Anyhow, you seem to be ignoring the point that the French plans seemed to be fuelled as much by calls for action to break the strategic stalemate of the war
Wasn't the British version?
Not in the same way, no. It was a prime objective for the French that the war be drawn away from their eastern frontiers and fought elsewhere. That is a strong reason why they were casting around for secondary fronts to open.
Does the article for instance discuss the months' long call for and discussion of various Middle Eastern ideas and options in London? There were several months' discussion for instance over the option of an Allied intervention and establishment of a new Salonika Front...driven of course by Winston Churchill
Funny you should mention it, the re-run of the WW1 Salonika Front was a brainchild of Admiral Darlan's and had been down through the 1930s.
We can't really accuse Darlan of being a closeted Communist, but for all his other shortcomings and errors of judgement, he saw quite clearly that the Germans would fail in the USSR, and well before most others did. If he hadn't then maybe we would have seen a Vichy version of Operation Pike launched in 1941, who knows.
Mark V wrote: wouldn't call Baku area backwater by no means. Atleast Soviet supply lines to area would had been much shorter than for Anglo-French, and communications links well developed, railways, waterways of Don/Volga/Black Sea/Caspian Sea. Donets with its armament industry is in Soviet terms rock throw away...
I agree, in infrastructure-terms the area wasn't a backwater, close as it was to mineral-rich territories and the southern end of the Urals, where the Soviets had been industrializing head over heels since the late 1920s, and expanding their rail system since the mid-1930s.
phylo_roadking wrote:...As Osborn discusses - exactly! And they had to come from somewhere...the British doubted they'd risk transfers from the border facing the Japanese, the armistice there having only recently been concluded when this idea was first mooted. Transfers away from the new border in Poland??? Equally unlikely. The only other place where experienced Soviet troops were available would be in the West, facing Scandanavia...
Actually, the conclusion of the Finnish-Soviet armistice in March coincides quite nicely with this. Apart from that, the Red Army was huge - had to be, with that immensely long border to cover - and other fronts (perhaps not so much the front facing Finland, but the front in Mongolia would certainly qualify) could well have provided experienced leadership, rather than troops in great numbers.