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Old 06-28-2020, 10:32 PM
 
25 posts, read 1,474 times
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France most likely had enough intel to appreciate the incredible military power of Germany pre '39.

They also had an experience and still living memory what the last war did to France. It pretty much obliterated the cities, villages, fields and live stock. I left no stone un turned and if it turned anything it turned the fertile fields into mass graves and endless cemeteries.

The choice was most likely the result of quick thinking and evaluation of the sort"
"live today so you can fight tomorrow".

Should they stand up to Germany right of the bet, they would be squashed like a bug,
that way they kept fighting in resistance little by little as much as they could without sacrificing the whole nation.

If you look at some places that fought Germany tooth for tooth you see what the end result was..
Look at London, Coventry, Warsaw,.. and other places that were either seriously decimated or completely obliterated.

However horror spreading Germans were, they also had a clever rules, they were no interested in destroying everything they rolled through. They wanted to invade, occupy, own and take advantage of the spoils, not to destroy them. Therefore those who played by their rules lived to tell the tale, those who stood up to them were quickly eliminated from the war game.

One reason was to end the resistance, the other to give the rest of the world an example of what will happen if you oppose the German Army and the evil force that came with it.

At the end of the day, French strategy payed off, the rest of the world destroyed the Germany, ended war and France came out of it relatively intact.

They lost few art pieces, few people were killed by overall, as a country? They rode the war at much smaller human and social cost then the first one.

So there you have it.. I guess it is somewhat of the reality that you need to calculate wisely the opponent and if you can't win, you need to thread carefully if you want to go to fight or roll belly up and play dead.
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:41 PM
 
35,775 posts, read 18,458,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palladio View Post
Should they stand up to Germany right of the bet, they would be squashed like a bug,that way they kept fighting in resistance little by little as much as they could without sacrificing the whole nation.
They did stand up to Germany. They were outwitted, out-generaled, faced with a military doctrine no one knew how to fight at the time. 91,000 KIA in six week's worth of fighting.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:14 AM
 
Location: New York Area
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Originally Posted by Palladio View Post
They lost few art pieces, few people were killed by overall, as a country? They rode the war at much smaller human and social cost then the first one.
I doubt the Jews deported from Drancy and other deportation terminals would agree, if they lived to agree or disagree.
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Old Today, 01:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
They did stand up to Germany. They were outwitted, out-generaled, faced with a military doctrine no one knew how to fight at the time. 91,000 KIA in six week's worth of fighting.
Basically a lesson from history in that there's no point having a military unless you keep them up-to-date with doctrine and equipment.
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Old Today, 02:17 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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One of the things I have heard about the French army that may have contributed to defeat was the archaic state of military communications. One source I read stated military headquarters staff did not have radio communication with the front line but relied on motorcycle riders to deliver written orders to the field. And French tank commanders communicated with other tanks using signal flags.
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Old Today, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Glokta View Post
Basically a lesson from history in that there's no point having a military unless you keep them up-to-date with doctrine and equipment.
Pretty much - with the addendum that it would have been damn hard to know in 1935 or thereabouts that the mobility war was such a game changer. One could argue that flexibility of doctrine - mobility in thinking, as well as in maneuvering - is another applicable lesson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
One of the things I have heard about the French army that may have contributed to defeat was the archaic state of military communications. One source I read stated military headquarters staff did not have radio communication with the front line but relied on motorcycle riders to deliver written orders to the field. And French tank commanders communicated with other tanks using signal flags.
Indeed. They were incredibly well prepared to re-fight WWI. Although using signal flags for armor was doctrine even for tank warfare enthusiasts like the Warsaw Pact well into the 1980s, if memory serves.
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Old Today, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
No, the respective military situations in Denmark and France in 1940 are not even remotely analogous.

Denmark was a small country with fewer than four million people, whereas Germany had a population of 70 million. Further, Denmark was essentially undefendable. Very little of the land was forested and the terrain ranges from flat to rolling prairie. No point in the country is as far as 35 miles from the sea. The Danish Army possessed all of two divisions - fewer that 15,000 men.

In contrast, France had 40 million people and was a great power. It had over 100 divisions arrayed in the north against Germany, more than 2 million soldiers. And unlike with Denmark, the Kriegsmarine could not be deployed in any meaningful way in the invasion of France. France had undergone significant interwar rearmament, particularly in the 1930s.

In short, Denmark had no illusions of defending itself against Germany. Resistance was sporadic, in part held back on orders from above because the futility was understood and there was an understandable desire to minimize the destruction that might otherwise result. The Danes were defeated by the German invasion because of the massive disparity in the very capacity of the two countries to assembly military forces, and because of strategic realities. No amount of German incompetence could have altered the final outcome.

But France possessed global force projection, was reasonably similar in size to Germany, had a far larger portion of its populace under arms, and possessed significant defensive advantages. The French were defeated by the German invasion due to tactical innovation by German forces and internal realities within the French leadership - completely different than the situation in Denmark. The end result was very much decided by reasons other than who had more of what.

Two final comments:

First, your 'military readiness' comment suggests that France was surprised. They weren't. The invasion was fully expected. France had mobilized in 1939 and knew an attack was coming, especially after the April invasions of Denmark and Norway. France had a lot of problems in 1040 - being ready for what was coming wasn't one of them.

Second, I roll my eyes every time someone on this forum suggests consuming fiction in order to study history. Movies are made to entertain. Historical accuracy invariably takes a back seat to drama, and reality is swapped out for fiction in order to create the necessary drama to put butts in the cinema's seats. Even where films reasonably track what actually happened in the past, much is simply invented. And there's no way for the viewer to know what is real and what is not - unless they're already studied in the subject, in which case the film doesn't show them anything they don't already know. And I'm at a loss as to how a film depicting events at the company level in Denmark during a campaign that lasted four hours could possibly have anything to say about a six-week clash involving nearly ten million combatants that played out across five nations (none of which was Denmark). It's like 'studying' the Civil War by watching Gone With The Wind.
It is generally about attitude, readiness., not understanding changing in warfare trends.
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Old Today, 08:41 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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I’m puzzled about the reported reluctance to use radio communications by the French at both the command and front line level. As far back as 1912, even before WWI wireless telegraphy was being used aboard ships and was the method that the Titanic used to alert ships at sea that they were sinking. And those signal flags for tanks. In the US during the 30’s there was no voice communication on tanks but they used wireless telegraphy with a sending unit strapped to the leg of one of the crewman.
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