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Thread: The French "Invasion" of Germany: The Saar Offensive

  1. #1
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    Default The French "Invasion" of Germany: The Saar Offensive

    I've read that the French crossed into Germany in force sometime in late 1939, and met with some success, and little real resistance. The German Wehrmacht was still committed in Poland, and if the French had created some momentum, they may have done some serious damage... Why did they withdraw?



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    Default Re: The French "Invasion" of Germany during The Ph

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh
    I've read that the French crossed into Germany in force sometime in late 1939, and met with some success, and little real resistance. The German Wehrmacht was still committed in Poland, and if the French had created some momentum, they may have done some serious damage... Why did they withdraw?
    It's traditional.
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    Default Re: The French "Invasion" of Germany during The Ph

    Quote Originally Posted by Cuts
    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh
    I've read that the French crossed into Germany in force sometime in late 1939, and met with some success, and little real resistance. The German Wehrmacht was still committed in Poland, and if the French had created some momentum, they may have done some serious damage... Why did they withdraw?
    It's traditional.
    Good one!



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    maybe they want to want for the english reinforcement?
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    Mickdfresh wrote -

    I've read that the French crossed into Germany in force sometime in late 1939, and met with some success, and little real resistance. The German Wehrmacht was still committed in Poland, and if the French had created some momentum, they may have done some serious damage... Why did they withdraw?
    Yep I read something similar although I thought it was 1940. The French and/or British started to get the upper hand at some point but were eventually out flanked, out manoeuvred and out lead.

    Have tried to find where I read this but can't now.

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    Cuts realy good one. Well I have never heard of it before.

    Well I must agree with you Cuts it is their tradition.

    Henk


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    C in C of germanys Western front in September 1939, Colonel general Willhelm Ritter von Loeb had about 800.000 men for the defence of the siegfried line, no tanks, no aircraft to speak of. The defences was not finished and where most exposed against attack from the Dutch and Belgian frontiers. Von Loebs orders was to sit tight and avoid provoking the French, he knew they could get through if they wanted with 2 million men and 2500 tanks at their disposal.
    Fortunately for the Germans, france had no plans to attack Germany via Belgium or Holland, since they where neutral.
    On the night of 7-8 September, the French Fourth Army`s 11 Infantry Division crossed the Saar, suprised and took a few Germans as prisoners.
    Then they ran into minefields and booby traps. They dident have any mine detectors with them so drove cattle over the minefields or poked at the mines with poles, it was slow going. They got about 3 miles inside Germany before they decided that it was time to pull back.
    The French returned on the 12th of september when about 150.000 soldiers overran the first line of the siegfried line and the town of Saarbrucken (which had been evacuated by the Germans). The Germans was not worried as their fortificatins was at its strongest where the French was attacking. The French also realised this and decided that they had done enough by taking some 80 square miles of Germany.
    They Artillery fired a barrage of shells at the Siegfried line all this time, but without delayed-action fuses the effect was spectacular but ineffecive.
    The french army suffered the following casualties in the attack: 98 officers, 78 NCOs and 1578 soldies. The air force lost 32 aircraft.
    And that was that, the french relised that they would need to commit a large portion of their army for a real attack and they dident want to risk that. Much safer to hide behind the Maginot line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grishnak
    The air force lost 32 aircraft.
    And that was that, the french relised that they would need to commit a large portion of their army for a real attack and they dident want to risk that. Much safer to hide behind the Maginot line.
    You see hide away .

    Henk


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    Now if only they built the line a bit more north....

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    Well they were planning to do so, the winter came and so they could not construct any more. They were actualy did plan on doing so, but the war did not wait fot them and Hitler knew that he would not need to face the Maginot Line.

    Henk


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    Well they were planning to do so, the winter came and so they could not construct any more. They were actualy did plan on doing so, but the war did not wait fot them and Hitler knew that he would not need to face the Maginot Line.
    Oh, I thought they didn't build it on grounds that Belgium was an allied nation, and it would be an "insulting" act to build it on the border.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StalingradK
    Now if only they built the line a bit more north....
    True, they did plan too. But hiding behind the line was counterintuitive to the original French strategy regarding the Line. It was never meant to stop the Germans, only slow them down for several months to allow the French to gather an army for a war winning counter offensive... Apparently, they forgot about this intention...



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    Quote Originally Posted by Grishnak
    C in C of germanys Western front in September 1939, Colonel general Willhelm Ritter von Loeb had about 800.000 men for the defence of the siegfried line, no tanks, no aircraft to speak of. The defences was not finished and where most exposed against attack from the Dutch and Belgian frontiers. Von Loebs orders was to sit tight and avoid provoking the French, he knew they could get through if they wanted with 2 million men and 2500 tanks at their disposal.
    Fortunately for the Germans, france had no plans to attack Germany via Belgium or Holland, since they where neutral.
    On the night of 7-8 September, the French Fourth Army`s 11 Infantry Division crossed the Saar, suprised and took a few Germans as prisoners.
    Then they ran into minefields and booby traps. They dident have any mine detectors with them so drove cattle over the minefields or poked at the mines with poles, it was slow going. They got about 3 miles inside Germany before they decided that it was time to pull back.
    The French returned on the 12th of september when about 150.000 soldiers overran the first line of the siegfried line and the town of Saarbrucken (which had been evacuated by the Germans). The Germans was not worried as their fortificatins was at its strongest where the French was attacking. The French also realised this and decided that they had done enough by taking some 80 square miles of Germany.
    They Artillery fired a barrage of shells at the Siegfried line all this time, but without delayed-action fuses the effect was spectacular but ineffecive.
    The french army suffered the following casualties in the attack: 98 officers, 78 NCOs and 1578 soldies. The air force lost 32 aircraft.
    And that was that, the french relised that they would need to commit a large portion of their army for a real attack and they dident want to risk that. Much safer to hide behind the Maginot line.
    Thanks for the info. I was having difficulty find stuff on the web. Although "Blitzkrieg" by Len Deighton offers some info on the French blitz...



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    France sent almost al troops to Belgium because the Maginot line was un breakable as so tought.As Blitzfreig progressed in Belgium France had no more men to Defend France causing Retreats

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