How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

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Futurist
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How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by Futurist » 02 Sep 2018 04:05

Had Britain made peace with Nazi Germany in 1940 and Nazi Germany would have subsequently defeated the Soviet Union in 1941-1942, how would a surviving Vichy France have handled decolonization?

Would it have pursued a fascist-like strategy of jailing or killing anyone in the French colonies plus Algeria who would have advocated in favor of independence for these territories?

Would it have tried to annex France's colonies to the metropole just like France previously did with Algeria?

If Vichy France survives until the present-day, would it mean that it would also keep its colonies to the present-day (with the exception of Indochina, which was lost to Japan in 1940)?

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 02 Sep 2018 12:25

If the war ended with Germany the victor, they would decide the future of France, not Vichy. I'm pretty sure after the Reich had digested their conquests in the east and rebuilt both their military and economy they would look westward.

Alsace and Lorraine would likely be the first to go. Security of the Rhine's west bank would be the likely excuse. They would be incorporated as true German states, repealing WW1's treaty conditions.

Then possibly both and internal and external movement for the reunification of "France". Of course some kind of puppet regime would need to be established and the remaining reunited French provinces would become another vassal of the Reich.

As a virtual colony themselves, it would be difficult for France to hang on to its former empire. African colonies would be divided up amonst the victors. Germany and Italy would take some. Perhaps Morroco to Spain?

A portion of French West Africa even to Britain as a bribe to keep the peace? Pacific colonies to Japan naturally. Middle East would be a muddle, with Britain trying to keep the balance of power stable.

Getting very speculative now of course. The main question would be the Caribbean. America would not react well to German presence in the former French colonies in the New World. Its quite possible they would either become Protectorates or even achieve full independence depending on the mood of the world at the time.

In any case the former French Empire est fini!

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Sep 2018 01:50

Theres a argument for keeping the French empire intact. Aligned with a German dominated continent its more efficient to keep it as a existing entity than piecing it out to nations like Spain that could barely manage their existing territory. Britain still has a empire of 500,000+ & its natural economic ally in the Americas has nominal control over another 200,000 million. giving away bits of the French empire to marginal nations like Spain, or worse to Britain does not look like the most efficient option.

Then again the nazis were not well know for sensible or efficient policy.

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by Futurist » 04 Sep 2018 01:53

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
04 Sep 2018 01:50
Theres a argument for keeping the French empire intact. Aligned with a German dominated continent its more efficient to keep it as a existing entity than piecing it out to nations like Spain that could barely manage their existing territory. Britain still has a empire of 500,000+ & its natural economic ally in the Americas has nominal control over another 200,000 million. giving away bits of the French empire to marginal nations like Spain, or worse to Britain does not look like the most efficient option.

Then again the nazis were not well know for sensible or efficient policy.
The U.S.'s population in 1940 was a little over 130 million, no? 200 million would only be achieved in the late 1960s, if I recall correctly.

In the grand scheme of things, though, I certainly agree with you here. Of course, I expect Italy to get some bits of the French Empire but Spain was exhausted from its civil war and was thus in no position to manage a large empire. Plus, Nazi Germany didn't have the necessary navy to occupy the French Empire itself and had no desire to do this in any case.

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 04 Sep 2018 15:08

I will clip from above and reply:

"but Spain was exhausted from its civil war and was thus in no position to manage a large empire."

How is giving the former French Morocco to Spain producing a large empire? They already had Western Sahara (Spanish Morocco) right beside it...
Last edited by maltesefalcon on 04 Sep 2018 16:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 04 Sep 2018 15:18

Another clip.

"Plus, Nazi Germany didn't have the necessary navy to occupy the French Empire itself and had no desire to do this in any case."

Germany had several colonies in Africa prior to WWI. Their Navy was comparable then. Note that IRL, a significant portion of the DKM losses occurred after the time frame proposed in the OP. Plus, if they made peace with the UK and France after defeating USSR, they would not need a huge Navy right away. Only a peace time police force. In any case they could employ former French colonial forces to act as the main occupation forces.

I'm not sure how you can justify the comment about Germany not wanting to occupy the French Empire. Hitler made similar comments about the British Empire, but he was try to woo them in 1940. But he hated the French and took every opportunity to humiliate them as they did in the surrender and victory parade.

There are only three possible outcomes IMHO. Retention, which would be absurd for conquered nations. (Which to some extent would have to include colonies of Belgium and The Netherlands.)

The alternative,independence, is unlikely; considering the aggressive nature of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and the Japanese. I think even the British would reject this, fearing their own colonies should get similar ambitions.

We are left with absorption into the empires of the victorious powers. In the case of Germany/Italy/Spain, I'm still talking about African colonies, not Asian or Caribbean.

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by thaddeus_c » 05 Sep 2018 01:48

my quip is always that Vichy France was a perfect barometer of German success, IF Germany forced GB out of the war French cooperation would have likely increased, IF Germany defeated the USSR? the Vichy regime probably unrecognizable from historical.

preoccupied with the occupied USSR? Germany might be content to leave French empire intact as Carl suggested?

unknown how Africa and ME sorted between France, Italy, and Spain but decolonization likely pushed further into the future?

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 05 Sep 2018 02:02

The whole point of having colonies is to:

Provide resources and income to the "mother" nation.

Allow opportunities for far away bases to allow your ships and aircraft to travel safely and refuel. Also to provide military establishments to keep other powers in check.

Provide an opportunity for a portion of the mother country population to emigrate and own land of their own. i.e. Lebensraum

War is risky. What was the point of the war if Germany would not scoop up as many colonies as possible and gain the advantages they provide?

BTW one of the first post-WWI acts of the victorious Allied Powers was to strip Germany of its overseas territories and divvy them up amongst themselves. Why would the Reich not do likewise?

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RE: How Does A Surviving Vichy France Handle Decolonization? VERY CAREFULLY!

Post by Robert Rojas » 06 Sep 2018 05:24

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in respect to your introductory posting of Saturday - September 01, 2018 - 7:05pm, before I foolishly venture into this topical minefield of yours, old yours truly would appreciate a clarification on the geopolitical status of the Imperial Japanese Empire, Nationalist China, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America in the Winter of year 1941. Now, has the Soviet Union literally dissolved under the weight of Operation Barbarossa OR has the all knowing Bohemian Corporal and Koba The Terrible negotiated an armistice leaving the Soviet Union intact beyond the Volga River? Following a similar train of thought, does the Imperial Japanese Empire's ongoing drive for hegemony over Nationalist China ultimately lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 07, 1941? The long term future of both Vichy France itself AND its extraterritorial possessions will clearly be impacted by either the actual OR the potential events of the winter of year 1941. Remember, at some point, Pierre Laval's Vichy France will ultimately become a constituent state of a greater continental FASCIST COMMONWEALTH during the years following the AXIS victory in Europe. I rather suspect (rightly OR wrongly) that Benito Mussolini of Fascist Italy and Francisco Franco of Falangist Spain will intensely lobby Adolf Hitler to reconsider National Socialist Germany's role in the continued occupation and governance of metropolitan France. An all encompassing METROPOLITAN VICHY FRANCE will longer be a security or financial burden to National Socialist Germany and will likely evolve into a productive economic and credible military contributor into a future continental FASCIST COMMONWEALTH. The continued administration of its extraterritorial possessions will certainly be an instrumental factor in METROPOLITAN VICHY FRANCE's ongoing economic productivity. Taking a page out of present day Europe, the seat of parliament for the NEW ORDER in continental Europe will be the City of Strasbourg in the often disputed principality of Alsace-Lorraine. Alsace-Lorraine will become the NEUTRAL capitol territory of the newly formed continental FASCIST COMMONWEALTH. The City of Strasbourg will be rechristened as the City of CHARLEMAGNE and the principality of Alsace-Lorraine will be rechristened with the new moniker of PAX EUROPA. Any thoughts on all of this? Well, that's my initial two centimes or pfennigs worth on this expansive topic of interest - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of what was once our Golden State of California.

Best Regards From the Greater San Francisco Bay Area,
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: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 06 Sep 2018 08:20

Given how hard Free France and its more liberal successors tried to retain their colonies in the 1940s and 1950s, it is is likely that Vichy France would have tried even harder to retain them.

So, I would suggest no decolonization unless forced by a Dien Bien Phu-type situation.

Sid.

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by thaddeus_c » 06 Sep 2018 22:30

Sid Guttridge wrote:
06 Sep 2018 08:20
Given how hard Free France and its more liberal successors tried to retain their colonies in the 1940s and 1950s, it is is likely that Vichy France would have tried even harder to retain them.

So, I would suggest no decolonization unless forced by a Dien Bien Phu-type situation.
and the colonial powers trying to hold on, France, Portugal, guess to certain extent Netherlands and Belgium did not (to my knowledge) cooperate with one another? under this scenario there is a huge Nazi/Fascist bloc to suppress uprisings?

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Re: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 07 Sep 2018 00:07

Sid Guttridge wrote:
06 Sep 2018 08:20
Given how hard Free France and its more liberal successors tried to retain their colonies in the 1940s and 1950s, it is is likely that Vichy France would have tried even harder to retain them.

So, I would suggest no decolonization unless forced by a Dien Bien Phu-type situation.

Sid.
Vichy itself was occupied in 1942 after Torch. Alsace and Lorraine were incorporated into the German nation immediately after the 1940 surrender.
The Western half of Czechoslovakia became a virtual colony known as the Protectorate. Poland became a colony known as the General Government.

Large portions of the populace of the east were being driven out of their homes. Some were exterminated and some were rounded up for forced labour.
All this in the name of Lebensraum.

This is the pattern of a nation wishing to extend its empire through colonization. Why on Earth would they let Vichy survive at all, let alone retain a colonial empire. It's absurd.

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RE: How Does A Surviving Vichy France Handle Decolonization? VERY CAREFULLY!

Post by Robert Rojas » 07 Sep 2018 14:15

Greetings to both brother Futurist and the community as a whole. Howdy Futurist (or Alvin Toffler if you so prefer)! Well sir, in continuing reference to your introductory posting of Saturday - September 01, 2018 - 7:05pm, old yours truly is of the speculative school of thought that Prime Minister Pierre Laval's Government will approach the matter of extraterritorial governance with a "business as usual" attitude not all that far removed from the foreign policy of the now defunct Third Republic. I suspect (rightly OR wrongly) that the two glaring exceptions to the this "status quo" will be the status of Algeria and Indochina. As with the remainder of its extraterritorial possessions, I do NOT envision any Vichy Regime ever supporting an exclusive policy that would integrate Algeria into the body politic of Metropolitan France. After all, EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS WEST AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET. On the thorny matter of Indochina, I rather suspect that a Vichy Regime, under substantial diplomatic pressure from Berlin, will grudgingly accommodate the Imperial Japanese Empire with unfettered access to the natural resources of the region. In addition, I also suspect that the Imperial Japanese Navy will be granted open ended basing and refueling rights at Cam Ranh Bay - an act that will not go unnoticed by both the British Commonwealth and the United States of America. Finally, Prime Minister Pierre Laval's Government will be presented with a unique opportunity to rescue the preponderance of European Jewry that are languishing under the tutelage of National Socialist Germany's sphere of influence. Deliverance to the Promised Land of Madagascar is a more palatable alternative to "resettlement in the east". In time, the extraterritorial possession of Madagascar will become the Vichy Regime's most economically prosperous and politically stable of its foreign crown jewels. It is just something to ponder. Well, that's my latest two centimes worth on this expansive topic of interest - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day over in your corner of what was once our Golden State of California.

Best Regards From The Greater San Francisco Bay Area,
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: How Does A Surviving Vichy France Handle Decolonization? VERY CAREFULLY!

Post by Robert Rojas » 07 Sep 2018 21:11

Greetings to both citizen Thaddeus_c and the community as a whole. Howdy Thad! Well sir, in respect to your posting of Thursday - September 06, 2018 - 1:30pm, since the conflict in Western Europe was a very short lived affair in year 1940, none of the respective combatants will be all that worse for wear. Since NONE of these combatants could be reasonably described as physically and financially exhausted, as they obviously were in year 1945, I cannot envision any clarion call for ANY of these nations to divest themselves from their extraterritorial possessions. After all, since there was no global war as such, it is somewhat doubtful that the United States of America would emerge as a benevolent power broker "encouraging" those nations with any remaining vestiges of colonialism to reconsider their ways. It is amazing what Uncle Sam can do with a little bit of financial extortion. Thanks to the success of Adolf Hitler's "appeal to reason" in year 1940, the British Commonwealth cravenly opted for peace with the Fascists of Europe. That Faustian bargain would subsequently allow "business as usual" for the Anglophonic global consortium headquartered in London sometimes quaintly known as THE BRITISH EMPIRE. Following suit, the Fascist and Fascist leaning regimes in continental Europe will carry on with their extraterritorial enterprises just as their now deposed Social Democratic predecessors had done in kind. And like Vichy France in Indochina, the Netherlands, under substantial diplomatic pressure from Berlin, will grudgingly accommodate the Imperial Japanese Empire with unfettered access to the petroleum resources of the Dutch East Indies (the present day nation of Indonesia). Yes, there will be colonial Fascist cooperation - OF A SORT! Finally, I cannot imagine that the colonial policies of a Vichy France and its like minded European cohorts will ever be anymore OR anyless heavy handed in their administrative practices than their now deposed Social Democratic predecessors. They will govern with both the stick and the carrot. Well, that's my latest two centimes worth on this expansive topic of interest - for now anyway. In any case, I would like to bid you an especially copacetic day no matter where you just might happen to find yourself on Terra Firma.

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: How does a surviving Vichy France handle decolonization?

Post by maltesefalcon » 08 Sep 2018 16:13

What about the economic aspects of the Russo-European occupation? IRL the Reich demanded and got heavy payments from France especially.

France suffered under this due to shortages of food, fuel and the drain on the economy. The end of the war would allow some reduction of troops, but require massive expenditures to rebuild infrastructure. Europe could not be bled indefinitely or it would collapse.

Germany would need both the money and resources from the colonies of its newly vanquished neighbours to do so in a timely fashion.

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