If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Mori
Member
Posts: 750
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Mori » 17 Sep 2018 16:15

Loïc wrote:
15 Sep 2018 10:28
when the French Army 3 years later was requiped by the US in North Africa
4 Armored Divisions and 9 Infantry Divisions were formed = 13 less 5 were disbanded before any participation (3e DB 6e DIM 7e 8e DIA 10e DIC) on the French or Italian soil
That's probably the limit to take instead of considering whatever order of battle there was in 1940: North Africa and other colonies did not have enough manpower to sustain the ca. 8 Free France divisions available in end 1944, in spite of record high mobilization.

OldBill
Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 04 Mar 2012 09:19

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by OldBill » 17 Sep 2018 17:07

"There is a whole counterfactual effort on this scenario: https://www.amazon.fr/1940-France-avait ... 860&sr=8-2

It's supposed to be backed by quantitatve analysis, which unfortunately did not make it to the published version (too dull for a casual reader, I assume). The early evacuation of everything that could be moved to North Africa is probably the most reliable part, because it's closer to the divergence point."


The team that started the FFO project was using multiple sources, primary and secondary, and the discussions about the ramifications of what was discovered took multiple pages of text between us for each chapter, often for less than a chapter . There was simply too much to include. While it would have been fascinating for readers to see how things were figured out, what our conclusions were, and how we reached them, there was no way to do that.
IIRC, initially we had French (obviously) Commonwealth and US contributors, and many hours were spent online talking things over, not to mention tracking down sources or reading books and documents. I had to quit the project before the split occurred (the original team split over differences in conclusions) but I may have some of my written notes in the attic, perhaps some day I'll get around to going through everything and revisiting it all. I very much wish there was an English translation of it all. I'd add that it was a pretty diverse group, with an economist, one serving and one retired military members, a geologist, and everyone had a degree of some type, and those are people I can remember.

And I agree fully that the further from the POD the more things changed from OTL. Everyone was aware of this, and consciously tried to keep the events in FFO as logical as possible. There were several issues that, a much as we wished, couldn't be changed in FFO as there was no driver (reason) for them to change, such as the incredibly poor performance of the US torpedo's.

Mori
Member
Posts: 750
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Mori » 17 Sep 2018 17:44

OldBill wrote:
17 Sep 2018 17:07
The team that started the FFO project was using multiple sources, primary and secondary, and the discussions about the ramifications of what was discovered took multiple pages of text between us for each chapter, often for less than a chapter . There was simply too much to include. While it would have been fascinating for readers to see how things were figured out, what our conclusions were, and how we reached them, there was no way to do that.
That's kind of a limit of the end product, especially if one doesn't buy the "narrative" way the book is written. It reads like pure alternative history, and it occassionaly comes across as "just a novel". Baring a few words in the introduction, there is no way to feel the depth of the modelization.

I respectfully disagree there wasn't any other way to make it. At least, there could have been a few words detailing the major choices at each step, if nothing to show what options where considered / dropped. An annex could have illustrated what the quantitative models looked like.

As it is, the book cannot be used to fuel thinking.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6773
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Sep 2018 05:10

Mori wrote:
17 Sep 2018 16:10
There is a whole counterfactual effort on this scenario: https://www.amazon.fr/1940-France-avait ... 860&sr=8-2 ...
Not the only one. I've read a number of extended discussions, and a collaborative effort.

OldBill
Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 04 Mar 2012 09:19

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by OldBill » 18 Sep 2018 06:33

If I find my notes (not likely unfortunately, as I've gone through a divorce and some other things since then...) I'll trawl through them to see if I can shed any light on our thought processes at the time. If so, I'll PM you.

Mori
Member
Posts: 750
Joined: 25 Oct 2014 11:04
Location: Europe

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Mori » 18 Sep 2018 07:05

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Sep 2018 05:10
Mori wrote:
17 Sep 2018 16:10
There is a whole counterfactual effort on this scenario: https://www.amazon.fr/1940-France-avait ... 860&sr=8-2 ...
Not the only one. I've read a number of extended discussions, and a collaborative effort.
I believe the book is the output of these extended discussions - but there may have been more than 1 collaborative effort.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6773
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Sep 2018 09:36

Mori wrote:
18 Sep 2018 07:05
...

I believe the book is the output of these extended discussions - but there may have been more than 1 collaborative effort.
Very likely. I recall one I skimmed through had part of the group split away.

Hiryu-
Member
Posts: 67
Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:01
Location: France

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Hiryu- » 21 Sep 2018 21:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Sep 2018 09:36
Mori wrote:
18 Sep 2018 07:05
...

I believe the book is the output of these extended discussions - but there may have been more than 1 collaborative effort.
Very likely. I recall one I skimmed through had part of the group split away.
Do you know for what reason the split happened?

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6773
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Sep 2018 19:47

I dont recall. That knowledge is drawn from a couple posts, in different discussions that refer to the TL & a faction of the participants breaking away.

User avatar
Phaing
Member
Posts: 177
Joined: 23 Jul 2015 04:51
Location: Medford, Oregon

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Phaing » 23 Sep 2018 18:59

What about the Brittany Redoubt?

Such a thing was being seriously discussed at the time, but since nobody had seriously planned it, they never had a chance.
If they had plotted it out ahead of time, it could have been a mega-Dunkirk allowing even machine-tools and key industrial personnel to escape, as was the case in the USSR a year later.

However, it all happened so quickly, I really don't know.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 6773
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Sep 2018 01:10

As it was the Brittany Redoubt was a fantasy of a few desperate leaders. Given German air power and remaining armor its unlikely the defense of such could have lasted more than a week or two. Longer if the Germans ignore it until they clear southern France.

User avatar
BDV
Financial supporter
Posts: 3631
Joined: 10 Apr 2009 16:11

Re: If France decides to fight on in 1940, how much can it evacuate to Algeria?

Post by BDV » 27 Sep 2018 15:31

One pre-condition under which French withdrawal to North Africa is feasible would be if, under the (pretext of the) threat from air bombing ("the bomber always get through") war related industries from Picardy/Champagne/Lorraine/Alsace are evacuated to Southern France, and the critical components of the war machine are evacuated to Corsica and North Africa. 5th column sabotage fearmongering can also be used to justify evacuation from former 2nd Reich areas.

There was plenty of time (from DOW until Spring 1940), and it would have been the sensible thing to do if the French Government was serious about fighting the war. It would have resulted in the infrastructure and expertise to be present for the larger evacuation. A strong whiff of rank amateurism emanates from a critical assessment of French Government actions in the 24 months preceding the 1940 debacle.
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

Return to “What if”