french surrender a strategy?

Nov 2010
1,328
Bordeaux
Thank you, I would have thought European history. I had always belived that Petain was invited to become head of state, but it would seem that I was mistaken! And the question affects the legitimacy of the Vichy government of course.
Done! :)
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,981
San Antonio, Tx
the french have been derided for decades for a quick surrender to germany. is it possible that the allies allowed this as part of their strategy?
the result was that germany was now forced to defend the entire french coastline. this cost germany money, material and manpower. none of which they had in abundance. (relative to the allied forces)
also, did germany blunder by not following the example of their allies japan? in the pacific japan often ceded the beach to the marines. the result was to create a logjam/bottleneck of men and material. only then did japanese forces engage the marines.
if germany had done something similar and setup a defensive perimeter around/in front paris they would have had a smaller area to hold. they could have concentrated their forces. as it was a large number of germany soldiers never engaged anyone.
Just try to keep in mind that the Japanese lost every single island invasion during WW2. Every one. Why would the Germans think this was a good tactic?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,981
San Antonio, Tx
That was my point. They were forced off the continent. All of the Allies suffered early defeats. It’s just that unlike the Americans and the British, the French didn’t have a body of water separating them from the Germans.
Sadly, this true. A somewhat ossified senior officer corps didn’t help either.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,981
San Antonio, Tx
That was my point. They were forced off the continent. All of the Allies suffered early defeats. It’s just that unlike the Americans and the British, the French didn’t have a body of water separating them from the Germans.
Sadly, this is true. A somewhat ossified senior officer corps didn’t help either.
 

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,151
Sadly, this true. A somewhat ossified senior officer corps didn’t help either.
It didn’t. I’m sure that if the French had had a breathing space after the start of the war, they would have had the time and money to make their army first rate again.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
they had months !! from 2nd of September to the 10th of May , that's 8 months and more breathing space than usual
 
Nov 2010
1,328
Bordeaux
they had months !! from 2nd of September to the 10th of May , that's 8 months and more breathing space than usual
Indeed.
Even if it was already too late to equip the army properly with modern aircraft, AA and AT guns etc, at least the French HC could have organised regular training for its troops to keep them in good form and tactically ready for the attack.
This was left to local commanders, and apart from a few professional units, almost no French unit did train regularly during the 8 months before the German attack, which made the overall unpreparedness of the army far worse than it already was.
 
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Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,151
they had months !! from 2nd of September to the 10th of May , that's 8 months and more breathing space than usual
The British, the Americans and the Soviets also had time to prepare too, yet they still suffered initial reverses against the Germans.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,667
Sydney
Yes but for other reasons than inactivity ,
the British were coasting on the belief the French would do most of the fighting on land
the US was starting from a very low base and were not really into the fight as yet
the Soviets were in the middle of totally restructuring their whole military establishment and were caught with their pants down in the middle of widespread reforms
the French did nothing
 

Lee-Sensei

Ad Honorem
Aug 2012
2,151
Yes but for other reasons than inactivity ,
the British were coasting on the belief the French would do most of the fighting on land
the US was starting from a very low base and were not really into the fight as yet
the Soviets were in the middle of totally restructuring their whole military establishment and were caught with their pants down in the middle of widespread reforms
the French did nothing
These sound like excuses. They all were unprepared. The difference is that the Americans and the British could retreat across bodies of water and reform. The Soviets had a more difficult time, but they could also retreat deep into Russia and reform. France couldn’t do that, because it’s a small country relative to Russia and most of its industry is in the north.
 
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