The rapid victory of Hitler against France and UK (1940).

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#41
Exactly , planting a false info is a game everybody played
ultimately the only serious intel is about troops deployment and they accumulation of supplies

certainly the French could have been more watchful about a side show in a very difficult theater where all the advantage were on the defender side
they were hypnotized by the German move in the natural invasion highway , the low countries
that was a direct incontrovertible threat to allies
what do you think they should have done , sit on their hands ?
they minimized the possibility of a whole hostile army moving through a natural bottleneck to face a major water obstacle
it didn't make much sense
I'm fairly certain that French intelligence did report that an massed attack through the ardennes was in the offing only to be ignored. Apparantly french high command had a very low opinon of French intellgence.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,835
Sydney
#42
An with good reason , they failed to detect the attack on Verdun until the signs were totally obvious
as for ignoring , I don't know it's more like they dismissed it as a side show , well withing the second army capability to handle
it was tasked with a static defense on belts of sound field fortifications , well equipped with artillery
In the French battle doctrine , tanks were infantry support , the Germans had little infantry and no artillery deployed as yet
there was no reason to believe that the German move was anything more than a disrupting attack
intended to draw some troops away from the main battle around Namur and the Gembloux area

the German massive use of tactical air strike to compensate for the lack of artillery
the total disregard of the Panzers for any form of consolidation of their bridgehead ,
instead going for deep penetrations with no flanks protection whatsoever

this was a surprise , the ponderous French command faced with a fluid , fast changing situation
the intel was all over the place , they could not put numbers and identification of the units in the breach
field report varied from a few tanks loose in the rear to whole Army corps on the move
the Luftwaffe total superiority made the French Headquarters blind
for too long , they were loath to abandon their strategy and had no other in place
 
Last edited:
Dec 2011
1,317
Belgium
#43
sparky, too late overhere to reply in full...
"a good general don't listen to all the rumors..."but in my oinion it wasn't a good general, while he hadn't foreseen reserves behind...and it seems Paillole has prevented Paul Reynaud on 22 March and he was sure by for instance the enygma that Thillo Schmidt was a reliable source.
But could it be that Gamelin couldn't turn off the Dyle-Breda plan, while it was already agreed with the ally Britain and he would perhaps lose his post when he remade the plan calculating in the push through the Ardennes. In any case he lost his post later on, due to "incompetence"?
See the replies from Abelard to me in the small English language forum:
Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion - Page 3
.
Sparky,

did some further research among others about the warning from Pierre Taittinger on 21 March 1940 to Daladier
from the Blitzkrieg Legend from Frieser
The Blitzkrieg Legend
And here you can read it in full
The French Army’s Six Fatal Mistakes at Sedan
And you and duMazeldan seems to be right, the French generals especially Gamelin seemed only to listen to themselves and I am not sure anymore if Gamelin was afraid to change the Dyle-Breda strategy, already established, for fear of his post. Other Generals seem to have had the same thinking as him and they listened to nobody.
I am still reading about the mess that they caused in this thread from the American Robert A Doughty
The Breaking Point. Sedan and the fall of France 1940.
[Stackpole] The Breaking Point - Sedan and the Fall of France, 1940 - PDF Free Download

And after all that I haven't that much to add more to the question.

Kind regards, Paul.
 
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royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,953
San Antonio, Tx
#44
Do you think that, had the French properly secured the Ardennes, the German invasion would have still succeeded? Or would such a French move have allowed France to survive in spite of its other weaknesses (such as not being able to react rapidly and not recognizing that warfare has changed since 1918)?
I don’t much like “static” defensive lines, such as the Maginot Line, but the Germans sensibly never attacked this line in a frontal assault. This leads me to conclude that where the Maginot Line existed, it was pretty much left to its own devices, meaning it was effective. But, and it’s a big one, the French made a few advantageous (for those who didn’t want to spend any more money) financial decisions that left the Maginot Line incomplete in the false belief that “tanks can’t go thru there”. Had it been thoroughly completed, would the Germans have gotten through? I don’t know.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#45
I don’t much like “static” defensive lines, such as the Maginot Line, but the Germans sensibly never attacked this line in a frontal assault. This leads me to conclude that where the Maginot Line existed, it was pretty much left to its own devices, meaning it was effective. But, and it’s a big one, the French made a few advantageous (for those who didn’t want to spend any more money) financial decisions that left the Maginot Line incomplete in the false belief that “tanks can’t go thru there”. Had it been thoroughly completed, would the Germans have gotten through? I don’t know.
The Maginot line stopped not because of any belief that "tanks cannot go through there" but because of Belgium. Belgium was a French ally and it was regrded that building fortications behind your ally as not beinng very reassuring for that ally,
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,590
SoCal
#46
The Maginot line stopped not because of any belief that "tanks cannot go through there" but because of Belgium. Belgium was a French ally and it was regrded that building fortications behind your ally as not beinng very reassuring for that ally,
Belgium shouldn't have declared its neutrality in 1936, then. First Belgium declares its neutrality, and then it's somehow supposed to be shocked that France is going to ignore it?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#47
Belgium shouldn't have declared its neutrality in 1936, then. First Belgium declares its neutrality, and then it's somehow supposed to be shocked that France is going to ignore it?
Belguim was an ally when the Maginot decisions were made.

If Belgium stays with the alliance and allows French and Britiish troops tomove in during the phiney war, France does not fall. Troops move to good defensive positions, a good mobile reserve, bridges are demolished in the Ardennes.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
15,590
SoCal
#48
Couldn't France have changed course in 1936 and extended the ML fortifications to its Belgian border, though? 1936 to 1940 is four years.

Also, why didn't the Belgians blow up the bridges in the Ardennes after the Nazi invasion of Belgium in real life?
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,953
San Antonio, Tx
#49
Thank you very much dear specialists.Please who had the biggest numbers of efectives,guns,tanks and planes ? Hitler or France,UK,Poland,Holand,Belgica ?
The Maginot line stopped not because of any belief that "tanks cannot go through there" but because of Belgium. Belgium was a French ally and it was regrded that building fortications behind your ally as not beinng very reassuring for that ally,
I’ll buy that...
 
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