France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

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Futurist
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France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Futurist » 10 Jan 2020 08:42

What if France would have fought on in 1940 (after metropolitan France would have fallen) *and* the US would have already entered WWII on the Anglo-French side by that point in time (which might actually be pretty doable if Woodrow Wilson dies of his stroke in late 1919 and new US President Thomas Marshall is able to get the US Senate to subsequently ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France and thus create a post-WWI alliance between the US and these two countries)? What would Allied (Anglo-Franco-American) strategy be after the Fall of France and what exactly would Hitler's and Mussolini's strategy be in this scenario? Specifically, does Mussolini still enter the war on Hitler's side? Also, how do the Allies plan to get back into Western Europe? In addition, does Hitler still launch Operation Barbarossa in 1941 in this scenario or does he instead aim to finish off the (Western) Allies before actually turning on the USSR and attacking them so that he doesn't have to simultaneously fight a war on two fronts? Also, does Japan still invade French Indochina and/or attack Pearl Harbor in 1940-1941? Indeed, just how does WWII proceed in the months and years after the Fall of France in this scenario?

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Jan 2020 17:43

Playing 'Twenty Questions' here...
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:42
What if France would have fought on in 1940 (after metropolitan France would have fallen) *and* the US would have already entered WWII on the Anglo-French side by that point in time (which might actually be pretty doable if Woodrow Wilson dies of his stroke in late 1919 and new US President Thomas Marshall is able to get the US Senate to subsequently ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France and thus create a post-WWI alliance between the US and these two countries)? What would Allied (Anglo-Franco-American) strategy be after the Fall of France and what exactly would Hitler's and Mussolini's strategy be in this scenario?
Mussolini had a strategy?
Specifically, does Mussolini still enter the war on Hitler's side?
My first thought is no.
Also, how do the Allies plan to get back into Western Europe?
May not be necessary. France may not collapse. However, back in the 1930s At the US Army staff & command school there was a class study of the problem of invading Europe from the UK. Normandy was chosen as the optimal location. from 1940 the Brits were looking at the same problem. I'm unaware of all the plans or opinions, but what I have seen written through 1942 identified Normandy as the best location. In 1943 COSSAC reached the same conclusion, and so did Montgomery again 1944. Draw your own conclusions.
In addition, does Hitler still launch Operation Barbarossa in 1941 in this scenario or does he instead aim to finish off the (Western) Allies before actually turning on the USSR and attacking them so that he doesn't have to simultaneously fight a war on two fronts? Also, does Japan still invade French Indochina
Unlikely, which can waive away the entire Pacific war thing.
and/or attack Pearl Harbor in 1940-1941? Indeed, just how does WWII proceed in the months and years after the Fall of France in this scenario?

Any thoughts on all of this?
If the US is still part of a French alliance structure then one thing to look at is advancing the US mobilization by a couple years, & compressing it accordingly. Assuming the War Powers Acts are voted in 1939, after the German annexation of Bohemia the fundamentals of US mobilization are advanced a year. If the US Congress passes a Dow In September 1939 then the full on mobilization is accelerated. The details of mobilization wont parallel precisely. Some major items could be accelerated a lot, others less so.

My wild guess is the most important difference is in the air. When the US rewrote the Nuetrality Acts in October 1939 it opened the flood gates of orders from the Brits & French to the US aircraft industry. It took time to expand floor space and retool but OTL the US was delivering 3000+ aircraft in 1940 to the Europeans. Six hundred were delivered or enroute to France April June 1940. If the orders & factory spin up comes five or six months early that could place those six hundred aircraft on the operational line & France & not at the final prep depots in south France or Algeria. How much difference having 600+ extra combat ready aircraft on squadron strength in the French air force makes is open to speculation.

US entry into the war in 1939 changes so much A dozen major things crawl off in different direction from OTL.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Futurist » 12 Jan 2020 01:48

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
11 Jan 2020 17:43
Playing 'Twenty Questions' here...
It's always fun to speculate in-depth, no? :)
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:42
What if France would have fought on in 1940 (after metropolitan France would have fallen) *and* the US would have already entered WWII on the Anglo-French side by that point in time (which might actually be pretty doable if Woodrow Wilson dies of his stroke in late 1919 and new US President Thomas Marshall is able to get the US Senate to subsequently ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France and thus create a post-WWI alliance between the US and these two countries)? What would Allied (Anglo-Franco-American) strategy be after the Fall of France and what exactly would Hitler's and Mussolini's strategy be in this scenario?
Mussolini had a strategy?
Well, he must have had some thought process in making his decisions, no?
Specifically, does Mussolini still enter the war on Hitler's side?
My first thought is no.
OK.
Also, how do the Allies plan to get back into Western Europe?
May not be necessary. France may not collapse.
Due to the vast additional air power that the US would provide?
However, back in the 1930s At the US Army staff & command school there was a class study of the problem of invading Europe from the UK. Normandy was chosen as the optimal location. from 1940 the Brits were looking at the same problem. I'm unaware of all the plans or opinions, but what I have seen written through 1942 identified Normandy as the best location. In 1943 COSSAC reached the same conclusion, and so did Montgomery again 1944. Draw your own conclusions.
If metropolitan France does fall, though, when would be the best time for the Anglo-Americans as well as any French supporters that they have (either a French government that continues to fight on from abroad or the French French, as in real life) to invade Normandy? Would it be in 1943 as opposed to 1944?
In addition, does Hitler still launch Operation Barbarossa in 1941 in this scenario or does he instead aim to finish off the (Western) Allies before actually turning on the USSR and attacking them so that he doesn't have to simultaneously fight a war on two fronts? Also, does Japan still invade French Indochina
Unlikely, which can waive away the entire Pacific war thing.
So, what happens with Japan and China in this scenario? Japan experiencing a financial crisis and subsequently withdrawing from all of China other than Manchuria?

Also, what about my Operation Barbarossa question?
and/or attack Pearl Harbor in 1940-1941? Indeed, just how does WWII proceed in the months and years after the Fall of France in this scenario?

Any thoughts on all of this?
If the US is still part of a French alliance structure then one thing to look at is advancing the US mobilization by a couple years, & compressing it accordingly. Assuming the War Powers Acts are voted in 1939, after the German annexation of Bohemia the fundamentals of US mobilization are advanced a year. If the US Congress passes a Dow In September 1939 then the full on mobilization is accelerated. The details of mobilization wont parallel precisely. Some major items could be accelerated a lot, others less so.

My wild guess is the most important difference is in the air. When the US rewrote the Nuetrality Acts in October 1939 it opened the flood gates of orders from the Brits & French to the US aircraft industry. It took time to expand floor space and retool but OTL the US was delivering 3000+ aircraft in 1940 to the Europeans. Six hundred were delivered or enroute to France April June 1940. If the orders & factory spin up comes five or six months early that could place those six hundred aircraft on the operational line & France & not at the final prep depots in south France or Algeria. How much difference having 600+ extra combat ready aircraft on squadron strength in the French air force makes is open to speculation.

US entry into the war in 1939 changes so much A dozen major things crawl off in different direction from OTL.
Were the French significantly hurt by their lack of air power in 1940 in real life?

Also, if the US Senate actually ratifies a post-WWI US alliance with Britain and France in 1919, just what do you think the odds would have been for this alliance to actually survive until 1939?

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by pugsville » 12 Jan 2020 05:13

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
11 Jan 2020 17:43
Mussolini had a strategy?
Well, he must have had some thought process in making his decisions, no?
Mussolini entered the war in the basis it was over. If he thought there would be actual fighting and a cost he would not have entered.

He had no real interest in joining any sort of prolonged conflict. The Objective was seize some stuff so you got a seat at the table and some gains in settlement.

The Half arsed drive into Egypt was undertaken as a phony war rather than a real aim at conquest. There woudl be peace and the Italians could make some claims and propaganda.

When it turned into a real war the Italians were totally unprepared,

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2020 20:13

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
... If metropolitan France does fall, though, when would be the best time for the Anglo-Americans as well as any French supporters that they have (either a French government that continues to fight on from abroad or the French French, as in real life) to invade Normandy? Would it be in 1943 as opposed to 1944?
My wild guess is the Allies will be at the same level or readiness of June 1944 OTL, in March 1943. Details will vary but in gross strategic and terms and operational capability the same. The trick is getting the Germans any better prepared than they were in 1943. In some respects they could have, but in most items the only way they can be better prepared would be to use resources otherwise used in the east OTL.

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
So, what happens with Japan and China in this scenario? Japan experiencing a financial crisis and subsequently withdrawing from all of China other than Manchuria?
My next wild guess is the KMT & Communists with western aid force Japan into a humiliating treaty of withdrawal. The imperialists may be discredited & a new economic/political philosophy emerge. Or they may recover...
Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
Also, what about my Operation Barbarossa question?
Does not happen if France is undefeated.
and/or attack Pearl Harbor in 1940-1941? Indeed, just how does WWII proceed in the months and years after the Fall of France in this scenario?
Even if Metropolitan France is lost The allies would be able to oppose a Japanese occupation of FIC. Japan in that case is starting from a much weaker position. Odds are they don't even try, so no embargoes in 1941, no immediate economic crisis for Japan, & no war crisis in 1941.

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
Were the French significantly hurt by their lack of air power in 1940 in real life?
The French air strategy was to keep their main strength out of range of German surprise strikes. Once the enemy attack developed the air force would selectively and methodically lean forward to attrition the German AF & support the ground battle. They were thinking in terms of weeks for the battle to develop and the crises' de campaign to emerge. That the key point came between four and eight or ten days left that strategy bankrupt.

The weakness was further aggravated in that they had stood down a considerable portion of their operating groups in April. Up to a third of the air groups were stood down to retrain with the 600+ US made and new French aircraft arriving Apri-June. All this badly undercut the ability of the French air force in May. Consider: The estimates of Germans losses to the FAF vary, from a few hundred to a thousand+. If it was 550 then having the FAF 33% stronger with modern aircraft might increase German losses in the first six weeks to 730. The embryonic US air expeditionary AF may not be large enough to make a difference, but between US participation larger numbers of modern aircraft the French AF leaders might have chosen a more aggressive & forward leaning defense. Perhaps the May-June losses for Germany would have been 1000+? How bad must the losses be to collapse the German air offensive?
Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
Also, if the US Senate actually ratifies a post-WWI US alliance with Britain and France in 1919, just what do you think the odds would have been for this alliance to actually survive until 1939?
The final crises for preservation of the Entente seems to have come in 1923. The Franco Belgian decision to occupy the Ruhr was backed too weakly by the other members on the old Entente & the League of Nations. That led to the French decision to revert to a defense strategy & the weakening of the Little Entente & loss of the critical Belgian alliance. Find why the Entente weakend 1919-1923 & how it might have remained stronger to 1938 might be seen.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by T. A. Gardner » 16 Jan 2020 23:35

Another point to consider is that US companies now that the nation is in the war do overseas production much earlier. For example Dodge and GM built factories in North Africa in Morocco to assemble their vehicles. The vehicles themselves were made in the US but not fully assembled. This saved US production time and shipping space and the plant in N. Africa would do the final assembly. Here, I could see the US expanding on this to give the French a real production capacity they didn't have in 1940 meaning that by say the end of 1941 they are becoming a well-equipped military again only this time with US provided equipment being assembled in N. Africa. This I'd think would include aircraft as well as vehicles and weapons.

I could also see the French navy's ships getting upgraded and overhauled in US yards meaning more escorts for Atlantic convoys as well as just more combatant ships in general. A major overhaul of the carrier Bearn might have made her a viable platform instead of being used just as an aircraft transport.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Jan 2020 02:33

T. A. Gardner wrote:
16 Jan 2020 23:35
Another point to consider is that US companies now that the nation is in the war do overseas production much earlier. For example Dodge and GM built factories in North Africa in Morocco to assemble their vehicles. The vehicles themselves were made in the US but not fully assembled. This saved US production time and shipping space and the plant in N. Africa would do the final assembly. Here, I could see the US expanding on this to give the French a real production capacity they didn't have in 1940 meaning that by say the end of 1941 they are becoming a well-equipped military again ...
That was well underway OTL. Martin had a final assembly plant operating for the M-167 bomber in Morocco. Near 200 assembled and flying in May/June. Douglas had just got one operating for the DB-7 in June.

Within France there had been a reorganization of military procurement & the industrial production 1938-40. Much of that was complete and large scale proaction just starting for many items, from self loading rifles, to fighter planes, to artillery ammo, to radios. French production alone could have reequiped 80 divisions by late 1941, but the French were aiming at larger goals with US production. Have read one claim they were expecting to attack Germany in 1942 with a combined Allied operating strength of 10,000+ aircraft. I havent a idea what French aircraft production might have been, but this is not unreasonable given Brit & US production 1941.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Feb 2020 19:57

Futurist wrote:
12 Jan 2020 01:48
... Also, if the US Senate actually ratifies a post-WWI US alliance with Britain and France in 1919, just what do you think the odds would have been for this alliance to actually survive until 1939?
In practical terms the crises for the former Entente came in 1923. The French and Belgians attempted to enforce the ToV by occupying the Ruhr. The poor support from the Italians, US, and Britain undercut the French position and left the French feeling a bit abandoned. This & subsequent differences in foreign policy led to the French switch to the less aggressive defense policy of the 1930s.

Note that the isolationism of the US was selective. In the 1920s & 30s the Marines fought the banana Wars in Latin America. The USNs existence & preparations largely revolved around War Plan ORANGE. Both US Army & Marines were deployed to China, occupying key economic centers. Independence for the Philippines was not seriously considered until the mid 1930s & a extended schedule created when it finally was decided on. In Europe the US was a key player in the establishment of the 1925 Dawes & 1929 Young economic plans for keeping the 1920s economic structure alive. Point here is Isolationism of the US was not rock solid. Its not impossible that the disillusionment of 1919 & subsequent political errors be avoided. Even if the US does not participate in the League of Nations ect... it is possible for a less isolationist US to support the French in 1939.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by daveshoup2MD » 02 Mar 2020 03:44

Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:42
*and* the US would have already entered WWII on the Anglo-French side by that point in time
Pretty big "if" don't you think?

If the US is an active partner in a NATO equivalent from 1919 onwards, aimed at preventing a resurgence of German militarism, why would there even have been a war?

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 02 Mar 2020 11:59

daveshoup2MD wrote:
02 Mar 2020 03:44
Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:42
*and* the US would have already entered WWII on the Anglo-French side by that point in time
Pretty big "if" don't you think?

If the US is an active partner in a NATO equivalent from 1919 onwards, aimed at preventing a resurgence of German militarism, why would there even have been a war?
Very likely there wold not have. Way to many changes, butterflies, ect... To get to the conditions of the OP, the US in a 1939-40 war in Europe resembling WWII the PoD needs to be very late, and fairly earth shaking to reverse conditions that kept the US out of a French alliance. The only thing I can think of that does not deviate things too far is a series of bone headed acts by the nazis that enrages the US public. ie: Arresting, beating, imprisoning, murdering a number of the US citizen Quakers involved in enabling Jewish immigration from Germany. ie: Confiscating US owned property in Gemany. The Ford, GM, Standard Oil, or DuPont interests. ie: Direct intervention in US politics and elections. Including a assassination or three. All that is a reach, but such actions could do it. Isolationism in the rear view mirror is oft seen as universal & monolithic in US politics. However it was something of a fuzzy ideal, supported by a hodgepodge of Middle Class citizens, Socialists, idealist college students, pro Germans or pro Facists, ect... A look at how events in Europe 1940-41 weakend the isolationist movement suggests how the nazis could have shot themselves in the foot vis US foreign policy.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by glenn239 » 02 Mar 2020 16:35

Futurist wrote:
10 Jan 2020 08:42
Any thoughts on all of this?
Historically Stalin was thrust into the war before the US. Here, the US goes in first. Italy will presumably remain neutral (or even join the Allies), but what Japan and the USSR do will depend on what Stalin does.

What is the US attitude towards the USSR establishing an empire in Eastern Europe?

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by History Learner » 03 Mar 2020 19:56

Roughly 75% of Americans in November of 1941 opposed declaring war on Germany. Given that, I don't see the U.S. entering the war in 1940.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Futurist » 04 Mar 2020 00:34

History Learner wrote:
03 Mar 2020 19:56
Roughly 75% of Americans in November of 1941 opposed declaring war on Germany. Given that, I don't see the U.S. entering the war in 1940.
That was in the context of the US having previously endured 20 years of relative isolationism, though. Had Woodrow Wilson died of his stroke in 1919 and the new US President Thomas Marshall would have actually been able to get the US into the League of Nations with reservations and also, much more importantly, gotten the US Senate to ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France, then the US would have established a peacetime post-WWI alliance with Britain and France in either 1919 or 1920. This could have had effects--maybe even significant effects--on the 1920s and 1930s in this scenario--possibly making them a bit different than they were in real life, with a bit less of an isolationist flavor in this scenario. This could perhaps result in more US support for going to war in 1939 in this scenario--though even then the Americans are very likely going to expect Britain and France to actually do the lion's share of fighting Nazi Germany--with the US role largely limited to technological and logistical support and aid along with the US having no actual draft but sending all of the volunteers that it can (which might not be too much) to fight in Europe.

As I said, significantly altering events back in 1919-1920 could perhaps have a significant impact on the next 20-25 years.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by History Learner » 10 Mar 2020 23:39

Futurist wrote:
04 Mar 2020 00:34
History Learner wrote:
03 Mar 2020 19:56
Roughly 75% of Americans in November of 1941 opposed declaring war on Germany. Given that, I don't see the U.S. entering the war in 1940.
That was in the context of the US having previously endured 20 years of relative isolationism, though. Had Woodrow Wilson died of his stroke in 1919 and the new US President Thomas Marshall would have actually been able to get the US into the League of Nations with reservations and also, much more importantly, gotten the US Senate to ratify the Security Treaty with Britain and France, then the US would have established a peacetime post-WWI alliance with Britain and France in either 1919 or 1920. This could have had effects--maybe even significant effects--on the 1920s and 1930s in this scenario--possibly making them a bit different than they were in real life, with a bit less of an isolationist flavor in this scenario. This could perhaps result in more US support for going to war in 1939 in this scenario--though even then the Americans are very likely going to expect Britain and France to actually do the lion's share of fighting Nazi Germany--with the US role largely limited to technological and logistical support and aid along with the US having no actual draft but sending all of the volunteers that it can (which might not be too much) to fight in Europe.

As I said, significantly altering events back in 1919-1920 could perhaps have a significant impact on the next 20-25 years.
Treaty or not, by 1936 vast majorities of Americans considered their involvement in the Great War to have been wrong and even into November of 1941 most Americans opposed entry into the Second World War. I don't see a piece of paper preventing this anymore than a piece of paper kept Hitler out of Prague.

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Re: France fights on in 1940 *and* the US already enters WWII on the Anglo-French side

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Mar 2020 13:46

History Learner wrote:
10 Mar 2020 23:39
...

Treaty or not, by 1936 vast majorities of Americans considered their involvement in the Great War to have been wrong and even into November of 1941 most Americans opposed entry into the Second World War. I don't see a piece of paper preventing this anymore than a piece of paper kept Hitler out of Prague.
Beyond this, any strong backing of France interwar means a much different outcome from the 1923 Ruhr occupation, a more activist/interventinist French foreign policy, a different pattern of enforcement and views of the ToV. The nazis may not come to power & if they do France backed by at least one former Entente partner could prevent such things as the Rhineland occupation or the Anschluss. Lots of butterflies from 1919 that mostly waive away WWII as we know it.

As in my previous post to get to the WWII of 1940 and US participation the PoD needs to be very late, post 1937 and politically non obtrusive in the short run.

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