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May 1940. Setting the record straight and what if's.


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Dennis420b #1 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:45 PM

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Awhile back someone started a thread that eventually got locked poking fun at the french tanks going backwards and a bunch of other anti-french stereotypes. But I debate that NO nation in 1940 given the same strategic position would be able to keep the Blitzkrieg at bay. The US army in 1940 is a joke. The only thing stopping the UK from being overrun was the English Channel and Germany's small and still recovering navy from the Norwegian assault. The USSR's performance in the Winter War of 39/40 shows that they would probably not be able to stop the same events from happening.

I am not saying that Germany could invade any of those countries, but rather that any country in the same space and time would fair no better.

Despite France having arguable the most competent tanks of the day, and a comparable sized force to the Germans, they had not anticipated what WW2 would be any different than WW1. But the Brits had no better inclination of what the future of warfare was to be either. The Spanish civil war was observed by all nations but it seems that only the Germans learned anything from it.

IMHO if you replace the French army of 1940 with any other nations army the results would be the same, making all of the negative french stereotyping really just nonsense.

Any thoughts?

GORGE ROMERO #2 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:47 PM

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heeyyyyy, i resent this thread :sad:

 


Dennis420b #3 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:51 PM

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View PostGORGE ROMERO, on 22 May 2014 - 11:47 AM, said:

heeyyyyy, i resent this thread :sad:


Why?



Zxyphos #4 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:52 PM

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View PostGORGE ROMERO, on 22 May 2014 - 01:47 PM, said:

heeyyyyy, i resent this thread :sad:

I still say the French tanks drive faster in reverse. ;)



GORGE ROMERO #5 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:53 PM

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View PostDennis420b, on 22 May 2014 - 05:51 PM, said:


Why?

im the one who made that thread... :mellow: it was just a "for fun" thing. i didnt mean to insult the french


 


Zxyphos #6 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:53 PM

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View PostGORGE ROMERO, on 22 May 2014 - 01:53 PM, said:

im the one who made that thread... :mellow: it was just a "for fun" thing. i didnt mean to insult the french

...I'm waving a white flag right now.



DoubleDown13 #7 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:54 PM

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Resent this or not, fact is fact. If you look at us (Americans) we were mostly calvary and trucks with machine guns. 

GORGE ROMERO #8 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:54 PM

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View PostX L1V3 0R D13 X, on 22 May 2014 - 05:53 PM, said:

...I'm waving a white flag right now.

you see? everyone else was having fun with it.


 


GORGE ROMERO #9 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

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View PostDoubleDown13, on 22 May 2014 - 05:54 PM, said:

Resent this or not, fact is fact. If you look at us (Americans) we were mostly calvary and trucks with machine guns. 

and the same thing happened to us -cough- pearl harbor -cough-


 


MrWuvems #10 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:57 PM

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View PostDoubleDown13, on 22 May 2014 - 11:54 AM, said:

Resent this or not, fact is fact. If you look at us (Americans) we were mostly calvary and trucks with machine guns. 

 

If you look at training propaganda and the like it gets worse, the US army was using wooden guns and flour grenades.

 

Also, Poland actually took the opportunity to give the massive overwhelming force attacking it a couple of bloody noses.

Also also, the French government had to beg the soldiers on the Sigfried Line to stop fighting



WidowMaker1711 #11 Posted 22 May 2014 - 04:58 PM

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Whats still surprising to me at least is that through the entire 2nd World War the Wehrmacht relied more on Horses than trucks. Yet nobody laughs. And if the French and British tanks had operated Blitzkrieg style would the war have continued longer than a few months?? Discuss!

For Russ and the Allfather

 

 


DoubleDown13 #12 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:00 PM

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This and the gorilla warfare the citizens of France put up was very Admiral. From what I understand, Alot of their tactics are still being used. 

MrWuvems #13 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:00 PM

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View PostGORGE ROMERO, on 22 May 2014 - 11:57 AM, said:

and the same thing happened to us -cough- pearl harbor -cough-

 

Pearl Harbor, historically happened after the buildup was in full swing. Another couple of facts that the history books love to ignore: The declaration of war was delayed due to snafu, and the US was deliberately provoking the axis in both theaters. "Providing arms to your enemy while cutting off scrap and fuel supplies and pretending to be neutral" kind of stuff.

 

View PostWidowMaker1711, on 22 May 2014 - 11:58 AM, said:

Whats still surprising to me at least is that through the entire 2nd World War the Wehrmacht relied more on Horses than trucks. Yet nobody laughs. And if the French and British tanks had operated Blitzkrieg style would the war have continued longer than a few months?? Discuss!

 

Too much ground to cover against a prepared enemy. Remember that a blitz means not having reserves, and it becomes hellishly difficult to move the war machine around, hence the famous "Sitzkreig". The UK/French alliance didn't have the forces available for a major offensive.



Dennis420b #14 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:01 PM

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I mean consider what each army's capability's were in 1940. The American army is woefully inadequate for anything but a central American scuffle. The Soviets performance in the Winter war against Finland shows that they were not ready for conflict against Germany, and given the huge spaces occupied by the Germans in Barbarossa (1941), the Russians given a space the size of France would be defeated probably in the same time frame. The UK could not have possible stopped the Germans with the full weight of its forces either, as they still were learning modern tank tactics, despite having pretty much invented the concept (or I should say having had the brilliant military minds that seen the future of warfare, but then have a high command that ignored those spot on assessments).

I am not bashing any nation, rather pointing out that France gets a bum rap over the events of May/June 1940.

 



Zxyphos #15 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:03 PM

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So what, the US was an isolationist country at the time--they didn‘t need an advanced military as a result. But how quickly they modernised their military when called upon. Btw, the US, with its Lend Lease program, became a production machine the likes of which were never seen before.



DoubleDown13 #16 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:03 PM

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View PostGORGE ROMERO, on 22 May 2014 - 11:57 AM, said:

and the same thing happened to us -cough- pearl harbor -cough-

 

Yes, but no one tells jokes about it. We don't say, "The US ship sail faster sinking."  Etc. 



Dennis420b #17 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:05 PM

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View PostWidowMaker1711, on 22 May 2014 - 11:58 AM, said:

Whats still surprising to me at least is that through the entire 2nd World War the Wehrmacht relied more on Horses than trucks. Yet nobody laughs. And if the French and British tanks had operated Blitzkrieg style would the war have continued longer than a few months?? Discuss!


The Germans never get the credit for the logistical nightmare they navigated through with very little resources. It was a truly amazing feat.



GORGE ROMERO #18 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

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View PostDoubleDown13, on 22 May 2014 - 06:03 PM, said:

 

Yes, but no one tells jokes about it. We don't say, "The US ship sail faster sinking."  Etc. 

they kinda do... :mellow:


 


MtOMajorCat0311 #19 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

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Too many variables to say for sure, since all sides but Germany were still fighting the last war (tactically).  Even then, the Germans were using good cavalry tactics by flanking their enemy, invading their rear areas, and bypassing fixed fortifications.

 

Good article on this from BBC:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...rance_01.shtml 



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SixxGunnz #20 Posted 22 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

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The French had the best tanks on the battlefield in 1940 of any nation at the time. It wasn't thier tanks but the tactics they used to deploy them. Like other nations they deployed them piecemeal as infantry support vehicles. Had they deployed them as independent armor units the outcome may have been different. 

Even the Germans recognized that thier own tanks were far inferior to the French and had to use Stukas and towed 88s to deal with most of the French tanks. It says a lot when your advasaries commend you on the battlefield. 


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