About The French Army in WWII Page 3
|July 28th, 2009||#21|
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"even if you look at the Vichy forces in Africa they put up far a far greater fight than was ever expected of them."
I guess if you mean the Vichy forces fighting the US for 3 days and allowing Rommel to establish a beach head in Tunisia a good fight, then you are correct. The Allies were hoping the Vichy wouldn't fight at all.
"Troops landing at Casablanca consisted of the I Armored Corps of three divisions under Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., shipped directly from the United States, the only instance in World War II in which a force of more than division size was combat-loaded in United States ports for landing directly on a hostile beach. The forces landing near Oran and Algiers included the U.S. II Corps, Maj. Gen. Lloyd W. Fredendall commanding, with elements of three divisions.
During this operation a battalion of paratroopers made the first U.S. combat jump of the war.
The Allies achieved strategic surprise, but the operation was delayed by the French forces, who fought back in every case but one. By 11 November negotiations had succeeded both in ending French resistance and winning French cooperation, and an Allied column headed for Tunisia. Meanwhile, the Germans had moved into Tunisia in force by water from Sicily, and were able to stop the Allied drive short of the Tunisian capital (Tunis)."
I doubt the French see the Vichy actions in support of Germany as a plus.
|July 28th, 2009||#22|
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Either way it was still French troops in action but originally I was thinking of French North Africa as a whole which includes the Allied invasion of Syria in 1941.
If we want to go further you can look at Free French actions in Italy where despite the focus on the Polish capture of Monte Cassino it was French mountain forces that actually broke the Gothic line making Monte Cassino and the Gothic line untenable.
There is a very good write up on Free French actions in a book called Cassino: The Hollow Victory - The Battle for Rome January-June 1944 by John Ellis.
I would however avoid it if you are a fan of Mark Clark as the writer clearly is not.
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
|July 28th, 2009||#24|
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mmarsh said: Almost 90% of WWI was fought in France (and not in the UK or Germany which were almost unscathed). Over 1/3 the country was utterly devestated -raized flat. If you visit Verdun or Somme today there isnt a 1 meter flat piece of earth for miles, it is just littered with shellholes
i really like youre post mmarsh and you make some good points but please do not forget that ww1 was fought in Belgium to and we suffered greatly (civilian,Military and infrastructure). I do not want to wine but people always forget about that and as a Belgian myself and decendant of soldiers who fought in ww1 i feel obliged of mentioning it.
To Beer! The Cause of, and Solution to, All Life’s Problems!
|July 29th, 2009||#25|
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"My center is giving way, my right is in retreat situation excellent. I shall attack." -Foch
I am from NYC. I fly a French flag because I work in Paris.
Last edited by mmarsh; July 29th, 2009 at 06:59..
|July 29th, 2009||#26|
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I had two Uncles on HMS Hartland who the French managed to kill. There were two ships from the RN that were sent in to Oran harbour a few hours after the Torch landings. Now Hams Hartland had about 300 American Marines on her decks when the French warships opened up on her with every thing they had blowing her out of the water and killing all the American troops on board. The second ship suffered much the same fate although the captain survived and was awarded the VC for his actions, except that the plane he was on taking him home was shot down and he was killed as well. Now it was reckoned that if these ships had entered the harbour at the same time as the landings then their mission would have been successfull but the planners thought the French would not oppose them and a lot of brave men died needlessly
LeEnfield Rides again
|July 30th, 2009||#27|
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Concerning the Torch landings, the Allies made a major blunder by letting the RN steam into Oran in 1942. You might recall that the RN shelled the French Fleet anchored at port of Algiers a 2 years earlier which killed 1300 French sailors in a unwarrented attack because they were (erronuously) afraid the French Fleet might fall into German hands (although the armistice signed with Germany specifically prohibited that, and the French Navy had no intention of letting their fleet be used by Hitler as was later discovered in Toulon). One really cannot fault the French Navy, who still felt betrayed, for seeing the same British Navy that attacked the exact same port 2 years earlier and not reasonibly expect them to defend themselves.
The allies made a tactical error in assuming the attack in 1940 had been forgotten. They should have defused the situation with the FN before attempting a landing. The made a agreement with Resistence fighters in ALgeria, but opted not to inform the French Government until they showed up with a Invasion fleet.
Last edited by mmarsh; July 30th, 2009 at 08:09..
|August 13th, 2009||#29|
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The shelling of the French fleet in 1940........Could Britain allow these ships to fall under German control. The French may have had to give these ships up if their arms were twisted enough by the Germans in France and if they had done this then the whole of Naval balance of power would have changed over night. Lets face it the French had signed away most things to Germans and were in a right defeatist mood. Now if the French had sailed these ships to a neutral port as requested this would not have happened.
Last edited by LeEnfield; August 13th, 2009 at 08:29..
|August 13th, 2009||#30|
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