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Forum LockedTheBattle of France, 1940 - Easy Victory?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 10:30
Originally posted by pekau pekau wrote:

And remember, France possessed among the best land armies with plenty of supplies in WWII. Defeat of France was a great success to Germans. Even Hitler did not expect such a quick victory. He imagined the same scenario as in WWI, where France and Germany will face stalemate.
 
With exception to Operation Sea Lion, German success in WWII was fantastic, until Hitler became arrogant and blinded by his hatred and pride... and made foolish decisions in German's invasion against Soviet Union.
 
I think Nazi Germany would have won World War II if Hitler was not the leader of Germany. He often let his emotions and vain idelogies get the best of realism. The UK would have never went down easy but archival data suggests that Churchill was almost replaced by peace-seeking Lord Halifax. If Hitler didn't get angry at the bombing of Berlin and begin the blitz of London, he would have kept his focus on RAF fields, depleting the RAF even more. Then he could have listened to Raeder and enacted a variant of Operation Felix and the Nazis could have cut off British control of the Mediterranean and Egypt thus cutting off the lifeline to their empire. After doing this, Sea Lion would have been a breeze, and Churchill would have been replaced, but Hitler never listened to his generals. The Nazis might have even taken the USSR if they made a second drive for Moscow instead of listening to Hiter's order to move into the Caucuses and take two rivers simultaneously.


Edited by ChickenShoes - 25-Apr-2007 at 10:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 10:46
Originally posted by VenetianKnight VenetianKnight wrote:

It was a peice of a cake 4 the Krauts. British and French were useless in the early WW2 they had old war tactics from WW1, they had outdated weapons etc. And the stubborn Brits refused to adopt machine guns which didnt help either
 
WHAT?! Please, maybe the French weren't prepared, but the British certainly were, and there are many factors why the French werent prepared aside from outdated tactics, consult Ernest R. May's Strange Victory.
 
1) There were a lot of anti-semetic French. Before Nazi rule, Germany was perhaps the safest place in Europe for a Jew. France was violently against Jews, remember the Dreyfus affair? Some French agreed with Nazi policies and became spies for the Nazi leadership, there was an SS unit known as the Charlemagne unit designed for French volunteers, so the French people were divided.
 
2) Defensive attitude. The French lost due to a sentiment that they had lost so many men in World War I and they wished only to repulse Nazi attacks rather than cause Nazi Germany to fall.
 
3) The belief that Ardennes were impenetrable. This belief was largely plausible.
 
4) Telephone communication was used and knocked out amongst the French, while Germany had mobile radio.
 
5) Perhaps most importantly, French demographics. After World War I, Germany experienced a baby boom whereas France experienced a lull in births. They didn't have as much young men to fight in battle.
 
There are many more but they all involve poor command and tactics. Germany was a military state which solely focused on mobilization for war, so of course it had the latest and the greatest. The Nazi platform was rebirth and subjugating the Allies who had shamed them whereas France wasn't as interested in war after losing so many men in WWI. The BEF was never the premiere ground force either, they were adequately trained and the Brits had an excellent air force and naval force, how much more could you ask of them? Besides if we're talking about the most prepared Allied force, it would definitely be Belgium. Leopold III was determined not to be used as a convenient location for battle again and their artillery held off German advancement for two weeks alloting the evacuation at Dunkirk, an invaluable maneuver.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 10:47
If Hitler had not been in power, would there ever have been a WWII ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 10:55
Originally posted by VenetianKnight VenetianKnight wrote:

It was a peice of a cake 4 the Krauts. British and French were useless in the early WW2 they had old war tactics from WW1, they had outdated weapons etc. And the stubborn Brits refused to adopt machine guns which didnt help either
 
The Allied tactics may have been outdated.
 
Their weapons were not
 
The British did have and use machine-guns
 
The real problem was a lack of will and organisation.
 
Head to head, the Germans were usually held by the British and the French also made a number of brave stands. It was the german manoeuvres and plan which gave them victory
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 11:11
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

If Hitler had not been in power, would there ever have been a WWII ?
 
 
good question. I certainly think so as the conditions were right and there were definitely other jaded and angry Germans who wished for retribution. The premise for war, fighting, and outcome would be totally different. Imagine Hitler died in 1940 and Heydrich came into power or something like that, what could have been?


Edited by ChickenShoes - 25-Apr-2007 at 11:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 11:38
Internal warfare in Germany
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Belisarius57 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 12:02
It took the Germans AND the Russians 30 days to overrun Poland [at best a second rate power] in 1939, and still the poles refused to surrender.

It took the Germans alone 35 days to defeat both France AND Britain [two of the great powers of europe]. Sounds like an easy victory to me.Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 13:14
Poland had too many natural obstacals.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 15:50
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Poland had too many natural obstacals.
 
Poland didn't have almost any natural obstacles. Only mountains from the south. In all the other directions it is a plain and during WWII we were attacked from all directions so or You were kidding or Your geography knowledge needs serious improvment.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aghart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 18:07
Why are people suprised that the French & British were caught by Suprise?  Peaceful nations are always taken by suprise, they don't expect to be attacked. The fact that ultimately the good do overcome the wicked should maybe be discussed in many islamic circles and just maybe the good people of Islam can counter the sick and deluded people in their ranks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Apr-2007 at 21:07
Originally posted by Belisarius57 Belisarius57 wrote:

It took the Germans AND the Russians 30 days to overrun Poland [at best a second rate power] in 1939, and still the poles refused to surrender.

It took the Germans alone 35 days to defeat both France AND Britain [two of the great powers of europe]. Sounds like an easy victory to me.Wink
 
well at the time of the polish takeover, the Germans were weak. Only a year before they did anchluss proclaiming "austria you are now ours" meanwhile they communications were messed up, cars broke down as they drove into austria, units did not meet in the right place; germany was still disorganized, same goes for 1939. they didn't really get their act together until 1940.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 01:14
Originally posted by ChickenShoes ChickenShoes wrote:

Originally posted by Belisarius57 Belisarius57 wrote:

It took the Germans AND the Russians 30 days to overrun Poland [at best a second rate power] in 1939, and still the poles refused to surrender.

It took the Germans alone 35 days to defeat both France AND Britain [two of the great powers of europe]. Sounds like an easy victory to me.Wink
 
well at the time of the polish takeover, the Germans were weak. Only a year before they did anchluss proclaiming "austria you are now ours" meanwhile they communications were messed up, cars broke down as they drove into austria, units did not meet in the right place; germany was still disorganized, same goes for 1939. they didn't really get their act together until 1940.
 
Do You want to say they had big losses conquering Austria without a shot?Confused They were stronger in 1940 than in 1939 but not much. It is one year and they had serious losses in Poland. It doesn't make sense what You say.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ataman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 02:04
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

Originally posted by ChickenShoes ChickenShoes wrote:

Originally posted by Belisarius57 Belisarius57 wrote:

It took the Germans AND the Russians 30 days to overrun Poland [at best a second rate power] in 1939, and still the poles refused to surrender.

It took the Germans alone 35 days to defeat both France AND Britain [two of the great powers of europe]. Sounds like an easy victory to me.Wink
 
well at the time of the polish takeover, the Germans were weak. Only a year before they did anchluss proclaiming "austria you are now ours" meanwhile they communications were messed up, cars broke down as they drove into austria, units did not meet in the right place; germany was still disorganized, same goes for 1939. they didn't really get their act together until 1940.
 
Do You want to say they had big losses conquering Austria without a shot?Confused They were stronger in 1940 than in 1939 but not much. It is one year and they had serious losses in Poland. It doesn't make sense what You say.
 
It is even less than 1 year. The war in Poland has finished in October 1939, while France was attacked in May 1940. In the meantime Germany had to restore its resources of ammunitions etc.
BTW, France and GB were also stronger in 1940 than in 1939. And opposite to Germany, France and GB didn't need to restore thier resources.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ataman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 02:14
Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Poland had too many natural obstacals.
 
Poland didn't have almost any natural obstacles. Only mountains from the south.
 
Majkes, Sparten
I don't agree with you.
 
Majkes,
Poland had natural obstacles, like rivers, bogs and forests.
 
Sparten,
Poland didn't have more obstacles than France. Especially Western Poland, which was an agricultural territory. Eastern Poland had at least large bogs.
 
Poland in 1939 had another problem. There was just little water in rivers because of long, hot and dry summer. Even Vistula wasn't a big obstacle in September 1939. And roads were suitable for German tanks / vehicles.
 
Polish commanders expected that they can slowly retreat to Eastern Poland, wait for otm rains and defend there. That territory - I mean Eastern Poland - in otm was very difficult for tanks (due bogs) and for airplanes (bad weather). Polish cavalry was much better than tanks to act in these conditions.
It didn't happed most of all thanks to agression of Soviet Union.


Edited by ataman - 26-Apr-2007 at 03:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 03:33
Originally posted by Belisarius57 Belisarius57 wrote:

It took the Germans AND the Russians 30 days to overrun Poland [at best a second rate power] in 1939, and still the poles refused to surrender.

It took the Germans alone 35 days to defeat both France AND Britain [two of the great powers of europe]. Sounds like an easy victory to me.Wink
 
Not aware Britain was ever defeated.
 
They may have lost some battles at the start.
 
Could have sworn they were victors in the war.
 
However on referring to France and the battle for that country. When the armies all round you are defeated or surrendering, there isn't much else to do except fall back to your base which is what the British did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joinville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 07:17
Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

However on referring to France and the battle for that country. When the armies all round you are defeated or surrendering, there isn't much else to do except fall back to your base which is what the British did.

Except in this instance the British army was also decisively defeated, but had the great good fortune of having somewhere to retreat to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peteratwar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 11:11
Originally posted by Joinville Joinville wrote:

Originally posted by Peteratwar Peteratwar wrote:

However on referring to France and the battle for that country. When the armies all round you are defeated or surrendering, there isn't much else to do except fall back to your base which is what the British did.

Except in this instance the British army was also decisively defeated, but had the great good fortune of having somewhere to retreat to.
 
If you mean forced to retreat then yes I agree with enemy swarming around your flanks you fall back. Any head-on attacks had been held. Gave many of the future generals a good experience
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChickenShoes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 12:05
 Do You want to say they had big losses conquering Austria without a shot?Confused They were stronger in 1940 than in 1939 but not much. It is one year and they had serious losses in Poland. It doesn't make sense what You say.
[/QUOTE]
 
I really can't understand what you're asking, so I'll try my best. Hitler was making moves before he really had the muscle to back them. A professor once told me it was like " he was in an interrogation room, tied up, with a gun to his head. Hitler then got rid of the rope, got the gun away, and fired it at his interrogater before the interrogater could do the simple task of pulling the trigger". Hitler bluffed Anchluss playing upon the Allies ' intense disdain for another war. His command was still in its amateur phases in 1938 as it didn't have much applicability yet. I assume the same goes for 1939, but Poland was perhaps better psychologically equipped than France anyway; they just got their independence again and really resisted occupation. Planning for France was also much more thorough, beginning with Fall Rot in 1935 and the invasion of Poland wasn't discussed until Case White in 1939, the year of invasion. Therefore the Polish invasion was a much hastier operation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 15:01
Originally posted by ChickenShoes ChickenShoes wrote:

 Do You want to say they had big losses conquering Austria without a shot?Confused They were stronger in 1940 than in 1939 but not much. It is one year and they had serious losses in Poland. It doesn't make sense what You say.
 
I really can't understand what you're asking, so I'll try my best. Hitler was making moves before he really had the muscle to back them. A professor once told me it was like " he was in an interrogation room, tied up, with a gun to his head. Hitler then got rid of the rope, got the gun away, and fired it at his interrogater before the interrogater could do the simple task of pulling the trigger". Hitler bluffed Anchluss playing upon the Allies ' intense disdain for another war. His command was still in its amateur phases in 1938 as it didn't have much applicability yet. I assume the same goes for 1939, but Poland was perhaps better psychologically equipped than France anyway; they just got their independence again and really resisted occupation. Planning for France was also much more thorough, beginning with Fall Rot in 1935 and the invasion of Poland wasn't discussed until Case White in 1939, the year of invasion. Therefore the Polish invasion was a much hastier operation.
[/QUOTE]
 
Ok, I think I missunderstood You, sorry.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Majkes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Apr-2007 at 15:03
Originally posted by ataman ataman wrote:

Originally posted by Majkes Majkes wrote:

Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Poland had too many natural obstacals.
 
Poland didn't have almost any natural obstacles. Only mountains from the south.
 
Majkes, Sparten
I don't agree with you.
 
Majkes,
Poland had natural obstacles, like rivers, bogs and forests.
 
Sparten,
Poland didn't have more obstacles than France. Especially Western Poland, which was an agricultural territory. Eastern Poland had at least large bogs.
 
Poland in 1939 had another problem. There was just little water in rivers because of long, hot and dry summer. Even Vistula wasn't a big obstacle in September 1939. And roads were suitable for German tanks / vehicles.
 
Polish commanders expected that they can slowly retreat to Eastern Poland, wait for otm rains and defend there. That territory - I mean Eastern Poland - in otm was very difficult for tanks (due bogs) and for airplanes (bad weather). Polish cavalry was much better than tanks to act in these conditions.
It didn't happed most of all thanks to agression of Soviet Union.
 
There wasn't almost any obstacles on border between Poland and Geramy but if You count small rivers, forests and etc. than You are right but it wasn't significant for the war.
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