If France doesn't fall in 1940, are Britain and France actually going to have the capability to conquer and occupy all of Germany?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#1
If France doesn't fall in 1940, are Britain and France actually going to have the capability to conquer and occupy all of Germany? I'm asking this question because if France doesn't fall in 1940 and the German regime (either the Nazi one, if it survives, or a post-Nazi one in the event of a successful anti-Nazi coup) fights on to the very end, Britain and France are going to need to conquer and occupy all of Germany if they will want Germany to give up the fight and to withdraw from Poland and Danzig.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? @redcoat @NordicDemosthenes @deaf tuner @Everyone else Thoughts?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#2
Also, please keep in mind that without US and Soviet entry into the war on the Allied side, Britain and France are going to have much less manpower to spare than the Allies had in real life.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,163
Las Vegas, NV USA
#3
If France doesn't fall in 1940, are Britain and France actually going to have the capability to conquer and occupy all of Germany? I'm asking this question because if France doesn't fall in 1940 and the German regime (either the Nazi one, if it survives, or a post-Nazi one in the event of a successful anti-Nazi coup) fights on to the very end, Britain and France are going to need to conquer and occupy all of Germany if they will want Germany to give up the fight and to withdraw from Poland and Danzig.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? @redcoat @NordicDemosthenes @deaf tuner @Everyone else Thoughts?
I always thought the allies missed a major opportunity at the outset of the war. Hitler was worried about an allied attack in the west during the first days of the invasion of Poland. When it became clear the allies were holding to defensive positions, he relaxed believing he read them correctly again. How big an obstacle the Westwall was in 1939 and the ability of the French to conduct offensive operations are key factors. The assumption Germany does not defeat France in 1940 would suggest the allies had a chance to stop Germany at this critical point. This might have resulted in another stalemate.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#4
I'm no expert on WWII military history, but I do recall having read that many experts in the field believe that had Britain and France taken the offensive in 1939 they would have - if not defeated Germany entirely - at least struck a major and damaging blow against them. The German army that achieved brilliant feats in 1940 and 1941 was not quite at that level in 1939, and together, the three Allies (Great Britain, France and Poland) outnumbered the German army by about 30-40 divisions, not to mention having a significantly larger industrial and economic base. A strong offensive into western Germany by a joint Anglo-French army would have given the Poles the chance to not just successful defend their border but also launch a counter-attack once enough German forces had been diverted to the west. However, the Germans would put up a very strong defensive fight within Germany, and at this point it'd probably devolve into a brutal war of attrition on both sides. I don't think the conquest of Germany would ever be something that could be achieved without enormous losses. If it looked like this was going to happen, Hitler would no doubt sign a conditional surrender first, to preserve some semblance of authority and dignity.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#5
I'm no expert on WWII military history, but I do recall having read that many experts in the field believe that had Britain and France taken the offensive in 1939 they would have - if not defeated Germany entirely - at least struck a major and damaging blow against them. The German army that achieved brilliant feats in 1940 and 1941 was not quite at that level in 1939, and together, the three Allies (Great Britain, France and Poland) outnumbered the German army by about 30-40 divisions, not to mention having a significantly larger industrial and economic base. A strong offensive into western Germany by a joint Anglo-French army would have given the Poles the chance to not just successful defend their border but also launch a counter-attack once enough German forces had been diverted to the west. However, the Germans would put up a very strong defensive fight within Germany, and at this point it'd probably devolve into a brutal war of attrition on both sides. I don't think the conquest of Germany would ever be something that could be achieved without enormous losses. If it looked like this was going to happen, Hitler would no doubt sign a conditional surrender first, to preserve some semblance of authority and dignity.
The Germans could have waged guerilla warfare if the Anglo-French would have penetrated into Germany. Also, I don't see Hitler being willing to admit defeat. He'd either fight on to the very end or get overthrown by German anti-Nazis.
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#6
Also, I don't see Hitler being willing to admit defeat. He'd either fight on to the very end or get overthrown by German anti-Nazis.
What makes you say this? He only adopted this fanatical stance towards the end of WW2 because of the 'all-or-nothing' nature of the war with the Soviet Union. Both sides were intent on completely conquering and/or wiping out the other, and so they knew there was no point in seeking reasonable peace terms. But such a situation did not exist between Germany and the Allies pre-1941. Neither side wanted a total war that would last years. Both sides would have sought a peace that restored the status quo if possible, or at least with some minor German concessions.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
18,701
SoCal
#7
What makes you say this? He only adopted this fanatical stance towards the end of WW2 because of the 'all-or-nothing' nature of the war with the Soviet Union. Both sides were intent on completely conquering and/or wiping out the other, and so they knew there was no point in seeking reasonable peace terms. But such a situation did not exist between Germany and the Allies pre-1941. Neither side wanted a total war that would last years. Both sides would have sought a peace that restored the status quo if possible, or at least with some minor German concessions.
A peace that restored the status quo ante bellum would have meant that Hitler's war with Poland would have been utterly pointless, though. How exactly was he then going to sell the German deaths that occurred as a result of this war (a war that he himself launched) to the German public?
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#8
A peace that restored the status quo ante bellum would have meant that Hitler's war with Poland would have been utterly pointless, though. How exactly was he then going to sell the German deaths that occurred as a result of this war (a war that he himself launched) to the German public?
I'm sure the German people would prefer a pointless war than having their entire country conquered, which would result in at least hundreds of thousands of more deaths.
 
Mar 2016
1,106
Australia
#10
They'd have probably preferred no wars at all, though.
Sure, but that's not the issue of this discussion, which is based around the fact that Germany would still invade Poland in 1939. And in the scenario that it goes badly, the German people would be less angry at Hitler and his government if they conditionally surrendered rather than let their country be conquered and decimated by the invading Allies. With enough guile and cunning Hitler could still remain in power even if this happened, though his popularity would certainly take a massive hit.
 
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