french surrender a strategy?

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,979
Spain
Silly ....
the Germans knew first hand of the fighting quality of the French soldiers , twenty years before

remember Verdun ,


And? It was another society....Everybody fought hard in 1914 - 1918...German, Austrohungarians, British, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russians, Aussies, Ottomans, Servians, Belgians, yankees, italians etc etc... Verdun was not an exception... and it is not matched with 1940....

When German conquered France.... they said about their own German soldiers in 1940... they were worst quality than the old Imperial Infantry in 1914...

The Germans in Paris!!! (last time French conquered Berlin was under Napoleon´s command!)

 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,116
Vichy was as legitimate as the Nazis in Germany , they were the legal successor of the third republic
no public servant was prosecuted for obeying Vichy
Vichy air force officers eventually volunteered for duty in the Normandy Niemen squadron fighting with the soviet ,
one of the pilot ,Louis Delfino , got a medal for shooting down a British plane then several soviet medals for shooting German ones
they would rather fight for Stalin than for Churchill

Pétain was tasked with drafting a new constitution by an incomplete rump-national assembly, and then never drafted that new constitution, preferring instead to rule directly by decree, until the Germans took over in 1943 and reduced all pretense of Vichy's puppet status.

It is, in lawyer-speak, an "interesting situation", which means hugely complex, uncertain and – if you end up paying the costs for a resolution in court – massively expensive.

But regarding it as bona fide legitimate is preferable because...?
 
Feb 2019
1,178
Serbia
No. I fail to see how giving up a major country and almost 2 million soldiers is a ''strategy''. The allies didn't have magical powers to predict the future on how and when they will liberate France and what exactly the Soviets would do. The Germans had to expend resources on holding France but they also had access to the French resources. Logic would dictate that a major country with an army of millions would be a bigger threat to Germany than that country surrendering.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,692
Sydney
Germany held more than one millions soldier hostages , the best men of the nation
strutting a pose sound good but then there are realities
the third republic and its politicians was rightly held responsible for the mess ,
they had been discredited for years , the defeat was the final stroke

to make the bald statement that surrendering was a pre-existing strategy is a slur on every soldier who fought and died during the battle of France
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,555
Portugal
Lack of knowledge on the reason for France's surrender
????
Yes, that seems to be the most plausible explanation.

But also (somewhat) surprising… I mean… we don’t even need a good book about this… even Wikipedia or some second rate site gets these things right. We just need to read about it…
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,979
Spain
France surrendered because it lost faith in herself ... after 15 years of socialism ... society was morally sunk since 1918 ... intoxicated with an understandable pacifism (after 1.393.000 dead in 1914 - 1918) ... but suicidal.
France lost more soldiers in few days in the Battles of the Frontier in August 1914... than in 1939 - 1945 period!

It was not strategic decision.. it was demoralization .. mental paralysis .. collective cowardice ... collapse of a society that had turned its back on reality ...
Between 1919 - 1939.. France lived in a kind of neutralisation psychologique (psychological neutralization).
 

MG1962a

Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
2,397
Kansas
The troops that did the retreating clearly tended to feel defeated. Since the British went of for a year or two more of defeats, an actual fear of Churchill's and the British government for a large part of WWII was that they simply did not have an army capable of winning, since its record seemed to indicate precisely that. Declaring defeats victories is a bit of a British historic speciality however. And sometimes it works...
But sometimes deciding what is a victory and what is a defeat can be tricky. The Battle of The Coral Sea is probably the greatest example of this from WW2.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,116
France surrendered because it lost faith in herself ... after 15 years of socialism ... society was morally sunk since 1918 ... intoxicated with an understandable pacifism (after 1.393.000 dead in 1914 - 1918) ... but suicidal.
France lost more soldiers in few days in the Battles of the Frontier in August 1914... than in 1939 - 1945 period!

It was not strategic decision.. it was demoralization .. mental paralysis .. collective cowardice ... collapse of a society that had turned its back on reality ...
Between 1919 - 1939.. France lived in a kind of neutralisation psychologique (psychological neutralization).
Spoken like a gallophobe.

The Germans never attributed the French defeat in 1940 to anything like that. The Germans simply outfought the French in 1940. French moral buckling was an EFFECT of battlefield defeat, not a cause.
 
Jul 2019
1,128
New Jersey
Spoken like a gallophobe.

The Germans never attributed the French defeat in 1940 to anything like that. The Germans simply outfought the French in 1940. French moral buckling was an EFFECT of battlefield defeat, not a cause.
I can't say I've seriously researched the subject, but William Shirer, no gallophobe, seems to share Martin's assessment in his Collapse of the Third Republic - although he places more blame on the Catholic reaction than the liberals themselves.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,709
If France continued fighting, could it have won? The only way to get a negotiated peace was to agree to one when the outcome wasn't completely certain and the French forces could still cause casualties and destroy German equipment. What is all this loss of will BS? Germany conquered many countries early in WWII.