The French Army in WWII - Page 5




 
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February 26th, 2010  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzercracker
Armored, motorised, armored-motorised, motorised cavalry, partially motorised cavalry.
As far as I know, in beginning of WW2 only 2 countries had modern structurized armored divisions - Germany and USSR, while other countries still planned to use tanks not as independent arms but generally as direct infantry support, just like in WW1.
Quote:
I'd have to take a peek since i'm writing from memory so i'll take it on faith however are you sure you didnt confuse it with all motorised vehicles in German army? Cars, bikes, trucks and halftrucks would be possible but building 300.000 trucks in a year is a bit much.
Well, I'm not. I'm sure there are 420 vehicles (or motorised means of transportation), however I can not say for sure `trucks`.
February 26th, 2010  
imp
 
From memory French indeed seemed stuck in WW1 mode trying to fight mainly with a static defence, major failing of most leaders to move on from this. Tanks as in most countries were to be used in infantry support role, hence most lacked radios making using them difficult. Otherwise though would say equipment outclassed Germans on the whole so pretty much the same boat as the Russians found themselves in at the start poor tactics. Will also agree they were very quick to fold this was even more obvious as fighting alongside the Brits who would hold the line.
February 26th, 2010  
LeEnfield
 
 
The Germans or should I say Hitler had started rearmament as soon as he got into power. Britain, France and America were still worrying about the big depression which had ravaged their economies. Also there would have been a public out cry if they had started to rearm any earlier. Britain and France and to some part America were still very aware of the people that they lost in the WW1 and the Slogan a War To End All Wars. When WW2 Started both Britain and France where short on many different types of weapons and spent much of the war playing catch up with the Germans.
On top of that in many of the western countries the Generals running those Armies were reluctant to give up their horses for MT
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March 2nd, 2010  
Moloch
 
As I see it, the biggest problems for Britain and France weren't economical ones, but the fact that they concentrated on the Maginot Line and Air Defense of the British Islands. Also, believing the Ardennes to be impassable for tanks proved to be fatal.
But in my opinion, what eventually broke the neck of the French defensive lines was the terrible incompetence of their generals (not all of them, but still too many). I already mentioned this in another thread (worst commander it was, I think), there were generals in the French military who were afraid of attacking 30 German tanks when they got about 300 tanks at hand themselves.
More than 4000 allied tanks and 5500 planes against ~2500 tanks and planes on the German side aren't bad odds at all, and most of the British and French tanks were superior to the German ones in terms of weaponry and armor (more than half of the German armored divisions consisted of the Panzer I & II models, which were really poorly armed with their MGs [Panzer I] and 20-mm guns [Panzer II]).
March 3rd, 2010  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
More than 4000 allied tanks and 5500 planes against ~2500 tanks and planes on the German side aren't bad odds at all, and most of the British and French tanks were superior to the German ones in terms of weaponry and Armour
I'd like to see where you got these figures from, in terms of numbers at least I think the numbers of tanks were approximately equal. Their was a vast superiority in the German aircraft, most of the allies aircraft were obsolete.

My understanding is that the French came off slightly better in the initial exchanges between tanks but whereas the French then deserted the battlefield leaving their crippled tanks, the Germans repaired theirs.
March 3rd, 2010  
LeEnfield
 
 
The main British Tank in France was the Matilda Mk 1. This tank could stand up to the shells from a German tank but was only armed with machine guns. The Germans first used their 88 mm ack ack guns to knock these tanks out.

http://ww2drawings.jexiste.fr/Files/...atilda-Mk1.htm
March 3rd, 2010  
lljadw
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
I'd like to see where you got these figures from, in terms of numbers at least I think the numbers of tanks were approximately equal. Their was a vast superiority in the German aircraft, most of the allies aircraft were obsolete.

My understanding is that the French came off slightly better in the initial exchanges between tanks but whereas the French then deserted the battlefield leaving their crippled tanks, the Germans repaired theirs.
German armor strength on 10 may 1940 :2439
French armor strength (noth East Front):3254
BEF armor strength (without the 1st armoured division ):310
Belgian army :27O
Dutch Army :40
Thus a quantitative allied superiority
Source :The Blitzkrieg legend (K.H. Frieser)

Aircraft (same source )
Germany:3578 combat aircraft
France :3097 (in France)
Brittain : 384(on the continent)
Belgium : 118
The Netherlands:72
Thus:a small allied superiority
Artillery:
Allies :13974
Germany :7378
March 3rd, 2010  
lljadw
 
sorry for faulty typing (Am very stressed these days ):French armor strength =on the North East Front .
March 4th, 2010  
perseus
 
 
Yes I think that represents the situation better, a slight superiority in allied armour although probably more equal on the front itself, but a distinct superiority of German airpower especially when the quality of the aircraft were taken into account, only 50 French aircraft were modern front line and much of the RAF were kept in the UK. Admittedly the French airforce made a poor showing even after allowing for this, and even the RAF were outclassed.
March 4th, 2010  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Yes I think that represents the situation better, a slight superiority in allied armour although probably more equal on the front itself, but a distinct superiority of German airpower especially when the quality of the aircraft were taken into account, only 50 French aircraft were modern front line and much of the RAF were kept in the UK. Admittedly the French airforce made a poor showing even after allowing for this, and even the RAF were outclassed.
The French Airforce made a poor showing? The Germans lost over 1200 aircraft in the Battle of France. Thats over 20% of their entire air strength. The French mostly used the Hawk 75A but they had over 275 Dewoitine 520 which were comparable to the 109 Emil.

The first scrap the French Airforce was in against the Luftwaffe ended in 3 victories and no losses.
 


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