Is the Manstein Plan (Sickle Cut) main reason of France's defeat in 1940 or are there other main reasons ?

Nov 2010
1,285
Bordeaux
Slight correction - the majority of the French armies covering the Maginot, a total of 30 Divisions (plus one British), were in front of the Maginot, in three defensive lines. A fourth line, "the Deladier" was supposed ot have been installed behind the Maginot but was never completed.

Perversely the Maginot saved German Troops. SInce it was of course immobile, and the Wehrmacht had no reason to attack it frontally, they were able to economise leaving only 18 Divisons defending their own Seigfreid (Western Wall) Line.

An extra 12 to 20 French Divisions in front of the Ardennes might have been useful, as would a better preformance from Huntzinger, but we come back to central problem, the lack of no reserve "Aucune - masse de manoevre" in Churchill's abominal French" for a front stretching 500 plus miles.[/QUOTE]

In FRONT of the Maginot Line?? Where did you get that from?
Fortress divisions were in the bunkers of the Line, and reinforcement infantry divisions were stationned behind.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
14,097
Was Manstein's Ardennes breakthrough at Sedan with all panzer divisions and rapid march to Channel idea main reason for French defeat that turned to debacle afterwards ? Or were there other fundementai reasons like German operational warware culture of missin oriented approach (that allowed leeway to commanders like Guderian , Hoth , Rommel to march as much as they could regardless of Halt orders from above) weakness of French high command organisation , communication , slow reactişon of French High Command General Staff ?

Could Manstein Plan , Sedan beakthrough and Sickle Cut though Northern France be beaten ?
Clearly the plan in itself was not sufficient for victory

We know this very simply because the germans tried roughly the same plan in winter 1944 (known as the battle of the bulge)... and it failed miserably

Its a confluence of factors (german strengths , allied weaknesses etc..) that led to the german success....
 
Jan 2017
1,309
Durham
The COnetxt that in teh previous great war, the french had been much tougher oppoents whiel tehRussians had been beaten by the imperial German army. Psychologically they had done the hard task that their fathers had not.
I'm not sure thst's true with the French.

At the outset of WW2 both the British and French were optimistic and were confident it would be a re-run in that the Germans would be halted.

What did for the Germans at The Marne and in the March Offensive was logistical problems. They simply couldn't keep their advancing army supplied.

But, when the Germans pulled back at The Marne there's a good case to say that they didn't need to.

Maybe this German Army of WW2 just took more gambles and it paid off.
 
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Mar 2015
1,461
Yorkshire
Slight correction - the majority of the French armies covering the Maginot, a total of 30 Divisions (plus one British), were in front of the Maginot, in three defensive lines. A fourth line, "the Deladier" was supposed ot have been installed behind the Maginot but was never completed.

Perversely the Maginot saved German Troops. SInce it was of course immobile, and the Wehrmacht had no reason to attack it frontally, they were able to economise leaving only 18 Divisons defending their own Seigfreid (Western Wall) Line.

An extra 12 to 20 French Divisions in front of the Ardennes might have been useful, as would a better preformance from Huntzinger, but we come back to central problem, the lack of no reserve "Aucune - masse de manoevre" in Churchill's abominal French" for a front stretching 500 plus miles.
In FRONT of the Maginot Line?? Where did you get that from?
Fortress divisions were in the bunkers of the Line, and reinforcement infantry divisions were stationned behind.[/QUOTE]


Very simple - my Dad.

The 48th Division was stationed on the Maginot in April 1940. This policy meant that every month or so a British Division was rotated to the Maginot where there was a semblance of war going on. The 51st Highland DIvision were unlucky to be stationed there in May 1940. Meanwhile the 48th had moved the Dyle - equally unlucky.

Actually if you read about the experience (and I have the War Diaries) it is just like a re-run of WW1 with trench patrol and desultory shelling.

There were in fact three lines; Ligne de contact, ligne de soutiens (support) and ligne de repulse, complete with trenches for machine gunners and infantry - all in front of the Maginot guns.

The fourth line behind the Maginot was never completed.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Slight correction - the majority of the French armies covering the Maginot, a total of 30 Divisions (plus one British), were in front of the Maginot, in three defensive lines. A fourth line, "the Deladier" was supposed ot have been installed behind the Maginot but was never completed.

Perversely the Maginot saved German Troops. SInce it was of course immobile, and the Wehrmacht had no reason to attack it frontally, they were able to economise leaving only 18 Divisons defending their own Seigfreid (Western Wall) Line.

An extra 12 to 20 French Divisions in front of the Ardennes might have been useful, as would a better preformance from Huntzinger, but we come back to central problem, the lack of no reserve "Aucune - masse de manoevre" in Churchill's abominal French" for a front stretching 500 plus miles.[/QUOTE]
How many divisions did the French Seventh Army have? Would it have been enough to cover the Ardennes had the French Seventh Army been stationed in that sector?
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Very simple - my Dad.

The 48th Division was stationed on the Maginot in April 1940. This policy meant that every month or so a British Division was rotated to the Maginot where there was a semblance of war going on. The 51st Highland DIvision were unlucky to be stationed there in May 1940. Meanwhile the 48th had moved the Dyle - equally unlucky.

Actually if you read about the experience (and I have the War Diaries) it is just like a re-run of WW1 with trench patrol and desultory shelling.

There were in fact three lines; Ligne de contact, ligne de soutiens (support) and ligne de repulse, complete with trenches for machine gunners and infantry - all in front of the Maginot guns.

The fourth line behind the Maginot was never completed.
So they were on the line, not in front of it...
 
Mar 2015
1,461
Yorkshire
No They were in front of the Maginot guns\forts - in fact on one occasion the officer told them they were in Germany (just).

This might give you some idea of the set-up (2nd Warks - part of 48th Division). This the Ligne de Contact


warks2.jpg
 
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Mar 2015
1,461
Yorkshire
Here (taken from WIki) is the huge manpower used in defence of the Maginot - British 51st Highland is shown as part of French Colonial Troops (that must have amused the latter day "Bonnie Prince Charlie's" Scots)

French Second Army Group
The French 2nd Army Group was responsible for manning the bulk of the Maginot Line from Montmedy to south of Strasbourg, and controlled three armies. General de Armee Andre-Gaston Pretelat was Commander-in-Chief of the army group throughout its existence.


French Third Army Group
The 3rd Army Group was responsible for manning the southern end of the Maginot Line, along the River Rhine and controlled one army. The army group's Commander-in-Chief was Général d'Armée Antoine-Marie-Benoit Besson.


 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
No They were in front of the Maginot guns\forts - in fact on one occasion the officer told them they were in Germany (just).

This might give you some idea of the set-up (2nd Warks - part of 48th Division). This the Ligne de Contact


View attachment 21062
Without more pages available from that source it seems like they're discussing outposts, specifically used as patrol bases.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
Slight correction - the majority of the French armies covering the Maginot, a total of 30 Divisions (plus one British), were in front of the Maginot, in three defensive lines. A fourth line, "the Deladier" was supposed ot have been installed behind the Maginot but was never completed.

Perversely the Maginot saved German Troops. SInce it was of course immobile, and the Wehrmacht had no reason to attack it frontally, they were able to economise leaving only 18 Divisons defending their own Seigfreid (Western Wall) Line.

An extra 12 to 20 French Divisions in front of the Ardennes might have been useful, as would a better preformance from Huntzinger, but we come back to central problem, the lack of no reserve "Aucune - masse de manoevre" in Churchill's abominal French" for a front stretching 500 plus miles.
How many divisions did the French Seventh Army have? Would it have been enough to cover the Ardennes had the French Seventh Army been stationed in that sector?[/QUOTE]
@peccavi My question here is meant for you, in case you're wondering.