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Old 03-13-2020, 10:04 AM
15,457 posts, read 3,993,340 times
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Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
The main French mistake was lack of generosity and fair play when dealing with German democratic leaders 1919 to 1933. While those Germans did still resent the French they were extremely unlikely to ever start a war. But the French attitude helped pave the way for German nationalist revanchism as it discredited the democratic politicians who had to submit to France’s demands.
There is a lot to be said for this.

The French were feeling vindictive and the Treaty of Versailles overly harsh on the Germans. That had to have played some part in what happened afterward.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:27 AM
15,457 posts, read 3,993,340 times
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Originally Posted by Azureth View Post
Given what happened to them in WWI, you'd think the French would have put as much time, effort and money into not just defenses but greatly beefing up all of their military forces as well as have lots of spies in Germany to try to find out what they were up to.

And had they done that, do you think they could've kept Germany from invading, at least until allied reinforcements came?
Honestly I don't think your assumptions are accurate.

The French certainly did have an intelligence network in Germany.

They did rely a bit too much on defensive technology at the expense of offensive capability. The Maginot Line was their mechanical answer to the prospect of invasion. They needed a stronger more mobile field force than they had, to address warfare in open country and to counter-attack an enemy. There was certainly talent in the military, and their engineering was excellent, so they could have done a much better job developing that aspect.

It is oddly sad that France had a dinosaur like Gamelin in charge of the Army at the time of the invasion 1940. He was smart, but slow and deliberate in his decisions. The world sped past him and France was lost.
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