces without the large scale exploitation that was seen in May and June.

      In short,... the German army is not going to be in a position to go anywhere in 1940 (except maybe the small corps sent to Africa).
      Last edited by The Purist; 07 May 10, 15:03.
      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
        Originally posted by Wolery
        A...Besides, I have heard of every German campaign early in the war, "Germany didn't have this, Germany didn't have that" and I'm looking at the results and wondering why the hell the logistics were brought up when the fact is the Germans conquered IN SPITE of their logistics....
        The Germans managed to be successful mainly because their enemies were so ill-prepared to meet the German attacks and the campaigns were thus very short. Expose the Germans to a longer campaign and their system collapses (ie: Russia after August 1941).

        The reason I noted the casualties for the Germans would have been heavier is because the pace of operations would have been lower. Take away the German mobility advantage and they have to resort to attrition against the French,... which has serious implications later in the war.
        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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        • #19
          Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
          I've had homework lately (I'm attending college now) but I'll try to do some digging to support my claim.
          Boy did I drop the ball on this one. Sorry.
          If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by The Purist View Post
            The reason I noted the casualties for the Germans would have been heavier is because the pace of operations would have been lower. Take away the German mobility advantage and they have to resort to attrition against the French,... which has serious implications later in the war.
            OK, I see what you mean. For my story though, this is not a problem. Reason being the 'tight ship' makes it possible for the Germans to field the same number of tanks, but exclusively Panzer IIIs, IVs, and T-38s. The Germans also have considerably more motorized infantry. And all of this is possible because Germany has the largest synthetic oil industry in the world, cause in that world the Germans were highly mechanized in agriculture and the British blockade in WWI not only stopped food, it stopped the flow of petroleum those machines needed. Even in the Wiemar era, synthetic fuel was considered vital to national security. The whole tech paradigm of the story is post-steampunk/dieselpunk, thus there's quite a bit of tech that in our world was post-war, in this world it's pre-war.

            So if you'll indulge me, Purist, anyone, does more maneuvering power for the Germans mean a quicker, and less costly defeat for France? Given the French commitment to methodical battle, is there any way for the French to counter a more motorized Wehrmacht?
            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Wolery View Post
              Given the French commitment to methodical battle, is there any way for the French to counter a more motorized Wehrmacht?
              Extend the Maginot Line to the Channel.
              If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
                Extend the Maginot Line to the Channel.
                Good idea, but October 1939 seems a tad late to do such an extensive renovations...
                How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                  Good idea, but October 1939 seems a tad late to do such an extensive renovations...
                  Any left over WW1 trench systems left over that might be improved somewhat?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by craven View Post
                    Any left over WW1 trench systems left over that might be improved somewhat?
                    Actually I was under the impression the trench system was largely gone before 1920, as people had homes to rebuild and fields to plow. More than that, the trench system did not run along the Franco-Belgian border, so they couldn't be used anyway.
                    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
                      Germany hadn't replaced it's armor casualties from the Polish invasion before the historical French campaign opened. Fewer tanks would be available, and more so, more Pz I's and II's would be used to replace the missing Pz III's and IV's in a winter campaign.
                      Originally posted by Freightshaker View Post
                      I've had homework lately (I'm attending college now) but I'll try to do some digging to support my claim.
                      I had taken Mosier's claim in The Blitzkreig Myth at face value. His own source, The US Stategic Bombing Survey, shows his (and my) error:

                      a. Battle losses in each of the campaigns prior to the attack on Russia were exceedingly small, and stocks of panzer vehicles mounted almost continously until June 1941. Only 250 tanks were lost during the Polish campaign, so that by 1 January 1940 stocks were again at the level of 1 September 1939.
                      http://www.angelfire.com/super/ussbs/tankrep.html
                      If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                      • #26
                        Actually, permanent losses (as well as damage and other off-the-road casualties) were significantly higher but most of those were the light and early versions of the Pz I and II. The numbers of Pz Is in particular dropped by 1940 while there were significantly more Pz III, IV and 38t. If you took the panzer formation in October or November you would likely find only about 1000 operational tanks in the German army.
                        The Purist

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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                          For what it's worth, in my story, the Nazis run a much tighter ship with very little of the cronyism, so for my purposes, the ammunition problem, if it occurs, will be redressed very quickly.
                          No it won't. There is significant lag between the decision to allocate more steel to ammunition production and that ammunition actually being ready. Tooze demonstrates that this is a 3+ month lag. This lag is a big factor in the German economy as Tooze uses it to demonstrate that the Speer miracle had nothing to do with Speer.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                            No it won't. There is significant lag between the decision to allocate more steel to ammunition production and that ammunition actually being ready. Tooze demonstrates that this is a 3+ month lag. This lag is a big factor in the German economy as Tooze uses it to demonstrate that the Speer miracle had nothing to do with Speer.
                            Then it doesn't happen. Won't be too hard to justify as Hitler was bent on war with Poland by April, at least that's what I recall. Either wY no skin off off my teeth.
                            How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                            275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Wolery View Post
                              Actually I was under the impression the trench system was largely gone before 1920, as people had homes to rebuild and fields to plow. More than that, the trench system did not run along the Franco-Belgian border, so they couldn't be used anyway.
                              Thanks for the info. Was just wondering because watching a tv show I was amazed that you could see some trenches in some areas.

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