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After The Fall Of France
long_tom
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Illinois, United States
Joined: March 18, 2006
KitMaker: 1,850 posts
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Posted: Monday, December 25, 2017 - 05:42 AM UTC
The fact that it fell in six weeks shocked the world, Hitler most off all no doubt. But I'm not clear on the disposition of the French military then. Were than many captured, or were many troops were in the wrong place and France fell before they could be deployed? I was thinking of the idea of French troops ready to fight and then getting the news the war was over before they could see action.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
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Posted: Monday, December 25, 2017 - 11:30 PM UTC
France had mobilized in September 1939. It had its troop dispositions the way it wanted with most of the mobile troops facing Belgium and the armies deployed and ready. Most did see action in those six weeks and many fought very hard. France wasn't out-fought, it was out-thought and out-maneuvered.

If the French had realized what was going on they could have destroyed the Panzers piecemeal. They were slow to react and had most of their forced facing a feint for way too long.

It was nearly the same comedy of errors that brought down the Second Empire in 1870 except this time Belgium, Holland and Great Britain were along for the ride.
stephane
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Hauts-de-Seine, France
Joined: October 10, 2005
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Posted: Monday, January 08, 2018 - 04:03 PM UTC
Hello
Since the WW1, the french military view was défensive. Most of the troops were dehind armored points at the french/germany border.
The biggest error is that allieds though it was impossible for tanks to cross the forests in Belgium and north east border.
Due to big logisticals problems (millions of people were on the streets), armored units were unable to move fast specialy since lots of units lacked petrol.
Tactically germans were supperiors (mecanized infantry was with panzers), and they quicky had air control.
100 000 frenchs soldiers died in 6 weeks (10 600 US soldiers loose their life in Normandy for comparison).
My grand Father (anti-tank unit) was wounded near Dunkirk and spent 2 years as POW.
My other grand Father Who was a navy mechanic on a warship received gun fire from Royal Navy as his fleet received the order to come back to France after the fall. his ship was destroyed near french coasts by Vichy government , he spent the rest of the war as fireman.
drabslab
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European Union
Joined: September 28, 2004
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Posted: Monday, January 08, 2018 - 05:36 PM UTC
And let not forget that the german army, to a large extend because of the restrictions imposed on it by the WW1 peace treaty, was extremily well organised and trained.

While French and Belgian armies were still organised according to world war 1 ideas, the germans had perfected new concepts such as blitzkrieg, the use of airplanes as flying artillery ... and had trained their army intensely.
Bravo1102
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: December 08, 2003
KitMaker: 2,178 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 - 05:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

And let not forget that the german army, to a large extend because of the restrictions imposed on it by the WW1 peace treaty, was extremily well organised and trained. ...

and had trained their army intensely.



All concepts that go back to Frederick the Great and his father if not earlier. The German army of 1940 owes more to Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Von Moltke then Gudarian. What win in 1940 was what nearly won in 1914 and was looking to recapture the genius of 1870. The German army was still a decidedly 19th Century army with a core of fast and furious blitzkrieg elements.

Those 100,000 French casualties are a testament to how hard the French fought to hang on. The Germans were lucky and luck had as much to do with 1940 as skill. One of 20th the greatest German strategic concepts was "break through and see what develops"