french surrender a strategy?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,757
Florania
Battle of France

French casualties
360.000 dead or wounded
2200 tanks destroyed
3000 planes

German casualties
150.000 dead and wounded
800 tanks destroyed
1.200 planes
It was NOT like the French was totally a sitting duck; the casualty and cost was still fairly substantial for the Germans.
The 0 casualty on any sides is rare, and the Battle of Blood River is one of the best example:
The war effort and input were way too heavy to consider the French surrender "strategic surrender".
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,799
Well the demoralization was really a top down situation. Churchill noted during his May 16th visit to Paris that French officials had already started burning archives and seemed completely clueless on what to do next.

De Gaulle who proved he could go toe to toe with the Germans in tactics and operational needs, was opposed every time he made a suggestion to the government about how to conduct operations in the second half of the campaign. I dont think ultimately the French could have realistically won given the overwhelming air superiority the Germans now enjoyed. But I think the French still could have still landed some nice throat punches before going down.
Thats AFTER they were beaten. The campaign was virtually over barring the shouting with the BEF, and most of the best French troops cut off, that vast loss of material and equipment ., The Germans had overwhelming numbers at th epiont. Having suffered a massive defeat that piut them petty much in an impossible military situation in matter of days yeah the French were in a state of shock. I woul dnot place too much relaince of De Gualle he has to poprtay the reigme as bad and shore up his creditinals for a competing Government., he was a junior officer,.

Demoralization followed defeat. It did not precede or cause it.
 

betgo

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Jul 2011
6,530
Thats AFTER they were beaten. The campaign was virtually over barring the shouting with the BEF, and most of the best French troops cut off, that vast loss of material and equipment ., The Germans had overwhelming numbers at th epiont. Having suffered a massive defeat that piut them petty much in an impossible military situation in matter of days yeah the French were in a state of shock. I woul dnot place too much relaince of De Gualle he has to poprtay the reigme as bad and shore up his creditinals for a competing Government., he was a junior officer,.

Demoralization followed defeat. It did not precede or cause it.
De Gaulle was a colonel, which is generally considered a senior officer, but he had no role in the general strategy, etc. Petain was a marshal. Petain headed a German puppet French government and De Gualle headed a British puppet German government. De Gualle was very egotistical, and probably indicated he was using correct tactics and his approach was ignored, etc.
 
Dec 2014
457
Wales
Petain headed a German puppet French government and De Gualle headed a British puppet German government. De Gualle was very egotistical, and probably indicated he was using correct tactics and his approach was ignored, etc.
Sorry but the idea that De Gaulle was anybodies puppet is wildly mistaken. The history books are full of clashes between him and the other Allied leaders - Roosevelt hated him, Churchill had mixed feelings (mostly negative as the war went on), and both regarded him as more trouble than he was worth. It was because of the bad relationship between the allies there were no French forces initially involved in the liberation of France (barely 200 French troops landed on D-Day and there were only 5 squadrons of aircraft involved).


If De Gaulle had been a puppet he would have been replace quite early in the war.
 

sparky

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Jan 2017
5,397
Sydney
colonels are very junior officers , he got bumped late to brigadier , which is where the superior officers group start
 

Larrey

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Sep 2011
5,932
De Gualle headed a British puppet German government. De Gualle was very egotistical, and probably indicated he was using correct tactics and his approach was ignored, etc.
That was what Vichy claimed (it sentenced de Gaulle to death in absentia for treason), and the US WWII government agreed with it. Subsequent events proved them both wrong.
 

betgo

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Jul 2011
6,530
colonels are very junior officers , he got bumped late to brigadier , which is where the superior officers group start
As a matter of semantics, lieutenants and captains are generally considered junior officers. Colonels, brigadiers, general officers, and marshals are senior officers. It was junior in that he couldn't have had that big a role in the Battle of France, and in that he was a surprise to lead a rival French government.
 

Larrey

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Sep 2011
5,932
Pre-WWII de Gaulle was already a kind of celebrity in military circles. Wags would out it that he certainly was cut out for the "Academie", by which they did not mean the "École militaire" but the "Academie française", since he wrote a lot, in a punchy style . (Just one of the aspects in which de Gaille and Churchill resembled each other.)
He had been hired already as Pétain's ghost-writer – except the arrangement fell apart when it became apparent that de Gaulle still insisted on writing what HE thought, not necessarily what Pétain wanted.
And Pétain had interceded to bump up his grades from the military academy to give him the kind of possible career trajectory Pétain thought he should have.
And he had cause a scandal when invited to give a series of lectures on the future of combat (armoured and mobile) at the École militaire, which had ended with his posting in the colonies overseas to get everyone out of embarassment. (Never actually went there though iirc.)

So de Gaulle was clearly a man to watch, not just militarily, already before WWII. Then it didn't hurt him that he actually got to put some of his ideas about armoured warfare to the test in 1940, and did well enough to earn a temporary brigadeer's grade, and a spot as a junior minster in the last Reynaud government before the roof caved in, and de Gaulle hopped on a plane to London to keep fighting.
 

MG1962a

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Mar 2019
2,211
Kansas
So de Gaulle was clearly a man to watch, not just militarily, already before WWII. Then it didn't hurt him that he actually got to put some of his ideas about armoured warfare to the test in 1940, and did well enough to earn a temporary brigadeer's grade, and a spot as a junior minster in the last Reynaud government before the roof caved in, and de Gaulle hopped on a plane to London to keep fighting.
I believe his intention was to get to North Africa and try to organize a Free French force capable of continuing the fight. Unfortunately it did not work out for him :(