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Old 11-10-2017, 11:56 PM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
3,111 posts, read 4,790,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
The problem with your comparison is that Nazi Germany didn't want to destroy France, kill off its citizens, and repopulate France with Aryan settlers. The Nazis sure as heck wanted to liquidate and colonize the lands to their East. I would argue that the Russians fought to the death to defend their nation because they had no other choice.

Also, Nazi Germany would never have invaded France and then later the Soviet Union if Stalin and the Soviets hadn't backed out of their alliance with France and then struck a deal with Hitler and Germany to declare a neutrality pact and to agree to divide up Poland and the Baltic states among themselves.

In this you are also right. As for the non-aggression pact, the USSR had no choice, since the war was inevitable and time was needed. (P.S, earlier such pacts were concluded by other countries with Germany). it was not a union pact. The Allies do not conclude non-aggression pacts. The reality is that the French simply did not want to protect their land (I'm talking about the majority). there is certainly an exception, but unfortunately their minority. But in the first world, the French also did not willingly give their lives for their country, at a time when Russian units did this for France


But do not forget that Germany was one more and France had the opportunity to suppress the enemy in its embryo. the Soviet Union had to fight already with all of Europe, as the inhabitants of these countries fought on the side of Germany. Germany used the resources of all countries. it should also be noted that financial and material support was provided by American and transatlantic corporations even when the United States entered the war. The same thing happened in Japan. The United States itself militarized Japan, later forced themselves to attack the United States, as the United States arranged a complete blockade for Japan. Maybe France had no chance, given such allies.

Last edited by GreyKarast; 11-11-2017 at 12:11 AM..
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:00 AM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
3,111 posts, read 4,790,712 times
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If France has not been erased from the map of Europe, it is primarily due to the courage of Russian soldiers. Do you know whose words these are? This fair assessment of the valor of Russian troops on the fronts of the First World War belongs to the largest French commander, Marshal Ferdinand Fosh. His memories of the war of 1914-1918 were published in many languages, including in 1939 in the Soviet Union.

Notes of an aging marshal, a man far from friendly to the Soviets.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:48 AM
 
3,871 posts, read 2,101,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
You are right, the French did fight in 1940. They did not fight like they had fought in years past but they did fight.

When discussing the Fall of France, many histories seem to go from the Dunkirk evacuation right to the French surrender with Hitler and the railway car. They seem to ignore some less known facts, for instance after Dunkirk,

- Even after the disaster in Belgium and Northern France, the French still had 64 divisions to face the German 140+ divisions. They began to form new defensive positions along the interior river lines in France.
- 100,000+ of the French that were evacuated at Dunkirk returned to France to help bolster the French defense.
- The British also relanded the BEF to help the French (this is after Dunkirk).
- The French were looking to turn the Brittany peninsula into a National Redoubt, where the outnumbered French army might be able to hold off the Germans with Allied assistance.
- There was also proposals about evacuating the French government, Navy, Air Force and as much of the Army as possible to French North Africa to continue the war.
- Even with France collapsing, the French army was able to easily fight off the Italian invasion.
- There were pleas of help to the Americans. Granted it was unlikely due to strong feeling of neutrality, but had the USA responded at this time to the downfall of her oldest ally, it is very possible that France would not have given up but instead continued the war based in North Africa.
Those rank among the least known facts ever. And the most interesting. Thanks! Although, was it only American isolationism that held us back? I understood that in 1940 America was totally unprepared for war. Maybe we wouldn't have been much help even if we tried.

It sounds like some in France, even in the leadership, were not as defeatist as is usually portrayed. I can't imagine what went on in their heads after the defeats of May but some must have stayed unbowed and true.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Finland
24,257 posts, read 20,159,134 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
I went over to the Wikipedia article on the Battle of France in WWII, looking for a meaningful German edge in either men or materials. The figure that really popped out wasn't the starting numbers, but rather the ending numbers.

At the end, the Axis powers had about 27,000 dead, 111,000 wounded, and 18,000 missing - a total of 156,000. The Allied powers had about 360,000 dead or wounded, twice as many. Admittedly, a portion of Allied casualties were British, Belgian, and Dutch, but France probably accounted for the bulk of the casualties, just as they accounted for the bulk of the Allied forces. If France had continued fighting (and, after Dunkirk, they were the only ones left on the Continent fighting), the terrible mathematics would have bled France dry.
This thing is good to remember. The French lost around 90k KIA in just six weeks, which tells you something about the ferocity of the battle fought. For comparison Finland, who have a reputation of being good warriors lost the same 90k in five years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I do not think the French people were armed the way the American People were armed. Once the French army was defeated, there was no way for the citizenry to fight even if they had the will to do so. I suppose they could throw rocks and baguettes at the tanks, but that seems pretty stupid.
Oh but they did fight back. And in a very French way. By autumn 1940 practically all big factories were on a never-ending strike, and did never resume full capacity, even when slave labour from the east were imported. Industrial sabotage of their own products was also widespread.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:54 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,887,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyKarast View Post
In this you are also right. As for the non-aggression pact, the USSR had no choice, since the war was inevitable and time was needed. (P.S, earlier such pacts were concluded by other countries with Germany). it was not a union pact. The Allies do not conclude non-aggression pacts. The reality is that the French simply did not want to protect their land (I'm talking about the majority). there is certainly an exception, but unfortunately their minority. But in the first world, the French also did not willingly give their lives for their country, at a time when Russian units did this for France
You seem to have ignored my entire posts in order to reiterate your previously stated opinions.

Put succintly, my points were:
  • France and the Soviet Union were in different situations. The French weren't threatened with the annihilation that the Soviet Union was faced with.
  • Soviet repudiation of the 1935 Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance, cleared the way for Germany to attack Poland, then France, and finally the Soviet Union.

To claim that "Russian units did this [give their lives] for France" is demonstrably false. France had already fallen while the Soviet Union was busy invading and annexing foreign lands in Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union traded its pact with France for Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the eastern third of Poland.

Quote:
But do not forget that Germany was one more and France had the opportunity to suppress the enemy in its embryo. the Soviet Union had to fight already with all of Europe, as the inhabitants of these countries fought on the side of Germany. Germany used the resources of all countries.
Again, see above. If the Soviets hadn't thrown away their treaty with France in 1939, the Soviet Union wouldn't have been facing Nazi Germany and its eastern European allies in 1941.

I realize that you must keep ignoring this fact, as it shines a bright light on Soviet actions that led to its being alone and attacked.

Quote:
it should also be noted that financial and material support was provided by American and transatlantic corporations even when the United States entered the war. The same thing happened in Japan. The United States itself militarized Japan, later forced themselves to attack the United States, as the United States arranged a complete blockade for Japan. Maybe France had no chance, given such allies.
Japan wasn't militarized by Japan - it was quite capable of militarizing itself.

There was no US arranged "complete blockade for Japan". The United States halted oil and scrap metal trade with the Empire of Japan in response to Japan seizing French Indochina. Japan chose to attack the United States and reduce US military power in the Pacific in order to facilitate the seizure of oil resources in Indonesia and keep its war in China going.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:08 AM
 
5,114 posts, read 4,887,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyKarast View Post
If France has not been erased from the map of Europe, it is primarily due to the courage of Russian soldiers. Do you know whose words these are? This fair assessment of the valor of Russian troops on the fronts of the First World War belongs to the largest French commander, Marshal Ferdinand Fosh. His memories of the war of 1914-1918 were published in many languages, including in 1939 in the Soviet Union.

Notes of an aging marshal, a man far from friendly to the Soviets.
OK, now we're back to the First World War.

France would not have been "erased from the map of Europe" in WWI, even if it had lost. It would have been a replay of the results of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, with a victorious German Empire taking a few more provinces away from its neighbors and perhaps inflicting some form of reparations upon France. But France would have still existed.

At the start of WWI German military command had all but denuded its eastern frontier of military forces in order to maximize its intended hammer blow against France, the assumption being that Russia would take an additional month to mobilize its forces.

When the Russians started mobilizing their armies sooner than anticipated, the Germans became alarmed and transferred some divisions from the Western to the Eastern Front. Those divisions didn't play a role on the Eastern Front as the German victory at Tannenberg was over before the western reinforcements arrived. What French Field Marshall Ferdinand Foch was referring to wasn't that the Russian soldiers "saved France" but that the German transfer of troops away from the Western Front tipped the balance and prevented the Germans from overrunning France in its initial offensive of the war.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:53 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,310 posts, read 10,487,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
Those rank among the least known facts ever. And the most interesting. Thanks! Although, was it only American isolationism that held us back? I understood that in 1940 America was totally unprepared for war. Maybe we wouldn't have been much help even if we tried.

It sounds like some in France, even in the leadership, were not as defeatist as is usually portrayed. I can't imagine what went on in their heads after the defeats of May but some must have stayed unbowed and true.
Yes, but maybe because we tend to get our history from English speaking sources where the evacuation of Dunkirk is emphasized, the embarrassing French surrender to Hitler in the WW1 railway car is mentioned next and then they move right onto the Battle of Britain.

As for the United States, the Americans were unprepared for war at least regards to the Army but the USA did have a powerful Navy. The US Navy along with the large British and French fleets were more than enough to keep the Axis from invading French North Africa. I think that if Roosevelt had indicated early enough that the United States might enter the war, then I believe Mussolini in Italy might have wisely stayed neutral the way that Franco in Spain did. Just a guess.

I am not sure if anyone mentioned it but there were millions of French civilians evacuating Paris and northern France and trying to get away from the advancing Germans. Many were stranded out in the open along roads in central France with no real place to go. Had the French army tried to defend every village and hilltop throughout France, there may have been incredibly massive casualties and destruction.

So you can make a good argument that once the Germans had bridgeheads across the main French defense lines, the French made the right call to surrender France itself to the Germans. The main question is whether the French could have continued to fight on in French North Africa or not.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:38 AM
 
10,135 posts, read 24,214,275 times
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You're kidding, right? The French fight the Germans in WWII? They were on the same side.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:07 PM
 
1,519 posts, read 1,377,177 times
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I read the book 'Grenadiers' by Kurt Meyer who was a high ranking SS officer. In the book he stated that the French left their positions and lined up their helmets so when the Germans came they(the Germans) saw that the French weren't up for a fight. In other words the French didn't have the will to fight after WW1. So France was an easy take for the Germans.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:38 PM
 
Location: San Diego
7,767 posts, read 2,197,378 times
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The French spent all their effort preparing for another WWI, building static defenses to stop cavalry charges from the east.

The Germans simply walked around it (ground-attack aircraft and tanks that could go faster than walking speed helped a lot) and took it from behind.

And the French had nothing else.
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