If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,835
Why on earth does anyone assume that the French would fight for North Africa, Syria or elsewhere when they were not prepared to fight for France?
Meaning you don't think there was a fight in France in 1940.

OK, noted...:suspicious:

The Germans, who did the fighting and the winning in 1940 concluded that the reason they won was that they outfought the French. The French army moral was not a problem for them as far as the Germans could tell, until the defeats to the Germans started piling up. The French army moral problems was an effect of a defeat, not the cause of it.

The Germans were quite proud of what they managed to do in France in 1940, and had none of the attitude towards the French that the Americans and British (you here, lately) expressed over it.

Why would you want to denigrate the German achievement like this?

Because it wasn't a fight involving British or Americans, and so by definition everyone must be rubbish?
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,046
Portugal
Why on earth does anyone assume that the French would fight for North Africa, Syria or elsewhere when they were not prepared to fight for France?
Dutch and Belgian forces continued to fight overseas; it was also an option for the French before the Armistice. An option that even with the Armistice some took and led to a French Civil War during WWII.

The idea that I have is that there was the assumption by the French leadership that a hard peace (the reverse of 1918) was the best option. History proved that for France it was the wrong option.

EDIT:

Meaning you don't think there was a fight in France in 1940.

OK, noted...:suspicious:

The Germans, who did the fighting and the winning in 1940 concluded that the reason they won was that they outfought the French. The French army moral was not a problem for them as far as the Germans could tell, until the defeats to the Germans started piling up. The French army moral problems was an effect of a defeat, not the cause of it.

The Germans were quite proud of what they managed to do in France in 1940, and had none of the attitude towards the French that the Americans and British (you here, lately) expressed over it.

Why would you want to denigrate the German achievement like this?

Because it wasn't a fight involving British or Americans, and so by definition everyone must be rubbish?
Talking by memory, I don’t read about WWII for ages, I think that the German casualties per day incremented significantly after the evacuation of Dunkirk.
 
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Mar 2015
1,458
Yorkshire
I see this thread is already going off the rails.

Sticking to the theme of continuing the fight in North Africa:

On 2nd June, Reynaud had telegrammed General Noques, Commander French Forces in North Africa concerning his plan to conscript two classes in France, amounting to 500,000 recruits and send them to Algeria and Morocco for training.

Noques telegrammed back the next day that this was out of the question, owing to shortage of Accommodation, Clothing and Arms - as well as doctors since Frenchmen would not be able to stand the Summer Heat. The most he could take was 20,000.

Reynaud was angry at this response.

The French had 7 Divisions in North Africa. Weygand dismissed these as worthless - "mostly native troops". Personally I think he made a mistake. "Native" North Africans have consistently fought well for France and they were at least professional volunteers unlike the bulk of the French Army composed of civilian conscripts with little military training.

Reynaud was not alone in wanting to fight on These included Mandel and De Gaulle, President Lebrun and others (as I have mentioned). Two ships had been arranged on 20th June to transport the Government to North Africa. Even after the Armistice was announced Mandel, escaped to Morocco where he tried to continue the fight. He was arrested and later murdered by the Germans (in 1944, I think). Anyway its untrue to suggest that all of France was unwilling to continue the fight. The Government was bounced by Laval, Weygand and Petain.

At 12.30pm that day the Marshall announced over the radio the end of Hostilities.
 
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Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,851
At present SD, USA
If France decides to fight on in 1940 (for instance, if the U.S. is already in the war at that point in time but--for whatever reason--France still ends up falling), how much people, industry, et cetera can it relocate/evacuate to Algeria (and perhaps other parts of French North Africa, such as Tunisia and Morocco)?
Question one would relate to what would bring the US in in 1939... or at least prior to May 1940? While FDR was pro Allied Powers, and a degree openly so, that DID create a lot of political pressure in 1940 that he would HAVE to negotiate as it was a Presidential election year. And with Roosevelt already putting tradition aside by running for a third term, he really couldn't look as though he was recklessly looking to get America into what was seen as a foreign war, especially when the measured responses to aide the Allies, through things like Lend Lease weren't taken well.

If France decides to fight on in 1940 (for instance, if the U.S. is already in the war at that point in time but--for whatever reason--France still ends up falling), how much people, industry, et cetera can it relocate/evacuate to Algeria (and perhaps other parts of French North Africa, such as Tunisia and Morocco)?
In relation to what could France do... The answer is that not much could be evacuated from metropolitan France. When the German army broke through at Sedan in 1940, the best units of the French army were caught completely out of position and couldn't force the massive head on tank battle that was intended by the French high command...

In this, while the French probably could evacuate SOME formations to North Africa, they wouldn't be much... and evacuating industries would be even less. In the immediate sense, while the French government would still be in the war and its colonies could probably be trusted to help them... they wouldn't be in a particularly strong position to deal with Germany for the near future.

There would also be the issue that given the draconian measures Hitler took to punish France in history, regarding territorial losses and enslaving France to Germany, one can expect that to be done TEN fold if the French government remains active in the war, which would likely mean that there would be no real escape route through Spain that POWs, resistance groups, and others would have to get to Britain/North Africa in the way that it happened in history.

Also, what effect would this have on World War II?
Much of the immediate effect would be to sow confusion on the German side on what to do. Like many of the German plans in WW2, the operation in 1940 included the expectation that the entire coalition would surrender once they delivered one hard blow. The fact that France did this in history essentially set up nearly everything that would happen from 1940 onwards in WW2.

The Third Republic fighting on would change that, regardless of whether it be under Reynaud or Petain. For Italy essentially had to be rescued by the Germans in their invasion of metropolitan France and would rapidly run into trouble in Egypt in history. This time, Italy would face a two front war in Libya with French and British forces on both sides... and while the French forces would mostly be colonial forces with few units from France present, they would still pose a major threat to Libya. The BIGGER issue for the Axis would be the presence of the French Navy.

Historically, the French Navy was crippled at Meirs El-Kebir in 1940 and was a non-factor for the rest of the war. However, if the Third Republic remains in the war, the Italian Navy would face a MAJOR issue in that while the British Mediterranean Fleet might be smaller than it was historically, it combined with the French would likely be enough to put Italy on its back foot in the naval war in the Mediterranean. Defeat at sea against the French and the British would divide German attentions and open up further issues on what to do...

Do they:

1) Turn to the defensive in southern France as well as northern France and in Italy against possible Allied amphibious operations?

2) Send token forces south while focusing on Sealion in the hopes that the occupation of Britain would convince the Third Republic to surrender?

3) Leave token forces in the north and gamble that the Italian Navy could at least keep the Allied navies at bay to land forces in Libya to fight a massive land campaign that would cover more ground than what would be fought in for the Soviet Union in history in North Africa.

And all of these present problems, and for the Germans, particularly on the naval aspects of the war. The Norwegian campaign had so badly mauled the German surface navy that when it came time for Sealion in 1940, there was no real support for it with the German navy unless total air supremacy was won first. With the Third Republic still in the war and its navy still patrolling the Mediterranean, there would be NO chance of even considering trying to sneak the Italian Navy into the Atlantic, which probably wouldn't have worked historically either. And in this, air and land resources would NEED to be committed to southern Europe at least...

And with the French navy still active, the British would likely feel less pressure to keep large naval forces in the Mediterranean, and let the French deal with the Italians. This would mean that the defense of the British coast would potentially be stronger than it was in history with regard to the naval forces.

In this, the immediate consequence would probably be a stalemate. There might be some fighting over Libya... but unless the Italian fleet scores a major victory over the French and British at sea, I wouldn't see it developing into a major theater. In this... the Allies would take Libya and essentially retrain and prepare for the campaign in Italy. The biggest plus for the French would be that they would likely get MORE support from the US than they did in history and there would be less concern about "removing" De Gaulle, because in such a scenario, De Gaulle, while likely still a difficult man to deal with, would be seen as a member of the legitimate government and not some random officer who didn't want to surrender. And in the larger sense... Hitler might not be as openly willing to push for Barbarossa, simply for the fact that he was already stuck in a two front war with Britain to the north and France to the South, fronts that would require a lot of time, effort, and manpower that would be weakened by a drive into the Soviet Union... particularly if the Germans decide to fight for Libya.

From there it would be harder to truly predict what would be likely, given how the war would then play out.

In addition to this, would France be less willing to give up Algeria in the post-World War II decades in this scenario? Or would this not have made any difference in regards to this?
Given that the French fought hard to keep at least Algeria after WW2, it probably wouldn't make much difference... Especially if the Allies ultimately still win WW2 in the long run. The French government would surely take advantage of the victory and the use of Algeria/North Africa as their bastion as a point of pride.
 

Isleifson

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,080
Lorraine tudesque
I see this thread is already going off the rails.

Sticking to the theme of continuing the fight in North Africa:

On 2nd June, Reynaud had telegrammed General Noques, Commander French Forces in North Africa concerning his plan to conscript two classes in France, amounting to 500,000 recruits and send them to Algeria and Morocco for training.

Noques telegrammed back the next day that this was out of the question, owing to shortage of Accommodation, Clothing and Arms - as well as doctors since Frenchmen would not be able to stand the Summer Heat. The most he could take was 20,000.

Reynaud was angry at this response.

The French had 7 Divisions in North Africa. Weygand dismissed these as worthless - "mostly native troops". Personally I think he made a mistake. "Native" North Africans have consistently fought well for France and they were at least professional volunteers unlike the bulk of the French Army composed of civilian conscripts with little military training.

Reynaud was not alone in wanting to fight on These included Mandel and De Gaulle, President Lebrun and others (as I have mentioned). Two ships had been arranged on 20th June to transport the Government to North Africa. Even after the Armistice was announced Mandel, escaped to Morocco where he tried to continue the fight. He was arrested and later murdered by the Germans (in 1944, I think). Anyway its untrue to suggest that all of France was unwilling to continue the fight. The Government was bounced by Laval, Weygand and Petain.

At 12.30pm that day the Marshall announced over the radio the end of Hostilities.
all correct.:cool:
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,533
Europix
Why on earth does anyone assume that the French would fight for North Africa, Syria or elsewhere when they were not prepared to fight for France?
IDK why on earth would someone assume that.

But still, (totally) unprepared, they did it: and in France, and in North Africa, and in Mid-east. Till the end of the war.