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

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.
Futurist
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If Nazi Germany and Vichy France make a separate peace before 1944, how is this going to affect D-Day?

Post by Futurist » 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?

In real life, the fact that France was occupied by Nazi Germany ensured that there would be no problem for the Western Allies in attempting to invade and liberate France. However, what if France would have already made a separate peace with Nazi Germany (a full peace treaty, not just an armistice) sometime before 1944? I think that the US legally recognized Vichy as France's official government until October 1944--when it switched to recognizing De Gaulle's government as the legitimate government of France. Thus, the US might have had to switch to recognizing De Gaulle earlier in this scenario--but would it have actually been willing to do this? I mean, as vile as Vichy was, it was elected by the French Parliament; in contrast, De Gaulle didn't have any legal authority to set up a separate French government of his own.

Also, another point is that if a peace treaty is signed between Vichy France and Nazi Germany, then this would mean that all French troops under Nazi control would have to be returned to Vichy. That means less slave laborers for Nazi Germany unless it can import slave labor from elsewhere to compensate for the loss of its French POWs.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this scenario of mine?

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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 » 16 Jun 2019 02:52

The few times I've seen this discussed the question came around to the politics of the French government. If they were too favorable to Germany, or heaven forbid, some sort of ally of Germany then they are toast.

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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 Futurist » 16 Jun 2019 03:19

I don't think that Hitler would agree to a deal unless Vichy France would have agreed to be very favorable to Germany afterwards. Of course, Vichy is probably going to want to avoid engaging in actual fighting on Nazi Germany's behalf.

Also, what I find interesting is that in spite of Vichy being officially neutral, the US nevertheless participated in the attack on Vichy's North African colonies. I guess that this indicates that even a neutral Vichy is going to be a target of the Anglo-Americans in their war against Germany--and quite understandably so, given Vichy's pro-German posture (regardless of whether or not it actually signs a peace treaty with Germany).

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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 » 16 Jun 2019 04:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Jun 2019 02:52
The few times I've seen this discussed the question came around to the politics of the French government. If they were too favorable to Germany, or heaven forbid, some sort of ally of Germany then they are toast.
you have highlighted previously the consequences of Germany pressuring the Vichy regime over Indochina, and for little gain to themselves as the Japanese were not prompted to move on Singapore (the German wish, at least from naval leaders)

so they have a very short window to decide a policy towards France, and also towards the Netherlands and Belgium?

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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 » 16 Jun 2019 07:04

The problem with any treaty with France is the French people. Combine everyone who hated Germans, and all the leftists who would hate after a attack on the USSR. That could be a solid majority. Not a stable basis for continuing a peace treaty.

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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 Futurist » 16 Jun 2019 07:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Jun 2019 07:04
The problem with any treaty with France is the French people. Combine everyone who hated Germans, and all the leftists who would hate after a attack on the USSR. That could be a solid majority. Not a stable basis for continuing a peace treaty.
Completely agreed. Plus, the general idea of France giving up any of its territory would be unpopular among the French public.

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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 » 16 Jun 2019 21:33

Assuming Germany does agree to a treaty France could live with, & the French population remain reluctant to return to war; It does complicate the war against Germany for the Allies. More so if the Belgians reach a similar agreement.

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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 Futurist » 16 Jun 2019 21:39

What about if the Belgians don't reach a similar agreement?

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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 » 16 Jun 2019 23:43

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Jun 2019 21:33
Assuming Germany does agree to a treaty France could live with, & the French population remain reluctant to return to war; It does complicate the war against Germany for the Allies. More so if the Belgians reach a similar agreement.
my speculation they could with draw to (a reoriented) Maginot Line, which conveniently leaves the northern border flexible? with Germany holding onto the areas they administered with Belgium historically? at least for a time? (payback for Saar and Rhineland)

a cynical plan would have Netherlands and Belgium pay? (historically the gold sent to Germany comprised the Belgian and Polish reserves, a cynical arrangement itself)

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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 » 17 Jun 2019 14:58

Futurist wrote:
16 Jun 2019 21:39
What about if the Belgians don't reach a similar agreement?
They remain occupied by Germany, with similar punitive policies as OTL.

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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 Rob Stuart » 17 Jun 2019 17:40

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?

In real life, the fact that France was occupied by Nazi Germany ensured that there would be no problem for the Western Allies in attempting to invade and liberate France. However, what if France would have already made a separate peace with Nazi Germany (a full peace treaty, not just an armistice) sometime before 1944? Anyway, what are your thoughts on this scenario of mine?
You do not say so explicitly, but evidently you are assuming that your Franco-German peace would entail the withdrawal of German forces from France. There is no way in hell that the Germans would do this unless Britain was already defeated. They needed air and naval bases in France to prosecute the war with Britain, and they were not going to entrust the defence of those bases and the French coast to the French. There is therefore no way that the Allies would be facing a neutral and unoccupied France on the other side of the Channel in 1944, but if they did they would have landed anyway.

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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 Baldir » 19 Jun 2019 07:59

Rob Stuart wrote:
17 Jun 2019 17:40
You do not say so explicitly, but evidently you are assuming that your Franco-German peace would entail the withdrawal of German forces from France. There is no way in hell that the Germans would do this unless Britain was already defeated. They needed air and naval bases in France to prosecute the war with Britain, and they were not going to entrust the defence of those bases and the French coast to the French. There is therefore no way that the Allies would be facing a neutral and unoccupied France on the other side of the Channel in 1944, but if they did they would have landed anyway.
I agree 100%. After 1940 France was neglectible factor in the war, they would land and push forward no matter what France/Vichy would do.

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