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Old 11-11-2017, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Paris mainly survived German bombings, but all of Germany was destroyed, it pays to be humble. France suffered more from the Western Allies with the bombing of 1,570 cities and towns and 68,778 civilians killed.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:28 PM
 
Location: 912 feet above sea level
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A few additional comments.

First, it is clear that most respondents couldn't be bothered to read past the headline. I guess the single short paragraph exceeds most attention spans. Anyway, the OP did not ask 'Why was France defeated?' but 'Why didn't French leadership order the entire French nation to fight to the death?'. But that was buried in the second sentence ... ... and I guess most people didn't get that far.

Anyway, onto the subject that everyone insists on discussing instead. It should be noted that Germany didn't merely roll over France - they rolled over everyone at first. At it wasn't just France in France. The British Expeditionary Force was routed as well. And the 'miracle' at Dunkirk was, in fact, a well-executed flight enabled by the fact that German forces halted for whatever reason (orders, weather - the issue is debated) and did not destroy it when it was essentially helpless. Further, it's not like the United States wouldn't have gotten similarly rolled had it thrown itself into the fray on the ground in the first half of 1940. Indeed, even with nearly three more years of preparation, American forces had their hands full of Germany in North Africa.

The French were defeated by a superior force using superior tactics. That's usually how it goes.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:07 PM
 
35,656 posts, read 18,394,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulsker 1856 View Post
A few additional comments.

First, it is clear that most respondents couldn't be bothered to read past the headline. I guess the single short paragraph exceeds most attention spans. Anyway, the OP did not ask 'Why was France defeated?' but 'Why didn't French leadership order the entire French nation to fight to the death?'. But that was buried in the second sentence ... ... and I guess most people didn't get that far.

Anyway, onto the subject that everyone insists on discussing instead. It should be noted that Germany didn't merely roll over France - they rolled over everyone at first. At it wasn't just France in France. The British Expeditionary Force was routed as well. And the 'miracle' at Dunkirk was, in fact, a well-executed flight enabled by the fact that German forces halted for whatever reason (orders, weather - the issue is debated) and did not destroy it when it was essentially helpless. Further, it's not like the United States wouldn't have gotten similarly rolled had it thrown itself into the fray on the ground in the first half of 1940. Indeed, even with nearly three more years of preparation, American forces had their hands full of Germany in North Africa.

The French were defeated by a superior force using superior tactics. That's usually how it goes.
Pretty much this. No military force knew how to fight against the Wehrmacht in 1940. If it had somehow magically been transported to Canada and attacked southwards, Goering would have picked himself a very nice villa in the Hamptons shortly after. The people on the allied side who understood what mechanization and wireless would do to warfare were considered, well, eccentric. Liddell Hart, de Gaulle etc.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nickerman View Post
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.
90,000 KIA in six weeks. Perhaps SS officers may not be, y'know, entirely truthful all the time.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:54 PM
 
Location: New York Area
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Originally Posted by Brandono View Post
In WWI they went 4 1/2 whole years sending hundreds of thousands to die to fight off Germany, yet when Germany came rolling in during WWII they hardly put up any resistance. Why did they not definitely oppose Germany and send out a message to every part of France that every man, woman and child should fight to the death to defend France? Make it so the Germans have no one within that will cooperate or talk to them in anyway shape or form, that every single man, woman and child in France is an enemy that will kill any invading German?
One, they were impoverished by WW I. Two, they didn't want the war fought to the last Frenchman.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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As others have noted, France didn't fight to the last man because the war was over. The leadership of Vichy was collaborative, but there was still a thought of independence. Maybe not with the current leader, but there's a future possibility to do things collectively. Besides, with the Magniot Line bypassed and the French treasury dumped into a navy it would never need, the results gave a wicked 20/20 hindsight that France was in no shape to fight Germany militarily.

As independent groups, several did what they could. A Train in Winter described the wives of soldiers who didn't come home who were expected to board Germans living in their homes...preparing meals for them when they themselves had nothing to eat. Those that were more friendly sometimes found it easier to get provisions to live. If such a lady poisoned an officer staying there, what would happen next. It would be immediately known who would be blamed. The lady and the children would likely die immediately and it would give an excuse for all known friends and family to be viewed with suspicion. Some of the same tricks the Communists used to coerce all people into working together.

When a country is defeated, there is no Rambo style shoot em all and the bad guys go away. Even if an attack was successful in liberating an area, all of the participants there could expect nothing but the iron fist of Hitler to come crashing down on themselves and everything else. The troops would of course return, and there with the Germans in control of all production (reduced as it may be) that means troublemakers wouldn't have provisions to outlast their enemy.

The least bad option is to do as little as possible to aide the enemy, and to remain quite hidden about any small slights against the enemy.

I remember talking with some locals about how beautiful Prague was and how many old buildings it had, which surprised me due to the number of wars the region has endured over the years. The local told me that it was very simple. When an enemy force comes, they are now the king....who cares who the king is. Don't blow up my church, my store, my house.

More on point, Strasbourg. Is it French? Is it German? For hundreds of years these border areas have endured wars because royals got in a pissing matches with one another. Surviving those and living to fight another day another way is in the DNA of those areas. For mighty Paris to fall would have been amazing, but the country itself still identifies itself slightly differently anyway. Provence, Brittany, Normandy. France knew it would need to regroup, but terrorism attacks were not going to solve this issue. The individual actions would not force out Germany, but were still taken.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:25 AM
 
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I'll add that the Italians had also just entered France from the south, making Petain see the writing on the wall. There would be mass killings if they persisted, with I suppose he concluded no chance of winning.

Let's not forget the shame of France before this moment, which is that leadership in France had a similar view of the Jews, and had rounded them up and sent them away, as Germany had done. First to local holding areas, then to "camps." Their property was confiscated and sold or given to non-Jews. I'm not sure if this was all across France or just in certain areas. But it was the case that France at this point was not all that different from Germany in some respects.



Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
If you are really interested suggest you watch Une Village, a mHz tv series.

I had wondered the same thing but the why's unraveled with the show. And they had historians and those who lived through it comment after each show.

1. The enemy to the French establishment was Communism secondarialy anything different from the established order. The leader selected, GEN Petain, a WW1 war hero preferred Fascism anyway and was more than willing to collaborate with the Germans to that end upon surrender to the Germans. Power is pleasurable

2. The Vichy zone was aryanized , that is the Germans took over businesses , law enforcement , city leadership etc and German friendly French took everything over and ran the zone taking their orders from the Nazi overlords. There was a line in the show where a business owner was being chastised for collaborating and he responded "they won". As far as most were concerned that was the case. What is the point of fighting it when they won and your side lost and your leaders say cooperation is expected. there was no future and survival is key

3. German strategy was great. Hitler's smaller occupation force ruled through the locals who were much harder on the neighbors and were vicious with their own people than the Germans could afford to be. Also the local law enforcement knew who the potential trouble makers we're and eliminated them.

4. French local leaders had a local perspective. There was their own people and transients and refugees were at risk. The Nazis said 'give me 20 Jews to send to the camp or we will take 20 of our choosing' the mayor would select 20 Jews who were refugees or passing through. After all they weren't 'our Jews'. Eventually it became our Jews, then a way to get rid of our troublemakers, then our marginals.etc

5. My opinion, but the mind set of Paris was to protect the city, the arts, the lifstyle. Not the individuals. If you are a dancer does it matter who is in the audience ? IMO after living in Europe, it seemed to me our American spirit of Independence, individual freedom, self determination, was unlike Europe's spirit of the greater good. Keep Paris or France intact and the people focus on survival until the state reasserted itself. I can't see an Alamo in Paris.

6. Opposition to the regime and the Nazis was mostly not cohesive. I think the communists were the strongest and most effective and were fighting for an ideaology. Militias were probably next but fighting against the power system. French Resistance was fragmented by nature being based upon individual cells maintaining secrecy. There was no opposition cohesion and would not know who was who in another town. Couldn't work together

Then you had those collaborators who agreed with the Germans and it was a good time to get rid of lesser beings and competition.

That is my take anyway.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:14 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
You're kidding, right? The French fight the Germans in WWII? They were on the same side.
Did they have a History class in your school?

The Axis consisted of Germany, Italy, and Japan. France was Allied with England, US, and Russia. Germany invaded France and controlled it for most of the war. That's why they had that D-Day thing. It was to invade France and drive the Germans out. There's more in History books.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:00 AM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
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.



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.



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.

No, I did not ignore your words. I did not say that in 1939 a Russia union saved France. if you carefully read (although probably this is my bad English). I was talking about the first world, where the Russian troops gave their lives for France, later Shof said this.
Agreements with France were not in 1939, but they were not successful. A number of countries made a proposal to create a system of collective security. This meant concluding agreements between states on mutual assistance against a possible aggression attack. In 1935 the USSR signed similar treaties with France and Czechoslovakia. In accordance with the agreement, the Soviet Union could provide assistance to Czechoslovakia in case of aggression, provided that such assistance would also be provided to it by France. The agreements were not implemented. When in 1939 there was a threat of the Germans seizing Czechoslovakia, the government of this country refused Soviet assistance. France was also against the entry of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia.

In 1935, the USSR condemned the introduction in Germany of universal conscription and Italy's attack on Ethiopia. After the German troops entered the demilitarized Rhineland, the Soviet Union proposed that the League of Nations take collective measures against Germany's violation of international obligations. The offer of support was not received. France and the United Kingdom responded with only an oral protest. Have you talked about this? was there another choice for the USSR, to delay the war, even temporarily?
In 1938, Austria was occupied by German troops. It was included in the German Empire. In 1938, Germany demanded that Czechoslovakia transfer to her the Sudetenland. In September 1938, a conference of the heads of government of Germany, Italy, France and England was held in Munich. It was decided to implement

the demand of Germany. Hitler said that he no longer has territorial claims to European states.

The Munich agreement intensified the aggressive moods of the fascist states. In March 1939, Czechoslovakia was captured by Germany. Hungary occupied Slovakia and Transcarpathian Ukraine. The USSR was the only state that did not recognize these captures. A few days later, Germany seized the port of Klaipeda from Lithuania. Hitler demanded from Poland to transfer Danzig. On April 28, 1939, Germany dissolved the German-Polish non-aggression pact.

After Munich, the relations between Britain and France began to cool with Germany. Attempts were made to establish ties with the USSR. In the spring of 1939 negotiations began between the USSR, Britain and France on concluding a trilateral pact for mutual assistance. The partners in the negotiations did not have mutual trust. And this is natural, since the allies, in simple terms, were bad.
The United States and England for many years financed and supported Japan in the war against the Russian Empire and China and Korea. so that these countries militarized Japan.

But you are right, later England and the United States to tighten up their policies, then the reason that Japan was leading its own independent policy.But, Japan already stood on the technological path, with a powerful army.

Now let's talk about provocation.
Razvelt intentionally provoked Japan to attack the United States. And there are many such examples in American history. For example, Vietnam.
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Old 11-12-2017, 06:33 AM
 
Location: State Fire and Ice
3,111 posts, read 4,790,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmilf View Post
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.
You are in many ways right, it will be wrong to say otherwise, but this is only part of the truth.
Аlthough your words are talking about salvation. Without this, France would surely have been captured. In order to save the ally, the Russian Empire accelerated mobilization and got involved in military adventures. So the Russian soldiers found themselves in the trenches of the Western Front.
In June 1916, the soldiers of the expedition received their first baptism of fire. They had to participate in several major battles, including in the so-called Niall slaughter. and the Verdun meat grinder, where by the way the Russians saved the situation. The Russian expeditionary corps showed real heroism and won victories where the Allies retreated.
I was talking about (the Russian Expeditionary Corps), the Shof spoke specifically about their participation.

He raised his morale with his own example. About saving France is not my word, and I never claimed it to be so. But France won the war with great help to Russia. but it's funny how France thanked Russia after the revolution. France was one of the agents of military intervention in Russia and tried to tear off a piece to itself. However, like England and the United States. Today in the west they do not even know what kind of genocide these interventionists have arranged in Russia.
After this, it is naturally unclear why in 1939 the union did not take place between France and Russia. Allies never fulfilled their obligations to Russia, unlike Russia. France as naturally no one helped. Although she could join herself, if the French would want it.

Last edited by GreyKarast; 11-12-2017 at 07:17 AM..
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