The German campaign of conquering Britain - Page 4




 
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September 26th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The French, as it happens, did attack Germany on September 7th in 'Operation Saar'. It was a complete fiasco and can't have done anything to improve French confidence in their own offensive ability.
Kenneth Macksey, Guderian: Panzer General: "[After the defeat of Poland] Now they had to face an offensive campaign in the West at which they boggled and for which there was no plan. The redeployment of an army which had suffered heavy wear and tear in battle had to be swiftly implemented, initially as a defence measure against an expected French offensive which never came. At least half the tanks needed major workshop overhaul. In the haste of withdrawal from the sectors which were handed over to the Russians, some equipment had to be adandoned...".

While the French generals worried, German generals were equally pessimistic about any invasion of France.
September 26th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
Kenneth Macksey, Guderian: Panzer General: "[After the defeat of Poland] Now they had to face an offensive campaign in the West at which they boggled and for which there was no plan. The redeployment of an army which had suffered heavy wear and tear in battle had to be swiftly implemented, initially as a defence measure against an expected French offensive which never came. At least half the tanks needed major workshop overhaul. In the haste of withdrawal from the sectors which were handed over to the Russians, some equipment had to be adandoned...".

While the French generals worried, German generals were equally pessimistic about any invasion of France.
Oh I agree with you on this matter too Ollie. The German Army needed to be repaired/refitted and further training was also needed. Had the French Army been mobilized quicker and had it been more offensively minded it could have been a disaster for Germany.
September 27th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
The German Army needed to be repaired/refitted and further training was also needed. Had the French Army been mobilized quicker and had it been more offensively minded it could have been a disaster for Germany.
Does anyone even know why France declared war on Germany? I find the entire "phoney war" to be plain bizarre. That is, why declare war on a country for attacking a "useless" ally (the French high command obviously thought so) and then sit back and wait for the "enemy" to move against you? What was the overall aim of French strategic thought? Did they just hope to survive an initial German onslaught and then repeat WWI? That war nearly ended in French defeat...and victory was achieved at tremendous cost. What war aims were outlined in 1939? Another Versailles? The status quo? What were they thinking?

And, for the love of God, how could France fail to mobilize sufficient strength? Paris had over 9 months to prepare for the anticipated German attack...an attack that was made inevitable by declaring war. Is it possible that the French/British declaration of war led directly to the fall of France and the subsequent "campaign against Britain"? That is, Allied actions forced Berlin to improvise and react. Did Paris or London really expect the Germans to ignore a declaration of war? What were they thinking?
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September 27th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
Ok first thanks fellas for your contributions, but try to stay within borders of this thread And ^Ollie got an interesting point yeah, wonder if any expert on this matter is here and might put things straight for us

Anyway, I got a question about this Vichy France.
So Vichy France was againts the real government ofcourse, but when did Vichy France loose and become a part of one France again?
September 27th, 2006  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollie Garchy
Does anyone even know why France declared war on Germany? I find the entire "phoney war" to be plain bizarre. That is, why declare war on a country for attacking a "useless" ally (the French high command obviously thought so) and then sit back and wait for the "enemy" to move against you? What was the overall aim of French strategic thought? Did they just hope to survive an initial German onslaught and then repeat WWI? That war nearly ended in French defeat...and victory was achieved at tremendous cost. What war aims were outlined in 1939? Another Versailles? The status quo? What were they thinking?

And, for the love of God, how could France fail to mobilize sufficient strength? Paris had over 9 months to prepare for the anticipated German attack...an attack that was made inevitable by declaring war. Is it possible that the French/British declaration of war led directly to the fall of France and the subsequent "campaign against Britain"? That is, Allied actions forced Berlin to improvise and react. Did Paris or London really expect the Germans to ignore a declaration of war? What were they thinking?
As far as French motives for war go Ollie I have no real idea I'm afraid. It seems to be the case that they feared German expansion. The French probably had good reason to fear this, given that Bismarck announced the modern German state from Paris in 1870 and the likelihood was that Germany would turn west again. The Versailles Treaty was recognised as being in many ways a grave error of judgement and they assumed that Germany at the very least would want to take back Alsace-Lorraine which had been ceded to France in 1919. Hitler had made the gamble that the Britain and France would not go to war over Poland and you have to say his judgement was (almost) correct, given that there had been suggestions of a 5 power conference to be held on September 5th to discuss issues over the Danzig corridoor. Had Hitler put back his military timetable WW2 as we know it may not have happened.

It was also never intended that the French Army be an offensive force. Since June 1932, France had been supervised by no less than 19 governments which hardly ensued stability and a solid platform from which to build on. Earlier in 1925, Paul Painleve, the then War Minister, had decreeded that the ideal role of the French Army be to achieve a rational system of national defence, but be unsuited to adventures and conquest. This meant that the French Army was defensive in outlook and also ensued that any development of French tactics and equipment would be a slow process. As far as mobilisation goes, it took the French Army 3 weeks from the date of the invasion of Poland (September 3rd) to fully prepare for war. This period of time was little changed from WW1.

It also appears that the French genuinely considered the Maginot Line to be impregnable, with any attack on France forcing German forces along a narrow corridoor through the Low Countries where the French, BEF and Belguim/Dutch forces would stop them in their tracks. And they had no real conception of the revolutionary tactics of the German Panzerwaffe with close cooperation from the Luftwaffe that would be deployed against them. They assumed that war would follow roughly the same pattern as the Great War, except this time trench warfare would not cut a swathe across French soil, instead being confined to Holland and Belgium. Thus in a war of attrition they assumed that they could outlast Germany. Which is probably true in fact, except that pattern of war did not transpire.
September 27th, 2006  
perseus
 
 
Its all here MM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vichy_France

After Darlan signed an armistice with the Allies and took power in North Africa, Germany violated the 1940 armistice and invaded Vichy France on 10 November1942 (operation code-named Case Anton), triggering the Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon. Even though he was now in the Allied camp, Darlan maintained the repressive Vichy system in North Africa, ..........Darlan was then succeeded by Giraud who maintained the Vichy regime in North Africa for months, until the unification of French fighting forces and territories by the Comité français de Libération nationale, and the taking of power by de Gaulle, who re-established democracy.........With the Vichy leaders gone from French territory due to the US, British, and Free French invasion and advance, on 23 October1944 the U.S., Britain and the Soviet Union formally recognized the de Gaulle regime as the provisional government of France.

I think your last question has already drifted off the subject of the thread, so if I may answer Ollie's question.

Quote:
Does anyone even know why France declared war on Germany?
Do you mean why did they bother to give a guarantee to Poland?

Probably because they thought a combined British, French and Polish alliance would be deterrent enough to Germany. After all, pre war political maneuvering is part bluff as game theorists have proved. But they did have some substance behind their bark. By some accounts at least the allies had more and better tanks as we have discussed, the thought of a quick collapse of Poland was thought unlikely forcing Germany to fight on 2 fronts, the sea lanes would be cut off (hence the usefulness of the Nazi Soviet Pact) and the threat of aerial warfare loomed which was genuinely feared by all sides at that time.

At what point do you attempt to stop German expansion, when the Panzers have reached Vladivostok? Think of the pressure the allied politicians were under to threaten something. However, I agree both the British and French should have fully mobilized to demonstrate they meant business, the former hardly did even after declaring war!

If you really meant why did they declare war, because it would have been political suicide not to.
September 27th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
If you really meant why did they declare war, because it would have been political suicide not to.
The French declaration of war was the last suicidal act in a series of blunders stretching back to the Versailles "Diktat". But I am unsure about the actual thought process behind the declaration of war in 1939. We know today that German rearmament stressed dual-use industrial expansion and not the creation of a particularly large military machine. German industrial output therefore exploded in 1943. The opposite nevertheless appeared true in 1939. German numbers were heavily inflated by various intelligence organizations. It is obvious that this intelligence failure led to an unrealistic fear of German arms that in particular paralysed French strategic thinking. Doppleganger is however correct in pointing to the deep French fear of superior German military potential as based on relative population size and industrial output. But why declare war on a nation considered militarily and geopolitically more powerful? This question applies to Britain as well.

[By the way, Perseus, the Polish guarantee -- as I have written before -- was a farce. Russia took half in 1939 and then grabbed the rest by Yalta. And, there was no real German expansion until 1940. All of Hitler's actions during the 1930s aimed at overturning Versailles and uniting Germans under the umbrella of one sovereign state...something that accorded with Wilsonian thinking. If the Allies were really interested in upholding Versailles, they should have stopped the remilitarization of the Rhineland and not given Hitler the impression that Versailles had gone bye bye].
September 27th, 2006  
perseus
 
 
Perhaps I have been misled by the pro-victors literature. e.g.

Hitler having aspirations towards the East and viewing the British empire as a suitable model for an imperialist policy there. Perhaps he got carried away with success but subsequent events strongly suggests this is what he had in mind.

Regarding the allied declaration of war, do you think Hitler would have invaded Poland if he knew Britain and France would declare war? If not then the threat is vindicated and the declaration is then inevitable for political reasons. The fault in the allied strategy was therefore not appearing to be belligerent enough. In game theory you have to appear mad or violent enough to carry out the threat, then you never have to.
October 4th, 2006  
MightyMacbeth
 
 
I have a few questions:

-Why or what were the main reasons Germany lost the war on the west front? including d-day and the recapture of France. You can put the reasons in point form if you wish.

-Then when or how was it realized that Germany gave up on trying to conquer Britain? And when did Germany first assault Britain?

-Also, when did Germany first assault France and began its campaign in France? Then of course it attacked Britain, and I asked for the date in the previous question.

Thanks
October 5th, 2006  
Ollie Garchy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMacbeth
I have a few questions:

-Why or what were the main reasons Germany lost the war on the west front? including d-day and the recapture of France. You can put the reasons in point form if you wish.

-Then when or how was it realized that Germany gave up on trying to conquer Britain? And when did Germany first assault Britain?

-Also, when did Germany first assault France and began its campaign in France? Then of course it attacked Britain, and I asked for the date in the previous question.

Thanks
1. When did Germany lose the war in the west?: Germany lost the war in the west because it lost the war in the east. Since both fronts were interrelated, it is fair to argue that Germany lost the war due to brute force. The latter word only means that the Allies were able to mobilize more men and build more material. The Allies (a massive and unprecedented alliance) hammered Germany into the ground by weight of numbers.

It follows from this bit of generalization that Germany lost the war in December 1941. In that month, the Soviet Union displayed incredible staying power and the United States entered the war. These two states fighting together were more than Hitler could chew. Hitler had to defeat one of these fronts in order to survive. He could not.

The war took as long as it did because of German technological superiority, a massive German industrial base equal to that of the United States and the quality of the German armed forces. D-Day was only another nail in the German coffin...a small nail by the way. Stalingrad or Kursk or 10 other eastern front confrontations played a far greater role in defeating Germany. That being said, a Soviet victory without western involvement was also highly unlikely. The combination of east and west was necessary.

2. When did Germany stop assaulting Britain? Germany never assaulted Britain. The Nazis reacted to a British declaration of war and military actions against them. In this case, Germany always acted defensively. No plans for the invasion of England existed (other than as a normal part of general staff musing) until the unwillingness of London to make peace forced some kind of German response. I find it amazing that some people view the British declaration of war as defensive and the German reaction to western militancy as offensive. Once more, Germany never assaulted Britain. You cannot put a date on something that does not exist. Therefore, Berlin responded to London's bellicosity on 3 September 1939.

3. When did Germany assault France? Germany "assaulted" France after the latter state declared war and launched an ill-fated invasion of Germany. Again, only the most cynical of minds can view German actions as conspiratorial. The German counteroffensive against France began 10 May 1940. Again, there were no real German plans for an invasion and the general staff work that led to counteroffensive was conducted after the declaration of war. Therefore, Berlin responded to Parisian bellicosity on 3 September 1939.

By the way, Britain seized Iceland at the same time as Germany sent troops into Belgium. Both states had strategic reasons for their actions. After the fact, our bias colours how we view both events. In the first case, most people would easily forgive Britain for breaching international law. In the second case, people rant and rave about aggression and injustice. People just forget about the Soviet invasion of Poland or Finland during the same time period.
 


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