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  • #16
    Originally posted by michammer
    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that the British Matilda and the French Char B were, in fact, as good as, if not better, than the Pz III and Pz IV.

    However, as Barcelona said in his post, the BEF and the French were using outdated tactics.
    I do believe that the Matilda II's and the French Char B-1 were as good if not superior to the German PzIII and early IV (model C and D)
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    • #17
      Yup

      Originally posted by dannybou
      I do believe that the Matilda II's and the French Char B-1 were as good if not superior to the German PzIII and early IV (model C and D)
      And more numerous. BEF + French Army tanks > Germany tanks, even with the various Czech tanks the Germans seized from the Sudentland thrown in for good measure. But that wasn't the problem...as stated, the French (& Brits) were fighting WWI, and were incapable of bringing on any serious attack.

      Now what could have made a difference would have been if the Belgians and Netherlanders had actively allied with the Brits and French to form a serious threat on Germany's northern flank! Then again, that would have required a different, assertive mindset in the Low Countries' military and political leadership...Never Mind.

      Now if George Bush had been President of the good ol' U S of A, and Winston Churchill had somehow been made Prime Minister a year earlier...WOW!
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      • #18
        Yeah Matilda II's and Char 1 bis (and I believe there were a few Char 2s I think they were like super tanks or something) are better than early German but the question is even with those more numerous. The German tactics are pretty much engage tank with tank because it has the best chances against another tank. BEF and French were still parceling them out for infantry support. They would have been whittled down piecemeal... Though the Germans would take losses.
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        • #19
          Even when the Invasion took place- if the allies had just lasted- hell- even just 48 hours- the German tanks would have run out of fuel- literally- so we'd surely see if early German INFANTRY tactics could have done the job- but then again- the Luftwaffe mighta made it still a German victory- but at a higher cost than the so-called "Battle" for France- it was more of a Freeway drive for German tankers to get practice for things to come.

          The worst part is this could have all been stopped before! When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia before the war the Germans went in with 1.0 million men- not all properly equipped either- the Czechs had 1.3 million men! and reliable too- with good equipment. Even if the West just verbally suported the Czechs- as in NO money, NO weapons, etc- then it would have taken even more years for Germany to EFFECTIVELY gone to war- and by that time Russia would probably have recovered from the General Officers purging and... I better stop now!
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          • #20
            Originally posted by EmpireMarshal
            Even when the Invasion took place- if the allies had just lasted- hell- even just 48 hours- the German tanks would have run out of fuel- literally- so we'd surely see if early German INFANTRY tactics could have done the job- but then again- the Luftwaffe mighta made it still a German victory- but at a higher cost than the so-called "Battle" for France- it was more of a Freeway drive for German tankers to get practice for things to come.

            The worst part is this could have all been stopped before! When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia before the war the Germans went in with 1.0 million men- not all properly equipped either- the Czechs had 1.3 million men! and reliable too- with good equipment. Even if the West just verbally suported the Czechs- as in NO money, NO weapons, etc- then it would have taken even more years for Germany to EFFECTIVELY gone to war- and by that time Russia would probably have recovered from the General Officers purging and... I better stop now!
            Welcome to the boards, and no don't stop, keep going...
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            • #21
              I completely agree... the Allies standing up to Hitler with Czechoslovakia would have changed the whole course of events from '39 forward and Germany might have been neutered before it got too strong and confident it could beat anyone else despite the domestic rhetoric. Germany could not have won an offensive war against the Czechs with France and the UK breathing down their necks and likely Poland doing what it could to curb Germany's rise in power (keeping a few divisions on border duty even would help).

              But... that would require a change in mentalitity in France and the UK... quite a departure from the way it was.
              If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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              • #22
                A Little Off-Subject

                Originally posted by chrisvalla
                I completely agree... the Allies standing up to Hitler with Czechoslovakia would have changed the whole course of events from '39 forward and Germany might have been neutered before it got too strong and confident it could beat anyone else despite the domestic rhetoric. But... that would require a change in mentalitity in France and the UK... quite a departure from the way it was.
                Compared to Gulf War II, where the UK and US did adopt a pre-emptive mentality but France strongly disagreed. Now that Iran has seen that the US/UK are insane enough to invade a country, never mind if they rebuild it correctly - well, that's for a different thread, isn't it. Sorry, couldn't help the comparisons!
                -Love Protects-

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by EmpireMarshal
                  Even when the Invasion took place- if the allies had just lasted- hell- even just 48 hours- the German tanks would have run out of fuel- literally- so we'd surely see if early German INFANTRY tactics could have done the job- but then again- the Luftwaffe mighta made it still a German victory- but at a higher cost than the so-called "Battle" for France- it was more of a Freeway drive for German tankers to get practice for things to come.

                  The worst part is this could have all been stopped before! When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia before the war the Germans went in with 1.0 million men- not all properly equipped either- the Czechs had 1.3 million men! and reliable too- with good equipment. Even if the West just verbally suported the Czechs- as in NO money, NO weapons, etc- then it would have taken even more years for Germany to EFFECTIVELY gone to war- and by that time Russia would probably have recovered from the General Officers purging and... I better stop now!
                  The Czech military was one of the finest around. One of the reasons Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, was to gain their military manufacturing base. Many German armor models were based on Czech chasses.
                  Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

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                  • #24
                    just a couple random things

                    IIRC the French made some kind of movement in the general direction of Saarbrucken, but it didn't amount to anything.

                    Mellenthin (Panzer Battles) said that Hitler didn't think the French and UK would come to the aid of a country that didn't exist anymore (Poland). He says (I think it was him) that after Poland, the Germans began deactivating units they didn't expect to need for another five or so years.

                    The fighting in France was hardly a walk over. The only thing t hat kept it from becoming 1914 all over again was the panzer breakthrough at Sedan.

                    Along with that, at the time, the Germans didn't view tanks as anti-tank weapons. Tanks were supossed to get into the enemy's rear areas and cut off his combat forces. There's a German term for this but I forget what it is. Patton used a similar operational concept. This is probably why you rarely hear 3rd Army vets talk about how bad the Shermans were.

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                    • #25
                      The French Souma was superoir to anything the Germans had at the time and IMO the best tank in the world at that time. As said before, France's biggest downfall was an outdated armor doctrine and lack of aggresive leadership.
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                      • #26
                        The French had more and better tanks than the Pz. III's and early IV's. The Char.'s and British Matildas were better armed and armored although slower. Had they pressed an invasion of Germany while the Germans were busy in Poland, the war may have been shortened. I just don't think the French had the heart for an offensive war or a very good concept of mobile warfare. They used their tanks as portable pill boxes. The relatively small BEF may have wound up trapped on the continent if the invasion failed due to French incompetence.
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                        • #27
                          The French army didn't have the power to breakthrough the Siegfried line (not enough heavy artillery) and as the offensive on the Saare showed it didn't have the doctrine to launch a great attack on Germany.
                          Concerning the tanks, I think that the German ones was better, for example they had radio, not the French ones. And the Somua wasn't so good, as the commander of the tank was the gunner too, which caused many problem to take a target in the gun sights after having saw it in the turret mechanism of vision.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by LaPalice
                            The French army didn't have the power to breakthrough the Siegfried line (not enough heavy artillery) and as the offensive on the Saare showed it didn't have the doctrine to launch a great attack on Germany.
                            Concerning the tanks, I think that the German ones was better, for example they had radio, not the French ones. And the Somua wasn't so good, as the commander of the tank was the gunner too, which caused many problem to take a target in the gun sights after having saw it in the turret mechanism of vision.

                            LaPalice.
                            the brits and the french had close to double the amount of tanks compared to the Germans.
                            And remember that from the 2000 odd tanks that the nazi's had. almost a thousand were of the panzer one and two kinds.
                            The Char bis and the matilda were superior to any german tank at the time especially in defence. Even in 41 in the desert the matilda was called the 'Queen of the battlefield'. its armour was so thick, and it's gun was on par with the contemporary german tanks...
                            I have wargamed the attack on france in 40. And knowing about the 'Sickle cut' or the 'Dash for the channel' as the Brits called it.
                            I put a hell of a lot of troops around sedan.
                            and consentrate my tanks.
                            This gives an allied victory!
                            So yes, given that the theories of Fuller and co, had been given a chanche, De Gaulle and the Brits who shocked even Rommel in the Arras counterattack which was conducted by a mere token force that could have been available had there been a working armoured doctrine for the French and British.
                            So yes, first of all when the Germans were attacking Poland, one good opportunity was missed.
                            Secondly, the luring of the Bef and the ninth army's to the north to be trapped by the 'sickle cut'. Could have been countered with a centralized armour doctrine with a strong reserve of a fiew armoured divisions, that could have rushed for Sedan.
                            The answer if yes!
                            But alas the Brits and the French were thinking about the last war.
                            Where the Germans although gambling on Poland, truly showed the world the way to the future with Von Mansteins brilliant Bliz.
                            "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

                            If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

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