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

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,814
#51
Couldn't France have changed course in 1936 and extended the ML fortifications to its Belgian border, though? 1936 to 1940 is four years.
In part the desire to fight on non french terroritory. There was a belfief in a long war. they did not want a long occuptaion and devastation of northern France like in ww1.


Also, why didn't the Belgians blow up the bridges in the Ardennes after the Nazi invasion of Belgium in real life?
They waited until the acutal German invasion.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
17,896
SoCal
#52
In part the desire to fight on non french terroritory. There was a belfief in a long war. they did not want a long occuptaion and devastation of northern France like in ww1.
If the M-L would have been built on the Franco-Belgian border, though, then almost no French territory would have actually been occupied.

They waited until the acutal German invasion.
What about after the invasion?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#53
The Belgian Army totally stuffed the Ardennes defense ,
tanks couldn't go through , if there had been a modicum of interdiction
there wasn't , the few narrow roads were left open
a gun battery and some mines would have stopped the invasion stone cold dead
the French high command was a miserable bunch for sure but the Belgian high command seems to have been even lower still
the biggest mistake of the French was not to secure the road by themselves and defer to their ally
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,814
#54
If the M-L would have been built on the Franco-Belgian border, though, then almost no French territory would have actually been occupied.



What about after the invasion?
IIRC a unit was despatched top do the demolitions as the German invasion started but it was not sucessful. (burt it;s been a while scince I read much on this) There was a masisve bottleneck in german supply and troop movements a couple of bridges being destroyed could have stopped there offensive. The poor French/British army-air force co-ordination, slow staff rpactices menat that a strike agianst these choked roads and bridges was delayed till the GErmans had their flak in place.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#55
there were several attempts to bomb the bridges , the RAF send Fairley and Bristol bombers .....they were creamed
the French send bombers too ... they were slaughtered
the allied escorts couldn't penetrate the Luftwaffe cover and the German AA fire was massive
 
Dec 2011
1,321
Belgium
#56
The Belgian Army totally stuffed the Ardennes defense ,
tanks couldn't go through , if there had been a modicum of interdiction
there wasn't , the few narrow roads were left open
a gun battery and some mines would have stopped the invasion stone cold dead
the French high command was a miserable bunch for sure but the Belgian high command seems to have been even lower still
the biggest mistake of the French was not to secure the road by themselves and defer to their ally
Sparky,

I made on a small French forum together with a Francophone Belgian an in depth covering of the reasons and how the French-Belgian defensive accord of 1920 was cancelled in 1936. And in 1936 there was a lot of turmoil about it, even by some conspiracy theorists linked with the death earlier of KIng Albert and an autocar accident a year later where Leopold III nearly died and the death of his wife, who sat next to him.

That said, as the allies knew about the neutrality of the Benelux, it was a bit stupid to start a Dyle-Breda plan during the Phoney war, without a truly coordination with the Dutch and the Belgians. Of course the British agreed for the protection of Antwerp and according to Gamelin the push through the Ardennes was impossible.
The Belgian King followed exactly and each time the orders of the British/French Allies and thus due to Gamelin, set the Ardennes on a second plan. And when the French/Belgian resistance started in the Ardennes the coordination failed lamentably due to loose aggreements before the German invasion.
I made once for the small French forum and for the BBC history messageboard in the time a "what if" the Allies hadn't made a Dyle plan and started a strong defensive line along the Belgian border, The British in the West and the French with their best troops in the East. I had not that much respons on both fora.
My conclusion: some days longer before the Belgian Army collapsed. No break through through the Ardennes, but still a Fall Rot as in reality, but no Pétain and Vichy and a withdrawel to AFN and a fight on together with the British from Northern Africa...but perhaps there are too much intangibles and only real history counts.

Kind regards, Paul.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,351
Sydney
#58
As for the whole sorry business , there is no blame on the soldiers and field officers .
Headquarters and their staff must bear the totality of the shame
 

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