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DVX
09-23-2011, 03:23 PM
By his incredible mistake, the Nazi-Soviet pact, Stalin caused the war.
In fact Hitler himself didn't want a world war, but was aware he was running the risk of world war with the aggression against the Poland. Hitler's politics tactic was to seize the right moment to strike, sometime fronting high risks, but ever calculated.
Never Hitler was before aware of risking the war like when he attacked Poland.
But now, thanks to the Nazi-Soviet pact, he was free to run the maximum risk. With an hostile Russia, he never could run the risk of a great war. He couldn't do big moves.
The Anglo-French were courting Stalin like Hitler, but they couldn't promise a free way in the east (Baltic States, Finland, Poland, Romenian Bucovina...) like Hitler cuold.
But this price, at the moment, was good for Hitler, not for Stalin.
The idea that Stalin wanted by this way to divert into the west or delay the nazi attack on Russia, doesn't hold: anybody knew that after the western powers, it would come the time of Russia. And was not a good idea to help the future enemy rather then the hated capitalist powers, if these last had to "divert or delay" the future enemy; but just for this.
The sabotage of the war carried in France by the French Communist Party, following the Comintern orders, indicates that nor "diverting or delaying" was the point.
So, accepting the Hitler's offers, in exchange of some territorial annexations, Stalin allowed Hitler to feel free at the shoulders, and starting (better: running the risk to start) the WWII.
This fact was almost launching the Allies against Russia. The Anglo-French high command was thinking to a plan ("Catherine") to attack the Scandinavian peninsula, to stop the iron supply to the Germans and help Finland against Russia. Later anyway, remained only the idea of the invasion of Norway to stop the iron supply, anticipated by Germany.
But another secret project was on way: the bombing of the Soviet oil wells in Caucaso, by 100 Anglo-French bombers taking off from Syria with the complicity of Turkey (that requested some guarantees that now we can omit). This bombing should be done in mid july 1940: the fall of France stopped everything. But this fact could have changed the history of WWII like we know it now.
Anyway, coming back on Stalin guilt: your opinion.

Chevan
09-24-2011, 08:41 AM
By his incredible mistake, the Nazi-Soviet pact, Stalin caused the war.
In fact Hitler himself didn't want a world war, but was aware he was running the risk of world war with the aggression against the Poland. Hitler's politics tactic was to seize the right moment to strike, sometime fronting high risks, but ever calculated.

Hitler actualy didn't want a war with Wester alles, but he definitelly planned a big Crusade to the East( See "Main campf").He just dreamed the West support him against Russia.


Never Hitler was before aware of risking the war like when he attacked Poland.

Yes, he was sure the British-French guaranties to Poles were phony. He hoped to capture the Poland without loud , just like he previously annexed the Austria and Chehoslovakia.


But now, thanks to the Nazi-Soviet pact, he was free to run the maximum risk. With an hostile Russia, he never could run the risk of a great war. He couldn't do big moves.
What make us to think after the Pact the Hitler got the "frendly" USSR?Othervise he didn't ordered to develop Barbarossa in mid 1940, right after fall of France.

The Anglo-French were courting Stalin like Hitler, but they couldn't promise a free way in the east (Baltic States, Finland, Poland, Romenian Bucovina...) like Hitler cuold.
But this price, at the moment, was good for Hitler, not for Stalin.
The idea that Stalin wanted by this way to divert into the west or delay the nazi attack on Russia, doesn't hold: anybody knew that after the western powers, it would come the time of Russia. And was not a good idea to help the future enemy rather then the hated capitalist powers, if these last had to "divert or delay" the future enemy; but just for this.

Well actualy it was serious lack of Stalin. In the USSR it was not a secret the close war with Germany. However , Stalin hoped the Western front should tied the Germany for a enough long time. But after the extremaly quick collapse of France and escape of British troops out of Europe- it was clear the Stalin has made a mistake.


The sabotage of the war carried in France by the French Communist Party, following the Comintern orders, indicates that nor "diverting or delaying" was the point.

And what was the point?
Do you seriously think that the the members of Comintern ( most of whom were the Jews) burned by disare of sabotage against France fighting the Nazi Germany?
Endeed it was the power that more persistly then anybody else care about resistence to Nazism. In Occuped France the Communist was the major anti-fascist power.


So, accepting the Hitler's offers, in exchange of some territorial annexations, Stalin allowed Hitler to feel free at the shoulders, and starting (better: running the risk to start) the WWII.

Well if to be formally correct. Neither Hitler , nor Stalin has started the big war- it was Britain who declared war on Germany after attack of Poland.Althought it was PHONY war , but though..


This fact was almost launching the Allies against Russia. The Anglo-French high command was thinking to a plan ("Catherine") to attack the Scandinavian peninsula, to stop the iron supply to the Germans and help Finland against Russia. Later anyway, remained only the idea of the invasion of Norway to stop the iron supply, anticipated by Germany.
But another secret project was on way: the bombing of the Soviet oil wells in Caucaso, by 100 Anglo-French bombers taking off from Syria with the complicity of Turkey (that requested some guarantees that now we can omit). This bombing should be done in mid july 1940: the fall of France stopped everything. But this fact could have changed the history of WWII like we know it now.

Both the "help to finland" or the "bombing raids over Caucaus" were nothing but pure political phony proclamations.This meant declaration a war on USSR.It should mean ONLY one thing- the German-Soviet alliance.
Do you seriously think the West was interested to provoke the USSR to join the Nazic Germany in war against Briatain/France?
Hitler couldn't even dream about.

Nickdfresh
09-24-2011, 10:57 AM
I don't have time for a complete response now, and I surely do not buy the premise of this thread at all. Stalin was of course an enormous blood thirsty bastard tyrant. But he's hardly more culpable for WWII with his sometimes poor decision making than were the British, and especially, the French...

But...


Hitler actualy didn't want a war with Wester alles, but he definitelly planned a big Crusade to the East( See "Main campf").He just dreamed the West support him against Russia.....

Hitler DEFINITELY wanted revenge against the French for the "humiliation" 1918-1919 first and foremost--as evidenced by the use of the same rail car to sign the Armistice as was the venue for the WWI Armistice...

Chevan
09-24-2011, 11:35 PM
... I surely do not buy the premise of this thread at all.

Why not? it might be interesting even pure for logistic training;)


Stalin was of course an enormous blood thirsty bastard tyrant. But he's hardly more culpable for WWII with his sometimes poor decision making than were the British, and especially, the French...

..and the Myssoliny. Who folowing his agression plans to take controll all over Middle Sea had involved the Germany into war in Africa.


Hitler DEFINITELY wanted revenge against the French for the "humiliation" 1918-1919 first and foremost--as evidenced by the use of the same rail car to sign the Armistice as was the venue for the WWI Armistice...
Yes , of course. I mind the anglo-saxon as "West" whom Hitler considered as the "brothers nation" to Germans. The revenge to France and Poland for Dancig was in agenda from most beginning of Hitlers ideology.But all those "lacks" is nothing compared to the great mission of Germany,as Hitler believed - "the saving word from bolshevism".That's why we know manies in west looked at him as at great leader for a long time.

steben
09-26-2011, 06:50 AM
The more I think of it, the less I seek answers concerning the "needs" of Hitler. What he really wanted and needed was a bed, veggie food, a place to p... and sh... and some entertainment. All the other things are about stumbling in his own pit, without realizing it was a pit because of the early succes. Very obvious for the born lunatic he was.

I guess everyone was guilty in waging war. Stalin in particular was guilty of crimes even before the war. His black mark on history is rather different from discussing timelines of world war II as he falls in the category "killer of its own population".

royal744
08-19-2013, 11:41 AM
Well if to be formally correct. Neither Hitler , nor Stalin has started the big war- it was Britain who declared war on Germany after attack of Poland.Althought it was PHONY war , but though..

Britain started the war? Oh my! Britain must have fired the first shot, then... I don't think so. I guess wars only start when someone "declared war". Tell that to Hitler, or Stalin, or Emperor Hirohito, or even Mussolini, none of whom bothered to declare war on anyone. Really, guys, get a grip on reality...

Rising Sun*
08-20-2013, 08:33 AM
Britain started the war? Oh my! Britain must have fired the first shot, then... I don't think so. I guess wars only start when someone "declared war". Tell that to Hitler, or Stalin, or Emperor Hirohito, or even Mussolini, none of whom bothered to declare war on anyone. Really, guys, get a grip on reality...

Well, Hitler did declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor.

So it's clearly America's fault for taking that seriously and getting involved in the European war when everyone could see that Germany wasn't in the least aggressive towards any other nation. ;) :rolleyes:

Chevan
09-18-2013, 01:10 PM
Britain started the war?

Why not?
Not just started a full-scale European war in september of1939 but also involved into that war US later, if to look at events pure formally;)


Oh my! Britain must have fired the first shot, then... I don't think so. I guess wars only start when someone "declared war". Tell that to Hitler, or Stalin, or Emperor Hirohito, or even Mussolini, none of whom bothered to declare war on anyone. Really, guys, get a grip on reality...
Dude, the US with their "allies" waged a dozen of wars only in 20 centure , never even bordered a to "declare a war" to somebody.Did you once heard the US "declared war" to , say .. Vietnam or Iraq? Just send a bombers anywhere and - upps , we have a new war:)Usially it's very enough to declare the "possibility of use of MDW" by somebody. Even the Britain never care to declare war to Argentine for that damned islands:)Instead both have declared the ..intentions.

Chevan
09-18-2013, 01:52 PM
Well, Hitler did declare war on the US after Pearl Harbor.
They shouldn't take the Pearl Harbor seriously and entered the war agains Japane:)


So it's clearly America's fault for taking that seriously and getting involved in the European war when everyone could see that Germany wasn't in the least aggressive towards any other nation. ;) :rolleyes:
How , the Germans openly expressed the agressive to .."bolshevic" nation;):D What seems makes him an sort of ally to western "democraties" in 1938 , didn't him?
P.S. I'm too glad to see you again. All of you guys:)

Nickdfresh
09-18-2013, 05:21 PM
...

How , the Germans openly expressed the agressive to .."bolshevic" nation;):D What seems makes him an sort of ally to western "democraties" in 1938 , didn't him?
P.S. I'm too glad to see you again. All of you guys:)


How aggressive was he when Stalin signed the Nonaggression Pact with him? ;)

Good to see you too...

Rising Sun*
09-19-2013, 08:44 AM
P.S. I'm too glad to see you again. All of you guys:)

Glad to see you again, too, me old Russian mate.

I suppose you've been busy working on the Lada while you've been away. Must take a lot of work to keep it on the road. ;) :D

Rising Sun*
09-19-2013, 08:54 AM
What seems makes him an sort of ally to western "democraties" in 1938 , didn't him?

It's an unfortunate fact that many people in Western Europe and in English speaking countries were sympathetic to Hitler, not least because of his anti-communist position.

If Hitler had attacked the USSR first (leaving aside the problem of Poland being in the way), I doubt that there would have been much or even any support for the Soviets from the West.

Chevan
09-19-2013, 10:43 AM
How aggressive was he when Stalin signed the Nonaggression Pact with him? ;)

I suppose Stalin was TOO nonagressive , even the PASSIVE that time. But why he should be agressive if everybody in Europe wanted the Peace and Love (http://www.hrono.ru/img/foto/gitl_chemb.jpg)

He didn't want to look the boor here:)


Good to see you too...
God , mate, the 6700 your posts here. You should be a general here:)I vote..

Chevan
09-19-2013, 10:51 AM
It's an unfortunate fact that many people in Western Europe and in English speaking countries were sympathetic to Hitler, not least because of his anti-communist position.

and not least of his anti-semitism.Hitler never hided the fact he wanna draw the blood the Soviet jewry.


If Hitler had attacked the USSR first (leaving aside the problem of Poland being in the way), I doubt that there would have been much or even any support for the Soviets from the West.
I'm sure if even Hitler attacked it, the Poland should repat the role of Chehoslovakia - not a big sacrifice for a great role - the crusade to the east.

Chevan
09-19-2013, 10:57 AM
Glad to see you again, too, me old Russian mate.

I suppose you've been busy working on the Lada while you've been away. Must take a lot of work to keep it on the road. ;) :D
Can do nothing- my heart belong to lada:)Never breaks actually- the construction seems too primitive to been broken anything.Shame to tell you, but i've bought the anothe car- Hundai :) And presented it to my misys..

pdf27
09-19-2013, 11:23 AM
It's an unfortunate fact that many people in Western Europe and in English speaking countries were sympathetic to Hitler, not least because of his anti-communist position.

If Hitler had attacked the USSR first (leaving aside the problem of Poland being in the way), I doubt that there would have been much or even any support for the Soviets from the West.
That's a major understatement - the French spent most of the Phony War dreaming up ways to invade Russia. That's why Weygand was in Syria before being recalled to France after Dunkirk - he was working on an invasion of the Baku oilfields launched from there.
I've been reading a lot about the Fall of France recently (for something I'm writing (http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=287285)), and the more I read the more I come to the conclusion that the French had the numbers, the kit and to some extent the right tactics and strategy, but their officer corps was full of clowns and their politicians even worse. Given decent French leadership, the German invasion of France would probably have been a disaster to rank with Cannae or Teutoburger Wald. Indeed, IMO the only person to screw up worse than Gamelin was Leopold III...

Rising Sun*
09-19-2013, 11:48 AM
That's a major understatement - the French spent most of the Phony War dreaming up ways to invade Russia. .

Well, there is a bit of a precedent for that with Napoleon. Not that that turned out too well.

Doesn't the French interest in invading Russia in WWII support my view that the West was hostile to Russia or, more accurately, to the USSR, as part of the general Western hostility to communism?

pdf27
09-19-2013, 12:02 PM
To some extent, yes - the French did spend a great deal of time rounding up communists, although Maurice Thorez had successfully legged it to Moscow (the French were convinced he was in Berlin).

Nickdfresh
09-19-2013, 12:18 PM
I suppose Stalin was TOO nonagressive , even the PASSIVE that time. But why he should be agressive if everybody in Europe wanted the Peace and Love (http://www.hrono.ru/img/foto/gitl_chemb.jpg)

He didn't want to look the boor here:)

Good ol' Neville, The Appeaser... :D

There is an interesting revisionist theory I read a few years back that states basically that Chamberlain wasn't as weak as portrayed and knew war with Germany was only a matter of time. His focus wasn't so much as preventing war as delaying it. The delay allowed the RAF to bring more Spitfires online and allowed a tiny British Army some room for expansion. Chamberlain may have saved Britain every bit as much as Winston did...


God , mate, the 6700 your posts here. You should be a general here:)I vote..


I'm holding out for Minister of Defense! I want to be a civilian... :mrgreen:

http://www.pittsreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/russian-defense-ministry-russian-defense-minister-anatoly-serdyukov-right-and-chinese-defense-minister-liang-guanglie-shake-hands-during-their-meeting-in-the-defense-ministry-in-moscow.jpg

Nickdfresh
09-19-2013, 12:21 PM
Can do nothing- my heart belong to lada:)Never breaks actually- the construction seems too primitive to been broken anything.Shame to tell you, but i've bought the anothe car- Hundai :) And presented it to my misys..

A Hyundai!?? :mrgreen: They're great cars (now)... :mrgreen:

Nickdfresh
09-19-2013, 12:32 PM
That's a major understatement - the French spent most of the Phony War dreaming up ways to invade Russia. That's why Weygand was in Syria before being recalled to France after Dunkirk - he was working on an invasion of the Baku oilfields launched from there.
I've been reading a lot about the Fall of France recently (for something I'm writing (http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=287285)), and the more I read the more I come to the conclusion that the French had the numbers, the kit and to some extent the right tactics and strategy, but their officer corps was full of clowns and their politicians even worse. Given decent French leadership, the German invasion of France would probably have been a disaster to rank with Cannae or Teutoburger Wald. Indeed, IMO the only person to screw up worse than Gamelin was Leopold III...

It may well have ended as a disaster had Hitler had his way and invaded through the only logical route of Belgium in the winter of 1939. I think there is little doubt of a Heer coup d'état --effectively shooting Hitler in the head five years earlier. I mean, everyone knew the Ardennes was impassible, except for one French colonel's military exercise leading him to the conclusion that while motorized passage through the Ardennes would be difficult, it was by no means impossible nor particularly impracticable unless the enemy air force unwisely decides not to bomb you into a forest fire.

But I think I'd make the point that Gamelin, while not a stupid man, was as much a symptom of French military incompetence as the cause. The French high command was quite geriatric and I'm sure not many better choices were realistically available. A wholesale purge of the top leadership with promotions of younger, more dynamic officers would undoubtedly led to better results though...

pdf27
09-19-2013, 02:48 PM
It may well have ended as a disaster had Hitler had his way and invaded through the only logical route of Belgium in the winter of 1939. I think there is little doubt of a Heer coup d'état --effectively shooting Hitler in the head five years earlier.
I'm far from convinced about that - the attitude of Preussische Feldmarschälle meutern nicht was deeply ingrained, to the extent that the vast majority still backed him in 1945 when it was evident he had led them to a disaster far greater than was possible in 1940. I think it far more likely that the General Staff would have pushed back far more and had more influence on how the war was actually fought as a result.


I mean, everyone knew the Ardennes was impassible, except for one French colonel's military exercise leading him to the conclusion that while motorized passage through the Ardennes would be difficult, it was by no means impossible nor particularly impracticable unless the enemy air force unwisely decides not to bomb you into a forest fire.
No forest fires in Europe during May - far too wet. And the original quote was that the Ardennes are "impassable, provided special provisions are made". Leopold III is the real bad actor here - he decided not to defend them, and kept this fact secret from the French. That totally screwed up their (admittedly too weak) forces in trying to slow down the Germans.


But I think I'd make the point that Gamelin, while not a stupid man, was as much a symptom of French military incompetence as the cause. The French high command was quite geriatric and I'm sure not many better choices were realistically available. A wholesale purge of the top leadership with promotions of younger, more dynamic officers would undoubtedly led to better results though...
Ultimately the problem is that they were trapped in a mindset which ran at the pace of 1918, and so couldn't adapt to the much faster rate of attack possible with mechanised transport. André Beaufre also makes a good point when interviewed for The World at War - the French had extensive experience of tanks in warfare and knew what they couldn't do. The Germans didn't, but knew what it was like to be on the receiving end. Throw in advances in machinery making tanks massively longer ranged and more reliable, and it's a recipe for disaster at the Command & Staff level.

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 09:37 AM
I'm far from convinced about that - the attitude of Preussische Feldmarschälle meutern nicht was deeply ingrained, to the extent that the vast majority still backed him in 1945 when it was evident he had led them to a disaster far greater than was possible in 1940. I think it far more likely that the General Staff would have pushed back far more and had more influence on how the war was actually fought as a result.

The German General Staff did fight back a good deal prior to Fall Gelb, which was why it was successful. The conclusion of the campaign was Hitler's high water mark as a 'great warrior generalissimo' destined for Valhalla. Of course, this is all quite ironic since it was Hitler that pushed Generals Halder and Brauchitsch to prematurely plan and execute a campaign against the French --through the logical road networks of Belgium-- in the Autumn of 1939 that would have been an unmitigated disaster. Halder was all too well aware of this and some think his mini-Schlieffen Plan was so bad and projected so many casualties for minimal gains that he was essentially throwing things to put a damper on Hitler’s delusions of bringing the hated Gauls to their knees in a disastrous war of attrition the Allies very much wanted. It was in fact this "push-back" that enabled Manstein's (in Churchill's words) "sickle-cut" plan to be developed into fruition. Hitler is due some credit for his forcing his generals to "think outside the box" and other various clichés. But it wasn’t solely his domineering that resulted in the end run victory over France, it would be Hitler's faulty claims of post hoc "See, I told you so!" that gave him the credibility to marginalize those that disagreed with his theories. Never again would the forced group consensus that earmarked Fall Gelb be, as Hitler's supposed military prowess was now unstoppable after Fall Gelb/Rot and the Wehrmacht was bludgeoned into political submission by the Nazi organs of control leading to the absurdly unrealistic planning of Barbarossa.

As for the German officer corp ultimately submitting themselves to Hitler, this is true. But one must remember the military nightmare that unfolded for Germany did not take place overnight and few recognized the inevitably of military disaster after the retreat from Moscow in the Winter of 1941. It was due largely to what were perceived as Hitler's early successes in the face of potential military catastrophe against France, and in the happy times if the initial advances against the Soviets. Early dissenters reading the tealeaves of unfolding disaster by the end of 41' tended to end up dead in plane crashes (Toldt) if they spoke of an armistice too loudly. Commanders that actually stood up to Hitler were castigated and marginalized and he surrounded himself with yes men sycophants like “The Gravedigger of the German Heer” General Keitel. The rest had already cast their lot with the Nazi regime and mutiney was unthinkable in the face of the unrelenting Soviet enemy...


No forest fires in Europe during May - far too wet. And the original quote was that the Ardennes are "impassable, provided special provisions are made". Leopold III is the real bad actor here - he decided not to defend them, and kept this fact secret from the French. That totally screwed up their (admittedly too weak) forces in trying to slow down the Germans.

You are correct; the sin of Gamlin is that he never articulated what these 'special provisions' were. But one thing I must take issue with in defense of Gamlin was that there were many endemic, institutional factors and political considerations that were beyond his near term control. One of which was the disconnect of the French "Methodical Battle" doctrine between the Armée de l'Air and the Armée on the ground, a reflection of the rather the inherent slowness of their combined arms approach. It would have been difficult to fix this overnight but I think there was some headway towards modernization. Gamelin's failures were as much intelligence related as they were operational. I think one could very well make the argument that had the French Army had more time and been blooded a bit more in real combat rather than methodical menageries of fanciful prewar planning, they would have improved their tactical acumen rapidly. Had there been better coordination, I think their chances of repelling or at least stalling the Heer columns through the "greatest traffic jam Europe has ever known" (at least up until that point) of 40,000 vehicles waddling through four bad forest roads would have been much greater. The French tactical bomber force had some excellent planes, but of course far too few ones and the fighter force had less than a hundred modern Dewoitine D.520's augmented by obsolete and borderline-obsolete-but-still-useful fighters such as the Curtis P-36's, to oppose the 109's. But it is true that the French Command, including Generalissimo Gamelin, ignored hysteric reports by their recon pilots of Germans in the woods. These would have been tempting targets. Even if sustained attacks more or less could have led to the same destruction of Allied tactical air elements that befell them in their belated, vain attempts to close the hemorrhage at the Meuse. I think a determine but minimal effort of air strikes driven home could have resulted in a catastrophe for the Heer in the forest.

The Belgians did employ some excellent light infantry that held up the Germans for a bit, IIRC; but yes, they beat feet and withdrew in accordance with their 'national redoubt' strategy. However, I also recall that a few small but strategically placed French outpost fortifications in the Ardennes held the Germans up for hours with one slowing them for at least half a day before the fort was knocked out as panzers could not traverse the steep incline around it and infantry were mowed down before they could see where the fire was coming from. Perhaps more of these Ardennes' forts and less forts on the Maginot Line would have been a better solution, but of course hindsight is 20/20. And of course, there was the awful Dyle Plan itself. I believe Gamelin did not come up with it, but the original plan envisioned a relatively small French holding force of about ten infantry divisions employed as much for political reasons as for military ones. No one wanted to appear to abandon Belgium in a German invasion, but of course they were to act as little more than a picket force to slow down the Germans and hold them until the Bosch's exact intentions were divined. The plan sending the best trained, equipped and most mobile part of the French Army into Belgium -and away from the real threat- came later.

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 09:39 AM
My long winded, asinine response Cont'd :mrgreen::


Ultimately the problem is that they were trapped in a mindset which ran at the pace of 1918, and so couldn't adapt to the much faster rate of attack possible with mechanised transport. André Beaufre also makes a good point when interviewed for The World at War - the French had extensive experience of tanks in warfare and knew what they couldn't do. The Germans didn't, but knew what it was like to be on the receiving end. Throw in advances in machinery making tanks massively longer ranged and more reliable, and it's a recipe for disaster at the Command & Staff level.

I concur with the "1918" comment -to a point. The very term 'Methodical Battle" implies a slow, localized and intricate unfolding of the battle, a notion that was obsolete in the age of reliable automotive transport as you correctly point out. However, there was some tangible effort to reform and modernize the French Army operationally and they were in the mist of creating their own "panzer divisions" with the DLM's when war broke out. Gamelin was a fool to an extent, but I think at least some of his thinking was sound. He did realize the inferiority of French methodologies and wanted to avoid a running mechanized battle for as long as possible because the Heer's tactical command and control was just vastly superior to the French Army's. There was of course the problem that French military aged males were outnumbered by German ones by a ratio of two-to-one and this was in no small way a specter looming over French military thinking. To your astute mechanized transport comment, I would add the French were somewhat hapless with other rapidly improving technologies such as their radio communications. Didn't Gamelin not even have one in his HQ for fear of SIGNIT OPSEC!? A factor that largely becomes moot in a rapidly unfolding battle where intelligence units have little time to transfer their findings to commanders. French commanders were often caught driving around looking for each other to deliver or receive written orders while the Heer commanders simply spoke by radio transmissions in real time. This communications disaster and disadvantage was in no way a small part of the French military collapse in the Sedan. Furthermore, while some French tanks did have radios, the batteries quickly went dead with no means to recharge them in the field, which seems rather insane! But, I think you're giving the Heer a bit too much credit here as well.

There was no "blitzkrieg" prior to May of 1940. The Battle of Poland was largely and infantry and artillery duel with tanks playing mostly a support role with armored strategic penetration neither envisioned nor operationally performed. The Heer was simply better than the Poles in tactical C&C and the Polish Army never really properly mobilized nor recovered from the shock anyways. Sickle-cut was as much a localized tactical patchwork done by commanders on the ground like Rommel, Luck, and Guderian -all of whom realized the extent of the localized weakness and the collapse of the in the Sedan and the potential of complete strategic envelopment- as it was any preordained plan. This was of course in hand with the known lack of the French ability to recover after blowing her collective wad with the Dyle Plan. Despite this, the German General Staff often called for halts and consolidation of bridgeheads, corridors, etc. It was the German field commanders simply ignoring these calls that led to much of the success and the deep strategic penetration originally envisioned by Manstein and brought to fruition by Halder. Many of Gamelin's outdated assertions, however, were shared on the German side. Specifically, the Meuse crossing it was assumed would take about a week-and-a-half because of course one needs lots of artillery and heavy mortars to crush field fortifications and enforce a proper river crossing! That was the typical military dictum at the time. It was of course Guderian and Rommel (and to and extent Halder and Goring) that turned it on its head with their use of air power and tank cannon to neutralize the points of sometimes strong French resistance rather than tube artillery. And of course, on the rare occasions when the French were able to meet the Germans on somewhat equal terms, they were capable of tactical triumphs at places such as Stonne, The Gembloux Gap, and Hannut. The later two battles were successful engagements by the French despite Luftwaffe air superiority. They were conducted with I believe the French assumption that the Germans would be superior in tank vs. tank combat, but with the compensation for this of using the wooded areas to break up the panzer formations and using French armor to essentially act as tank destroyers. And at places like Stonne and Arras, German Landsers temporarily cracked just like their French counterparts did in the face of determined, but hopelessly unsupported, armor attacks. But the general consensus I take away in all the reading is that the French were supremely unlucky, and had just one thing gone their way, perhaps they could have recovered and severed the panzer corridor, or at least contained it. But of course the French didn’t exactly “create their luck” either. Had they done more with the incursion into the Saars, they may have gained invaluable operational experience and gained a more practical, realistic perspective of planning and what they could and could not do...

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 09:52 AM
I can't recall exact numbers but would also like to add on the mechanization point that the French actually substantially outnumbered the Heer in trucks and motorized transport in 1940, the Heer was still largely a rail and horse-cart bound army in 1940 if not for the duration of the war. The panzer-steel tip of the German Army was very much supported by the wood and feather of infantry, artillery, and pack animal and rail logistics. It just so happened that France was strategically vulnerable, and the short lines of communications and logistics made the German disadvantages largely moot. They of course would not have the luxury of a relative short distance to the Channel when they invaded the vast expanses of the Soviet Union. There, the Russians could recover after losing what the French did in terms of numbers several times over.

Time + Space + Geography, kids...

Chevan
09-21-2013, 10:01 AM
... the more I read the more I come to the conclusion that the French had the numbers, the kit and to some extent the right tactics and strategy, but their officer corps was full of clowns and their politicians even worse....
i subscribe,nice worlds:) Although our "franсo-phile" Nick may not to agree.
I jast have to add more. The French politicans were totally untrustworthy. We have an triple-side agreement signed with France and Chehoslovakia in 1935.This agreement gives the guaranties to Chehoslovakia against the external invasion ( mind German) and was planned as the political barrier against German's expansions to the East. But in 1938 the Frace suddenly has shoked Stalin- when Hitler clamed the Chehoslovakia the France not just "forgot" about signed previously agreements , but even has enforced the Edward Behes ( the chech president) to admit all the nazis territorial demands. In result the Hitler got all the chehoslovakia ..for free:) and now Germany is getting the major industry and military power of Europe at once:).Plus the way to Poland and Russia was opened. After that deal, i guess, Stalin finally comes to conclusion - no more deals with France and Britain ( which he believed stood behind the "dastard" Frech policy) . So we comes to the shamefull Molotov-ribbentrop pact.

Rising Sun*
09-21-2013, 10:08 AM
Might I, with some trepidation as not a close student of the European War, suggest that in WWII the Germans succeeded in their so-called blitzkreig to the west in the first stage of that War by the then novel process of primarily armoured and mechanized infantry warfare, rather than the much slower and tactically different infantry supported tank attacks in the closing stages of WWI which developed new tactics for the defeat of static and entrenched troops and artillery. Lesser minds in the English and French forces were, as usual, thinking about fighting the last war so far as tanks and entrenched positions were concerned, which produced the Maginot Line.

The 'blitzkreig' wasn't something which quite fitted the notions of infantry and fort / redoubt based thinking which produced the various fortifications which were easily bypassed and or overrun by German armour.

Nor was the use of armour in its own right as a spear rather than supporting the infantry as the spear.

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 10:10 AM
i subscribe,nice worlds:) Although our "franсo-phile" Nick may not to agree.
....


I think you mean Surrender Monkey-Cheese Eating Frogophile. ;)

Chevan
09-21-2013, 10:11 AM
I'm holding out for Minister of Defense! I want to be a civilian... :mrgreen:

who know? you might be civilian until the uncle sam will have again wanted you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dawn_(2012_film)):)
Note, with sort of shit the hollowod propogand feeds you...

Chevan
09-21-2013, 10:33 AM
I think you mean Surrender Monkey-Cheese Eating Frogophile. ;)
honestly not, but who of us is perfect?;)

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 10:42 AM
i subscribe,nice worlds:) Although our "franсo-phile" Nick may not to agree.
I jast have to add more. The French politicans were totally untrustworthy. We have an triple-side agreement signed with France and Chehoslovakia in 1935.This agreement gives the guaranties to Chehoslovakia against the external invasion ( mind German) and was planned as the political barrier against German's expansions to the East. But in 1938 the Frace suddenly has shoked Stalin- when Hitler clamed the Chehoslovakia the France not just "forgot" about signed previously agreements , but even has enforced the Edward Behes ( the chech president) to admit all the nazis territorial demands. In result the Hitler got all the chehoslovakia ..for free:) and now Germany is getting the major industry and military power of Europe at once:).Plus the way to Poland and Russia was opened. After that deal, i guess, Stalin finally comes to conclusion - no more deals with France and Britain ( which he believed stood behind the "dastard" Frech policy) . So we comes to the shamefull Molotov-ribbentrop pact.

But more seriously, why would you say I disagree? BTW, all nations had assclowns in their political and military ranks. If Stalin didn't trust the French anymore, perhaps rightly, he sure trusted Hitler right up until his panzers and Landsers were pouring over the Soviet fronts... ;)

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 10:43 AM
who know? you might be civilian until the uncle sam will have again wanted you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dawn_(2012_film)):)
Note, with sort of shit the hollowod propogand feeds you...

Nope! I'm too old. Strictly Homeguard material now. :mrgreen:

Oh God, that film sounded awful when it came out. The original script had the Chinese invading the U.S. rather than, chuckle, the North Koreans. But the producers were pussies and afraid of pissing off their Chinese market so they made a completely laughably implausible piece of shit rather than a slightly less implausible piece of shit film... :D


WOLVERINES! Die you commie bastards! :mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_I4WgBfETc

pdf27
09-21-2013, 10:51 AM
The very term 'Methodical Battle" implies a slow, localized and intricate unfolding of the battle, a notion that was obsolete in the age of reliable automotive transport as you correctly point out.
Actually, I'm not so sure about that - rather I'd say that it involved all arms working together and well co-ordinated. Given the technology of 1918 (and indeed what the French had in 1940), that was necessarily slow. The solution wasn't to jettison the doctrine, however, but to speed up the communication. I'd actually go so far as to suggest that this doctrine is closer to modern combined-arms doctrine than what the Germans were using.


Didn't Gamelin not even have one in his HQ for fear of SIGNIT OPSEC!?
He had no radios, but I don't think that was the reason - he didn't have any telephones either!

pdf27
09-21-2013, 10:58 AM
Might I, with some trepidation as not a close student of the European War, suggest that in WWII the Germans succeeded in their so-called blitzkreig to the west in the first stage of that War by the then novel process of primarily armoured and mechanized infantry warfare, rather than the much slower and tactically different infantry supported tank attacks in the closing stages of WWI which developed new tactics for the defeat of static and entrenched troops and artillery. Lesser minds in the English and French forces were, as usual, thinking about fighting the last war so far as tanks and entrenched positions were concerned, which produced the Maginot Line.

The 'blitzkreig' wasn't something which quite fitted the notions of infantry and fort / redoubt based thinking which produced the various fortifications which were easily bypassed and or overrun by German armour.

Nor was the use of armour in its own right as a spear rather than supporting the infantry as the spear.
I wouldn't say that's true at all. The Maginot line has had a bad press - it was always intended to enable the French to economise on men defending that frontier, and to force the Germans to come through Belgium. In that, it worked perfectly (although probably absorbing more men than intended - the interval divisions could probably have been made part of a more general reserve than they were) - the Germans did come through Belgium.

The French also had the strongest tank forces in Europe, and arguably possessed the best tank in the world at the time (Somua S.35). Unfortunately, their tactics were poor and their best divisions were in the wrong place. The BEF were also the only fully mechanised army in the world - indeed, during the invasion they saw a lot of German Army horses with British Army brand marks - having been sold to them in the late 1930s as the British mechanised.
That's the premise of the story I'm writing - instead of committing to the Dyle-Breda plan, Gamelin keeps First Army in reserve around Amiens. Instead of the battle being a disaster for France, it's a disaster for everybody...

Chevan
09-21-2013, 10:58 AM
...If Stalin didn't trust the French anymore, perhaps rightly, he sure trusted Hitler right up until his panzers and Landsers were pouring over the Soviet fronts... ;)
What makes us to think Stalin actually trusted Hitler?
Otherwise he didn't order to concentrate 100+ of soviet infantry deivisions on the Soviet-German border since mid 1940, accurate when Hitler ordered to start "Barbarossa" plan.

Chevan
09-21-2013, 11:19 AM
Nope! I'm too old. Strictly Homeguard material now. :mrgreen:

You stil migh hope to be an ... paramilitary partisan, blowed up the chinese/korean trains in homeland:)


Oh God, that film sounded awful when it came out. The original script had the Chinese invading the U.S. rather than, chuckle, the North Koreans. But the producers were pussies and afraid of pissing off their Chinese market so they made a completely laughably implausible piece of shit rather than a slightly less implausible piece of shit film... :D

But those produces still didn't fear to lose a profit in russian market , entering in this implausible piece of shit the "russian ultranationalists":mrgreen: I'm just puzzled , how those nutfa..rs in hollowood dream to tie the N.korea and russian nationalists if the first agenda of russian nationalists are the fight of "yellows" !!


WOLVERINES! Die you commie bastards! :mrgreen:

Oh , seems that matter a classic that never dies:)

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 11:43 AM
Actually, I'm not so sure about that - rather I'd say that it involved all arms working together and well co-ordinated. Given the technology of 1918 (and indeed what the French had in 1940), that was necessarily slow. The solution wasn't to jettison the doctrine, however, but to speed up the communication. I'd actually go so far as to suggest that this doctrine is closer to modern combined-arms doctrine than what the Germans were using.

I don't disagree with your last point fundamentally. The problem was that the French endemically viewed warfare as a localized matter of a static frontage incrementally changing, not in terms of rapid breakthroughs or battles of annihilation, which is why things were to proceed slowly. Remember, they were also obsessed with conserving manpower and keeping casualties down as well. There are lots of hints of the problematic system. For instance, French officers were trained to behind their troops in bunkers rather than leading from the front as did the Germans. The French felt that this prevented leadership casualties and rash, emotive decision making based on the sights of blood and suffering. The German notion of "mission to tactics" held quite the opposite. The Heer did in fact suffer some horrendous junior and even senior officer losses, but their decision cycle was not only much faster, but more realistic and based directly on the tactical situation.

Another anecdote I've read is that the French medical system essentially broke down with the rapid pace and average French casualties suffered higher than expected death rates because the hospital system could not cope with the pace of events...



He had no radios, but I don't think that was the reason - he didn't have any telephones either!

I heard something about a telephone a couple of miles from his HQ? I think that was his main excuse...

Rising Sun*
09-21-2013, 11:44 AM
I wouldn't say that's true at all. The Maginot line has had a bad press - it was always intended to enable the French to economise on men defending that frontier, and to force the Germans to come through Belgium. In that, it worked perfectly (although probably absorbing more men than intended - the interval divisions could probably have been made part of a more general reserve than they were) - the Germans did come through Belgium.

Then why didn't the French defeat the Germans coming through Belgium in accordance with the French plan?

And, more obviously, why didn't the French make an arrangement which avoided Belgium, quite reasonably when Belgium was on a hiding to nothing, deciding to save itself which then exposed the French to defeat? What sort of strategic and or military idiot creates a magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence to funnel an attack into a neighbour when that neighbour lacks the ability and neighbourly affection to the point of self-sacrifice to defend that end of the line, which allows the enemy to bypass the magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence?


The French also had the strongest tank forces in Europe, and arguably possessed the best tank in the world at the time (Somua S.35). Unfortunately, their tactics were poor and their best divisions were in the wrong place.

What were the poor tactics which allowed France, as the strongest tank force in Europe, to lose?

Why were France's best divisions in the wrong place if the French were so successful in diverting the Germans through Belgium and it was all going according to plan?

Don't those questions suggest that, along with carefully funnelling the Germans around the Maginot Line and being unprepared for the consequences, the French planning was somewhat deficient?

pdf27
09-21-2013, 12:09 PM
Then why didn't the French defeat the Germans coming through Belgium in accordance with the French plan?
Well when the Germans turned up where the French expected them, it was roughly even. Indeed, Hannut and Gembloux could be described as French victories. The problem is, the French were expecting them to come through northern Belgium, and they came through the south of the country.


And, more obviously, why didn't the French make an arrangement which avoided Belgium, quite reasonably when Belgium was on a hiding to nothing, deciding to save itself which then exposed the French to defeat?
Prior to Munich, the Belgians and French were allies and so the French were expecting to fight the Germans in the Ardennes and along the Albert Canal line. When the British and French betrayed the Czechs, Albert III got cold feet, and decided he was better off cosying up to Hitler. In the process, he completely cut the French out of his military planning, to the extent that they didn't know that the defences on the Dyle line didn't even exist.


What sort of strategic and or military idiot creates a magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence to funnel an attack into a neighbour when that neighbour lacks the ability and neighbourly affection to the point of self-sacrifice to defend that end of the line, which allows the enemy to bypass the magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence?
The Maginot line pre-dated the end of the Belgian alliance by some years. When that alliance ended, the French rapidly started building defences along the Meuse. Problem is, they were trying to do a lot else at the same time and were also trying to build up a strong field army in northern Belgium. As a result, the defences around Sedan were too weak for the job they faced (although at places like Monthermé the Germans were stopped dead for some time).


What were the poor tactics which allowed France, as the strongest tank force in Europe, to lose?
Dispersing them in penny packets, so that whenever the Germans turned up they outnumbered the French tanks locally.


Why were France's best divisions in the wrong place if the French were so successful in diverting the Germans through Belgium and it was all going according to plan?
Wrong bit of Belgium. Gamelin essentially bet his country that the Germans would come through northern Belgium as they had in 1914 - and to be fair to him that was the German plan until early 1940. Problem is he committed everything to it, including what should have been his reserve. When the Germans turned up elsewhere, he couldn't adapt fast enough.


Don't those questions suggest that, along with carefully funnelling the Germans around the Maginot Line and being unprepared for the consequences, the French planning was somewhat deficient?
No, they suggest it was wildly deficient. The long run grand strategy was right (funnel them north into Belgium to fight them as far from France as possible, and guarantee British involvement). The rest of it was awful though.

Rising Sun*
09-21-2013, 12:20 PM
Actually, I'm not so sure about that - rather I'd say that it involved all arms working together and well co-ordinated. Given the technology of 1918 (and indeed what the French had in 1940), that was necessarily slow. The solution wasn't to jettison the doctrine, however, but to speed up the communication. I'd actually go so far as to suggest that this doctrine is closer to modern combined-arms doctrine than what the Germans were using.


He had no radios, but I don't think that was the reason - he didn't have any telephones either!

My recollection is that the French high command in 1940 was carefully ensconced in a centre remote from the battlefields with limited communications, and intentionally so, which caused a predictable failure to appreciate the situation on a rapidly moving and fluid battlefield and to deal with it.

My reasonably detailed knowledge is limited mainly to some Australian commanders to a slight degree in WWI and to a greater degree in Australian and American commanders in WWII in the Pacific. In every case in those wars (Monash in WWI, Blamey and MacArthur in WWII) the failure of senior commanders to go forward to appreciate the ground (the usually excellent Monash in aspects of assaulting the Hindenburg Line in WWI and Blamey and MacArthur in Papua - New Guinea on countless occasions from August 1942 onwards) resulted in tactical failures and or unnecessary casualties under pressure from ill-informed senior commanders remote from the battlefields when those commanders were, to a greater or lesser degree, pursuing wider personal motives to retain or advance their own positions.

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 01:46 PM
What makes us to think Stalin actually trusted Hitler?
Otherwise he didn't order to concentrate 100+ of soviet infantry deivisions on the Soviet-German border since mid 1940, accurate when Hitler ordered to start "Barbarossa" plan.

I think he trusted that he was smarter than Hitler, and refused to believe he had been bamboozled. :)

He forbid his commanders to go on alert lest upsetting the Germans until at the very last moment and it was too late...

Chevan
09-21-2013, 02:06 PM
I think he trusted that he was smarter than Hitler, and refused to believe he had been bamboozled. :)

Hitler was smart? Can you believe the smart guy will start a two-front campain which he couln't win on definition.At least Stalin was enough smart to unite with former enemyes and join the alliance.


He forbid his commanders to go on alert lest upsetting the Germans until at the very last moment and it was too late...
He forbid them to be caught on german provocation, coz it was clear the Hitler was searching the pretex to attack. Yet don't forget the US made the same mistake( specially or not) - you too been caught by Japaneses in PErl Harbour.

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 03:06 PM
Might I, with some trepidation as not a close student of the European War, suggest that in WWII the Germans succeeded in their so-called blitzkreig to the west in the first stage of that War by the then novel process of primarily armoured and mechanized infantry warfare, rather than the much slower and tactically different infantry supported tank attacks in the closing stages of WWI which developed new tactics for the defeat of static and entrenched troops and artillery. Lesser minds in the English and French forces were, as usual, thinking about fighting the last war so far as tanks and entrenched positions were concerned, which produced the Maginot Line.

The 'blitzkreig' wasn't something which quite fitted the notions of infantry and fort / redoubt based thinking which produced the various fortifications which were easily bypassed and or overrun by German armour.

Nor was the use of armour in its own right as a spear rather than supporting the infantry as the spear.

I think the Germans and the French/British were not as far apart as has typically been accepted in the past. All of them had different classes of tanks and indeed the Germans also assault guns solely for infantry support. The desperation of the situation forced the Germans to essentially design what was a giant end around coup de main attack through the Ardennes. The Maginot was bypassed because:

The French hadn't finished constructing the portions which were to border the Ardennes and Belgium.

The Belgian forts such as Eben-Emael were supposed to have held out for at least a week giving time for the Belgian Army to retreat to a redoubt and maintain their gov't while maximizing German casualties. Emael fell after only a few hours because of specialized commando type sappers flying in on gliders in a daring surprise attack upsetting the entire lynchpin of their defense. If the Belgians had been more alert with more anti-aircraft guns, it could have been very different. The situation gave no respite to the Allied forces and the Germans were able to sow maximum confusion and sap the fuel reserves of the British and French forces sortieing into Belgium. The Allies also wasted much of their air forces sortieing over Belgium while much of the Luftwaffe was massed over the Ardennes. Despite propaganda for public consumption, neither the French nor Belgians had any illusions about fortified areas stopping the Germans, even the Maginot would eventually be compromised. They were to give time to mobilize and the real error was not fortifying the Meuse River Valley and Sedan enough, and manning it with second rate troops because of the belief that the Ardennes Forest acted as a natural barrier. Bigger, better, and more numerous fortifications inside the forest along the access roads almost certainly would have severally disrupted sickle-cut and the vehicles were in a very vulnerable traffic jam and unable to maneuver the logging roads were essentially funneling choke points. The belief that major rivers took one to two weeks to cross in anger as military theology was also a major hindrance to the French realizing the unfolding disaster quickly enough as they assumed the Germans would still be pinned down for a bit if the guessed wrong about Belgium.

As for France, the panzers were often far out ahead of the infantry but were only encountering fracturing resistance for the most part after some desperate early battles like Stonne. Once they had broken through the Sedan, the French had only piecemeal units to stop them with which were easily bypassed and their tanks were in the famous phrase "in penny packets" and wasted in small numbers against the panzer formations. There were cases where panzer troops had almost no infantry with them. They typically bypassed areas of resistance, then German infantry would follow along and essentially lay a mini-siege until the French forces were out of ammo. Towards the end, too little too late, General Weygand worked out a "hedge-hog defense" where stores and provisions were set in fortified towns and they were able to hold out and tie down large formations of German infantry for extended periods and interfere with the movements of panzers. It worked more or less. The problem was it essentially didn't matter at that point because there was no armored strategic reserve to counter attack with. The second German plan of Fall Rot was sort of part two, and initiated a more conventional infantry and artillery battle to crush what remained of organized French resistance. Again, they met with some setbacks and fierce resistance in the hedgerows of the bocage.

Some say that the panzers outrunning the infantry is partially what allowed Dunkirk to be evacuated, because the areas around the port were marshy and tanks typically need infantry support for extended urban fighting...

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 03:10 PM
...
That's the premise of the story I'm writing - instead of committing to the Dyle-Breda plan, Gamelin keeps First Army in reserve around Amiens. Instead of the battle being a disaster for France, it's a disaster for everybody...

I think this quite likely if that's the case...

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 03:24 PM
Then why didn't the French defeat the Germans coming through Belgium in accordance with the French plan?

And, more obviously, why didn't the French make an arrangement which avoided Belgium, quite reasonably when Belgium was on a hiding to nothing, deciding to save itself which then exposed the French to defeat? What sort of strategic and or military idiot creates a magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence to funnel an attack into a neighbour when that neighbour lacks the ability and neighbourly affection to the point of self-sacrifice to defend that end of the line, which allows the enemy to bypass the magnificent and supposedly impregnable line of defence?



What were the poor tactics which allowed France, as the strongest tank force in Europe, to lose?

Why were France's best divisions in the wrong place if the French were so successful in diverting the Germans through Belgium and it was all going according to plan?

Don't those questions suggest that, along with carefully funnelling the Germans around the Maginot Line and being unprepared for the consequences, the French planning was somewhat deficient?

I think pdf covered it well and I agree with most of what he says, so I'll add this: You're thinking logically sir! In pure military logic, you are correct. The problem was that Gamelin had many political constraints on him. It would have been unacceptable for the French to simply abandon Belgium and the low countries. Gamelin also wanted to insure that he had access to the Dutch road networks and bridges and needed to secure them for what he eventually envisioned as a "grand" offensive in 1941 where a built up Anglo-French force would roll into Germany in a plan not dissimilar to Monty's Market Garden operation.

Also, one thing that needs to be discussed in conjunction with the Maginot Line is the French imperative to keep casualties down while maximizing the ones on the Germans because of their lower birth rate necessitated this in a war of attrition.

The Germans did send some armor into Northern Belgium to hold the Allies there and pin them down, the metaphor most often used is the 'cape and sword' matador reference with France being the charging bull at the cape and the Ardennes offensive being the sword in the gut of France...

Nickdfresh
09-21-2013, 03:38 PM
Hitler was smart? Can you believe the smart guy will start a two-front campain which he couln't win on definition.At least Stalin was enough smart to unite with former enemyes and join the alliance.

It would be hard to dismiss Hitler and completely stupid. He was a conspiracist that believed what he wanted to believe, specifically that the U.S. was run by a secret Jewish shadow gov't controlling FDR and the United States was his existential enemy and he needed the Soviet resources to achieve parity in production and resources. His logic was that the Soviet Union would collapse that no one would fight for the regime for very long and the "whole rotten structure" would collapse. Even more copious German generals like Halder believed if Germany reached the Dnieper-Deviester Rivers, they'd win the war by trapping and crushing most of the Red Army. They had underestimated the Red Army by nearly 100 divisions and never accounted for their reserves in Siberia adequately.


He forbid them to be caught on german provocation, coz it was clear the Hitler was searching the pretex to attack. Yet don't forget the US made the same mistake( specially or not) - you too been caught by Japaneses in PErl Harbour.

That's a silly reason to give. Massed, mobilized troops on the border aren't looking for a pretext. Especially when Stalin received and discounted numerous, unrelated sources of intelligence warnings of the attack and his own commanders on the ground pleading to take their defensive positions.

Of course the U.S. made mistakes at Pearl Harbor. The difference is they had no clear warnings and had no idea where the Japanese carriers were. Stalin knew right where his enemy was!

Chevan
09-22-2013, 02:57 AM
It would be hard to dismiss Hitler and completely stupid. He was a conspiracist that believed what he wanted to believe, specifically that the U.S. was run by a secret Jewish shadow gov't controlling FDR and the United States was his existential enemy

You mean Hitler didn't know that "secret shadow gov" is called the AIPAC;)
well it's not really a big secret for every kid in US.:mrgreen:


and he needed the Soviet resources to achieve parity in production and resources. His logic was that the Soviet Union would collapse that no one would fight for the regime for very long and the "whole rotten structure" would collapse. Even more copious German generals like Halder believed if Germany reached the Dnieper-Deviester Rivers, they'd win the war by trapping and crushing most of the Red Army. They had underestimated the Red Army by nearly 100 divisions and never accounted for their reserves in Siberia adequately.

yes, but why they decided to attack, still having war with Britain in back?I think Hitler was in hury , he though the time was out for Germany- from one side the British Empire with US more and more involving into he war on british side ( supplies was start in yearly 1940 although formally US was "out of war"). From other side- the growing USSR which Hitler was sure( or someone make him to be sure) burned by desire to attack the GErmany. He though the Barbarossa was only the chance for GErmany not to lose war with British-American alliance. But that plan was damn risky and , say Erich von Mainstain critized Hittller for that.


That's a silly reason to give. Massed, mobilized troops on the border aren't looking for a pretext. Especially when Stalin received and discounted numerous, unrelated sources of intelligence warnings of the attack and his own commanders on the ground pleading to take their defensive positions.

The warmings were quite unclear. Some sources gives the june , some claims the attack would be in may. Nothing concrete.
When the date was more or less known - 22 june , the Stalin gives few secret orders dated 18 june to western troops to be ready for possible attack. 22 only soviet western front suffers a collaps - the Nothern front faced the enemy in full combat readness , the Southern front even launch the counter attack to the Romania , but later withdrow if fear of surround. The soviet baltic and black sea fleets were ready for batle as well. The ONLY western front ( belorussia) faced the mehanized german armades in superior quantity and quality.Nothing there that STalin could change or infly.Far not all the soviet troops faced the beginning of war beeing uncompetency, but as pdf states - "they had the numbers, the kit and to some extent the right tactics and strategy, but their officer corps was full of clowns". That was very fairly for Red Army command stuff of 1941.


Of course the U.S. made mistakes at Pearl Harbor. The difference is they had no clear warnings and had no idea where the Japanese carriers were. Stalin knew right where his enemy was!
No difference- Stalin didn't know for sure untill the last weeks before the attack. And FDR knew for at least three days before the attck (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8932197/Pearl-Harbour-memo-shows-US-warned-of-Japanese-attack.html) but nothing was done.

Nickdfresh
09-22-2013, 12:56 PM
You mean Hitler didn't know that "secret shadow gov" is called the AIPAC;)
well it's not really a big secret for every kid in US.:mrgreen:

:mrgreen:

Touche...


yes, but why they decided to attack, still having war with Britain in back?I think Hitler was in hury , he though the time was out for Germany- from one side the British Empire with US more and more involving into he war on british side ( supplies was start in yearly 1940 although formally US was "out of war"). From other side- the growing USSR which Hitler was sure( or someone make him to be sure) burned by desire to attack the GErmany. He though the Barbarossa was only the chance for GErmany not to lose war with British-American alliance. But that plan was damn risky and , say Erich von Mainstain critized Hittller for that.

I don't disagree. But Germany didn't have many options as an amphibious operation needed for an invasion of Britain was well beyond the capability of the Kriegsmarine, and the Luftwaffe had begun to crack a bit under the pressure of a strategic air campaign in was neither designed, nor trained to carry out. The FDR Administration had been tacitly supporting the British and had sold large stocks of weapons to the French before the collapse. There were also extensive naval incidents between U.S. Navy destroyers and u-boats, including the torpedoing if a USN destroyer than killed over 100 sailors. It was a matter of time. The invasion was a desperate gamble to knock the Soviet Union out before Britain could again become an offensive threat and the U.S. could fully mobilize its decrepit but rapidly improving armed forces...


The warmings were quite unclear. Some sources gives the june , some claims the attack would be in may. Nothing concrete.
When the date was more or less known - 22 june , the Stalin gives few secret orders dated 18 june to western troops to be ready for possible attack. 22 only soviet western front suffers a collaps - the Nothern front faced the enemy in full combat readness , the Southern front even launch the counter attack to the Romania , but later withdrow if fear of surround. The soviet baltic and black sea fleets were ready for batle as well. The ONLY western front ( belorussia) faced the mehanized german armades in superior quantity and quality.Nothing there that STalin could change or infly.Far not all the soviet troops faced the beginning of war beeing uncompetency, but as pdf states - "they had the numbers, the kit and to some extent the right tactics and strategy, but their officer corps was full of clowns". That was very fairly for Red Army command stuff of 1941.

No difference- Stalin didn't know for sure untill the last weeks before the attack. And FDR knew for at least three days before the attck (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8932197/Pearl-Harbour-memo-shows-US-warned-of-Japanese-attack.html) but nothing was done.

I believe Stalin also threatened to execute any commander that deployed to battle positions.

There's nothing ground breaking nor new in the article and the warning thing is all old hat and easily misunderstood. In fact it was more than three days. But the end of November, 1941, the Administration knew that war with Japan was inevitable. The question was, "where?". The U.S. believed the Japanese incapable of a coup de main air strike all the way to Hawaii, and felt the war would begin with a naval ambush in the Philippines...

Chevan
09-25-2013, 11:20 AM
I don't disagree. But Germany didn't have many options as an amphibious operation needed for an invasion of Britain was well beyond the capability of the Kriegsmarine, and the Luftwaffe had begun to crack a bit under the pressure of a strategic air campaign in was neither designed, nor trained to carry out. The FDR Administration had been tacitly supporting the British and had sold large stocks of weapons to the French before the collapse. There were also extensive naval incidents between U.S. Navy destroyers and u-boats, including the torpedoing if a USN destroyer than killed over 100 sailors. It was a matter of time. The invasion was a desperate gamble to knock the Soviet Union out before Britain could again become an offensive threat and the U.S. could fully mobilize its decrepit but rapidly improving armed forces...

Was the amphibious operation really neded is a still an option. The Donetz argued Hitler to support the sea blocade over the British Islands by u-boat warfare should be very enough to cause the famine and force the UK soon out of war finally.But the massive american supplies to Britain has made the Donetz's plan doubtful.Germany coun't build the u-boats as fast a the US destroyers begin to sink them since 1942. Theoretically , if the Eastern front hasn't been stupidly opened- the Germany migh have more chances to stand agains Britih-American coalition, having the soviet grain and oil supplies behind.


I believe Stalin also threatened to execute any commander that deployed to battle positions.

Far not much commanders have been executed in early period of war. Entire soviet devisions had deployed it's position becouse of the quick german assault and front-line collaps, repidly retreating. The Military tribunals actually has executed the few of death penalties of soviet top commanders - the general Pavlov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitry_Pavlov_(general)) among them. But that was just resault of it's military incompetency which leads to the fatal loses of troops for the most first hours of war.The situation , you imply, come in mid 1942 , folowing the famouse order "No step back" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_No._227) which give the right to Military tribunals to execute the any commander which left the positions without order. But that was a really most dramatical and critical period of war, moreover if happend after the the simular Heer's orders which should increase, as planned, the troops discipline.


There's nothing ground breaking nor new in the article and the warning thing is all old hat and easily misunderstood. In fact it was more than three days. But the end of November, 1941, the Administration knew that war with Japan was inevitable. The question was, "where?". The U.S. believed the Japanese incapable of a coup de main air strike all the way to Hawaii, and felt the war would begin with a naval ambush in the Philippines...
Sure, there is nothing serious. But this case just demonstrates how relictant the gov' heads might be to the any intelligence datas that can lead to the war. Note, although the US could even read the Japane secrets codes - they still didn't realize nothing to prevent the "innevitable" attack. The intelligence services datas often migh been mistaken of even fake even TODAY ( remember the Iraqi mdw?). So , this case with Pearl Harbor just proves that if even Stalin't information was 200% real - no guaranty he could do anything.

royal744
09-29-2013, 12:51 PM
>...although the US could even read the Japane secrets codes - they still didn't realize nothing to prevent the "innevitable" attack. The intelligence services datas often migh been mistaken of even fake even TODAY ( remember the Iraqi mdw?). So , this case with Pearl Harbor just proves that if even Stalin't information was 200% real - no guaranty he could do anything.

Te US couldn't read all the Japanese codes and only then imperfectly.... they had to use a ruse, for example, to get the Japanese to identify Midway as their target when the time came.

Yes, the Iraqi "intelligence" concerning WMD was a complete fake from start to finish. Shame on us.

Clarkson
01-09-2016, 02:28 AM
Think for a moment what non-participation of the USSR meant for the Western allies.

Years more of war, far more casualties than we can ever imagine or 'handle', a strong Soviet Union ready to sweep in and grab everything from the winner.

I'd say, considering German plans by people like Brauchitsch and Halder for a "pre-emptive" against the Soviets in 1940, that the USSR acted in a manner that looked after their own best interests first, just as their Western Alliance 'brothers' would have in the same position.

If we had acknowleged Soviet sacrifice and sheer guts a lot sooner after May 1945, there might not have been a Cold War, and all that went with it.

The more I read about the USSR, the more I firmly believe they acted with the one enemy they knew they were going to face at some stage, with Germany firmly at the forefront of their minds at all times.

During the Nazi-Soviet Pact, Stalin exchanged raw materials (oil, grain, manganese) for German naval and other military technology. The Germans soon got wind of the fact that the Soviets were not going to give away anything technical at all. Who played who?

Mikhail Tuchachevsky (before he was purged, and as his contribution to the First and Second five Year Plans) campaigned significantly and successfully for the Red Army to have absoulte industrial priority for the raw materials the Soviets did possess. It enabled them to turn out tanks in numbers that even Hitler had cause to tell Marshall Mannerhiem of Finland in 1943, "If we had known they could produce x amount of tanks in one year, we would never have invaded."..or words very much to that effect.

I would definately say for all his internal crimes, Josef Dugashvali had the interests of the Soviet Union in mind for the long term. He definately wanted to see a better future for Russian and Slavic peoples than as 'untermenschen' slaves and serfs, as the Germans planned.

What did the Soviet people think?

My favourite comment, by God knows who...

"During the Great Patriotic War, we had a choice between two dictators. We preferred the one that spoke Russian." :lol:

Read around before you rubbish the Soviets and their contribution to making your comments possible.

Jeremy Clarkson.