If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

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maltesefalcon
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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by maltesefalcon » 07 Aug 2019 00:31

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 18:27
Michael Kenny wrote:
06 Aug 2019 16:34
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
Why didn't the Germans just go home after June 1940?
Because they needed the French resources to pursue their Eastern ambitions.
According to everything I've read (Tooze, Holland), the Germans had an initial gain from plundering France and the Low Countries, but within a few months it became more of a burden to maintain occupation forces in those countries.
France had a coastline on the Mediterranean and a long coastline on the Atlantic/North Sea. Both would come in handy for air bases and UBoat pens. Prior to 1940 German vessels needed to thread the needle from Kiel to get into open waters.

As long as Germany controlled Belgium, Holland and France they also had absolute control of the Rhine from the Swiss border to the mouth. Barge traffic on the Rhine and its tributaries was absolutely vital to the economy and war effort.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 07 Aug 2019 07:48

maltesefalcon wrote:
07 Aug 2019 00:31
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 18:27
Michael Kenny wrote:
06 Aug 2019 16:34
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
Why didn't the Germans just go home after June 1940?
Because they needed the French resources to pursue their Eastern ambitions.
According to everything I've read (Tooze, Holland), the Germans had an initial gain from plundering France and the Low Countries, but within a few months it became more of a burden to maintain occupation forces in those countries.
France had a coastline on the Mediterranean and a long coastline on the Atlantic/North Sea. Both would come in handy for air bases and UBoat pens. Prior to 1940 German vessels needed to thread the needle from Kiel to get into open waters.

As long as Germany controlled Belgium, Holland and France they also had absolute control of the Rhine from the Swiss border to the mouth. Barge traffic on the Rhine and its tributaries was absolutely vital to the economy and war effort.
I guess a second question goes along with my first: Did Hitler really think that he could win an offensive war against Britain using bases in France? Obviously, the answer is yes, as Tooze explains that Germany's grand strategy prior to the war was to use air bases in northern France to send an armada of 5000 Ju 88s to bomb Britain into submission. Germany never got close to that figure, and learned relatively quickly that daylight bombing wouldn't work.

So, I guess my question is, was there ever any discussion in the German leadership as the war progressed of "liberating" France and the Low Countries by withdrawing militarily and then negotiating a peace treaty? It would seem like the ideal time do it would be immediately after the start of Barbarossa, but the problem is that the high command was still focused on fighting Britain in the long-term, for which they needed France and the Low Countries.

It was only around November 1941 that Hitler's top economic advisers realized they couldn't win the war. And even if someone in the Nazi hierarchy realized this might be a good time to withdraw from France and concentrate everything on Russia, Tooze documents the delusional hopes that the German high command placed on the Japanese navy tying up the Americans for at least several years. Germany wanted to wage a two front war against America, so the high command was eager to join the war against the United States in the hope of over-stretching America's navy ... for which Germany needed bases in France. But the Second Happy Time lasted only a few months and had no real strategic impact on the war.

Which takes us to mid-1942 and the Allies are firmly in the de Gaulle camp and would have no qualms about riding ruffshod over even a truly independent French State.

In sum, it would have required miraculous foresight by the German leadership to realize prior to Barbarossa that waging war against Britain and the United States from France was a lost cause.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by glenn239 » 08 Aug 2019 17:22

Futurist wrote:
15 Jun 2019 21:05
If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?
It could make Overlord 1943 more likely, or perhaps Anvil. Alternatively, if the peace treaty happens in 1940, it might delay US entry into the war, as a Germany not in occupation of Western Europe is not as menacing as one that was.

Once the US is in the war, French neutrality is not preventing an invasion, IMO.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Aug 2019 08:51

HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
I've always wondered why Hitler decided to occupy France and the Low Countries in the first place? Why didn't the Germans just go home after June 1940? He didn't want war with Britain, and once France had fallen, there was literally nothing Britain could do to Germany except send a few ineffective night bombers and blockade German ports. If Germany had withdrawn from France and the Low Countries and signed a peace treaty where they all agreed to respect their pre-1940 borders, Britain's war on Germany would have been purely nominal, aside from the blockade, which Germany couldn't do anything about anyway.

Germany would have then saved countless resources without having to wage the Battle of Britain, maintain occupation troops in France and the Low Countries, and if they had any sense, would have called off the self-defeating U-boat campaign. Germany could have then concentrated everything against Russia without any possibility of a second land front opening in the West.
Specifically Hitler wanted to negotiate one connected settlement for all of western Europe, rather than several poorly coordinated treaties.

Hitler & Ribbentrop expected first that Britain would ask for cease fire terms in July.

When that did not happen they expected a request for terms as the August bomber attacks shocked the Brits into peace.

When it was clear Britain was going on with the war indefinitely Hitler determined to attack and destroy the USSR, & use the combined resources of Europe to defeat Britain. Preparing the army to defeat the Red Army required looting tens of thousands of automotive and railway vehicles from France & Belgium. Both the German army and industry required this large addition to make the attack on the USSR practical. had a peace treaty with France been previously negotiated all that would have been out of reach of the German army & industry. The attack on the USSR considerably curtailed.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
... If Germany had withdrawn from France and the Low Countries and signed a peace treaty where they all agreed to respect their pre-1940 borders, ...
Petains policy was to restore French power. If that required abrogating a treaty and staying Germany in the back he was wiling to do so. Unfortunately for the Allied cause he never saw the opportunity to do so. But thats all another discussion. Point here is Hitler understood this and could not trust Petain, or any other French government. One of the reasons he wanted a comprehensive European wide peace treaty. So even with a a peace treaty a large garrison or reserve/intervention force would have to be kept in the west to discourage such a revanchist move by France. Bottom line is that with Britain still in the war the benefits of a French peace treaty are not large.
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
... a peace treaty where they all agreed to respect their pre-1940 borders, ...
With Hitlers track record for breaking treaties & disrespect for borders no French leaders would have taken that very seriously.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by HistoryGeek2019 » 11 Aug 2019 04:49

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Aug 2019 08:51

With Hitlers track record for breaking treaties & disrespect for borders no French leaders would have taken that very seriously.
Good point. Hitler's betrayal of Stalin was the final straw after a litany of betrayals his entire career as chancellor. No other country would trust him again. His only hope to win the war was to militarily dominate every other country, which of course was pure fantasy.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Aug 2019 19:16

To illustrate the French attitude in 1942; the US ambassador Adm Leahey asked what the French reaction would be if the Allied executed a invasion of France. The response, from then PM Darlan was: 'If you come with three divisions we will fight you, if you come with twenty we will join you." This rather sums up Petains overarching policy at the time. That is whatever would best preserve French residual French power and independance. It was also a warning not to take half measures against the Germans or for France.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by thaddeus_c » 08 Oct 2019 03:44

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Aug 2019 08:51
HistoryGeek2019 wrote:
06 Aug 2019 14:50
If Germany had withdrawn from France and the Low Countries and signed a peace treaty where they all agreed to respect their pre-1940 borders, Britain's war on Germany would have been purely nominal, aside from the blockade, which Germany couldn't do anything about anyway.

Germany would have then saved countless resources without having to wage the Battle of Britain, maintain occupation troops in France and the Low Countries, and if they had any sense, would have called off the self-defeating U-boat campaign. Germany could have then concentrated everything against Russia without any possibility of a second land front opening in the West.
When it was clear Britain was going on with the war indefinitely Hitler determined to attack and destroy the USSR, & use the combined resources of Europe to defeat Britain. Preparing the army to defeat the Red Army required looting tens of thousands of automotive and railway vehicles from France & Belgium. Both the German army and industry required this large addition to make the attack on the USSR practical. had a peace treaty with France been previously negotiated all that would have been out of reach of the German army & industry. The attack on the USSR considerably curtailed.

Petains policy was to restore French power. If that required abrogating a treaty and staying Germany in the back he was wiling to do so. Unfortunately for the Allied cause he never saw the opportunity to do so. But thats all another discussion. Point here is Hitler understood this and could not trust Petain, or any other French government. One of the reasons he wanted a comprehensive European wide peace treaty. So even with a a peace treaty a large garrison or reserve/intervention force would have to be kept in the west to discourage such a revanchist move by France. Bottom line is that with Britain still in the war the benefits of a French peace treaty are not large.
well when you put it like that ... it seems a 1941 Case Anton seems a better idea than invasion of the USSR, since they are leaving an almost untenable position behind them?

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Oct 2019 12:50

I've seen that debated more than once. It looks like the German or Hitler view was the Reds in the east would be put down fast enough the weak French army could not pull off anything substantial. A 100,000 man army with no transport requires some time to perform a offensive operation. I've never taken a close look at what the Brits & French together could do on the continent in the later half of 1941? First impression is nothing, but then the Germans left only static garrisons in France & a single weak mobile corps in reserve. One imagines a battle of midgets.

I have other things to research and may never get to this one. Tho if someone has the ground, air, and naval OB for the the Germans in the west in June 1941 it would be fun to see the reality here.

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RE: If Germany And France Make A Separate Peace Before 1944, How Is This Going To Affect D-Day?

Post by Robert Rojas » 09 Oct 2019 17:22

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir. in reference to both your introductory posting of Saturday - June 15, 2019 - 12:05pm and your subsequent posting of Saturday - June 15, 2019 - 6:19pm, old yours truly is of the anecdotal opinion that any separate peace treaty between National Socialist Germany and the Vichyste State of France will bear catastrophic fruit for any potential Anglo/American assault upon the continent of Europe before or after year 1944. In the continuing effort to forge his idea for the so-called "NEW ORDER" in Europe, under the protocols and codicils of the PEACE TREATY OF AACHEN, the all knowing Bohemian Corporal will make a sincere attempt to return a sense of "normalcy" to Western Europe. In terms of metropolitan France anyway, this "normalcy" would manifest itself with the incremental withdrawal of German ground forces from those regions of France that were captured during the campaign of year 1940. However, both the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe will still retain their presence in and above France's Atlantic ports. All of France's prisoners-of-war incarcerated by Germany will be repatriated to the now Vichyste State of France. Now, in conjunction with the Organization Todt, a concerted effort will be made to repair the infrastructural damage wrought by the campaign of year 1940. In addition, all restrictions upon the size and strength of the French military establishment WILL BE LIFTED! With the Wehrmacht now bleeding to death in the Western Tier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the reinstitution AND modernization of France's military establishment will be vital for both the projected defense of Fortress Europe and the continued maintenance of the State of France's far flung extra territorial possessions. Yes, the course of the Second World War will certainly take on quite a different complexion after Adolf Hitler and Pierre Laval sign the PEACE TREATY OF AACHEN in the Aachen Cathedral - the burial place of Emperor Charlemagne. Well, that's my initial two Yankee cents worth on this thought provoking exercise in Franco/German relations - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day down in your corner of Orange County known to many of us as Disneyland.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by thaddeus_c » 11 Oct 2019 07:27

maltesefalcon wrote:
07 Aug 2019 00:31
France had a coastline on the Mediterranean and a long coastline on the Atlantic/North Sea. Both would come in handy for air bases and UBoat pens. Prior to 1940 German vessels needed to thread the needle from Kiel to get into open waters.

As long as Germany controlled Belgium, Holland and France they also had absolute control of the Rhine from the Swiss border to the mouth. Barge traffic on the Rhine and its tributaries was absolutely vital to the economy and war effort.
my view is that they would never leave the Low Countries, even after creating a puppet regime(s)

do not know if they would have ever given up the French Atlantic uboat bases? (mean prior to all the construction)

maybe if they had adopted the Dutch snorkel quickly, and the Channel ports (and occupied Channel Islands) could have been used? in addition to original plan of uboat pens in Norway.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Oct 2019 04:45

thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Oct 2019 07:27
...

do not know if they would have ever given up the French Atlantic uboat bases? (mean prior to all the construction)

maybe if they had adopted the Dutch snorkel quickly, and the Channel ports (and occupied Channel Islands) could have been used? in addition to original plan of uboat pens in Norway.
One of the reasons Hitler & Co wanted a comprehensive peace treaty. Britain at peace would reduce the need for German naval bases & create more flexibility in where to place them. Tho Hitlers lack of comprehension of naval warfare may've meant no effective naval bases.

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RE: IF Germany And France Make A Separate Peace Before 1944, How Is This Going To Affect D-Day?

Post by Robert Rojas » 14 Oct 2019 14:44

Greetings to both brother Carl Schwamberger and the community as a whole. Howdy Carl! Well sir, in reference to your installment of Sunday - October 14, 2019 - 7:45pm, you are one of the last individuals that I would desire to debate anything. Now with said, are you suggesting that Winston Churchill's government "MIGHT" also seek some sort of accommodation with National Socialist Germany AFTER the Vichyste STATE OF FRANCE concludes its own formal Peace Treaty with National Socialist Germany? "IF" this is the case, where would this place Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Administration especially after the official DECLARATION OF WAR invoked by the United States Congress on December 11, 1941? Of equal importance, where would this place William Lyon Mackenzie King's government up in the Canadian Confederation after it chose to go to war with National Socialist Germany on September 10, 1939? A comprehensive peace treaty of ANYKIND would certainly place a figurative fly in the ointment for the future of the Anglo/American Alliance. With the Wehrmacht now being ground into nitrogen fertilizer on the Eastern Front, the withdrawal of the greater Anglosphere from the European conflict would certainly be the wildest stroke of luck for both National Socialist Germany and its disparate assortment of continental "allies". Well, those are my latest thoughts on brother Futurist's colorful creation - for now anyway. As always, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day from sea to shining sea.

Best Regards,
Uncle Bob :idea: :|
"It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it" - Robert E. Lee

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by thaddeus_c » 14 Oct 2019 23:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Oct 2019 04:45
thaddeus_c wrote:
11 Oct 2019 07:27
...

do not know if they would have ever given up the French Atlantic uboat bases? (mean prior to all the construction)

maybe if they had adopted the Dutch snorkel quickly, and the Channel ports (and occupied Channel Islands) could have been used? in addition to original plan of uboat pens in Norway.
One of the reasons Hitler & Co wanted a comprehensive peace treaty. Britain at peace would reduce the need for German naval bases & create more flexibility in where to place them. Tho Hitlers lack of comprehension of naval warfare may've meant no effective naval bases.
not quite sure I follow your point on this, as it relates to France?

my point was obviously the French Atlantic ports were the prime real estate, but they also became an impediment to any treaty with France and were quickly bypassed after D-Day.

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Re: If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 15 Oct 2019 11:17

A lot depends on when the treaty was signed and its territorial conditions. For example, I would suggest: No Paris = No Peace Treaty.

If the Occupied Zone was returned in its entirety, then some deal might have been struck, but it would only have been temporary from the French point of view. However, as this included the Atlantic coast, such a German concession was very unlikely.

Besides, Vichy's entire armed forces were dedicated to expelling Germany from pre-war France. It kept one of the infantry regiments raised in Alsace or Lorraine in its 1940-42 order of battle and its fleet flagship continued to be called Strasbourg. Furthermore, Vichy had developed plans not only to cover an Allied bridgehead around Sete on the Mediterranean coast, but offensive plans to recover Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast.

As far as I am aware, the Germans never had any plans to annex Normandy. If so, an Allied invasion there might have been much easier, if it were returned to the French.

Cheers,

Sid.

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