How would you influence France so that it would build a better Maginot Line?

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,664
San Diego
Just worng. the French fiully expectaed and p0lanned for teh gemrans attacking through Belgium. they did noyt build massive fortications behind Belguim as it was ally and part of their defense plans.
Again- easy to SAY stuff- but there is zero evidence that France "Planned" for Germany to simply come in thru the low countries. French defenses were NOT massed at the belgian border waiting to repulse German attack.



NO the French had enough araments and manpower to stop the Germans. The Franch amry fought reasonable well in General.
There msiatkes were s (a) trategic planning, the revised dyle pl;an was poor, no resevres, (b) extremely poor command and control system. (c) doctrine.
um, yet again- you state a mere opinion- totally unsupported by any fact- French forces DID NOT STOP GERMAN ADVANCE - ergo- they were inadequate to the task.
They did fight Very well--- they simply lacked the ability to respond to the mass of germany mobility and air power. Period.


For which the German army was often relying on horses.
more mythology supported by a handful of photos showing german forces using horses- the German army did not rely in horses... they Added some horses to an otherwise mechanized advance- it wasn't the Horses dropping the bombs and it wasn't the horses pulling all those 88s)



Autobahns have zero military use Moving large amunt of troops, supplies, industrial goods by road is a massively slowly on ineffecient compared to rail.
. Mass transit was railways, which Germany had under invested in.
Highways were a waste of resoures.

So- clearly you have not read Eisenhower's analysis of German manufacturing resilience- he attributed Germany's primary resource in keeping its war effort going to the Autobahns.

You are simply wrong about them being slower than rail- travel by car or truck in France- whose roadways turned to mud in a light rain was slower than french rail.... but paved limited access highway systems are remarkably effective at moving materiel- not only trucks full of men- but more importantly in moving materials and manpower in manufacturing.

Because of what he saw in germany, Eisenhower felt that a modern superhighway system was SO crucial to a modern nation's defense that he enacted the 20 year infrastructure project of the US interstate highway system, which he sold to congress as a DEFENSE expense.
THe Conservative estimate of the interstate highway system is that it TRIPLED the GDP of the United States- thereby proving unequivocally that transport by truck is vastly more conducive to economic development than railway systems can ever hope to be.

In fact- in France Germany HAD to take the time to load tanks on and off of rail cars to move a division just 30 miles because the roads were so often impassable to heavy tanks. In germany, they could simply DRIVE there in ANY weather.
Sorry- reliance on rail made rail roads and rail yards easy targets for disrupting logistics. Its part of how germany won against france- and how the allies pushed Germany out of france.

It did exatcly waght it was designed to do.
Really? So it was DESIGNED to Never fire any of its hundreds of cannons at an enemy?
If that is the case, then WHY did they put cannons in it at all?

They could have put wooden cannons in there and it would have been just as effective in NOT shooting at Germans.

It was built to DEFEND France from GERMANY- It didn't.

Germany still took france.

Moreover- even if the german army had wanted to come across the maginot line- the Maginot could not have stopped them.
Simple paratroopers could have dropped in behind the line, and attacked the line from the side its cannons COULD NOT BE TURNED TO FACE- infiltrated the bunkers and taken out quarter mile wide stretch of the line thru which the whole german army could have poured with little to no loses.

Time and a gain thru history frontier walls have fallen in the exact same way- put ONE little hole in the line, and you have divided your enemies forces and they are unable to form a line of battle because you are on both sides of their flimsy, thin, and immovable wall.

Sorry- Your entire argument is that all those resources were invested in a fortification that was purposely intended to do nothing whatsoever. That it never was intended to fire a single shell. But there is no way you can explain how this was supposed to save France from invasion thru inaction.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,756
Again- easy to SAY stuff- but there is zero evidence that France "Planned" for Germany to simply come in thru the low countries. French defenses were NOT massed at the belgian border waiting to repulse German attack.
Large British and French forces were waiting on the Belgain border and pushed north the moment the Germans invaded.

See the Dyle Plan, the evidence is just copious denying a clear historical fact.

French war planning 1920–1940 - Wikipedia

um, yet again- you state a mere opinion- totally unsupported by any fact- French forces DID NOT STOP GERMAN ADVANCE - ergo- they were inadequate to the task.
They did fight Very well--- they simply lacked the ability to respond to the mass of germany mobility and air power. Period.
The fact the did not stoped them does not mean they were enough to stop them. Stragey has some effect on teh outcome, Reducing everything to just numbers is not a reasonable way of analyzing history. Teh Allies had more or less pariety, in aircraft, tanks, guns, men. It's how they used them, Strategy, octrine, Commications that swung the campaign.

more mythology supported by a handful of photos showing german forces using horses- the German army did not rely in horses... they Added some horses to an otherwise mechanized advance- it wasn't the Horses dropping the bombs and it wasn't the horses pulling all those 88s)
Most of Germany artillery was horse drawn. Your Standard German infantry divsions relied on horses.
All Flak was motorized. So no horses for 88s. A lot of artillery the majority was horse drawn. Fact.

"Horse-drawn transportation was most important for Germany, as it was relatively lacking in natural oil resources. Infantry and horse-drawn artillery formed the bulk of the German Army throughout the war; only one-fifth of the Army belonged to mobile panzer and mechanized divisions. Each German infantry division employed thousands of horses and thousands of men taking care of them."
Horses in World War II - Wikipedia

Hobby

German Horse Cavalry and Transport, U.S. Intelligence Bulletin, March 1946 (Lone Sentry)


So- clearly you have not read Eisenhower's analysis of German manufacturing resilience- he attributed Germany's primary resource in keeping its war effort going to the Autobahns.


You are simply wrong about them being slower than rail- travel by car or truck in France- whose roadways turned to mud in a light rain was slower than french rail.... but paved limited access highway systems are remarkably effective at moving materiel- not only trucks full of men- but more importantly in moving materials and manpower in manufacturing.

Because of what he saw in germany, Eisenhower felt that a modern superhighway system was SO crucial to a modern nation's defense that he enacted the 20 year infrastructure project of the US interstate highway system, which he sold to congress as a DEFENSE expense.
THe Conservative estimate of the interstate highway system is that it TRIPLED the GDP of the United States- thereby proving unequivocally that transport by truck is vastly more conducive to economic development than railway systems can ever hope to be.
Then Eisenhower is just wrong.

It not about speed but volume and effiecicy. Roads simply cannot move the voluems reuired in 1940. Gemrnay lacked the trucks or teh oil to move significnat industrial resources by road.


In fact- in France Germany HAD to take the time to load tanks on and off of rail cars to move a division just 30 miles because the roads were so often impassable to heavy tanks. In germany, they could simply DRIVE there in ANY weather.
Sorry- reliance on rail made rail roads and rail yards easy targets for disrupting logistics. Its part of how germany won against france- and how the allies pushed Germany out of france.



Really? So it was DESIGNED to Never fire any of its hundreds of cannons at an enemy?
If that is the case, then WHY did they put cannons in it at all?

They could have put wooden cannons in there and it would have been just as effective in NOT shooting at Germans.

It was built to DEFEND France from GERMANY- It didn't.

Germany still took france.

Moreover- even if the german army had wanted to come across the maginot line- the Maginot could not have stopped them.
Simple paratroopers could have dropped in behind the line, and attacked the line from the side its cannons COULD NOT BE TURNED TO FACE- infiltrated the bunkers and taken out quarter mile wide stretch of the line thru which the whole german army could have poured with little to no loses.

Time and a gain thru history frontier walls have fallen in the exact same way- put ONE little hole in the line, and you have divided your enemies forces and they are unable to form a line of battle because you are on both sides of their flimsy, thin, and immovable wall.

Sorry- Your entire argument is that all those resources were invested in a fortification that was purposely intended to do nothing whatsoever. That it never was intended to fire a single shell. But there is no way you can explain how this was supposed to save France from invasion thru inaction.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,340
Sydney
the line worked great
the best proof of it is that the Nazis went around it and never considered a major break through

as for paratroopers dropped behind , airborne troops are light infantry with very little heavy weapons
their doctrine of use is the main force joining with them in a matter of hours , a couple of days at the most
after that they have run out of ammo and are ducks in a shooting range
the Crete , Dnieper and Arnhem demonstrated this
D-Day too , the airborne was supposed to hold some objectives for hours only

I'm not sure where you get your info on French Roads ,
the US used them for the Red Ball express and it's not their quality which was a problem
but the fact that supplying two army groups by road resulted in a monstrous consumption of petrol and severe wear and tear on the massive truck fleet
fleet of trucks which the German didn't have and in fact never had .
 

janusdviveidis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
2,008
Lithuania
Many people like defensive line because Germans went around it. I really don't see much benefit. Another fact is that Germans both went around and trough that line without much troubles. Defender always needs to defend every point in fortification and attacker can concentrate forces on single point.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Not building that line seems like best idea.
If they didn't build it they'd still have to defend the French German border with an economy of force scruture.

So make believe you're a commander of s poorly trained reservist infantry battalion, recently called to service months before. The Germans are attacking your unit's sector with Stuka, artillery, tanks, infantry.

Your options are to receive this attack:

1. Out in the open, maneuvering in open ground
2. Dug in hastily constructed fighting positions in the dirt, done by hand shovels
3. From inside extremely capable fixed fortifications of reinforced concrete and steel, brimming with artillery, field guns, AAA guns, and machine guns for close range defense, lots of obstacles in front, impervious to all but direct hits by extremely heavy bombs or gigantic artillery pieces.

Suddenly the Maginot Line isn't so stupid...
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Many people like defensive line because Germans went around it. I really don't see much benefit. Another fact is that Germans both went around and trough that line without much troubles. Defender always needs to defend every point in fortification and attacker can concentrate forces on single point.
They didn't go through. A small part of Army Group C attacked some parts of the Maginot Line from THE REAR, and still got mauled, with only some limited success.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
more mythology supported by a handful of photos showing german forces using horses- the German army did not rely in horses... they Added some horses to an otherwise mechanized advance- it wasn't the Horses dropping the bombs and it wasn't the horses pulling all those 88s
This comment fully proves what anyone reading this thread should know otherwise, Sculpting knows NOTHING about this war.

Doesn't even realize standard infantry divisions throughout the war, were almost entirely horse drawn for infantry supply train, its artillery, etc. The only mechanized units were the panzer and panzer grenadier divisions, brigades, regiments, which were really a small fraction of the total German Heer, especially in 1940

He doesn't even realize the "German army" didn't fly aircraft, that was the Luftwaffe, a completely separate branch of service.

So remember this when that poster makes further comments.
 

janusdviveidis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
2,008
Lithuania
If they didn't build it they'd still have to defend the French German border with an economy of force scruture.

So make believe you're a commander of s poorly trained reservist infantry battalion, recently called to service months before. The Germans are attacking your unit's sector with Stuka, artillery, tanks, infantry.

Your options are to receive this attack:

1. Out in the open, maneuvering in open ground
2. Dug in hastily constructed fighting positions in the dirt, done by hand shovels
3. From inside extremely capable fixed fortifications of reinforced concrete and steel, brimming with artillery, field guns, AAA guns, and machine guns for close range defense, lots of obstacles in front, impervious to all but direct hits by extremely heavy bombs or gigantic artillery pieces.

Suddenly the Maginot Line isn't so stupid...
If I had to choose between dug out fortifications that Germans know nothing about or concrete boxes that were scouted way ahead of time with every gun emplacement known to the enemy I would choose dirt. In Lithuania Russians build massive fortress around Kaunas. It was mostly finished for WWI, even today it looks pretty impressive. Germans pounded it to bits in one week. They simply brought railroad guns and pounded defenders unable to answer... According to Wiki Germans attacked Maginot line in something like 5 places and were repelled only in one.
 

Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,102
Lorraine tudesque
France did not lose WW1, nor did France win it. The loses had been far to high.

Friends of mine bought a farm in some french mountains in 1995. The farm was inhabited since 1921. All the men of the farm were killed in the war. The woman tried to hold the farm until 1921, Then they give up.

After the Rhineland adventure France understood that the next war would come.
An other Verdun was just unthinkable.
So France first make plans and then started to build the line.
I grow up in the middle of the Maginot line. No fort was destroyed or taken.
Inside you had exactly the kind of soldiers aggie has been talking about. Outside les gardes mobiles a kind of militia of men around 40. They took care of the empty villages.
But no surrender until the end.