The Germans go for Paris in May 1940 instead of for the Atlantic Coast

Futurist

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May 2014
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What if, after their breakthrough at Sedan, the Germans would have went for Paris in May 1940 instead of for the Atlantic Coast?
 

Futurist

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May 2014
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They tried that in 1914 and it did not work. Why would it work in 1940?

Pruitt
Because in 1914 the French weren't caught with their pants down?

BTW, I wasn't necessarily saying that it would work; rather, I was hoping to hear everyone's thoughts on this.
 

stevev

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Apr 2017
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Las Vegas, NV USA
They tried that in 1914 and it did not work. Why would it work in 1940?

Pruitt
I agree. The Schleiffen Plan was flawed even if it wasn't weakened by shifting 2 corps to the east to meet the unexpected Russian invasion. The Ist Army had a very long march while the 7th Army as the pivot point didn't move at all . The Manstein Plan always kept the enemy in front with the ability of the Germans to allocate forces where they were needed. If the Germans went straight for Paris, their flank and rear would be vulnerable.

Even in WWI the Germans did not plan to go straight into Paris which was a fortress. The plan was to envelope it like in 1870.
 
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pugsville

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Oct 2010
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I agree. The Schleiffen Plan was flawed even if it wasn't weakened by shifting 2 corps to the east to meet the unexpected Russian invasion. The Ist Army had a very long march while the 7th Army as the pivot point didn't move at all . The Manstein Plan always kept the enemy in front with a the ability of the Germans to allocate forces where they were needed. If the Germans went straight for Paris, their flanks and rear would be vulnerable.

Even in WWI the Germans did not plan to go straight into Paris which was a fortress. The plan was to envelope it like in 1870.
The 1914 and 1940 French plans were radically different. 1914 they are punching into Germany, 1940 into Belgium/Netherlands.

The technological, logistical , support environment was radically different in 1940, trucks, Radios, tanks, ground support. 10 days to reach the coast. The Battle of the Marne in 1914 takes place a month later.

There was nothing at all unexpected about the Russian invasion it was entirely what expected in pre war German planning. Even the German response was very much what they planned and they defeated that initail Russian offensive before those 2 corps arrived.

Also as the logistical support of the Advance elements of the German army pretty much failed. the 2 extra corps simply would not have been where they would have made a difference.

The Manstein Plan was very much vulnerable on the flanks, more so than the Scliffen plan, 1940 was a narrow punch through a pretty narrow corridor while 1914 it was advance on avery broad front. Just in 1940 the allies just do not have reserves, and the speed of the German advance and command and control issues prevented 1914 movement of troops by the French.

if the Allies in 1940 had followed their initail plan and maintained a large mobile reserve of their best units, it's conceivable that they could have cut off isolated and destroyed the bulk of teh German panzer Divisions in 1940. It worked brillantly in 1940 but the allied plan dovetailed very nicely and there was no certainty of that. Different allied plans and it could have been very different.
 
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stevev

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Apr 2017
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T

There was nothing at all unexpected about the Russian invasion it was entirely what expected in pre war German planning. Even the German response was very much what they planned and they defeated that initail Russian offensive before those 2 corps arrived.

Also as the logistical support of the Advance elements of the German army pretty much failed. the 2 extra corps simply would not have been where they would have made a difference.
True, but at the time there was panic in the German General Staff. The plan was for six weeks before the Russians could fully mobilize.The Russians were simply not ready ready and General von Francois was. Its not clear the Germans would have won without his initiative.

Hermann von François - Wikipedia
 
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pugsville

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Oct 2010
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True, but at the time there was panic in the German General Staff. The plan was for six weeks before the Russians could fully mobilize.The Russians simply not ready were not ready and General von Francois was. Its not clear the Germans would have won without his initiative.

Hermann von François - Wikipedia
Yup Moltke the younger had nervous breakdown, just unable to cope with the pressure. German General staff was hardly cool calm and calculating. but the Russian attack was entirely expected. The German response had been developed during pre war maneuvers. It was not some unexpected brilliance to an unexpected attack. And mostly under way by the time Ludendorf and Hindenberg showed up to steal the credit.,
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
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Yup Moltke the younger had nervous breakdown, just unable to cope with the pressure. German General staff was hardly cool calm and calculating. but the Russian attack was entirely expected. The German response had been developed during pre war maneuvers. It was not some unexpected brilliance to an unexpected attack. And mostly under way by the time Ludendorf and Hindenberg showed up to steal the credit.,
Yeah, I've heard Max Hoffman talk in the 1920s about how a particular location near Tannenburg was where Hindenburg slept before the battle, where Hindenburg slept after the battle, and where Hindenburg slept during the battle! :lol:
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
The 1914 and 1940 French plans were radically different. 1914 they are punching into Germany, 1940 into Belgium/Netherlands.

The technological, logistical , support environment was radically different in 1940, trucks, Radios, tanks, ground support. 10 days to reach the coast. The Battle of the Marne in 1914 takes place a month later.

There was nothing at all unexpected about the Russian invasion it was entirely what expected in pre war German planning. Even the German response was very much what they planned and they defeated that initail Russian offensive before those 2 corps arrived.

Also as the logistical support of the Advance elements of the German army pretty much failed. the 2 extra corps simply would not have been where they would have made a difference.

The Manstein Plan was very much vulnerable on the flanks, more so than the Scliffen plan, 1940 was a narrow punch through a pretty narrow corridor while 1914 it was advance on avery broad front. Just in 1940 the allies just do not have reserves, and the speed of the German advance and command and control issues prevented 1914 movement of troops by the French.

if the Allies in 1940 had followed their initail plan and maintained a large mobile reserve of their best units, it's conceivable that they could have cut off isolated and destroyed the bulk of teh German panzer Divisions in 1940. It worked brillantly in 1940 but the allied plan dovetailed very nicely and there was no certainty of that. Different allied plans and it could have been very different.
Do you think that the Germans could have achieved more success in 1914 had they allowed the French to penetrate deeper into Alsace-Lorraine only to subsequently attack and encircle the French in the rear?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,750
SoCal
I agree. The Schleiffen Plan was flawed even if it wasn't weakened by shifting 2 corps to the east to meet the unexpected Russian invasion. The Ist Army had a very long march while the 7th Army as the pivot point didn't move at all . The Manstein Plan always kept the enemy in front with the ability of the Germans to allocate forces where they were needed. If the Germans went straight for Paris, their flank and rear would be vulnerable.

Even in WWI the Germans did not plan to go straight into Paris which was a fortress. The plan was to envelope it like in 1870.
Wasn't the German flank and rear vulnerable in real life during their advance in northern France up to the Atlantic Coast, though?