Gamelin's replacement?

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OldBill
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Gamelin's replacement?

Post by OldBill » 13 Jan 2018 06:15

What other officers (besides Weygand) were considered to replace Gamelin?

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Loïc
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Loïc » 14 Jan 2018 16:57

Logically Georges and Billotte were mentionned it seems, according to some sources very few names emerged, only these three and quiclky decided in favour of Weygand...

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by OldBill » 15 Jan 2018 00:57

So if Weygand's plane crashed on the way home, it would (possibly) have gone to Georges or Billotte. What about Darlan? I'm sorry if these seem such elementary questions, I recently finished reading "Dunkirk: Retreat to Victory" and it got me to thinking about the possibilities of a different leader than Weygand.

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Loïc
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Loïc » 15 Jan 2018 01:10

Darlan...no way...he is only a sailor this mister admiral of the fleet

OldBill
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by OldBill » 15 Jan 2018 04:32

Thanks Loic. As ever, your a wealth of information here on the French side of things! I appreciate your continued involvement, and that of Takata, David and others. It helps make AHF a decent site worth visiting and participating in.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Sep 2018 20:06

Georges appears to have been suffering some sort of breakdown as the campaign developed. I'm wondering if he'd have passed muster when interviewed before appointment. Huntzinger has also been the subject of speculation.

What I cant recall is who was on Renauds list in March April. He had been intending to Replace Gamelin from late March or April, & was close to executing the act when the events of 10 May intervened.

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by alain adam » 17 Oct 2018 20:22

Don't forget Weygand was in place before Gamelin , it's why he was the best solution .
Acting in the Levant , Weygand was identified as an very active high officer ( like creating a polish carpatian's brigade late 1940 ) but he made exactly the same job than gamelin should have done , like hedgedog defense ( proposed by gamelin first ) .
Appart of Georges and Billotte , other way could be Huntziger .

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Oct 2018 14:53

Thinking about this further, & checking on a couple items: I'd count Billote out by the date of the OP, and possibly Georges. Both were as much, or more responsible for the final debacle of 10 - 18 May than Gamelin. Billote clearly had a mental breakdown by the 18th, probably earlier. Georges also was nonplussed by the situation and acted poorly. By the 18th May it would have been very difficult to not notice his failing.

Again I have not found who Renaud had on his list of replacements n April, when he was preparing to dismiss Gamelin.

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Steen Ammentorp
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 18 Oct 2018 21:06

Hi,

It would appear from the testimonies of Reynaud (7th Dec. 1950) and of General de Villelume (17th Apr. 1951) to the Commission d'enquête sur les événements de 1933 à 1945, that Reynaud was contemplating to replace Gamelin with either Georges or Giraud, when he forced a vote in the council on 9th May 1940, which failed because of the opposition of Daladier. See: Rapport fait au nom de la Commission chargée d'enquêter sur les événements survenus en France de 1933 à 1945. Tome 8 (p. 2388) and Tome 9 (p. 2795-2796).
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Nov 2018 23:47

Steen Ammentorp wrote:
18 Oct 2018 21:06
Hi,

It would appear from the testimonies of Reynaud (7th Dec. 1950) and of General de Villelume (17th Apr. 1951) to the Commission d'enquête sur les événements de 1933 à 1945, that Reynaud was contemplating to replace Gamelin with either Georges or Giraud, ...
Merci Beaucoup. This is what I'd failed to find in the English language histories. At this late date it would not affect the campaign profoundly. A replacement would have difficulty altering the French strategic fundamentals. Another factor is the role of Gamelin in the campaign as it was fought. That is he had very little after it started. He confirmed to Georges the use/execution of the DYLE Plan, then stepped back and let Georges & the Army Group commanders run the battle for over a week.

Georges as commander of the NW Front was directly connected to many of the failures of the French senior command in the critical first week of the campaign. I am unsure if promoting him to Gamelins position changes this? That is Georges failed to understand the German scheme at the critical time. He'd probably do the same if promoted. But this leads to another question; Who would replace Georges as commander of the NW Front? Would that general or marshal be able to change anything on such sort notice?

Giraud is largely a unknown to me. I can't comment on his ability to gain any control over this very difficult situation 10-16 May.

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by ljadw » 06 Nov 2018 09:59

Gamelin was fired on May 18, Giraud was taken POW on May 19,thus it is very doubtful that he could replace Gamelin .

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Steen Ammentorp
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 06 Nov 2018 22:22

Hi,

Giraud was considered on the 9th of May by Reynaud. When Gamelin finally was fired he was not in consideration, presumably because he had just taken over command of the 9th Army - or what was left of it.

Carl raises an interesting question. Would it have change anything, maybe not. However had Gamelin been sacked on the 9th of May, would the new CinC have initiated plan D? It was Gamelins scheme, and especially if the new CinC were Giraud, previously commander of 7th Army - the Army that according to the plan were to advance through Belgium to southern Netherlands. Changing not only the CinC but also the commander of 7th Army at that moment may have postponed the initiation of the plan, perhaps long enough to give the French the strategic reserve they later lacked.
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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Dili » 05 Dec 2018 14:04

Yes. Gamelin made the most crucial decision sending the best armies to North/Belgium. After that he could have even said iacta alea est ...

Georges and others could not change anything regarding that unless Gamelin was replaced.


I also have a question, what Reynaud know that made him want to replace Gamelin already in 9 May?

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Dec 2018 07:18

Dili wrote:
05 Dec 2018 14:04
...
I also have a question, what Reynaud know that made him want to replace Gamelin already in 9 May?
Reynaud had been determined to replace Gamelin since March or early April. It had taken some weeks to arraign the political support as Gamelin still had support within the government. This was further dragged out when Reynaud contracted a sinus infection and was slowed in his activity. Why replace Gamelin? First he had held his position fairly long and there was a feeling fresh leadership was needed. Second there was disappointment in the preparation of French soldiers for the Norwegian campaign. Crticism of incomplete & inappropriate equipment was made. There was also a sense that training of the French reservists had not progressed fast enough. The Series B units had accomplish very little training since their mobilization in September/October 1939, unlike the Active & Series A echelons. Reynaud had also heard criticism of Gamelins preference for the doctrine of the Methodical Battle. In simple terms Reynaud felt Gamelin had outlived his usefulness and a more energetic man with fresh perspective was needed. In English language histories Chapman, Horne, and jackso all discuss briefly Reynauds decision concerning Gamelin, but they leave out much detail.

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Re: Gamelin's replacement?

Post by Futurist » 31 Dec 2018 07:36

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
05 Nov 2018 23:47
Steen Ammentorp wrote:
18 Oct 2018 21:06
Hi,

It would appear from the testimonies of Reynaud (7th Dec. 1950) and of General de Villelume (17th Apr. 1951) to the Commission d'enquête sur les événements de 1933 à 1945, that Reynaud was contemplating to replace Gamelin with either Georges or Giraud, ...
Merci Beaucoup. This is what I'd failed to find in the English language histories. At this late date it would not affect the campaign profoundly. A replacement would have difficulty altering the French strategic fundamentals. Another factor is the role of Gamelin in the campaign as it was fought. That is he had very little after it started. He confirmed to Georges the use/execution of the DYLE Plan, then stepped back and let Georges & the Army Group commanders run the battle for over a week.

Georges as commander of the NW Front was directly connected to many of the failures of the French senior command in the critical first week of the campaign. I am unsure if promoting him to Gamelins position changes this? That is Georges failed to understand the German scheme at the critical time. He'd probably do the same if promoted. But this leads to another question; Who would replace Georges as commander of the NW Front? Would that general or marshal be able to change anything on such sort notice?

Giraud is largely a unknown to me. I can't comment on his ability to gain any control over this very difficult situation 10-16 May.
For what it's worth, it looks like Georges was opposed to the Dyle Plan:

https://books.google.com/books?id=zn1tB ... es&f=false

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