How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Discussions on all aspects of France during the Inter-War era and Second World War.
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Bronsky
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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by Bronsky » 21 Sep 2010 21:22

Pavel Novak wrote:So there would be war of Czechoslovakia, France and the Soviet Union against Germany. France had also treaty with Poland but I don't know if it would drag Poland to war - I don't know details of that treaty.
It was a very loose agreement with no military convention, and Poland had signed a non-aggression pact with Germany at the time. When Germany denounced the agreement, the Poles hurriedly turned to France to reactivate their treaty (which hadn't technically lapsed) and get a proper military convention signed.

The point is that in 1938 Poland was only going to get involved if it decided it wanted to. If the war dragged on, the Poles would probably have turned increasingly anti-German: after all, making friends with Germany had never been more than Plan B, a distant second to making sure Germany become harmless (though Plan A was far beyond their capabilities). So in the scenario you're coming up with, Poland would probably end up on France's side, after making sure Germany was losing and Czechoslovakia would let them (Poland) have Teschen, of course.

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by Pavel Novak » 21 Sep 2010 21:40

Thanks for info.
It is hard to assume how these matters would develop and how would develop Soviet-Polish cooperation if Poland joined war too. Theoretically Fr-SU-P-CS would decimate Germany sooner or later with Germany unable to defeat anyone from coalition but that woud require true commitment and cooperation from allies which probably would not be there.

I assume that scenario of French intervention in 1938 to support Czechoslovakia could saved France from defeat in ww2 but it is not assured at all.

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by NickA » 21 Mar 2020 23:05

Rifleman 2113 wrote:
31 Jan 2010 17:45
Why did France and Britain go to war in such circumstances? In their Book ;Friendly Fire’ Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior claim that Roosevelt promised the Poles, British and French if they stood up to Hitler the USA would immediately join the war. This US involvement was to a certain extent, by the capture by the Germans in Polish archives, the transcripts of all the documents relevant to the issue,. bound into the now notorious ‘Black Book’.
I have this Picknett book and find the logic pretty convincing. Unfortunately, it has limited really good information - and when it seems to have something important, we don't really get to grip on what its about. eg:
Lynn Picknett's 'Friendly Fire’ - Chapter 4 - War - Secrets of the White Book wrote: p.123 ... Early in the war, the Nazis published their own version of its origins in a series of White Books, claiming, predictably, that their 'reluctant' aggression was justified - and that anyway the British, French and Poles were really to blame. The Nazis claimed that one "White Book" published in March 1940, was based on documents found in Polish government files when Warsaw was captured. which proved that the American government was also partly responsible for the war. These included reports to Warsaw from embassy officials abroad, detailing conversations with American diplomats who had urged the Polish government to stand firm against Hitler because the US would come in - seemingly this was why the Poles refused to negotiate. Although the White Book was dismissed as another example of Goebbels's propaganda, the diplomats named in the documents were Bullitt and Kennedy, acting specifically on Roosevelt's orders.[115. The formal title of the White Book is Polnische Dokumente zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges (Polish Documents on the Origin of the War)]

Moreover, Breckinridge Long tells a different story. On 27 March 1940, he attended a meeting with his boss, Cordell Hull, to decide their response to the White Book. It had come at a particularily embarrassing time for the State Department as just days previously the US minister to Canada, James Cromwell, stated publicly that America was planning 'all-out assistance' to Britain. Hull and Long drafted a public statement denying the claims had the 'slightest credence', but Long adds:
Cordell Hull wrote:There is just a sneaking suspicion in out minds more truth than fiction in some of the reported conversations. Not only do they have the earmarks of authenticity but they indicate actions which are characteristic of both Bullit and Kennedy.[116. Long, Breckinridge (ed. Fred L. Israel), "The War Diary Long: Selections from the Years 1939-1944", University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1966 p.74]
So what exactly did the White Book claim? As it is usually ignored it can be frustrating to track down, although we were able to unearth a copy in the Official Publications section of the British Library. (The White Book consists simply of facsimile of the original Polish documents with German translations, and virtually no commentary.) It was a revelation.
Naturally, one can get into horrendous trouble for trying to voice anything that might expulcate the Nazis but WW2 takes on a whole different meaning if Roosevelt was stirring the pot and even inciting Poland to attack Germany. The White Books (they're a series) might be the smoking gun. But nobody has really examined it/them.

***

There is one laughable error in this Picknett book - or at least, I think its an error. Lynn Picknett was mildly taken in by a fraud when she wrote the "Friendly Fire" book in 2005.
Picknett wrote:p.18 ... "Since the publication of Double Standards [concerning Rudolf Hess], that scenario has been corroborated by Martin Allen's discovery of certain documents in the Public Record Office, Kew. A memorandum from an agent of the secret wartime propaganda service SO1 reveals that the morning after Hess's capture the Duke of Kent was driving a car that collided with a coal lorry on the Douglas-Lanark road, which runs past Dungavel House. Kent's passenger was the Duke of Buccleuch who, we discovered, was deeply implicated in the Hess plot.3"
Now, Martin Allen is said to have been ill and fabricated this evidence, inserting it into the archives. Allen was supposedly caught but never prosecuted in 2008, making it difficult to know what to believe. For all we know, the pieces of false information (the coal lorry incident being one) were inserted by Churchill's biographers for just this purpose, discredit subsequent researchers who might severely damage Churchill's reputation by "proving" that WW2 was indeed a conspiracy to stop continental Europe ever threatening the domination of the British or Americans ever again.

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Mar 2020 23:49

Tim Smith wrote:
20 Nov 2003 15:09
What could the French have done differently to avoid being conquered in 1940? Interested to hear any ideas.
Well, somebody could have told them there were roads in the Ardennes.
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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by rcocean » 23 Mar 2020 03:53

NickA wrote:
21 Mar 2020 23:05
Rifleman 2113 wrote:
31 Jan 2010 17:45
Why did France and Britain go to war in such circumstances? In their Book ;Friendly Fire’ Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior claim that Roosevelt promised the Poles, British and French if they stood up to Hitler the USA would immediately join the war. This US involvement was to a certain extent, by the capture by the Germans in Polish archives, the transcripts of all the documents relevant to the issue,. bound into the now notorious ‘Black Book’.

If the Poles, French, or British believed the USA would "Immediately" join the war then they were fools. Gallup polls show the USA public was 85-15 AGAINST joining the War in Sept 1939. Almost all the interest in joining the war came after the fall of France, when it looked like the UK was in danger. Its more likely that FDR was promising to repeal the neutrality acts, and ship Planes tanks and war goods to the Allies and allow US banks to loan them money. Further, its no secret that FDR and Bullitt were encouraging the Allies to "Stand up to Hitler".

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by Steve » 23 Mar 2020 05:57

If the German claim of American urging the Poles to stand firm is to be taken seriously then there has to be some corroborative evidence from the Polish side to back it up. There is no evidence that the Poles considered any whisperings from the USA when making their decisions in 1939. There is no evidence that the US told the Poles to stand firm in 1939 as they would enter the war. That Roosevelt would have made such an offer in 1939 is as the previous post points out very unlikely. It is though very likely that the documents the Germans claimed to have found were forgeries.

The British knew they could do nothing to help the Poles when they gave them the guarantee and the French had no intention of trying. The Poles seem to have completely misread the situation and made their decisions accordingly.

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by paulrward » 23 Mar 2020 22:54

Hello All :

How could France have avoided defeat in WWII ?

Well, how about this? It is August, 1936. The Spanish Civil War has broken out in Spain. Andre Malraux is
gathering men and aircraft for the Republic, and the Republicans are getting ready to re occupy the Mallorcas.

And, at this moment, in defiance of British sensibilities, France leaps into action. The Armee de l'Aire
immediately frees up 230 of the older Nieuport NiD 62 series fighters, along with some 75 of the Dewoitine D-500
monoplane fighters, and despatches them, with pilots, mechanics, spare parts, and ammunition, to support the
Loyalist Government in Madrid. ( The Republicans ) In addition, surplus Breguet 19 two seat bombers and
Potez 54 twin engine bombers are also supplied. The sudden influx of literally hundreds of French aircraft
simply sweeps the small number of German and Italian aircraft from the skies, giving the Republicans a
virtually unchallenged air supremacy.

Along with this, some 300 elderly Renault Ft17 tanks are shipped across the Pyrenees, to bolster the Republican Militia. These tanks, though old and obsolete, form a huge striking arm for the Republicans that neutralizes
the Nationalist's advantage in Cavalry. Accompanying the tanks are 600 of the WW1 vintage 'French 75s',
which, when hitched to any available Spanish lorries, serve as a rapid deployment artillery force in the Autumn
of 1936. Though somewhat roadbound, they are still fast enough to move with the army, and the columns
of Nationalist troops moving toward Madrid have their advances blunted or turned back by the famous old
french howitzers.

The French Navy imposes a blockade on the Mallorcas, and the invasion by the Republicans turns from a defeat
into a victory. With the Mallorcas in Republican hands, and the French navy controlling the Western Med,
Italy cannot supply the Nationalists as effectively, and the French Navy also blockades the Atlantic Coast of
Spain, cutting off German aid to Franco.

Within weeks, the Revolt is slowing down, and despite protests by Hitler and Mussolini, there is nothing they
can do short of going to war against France, which neither of them were prepared to do at that time. What
is more, the influx of French Aid to the Republic effectively ' checkmates' the efforts of Stalin to get involved,
and, with the risk of the spread of communism thwarted, Britain goes along with the French policy.

The Nationalist Banderas and Raquetta Columns dwindle, the siege of the Alcazar ends in a Republican
Victory, and the Rebel forces simply collapse. Franco and his cronies find themselves standing against a
brick wall on a sunny day, blindfolded, and smoking one final cigarette......

The victory in Spain gives France the opportunity to test new weapons, build up it's industry, and serves
as a spur to prepare France for the coming War with the Axis. The success of the single seat fighters in
Spain causes the Armee de l'Aire to abandon it's program of 'Multiplace de Combat' aircraft, and concentrate
on fighters and single seat ground attack aircraft. The French Army builds up it's Armored Divisions, as well as
working to mechanise the infantry and artillery, and the French Navy abandons plans to build the Richelieu
class battleships, instead constructing two additional Dunquerque class battlecruisers and a pair of new
aircraft carriers fast enough to keep up with them, along with modernizing the older battleships to serve
as a reserve line of naval defense.

The fight in Spain also discredits the Rightists in France, and allows the Government to purge the Army,
Navy, and Air Force of ' pro-fascist ' officers. The result is a force that, in 1940, is strongly pro-France and
even more strongly anti-Hitler.

The Offensive of May, 1940, is met with strength, vigor, and elan by the French. Hundreds of Dewoitine 520s
and 510s, along with more than two thousand Morane Saulnier MS-406s rise to meet the Luftwaffe. Even without
radar, they create a sufficient air umbrella to protect the French Army, and as hundreds of the fighters have
been fitted with under-wing racks to carry small bombs, they begin to harrass the advancing German armies.

In addition, with no threat from a Fascist Government south of the Pyrenees, the French are able to call
on an additional three Corps of troops to bolster the front north of the Maginot Line. Some historians have
claimed that these men were the difference between victory and defeat....

When the Germans try to cross the Meuse River, the British send a force of Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim
bombers to destroy the bridges. The Luftwaffe intercepts them, but the Messerschmitt pilots find themselves
facing over three hundred Moranes and Dewoitines who are tasked with escorting their British allies. The
bombing missions are a success, the bridges are ' dropped ' in the face of panzers, and the German advance is
stalled. When Heer columns try to force a passage through the Ardennes, they are met with unending attacks
from the air by single seat fighters that drop small HE bombs, and then llnger to strafe the helpless german
soldiers.

The German Blitzkrieg peters out after occupying Belgium and Holland and northeastern France, just as it
had some 26 years earlier. For Hitler, it seemed that history was repeating itself- and Germany would now
face the slow, inexorable economic strangulation by the British Empire....

As a tiny side note - several divisions of Spanish Troops were moved by train to the front lines in time to fight
the Germans in July, 1940. Their motto, "No Passaran !" echoed the French Army's , " Il ne passe pas " that
made the defence of Verdun a legend....





In reality, Franklin Roosevelt, speaking at a dinner in the White House during WW2, confessed to his guests that
his greatest mistake as President was NOT supporting the Spanish Republic in 1936, and agreeing to go along with
England's decision to impose a blockade of war materials on Spain, thus ensuring the Fascist Victory in Spain that
led inexorably to the Second World War......


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by NickA » 24 Mar 2020 21:01

rcocean wrote:
23 Mar 2020 03:53

Gallup polls show the USA public was 85-15 AGAINST joining the War in Sept 1939. Almost all the interest in joining the war came after the fall of France, when it looked like the UK was in danger.
There's a lot of evidence that the US public was pro-Germany all through the 1930s. In fact, in the summer of 1933, the US nearly suffered a coup, the "Business Plot". BBC & Wiki concur:
BBC wrote:https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007tbs0 - The White House Coup, 1933 - Mike Thomson presents the history series. 2/3: During the 1930s, some of Wall Street's most famous names plotted to overthrow president Franklin Roosevelt. And: "The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans."
The BBC program accuses the Congressional hearings of having been inadequate:
BBC wrote: ... the Committee refused to even question any of the individuals named by Butler and his testimony was omitted from the record, leading to charges that they were involved in covering the matter up
And:
BBC wrote: ... the majority of the media blackballed the story."
Is the US media any more forthcoming today?

Similar at the Wiki:
Wiki wrote: ... Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans' organization and use it in a coup d'état to overthrow President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler as leader of that organization.

In 1934, Butler testified to the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Congressional committee (the "McCormack-Dickstein Committee") on these claims.[Schlesinger, Arthur "The Politics of Upheaval: 1935-1936, The Age of Roosevelt, Volume III 2003 p. 85] In the opinion of the committee, these allegations were credible.[Schlesinger p. 83] No one was prosecuted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot
You also say:
rcocean wrote:
23 Mar 2020 03:53
If the Poles, French, or British believed the USA would "Immediately" join the war then they were fools. ... Its more likely that FDR was promising to repeal the neutrality acts, and ship Planes tanks and war goods to the Allies and allow US banks to loan them money. Further, its no secret that FDR and Bullitt were encouraging the Allies to "Stand up to Hitler".
I think you've pretty nearly confirmed what I said. "Stand up to Hitler" means provoke a war, reject Germany having Bromberg back and carry on ethnic cleansing. The last in order to inflame the German population even worse than had been done already.

Nothing has ever been written on the "White Books", this is Picknett again:
'Friendly Fire, the Secret War between the Allies' 2005 Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince, Stephen Prior with additional research by Robert Brydon (d. 2003) wrote:p.123 ... Early in the war, the Nazis published their own version of its origins in a series of White Books, claiming, predictably, that their 'reluctant' aggression was justified - and that anyway the British, French and Poles were really to blame. The Nazis claimed that one "White Book" published in March 1940, was based on documents found in Polish government files when Warsaw was captured. which proved that the American government was also partly responsible for the war. These included reports to Warsaw from embassy officials abroad, detailing conversations with American diplomats who had urged the Polish government to stand firm against Hitler because the US would come in - seemingly this was why the Poles refused to negotiate. Although the White Book was dismissed as another example of Goebbels's propaganda, the diplomats named in the documents were Bullitt and Kennedy, acting specifically on Roosevelt's orders.[115. The formal title of the White Book is Polnische Dokumente zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges (Polish Documents on the Origin of the War)]

Moreover, Breckinridge Long tells a different story. On 27 March 1940, he attended a meeting with his boss, Cordell Hull, to decide their response to the White Book. It had come at a particularily embarrassing time for the State Department as just days previously the US minister to Canada, James Cromwell, stated publicly that America was planning 'all-out assistance' to Britain. Hull and Long drafted a public statement denying the claims had the 'slightest credence', but Long adds:

There is just a sneaking suspicion in out minds more truth than fiction in some of the reported conversations. Not only do they have the earmarks of authenticity but they indicate actions which are characteristic of both Bullit and Kennedy.[116. Long, Breckinridge (ed. Fred L. Israel), "The War Diary Long: Selections from the Years 1939-1944", University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1966 p.74]

So what exactly did the White Book claim? As it is usually ignored it can be frustrating to track down, although we were able to unearth a copy in the Official Publications section of the British Library. (The White Book consists simply of facsimile of the original Polish documents with German translations, and virtually no commentary.) It was a revelation.
Now, if you tell me that Picknett is not what one would call a regular historian, doesn't fully justify or fully investigate and document every claim made I'd have to agree. But there is a logical thread running through the narrative that is "Friendly Fire".

TL:DR - Nothing impossible about FDR manipulating other people having a war that would be quite profitable to the US - and enormously harmful to all of the competition (including the British).

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Mar 2020 00:25

paulrward wrote:
23 Mar 2020 22:54
... When Heer columns try to force a passage through the Ardennes, they are met with unending attacks
from the air by single seat fighters that drop small HE bombs, and then llnger to strafe the helpless german
soldiers. ...
Not quite helpless. On 12 May a Groupe of LeO 45 bombers attacked the motorized columns in the Ardennes. In a single attack the twin engine bombers flying at very low altitude suffered approx fifty percent losses from ground fire. Horne "To Lose a Battle' has a description of this attack and a paragraph translated from a surviving pilots report. His account left the impression every vehicle was armed with a AA MG. On the 12th, 13th, and 14th both the British and French made numerous air attacks on the Meuse River crossings from opposite Maastricht to Dinat, to Sedan. While the German interceptors had their share of kills the Allied survivors reported significant losses of the bombers that closed to accurate release distance from the bridges & ferries. The 20mm AAA were effective out to 2000 meters & any bomber that tried to release below 1000 meters placed itself at risk of the rifle caliber MG set up for AA defense.

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by ljadw » 25 Mar 2020 15:50

paulrward wrote:
23 Mar 2020 22:54
Hello All :

How could France have avoided defeat in WWII ?

Well, how about this? It is August, 1936. The Spanish Civil War has broken out in Spain. Andre Malraux is
gathering men and aircraft for the Republic, and the Republicans are getting ready to re occupy the Mallorcas.

And, at this moment, in defiance of British sensibilities, France leaps into action. The Armee de l'Aire
immediately frees up 230 of the older Nieuport NiD 62 series fighters, along with some 75 of the Dewoitine D-500
monoplane fighters, and despatches them, with pilots, mechanics, spare parts, and ammunition, to support the
Loyalist Government in Madrid. ( The Republicans ) In addition, surplus Breguet 19 two seat bombers and
Potez 54 twin engine bombers are also supplied. The sudden influx of literally hundreds of French aircraft
simply sweeps the small number of German and Italian aircraft from the skies, giving the Republicans a
virtually unchallenged air supremacy.

Along with this, some 300 elderly Renault Ft17 tanks are shipped across the Pyrenees, to bolster the Republican Militia. These tanks, though old and obsolete, form a huge striking arm for the Republicans that neutralizes
the Nationalist's advantage in Cavalry. Accompanying the tanks are 600 of the WW1 vintage 'French 75s',
which, when hitched to any available Spanish lorries, serve as a rapid deployment artillery force in the Autumn
of 1936. Though somewhat roadbound, they are still fast enough to move with the army, and the columns
of Nationalist troops moving toward Madrid have their advances blunted or turned back by the famous old
french howitzers.

The French Navy imposes a blockade on the Mallorcas, and the invasion by the Republicans turns from a defeat
into a victory. With the Mallorcas in Republican hands, and the French navy controlling the Western Med,
Italy cannot supply the Nationalists as effectively, and the French Navy also blockades the Atlantic Coast of
Spain, cutting off German aid to Franco.

Within weeks, the Revolt is slowing down, and despite protests by Hitler and Mussolini, there is nothing they
can do short of going to war against France, which neither of them were prepared to do at that time. What
is more, the influx of French Aid to the Republic effectively ' checkmates' the efforts of Stalin to get involved,
and, with the risk of the spread of communism thwarted, Britain goes along with the French policy.

The Nationalist Banderas and Raquetta Columns dwindle, the siege of the Alcazar ends in a Republican
Victory, and the Rebel forces simply collapse. Franco and his cronies find themselves standing against a
brick wall on a sunny day, blindfolded, and smoking one final cigarette......

The victory in Spain gives France the opportunity to test new weapons, build up it's industry, and serves
as a spur to prepare France for the coming War with the Axis. The success of the single seat fighters in
Spain causes the Armee de l'Aire to abandon it's program of 'Multiplace de Combat' aircraft, and concentrate
on fighters and single seat ground attack aircraft. The French Army builds up it's Armored Divisions, as well as
working to mechanise the infantry and artillery, and the French Navy abandons plans to build the Richelieu
class battleships, instead constructing two additional Dunquerque class battlecruisers and a pair of new
aircraft carriers fast enough to keep up with them, along with modernizing the older battleships to serve
as a reserve line of naval defense.

The fight in Spain also discredits the Rightists in France, and allows the Government to purge the Army,
Navy, and Air Force of ' pro-fascist ' officers. The result is a force that, in 1940, is strongly pro-France and
even more strongly anti-Hitler.

The Offensive of May, 1940, is met with strength, vigor, and elan by the French. Hundreds of Dewoitine 520s
and 510s, along with more than two thousand Morane Saulnier MS-406s rise to meet the Luftwaffe. Even without
radar, they create a sufficient air umbrella to protect the French Army, and as hundreds of the fighters have
been fitted with under-wing racks to carry small bombs, they begin to harrass the advancing German armies.

In addition, with no threat from a Fascist Government south of the Pyrenees, the French are able to call
on an additional three Corps of troops to bolster the front north of the Maginot Line. Some historians have
claimed that these men were the difference between victory and defeat....

When the Germans try to cross the Meuse River, the British send a force of Fairey Battle and Bristol Blenheim
bombers to destroy the bridges. The Luftwaffe intercepts them, but the Messerschmitt pilots find themselves
facing over three hundred Moranes and Dewoitines who are tasked with escorting their British allies. The
bombing missions are a success, the bridges are ' dropped ' in the face of panzers, and the German advance is
stalled. When Heer columns try to force a passage through the Ardennes, they are met with unending attacks
from the air by single seat fighters that drop small HE bombs, and then llnger to strafe the helpless german
soldiers.

The German Blitzkrieg peters out after occupying Belgium and Holland and northeastern France, just as it
had some 26 years earlier. For Hitler, it seemed that history was repeating itself- and Germany would now
face the slow, inexorable economic strangulation by the British Empire....

As a tiny side note - several divisions of Spanish Troops were moved by train to the front lines in time to fight
the Germans in July, 1940. Their motto, "No Passaran !" echoed the French Army's , " Il ne passe pas " that
made the defence of Verdun a legend....





In reality, Franklin Roosevelt, speaking at a dinner in the White House during WW2, confessed to his guests that
his greatest mistake as President was NOT supporting the Spanish Republic in 1936, and agreeing to go along with
England's decision to impose a blockade of war materials on Spain, thus ensuring the Fascist Victory in Spain that
led inexorably to the Second World War......


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
1 There was no Fascist Victory in Spain : Franco was not a Fascist
2 During the war Franco remained neutral and did not help Germany
3 The victory of Franco had nothing to do with the outbreak of WWII,which was caused by the German invasion of Poland. A Communist victory in Spain would not have prevented the outbreak of WWII .
4 There was no need for the US to support the Spanish Republic : the Spanish Civil War did not concern the USA.
5 A victorious Spanish Republic would have remained neutral, as did Franco, and would not have joined the Wallies .Til June 1941.
6 A coalition of Spanish communists with the Wallies was excluded in 1940 .
6 The Army of the Spanish Republic was, as the Army of Franco,incapable to fight outside Spain, and would thus play no role in Fall Gelb/Fall Weiss
7 After its victory in 1939, Spain would be the terrain of a new civil war : communists, anarchists and socialists would fight against each other . They did so already in the HTL.
8 The Spanish Civil War did not discredit the French rightists,thus why should this happen in the ATL ?
9 What FDR said during the war is for under the bus . He said a lot of things that were for under the bus, during and before WWII,and he said things that even for the period when he said such things ,were very risky .
9 A US intervention in the Spanish Civil War would have created a big uproar at Capitol Hill,and it would be over for FDR .
10 A Republican recapture of the Mallorcas was excluded , as the Spanish navy was no longer operational .

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Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by paulrward » 25 Mar 2020 22:14

Hello All :

Mr. ljadw posted the following, which I will handle in order:
1 There was no Fascist Victory in Spain : Franco was not a Fascist
If you look like a pig, act like a pig, smell like a pig, and lay down with pigs, people will call you a pig. Franco's
initial support base was the Falange, he staged a military coup, he created a repressive government after the
Civil War was over, and had friendly one-on-ones with both Hitler and Mussolini . That makes him a pig - oops -
sorry, that makes him a Fascist.
2 During the war Franco remained neutral and did not help Germany
During the War, Franco allowed German U Boats to refuel and re-arm in Spanish ports, offered to join the Axis in
June of 1940 after the Fall of France, and sold critical items like Tungsten and Oil to Germany. His government
cooperated with German Intelligence, and he sent a division of troops to fight in Russia ( The Blue Division ). He
did NOT become a neutral until AFTER the U.S. invaded North Africa, and he realized he might be next.
3 The victory of Franco had nothing to do with the outbreak of WWII,which was caused by
the German invasion of Poland. A Communist victory in Spain would not have prevented the outbreak
of WWII .
In fact, Franco's victory freed up Germany to start the war. After the Condor Legionaires returned home, and
the Heer and Luftwaffe had absorbed the lessons learned in the fighting, they were able to wage a modern
combined arms type of war against Poland and later France. Had Hitler and Mussolini been defeated in Spain,
it might very well had deterred them from attacking Poland, as a revitalized France would be more of an enemy
than it was historically.
4 There was no need for the US to support the Spanish Republic : the Spanish Civil War did not
concern the USA.
The United States embargoed shipments of aircraft, machinery, transport equipment, and medical supplies
to Republican Spain while allowing Texaco to ship U.S. Petroleum products to Franco. Had the Roosevelt
Administration allowed shipments to the Spanish Republic, it might have defeated Franco, and one less Fascist
Government in Europe would be a very good thing for the United States, as well as everyone else in Europe....
5 A victorious Spanish Republic would have remained neutral, as did Franco, and would not have
joined the Wallies .Til June 1941.
The MYTH that Franco was a neutral in the war is just that - a MYTH ! Franco supported the Axis powers up
until it became obvious that they were losing, then , like a good little cowardly fascist, he suddenly turned his
coat and tried to join the Allies. The United States paid him off during the war with oil, which Franco continued
to sell to Germany, and then at the end of the war, we cut him off like a gangrenous wart. Fascist Spain became
a pariah in Europe until the election of Eisenhower, who, over the objection of several other members of NATO,
pushed to have Franco admitted, and restored U.S. aid, mainly in the form of military hardware, to Franco, allowing
him to stay in power until his death.

On the other hand, a Victorious Spanish Republic, grateful for the aid given to them by France in their hour
of peril and desperate need, might very well have been more than happy to send a few divisions to northern
France to fight the despicable Nazis and the hated Fascists..... ( Note: I am using the jargon of 1940 ! )
6 A coalition of Spanish communists with the Wallies was excluded in 1940 .
In 1939, Stalin had informally joined the Axis by signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which allowed for the
partition of Eastern Europe. At that time, the USSR was treated by France, Britain, and the U.S. as an enemy.
The only people who were apologists for Stalin's action were members, either actively or covertly, of the
Comintern and it's fellow travelers. For this reason, anyone who had been associated with the Spanish Republic
was tarred with the brush of Stalinism. And excluded from participation in the war in 1940. Then, in 1941,
Hitler invaded Russia, and things changed. In 1941.
6 The Army of the Spanish Republic was, as the Army of Franco, incapable to fight outside
Spain, and would thus play no role in Fall Gelb/Fall Weiss
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spain was left prostrate and destitute, and misguided Francoist economic
policies did nothing to help that situation. Despite this, they were still able to send a division of soldiers to fight
in Russia until nearly the end of the war. Now, if FRANCE had come into the war from the beginning, and soundly
defeated Hitler and Mussoliini in, let us say, six to nine months, then the Civil War would have been over in the
Spring of 1937, and Republican Spain, without it's Communist dominated POUM, might have been able to turn
things around economically, and put together a few divisions that could be sent to fight in France.

Even without them, the fact is, France had to keep an entire army of about three Corps watching the Pyrenees,
for the same reason they had to watch the Southern Border with Italy, in order to prevent a possible attack
by Franco in the Spring of 1940. But, If Spain was still Republican, and diplomatically grateful for the French aid that
had saved them from Franco, then it is likely that some or most of these troops could be been re-deployed
into the front between the end of the Maginot Line and the English Channel. Nine divisions of troops is a LOT
of men....
7 After its victory in 1939, Spain would be the terrain of a new civil war : communists,
anarchists and socialists would fight against each other . They did so already in the HTL.

After the Victory in early 1937, the Spanish people, seeing how close they had come to a political and
social disaster, experienced a new birth of political tolerance. Leaders of the different factions began
working together in the Cortes General to create a new, United Spain, with improved rights for factory
workers, improved educational opportunities divorced from the control of the Catholic Church, a
re-distribution of the land to the farmers and peasants who worked it, and strove to empower ALL
Spaniards with the political rights and freedoms to openly express themselves politically without resorting
to violence.
8 The Spanish Civil War did not discredit the French rightists,thus why should this happen in the ATL ?
In point of fact, France was nearly as divided at the outbreak of the WW2 as Spain was three years earlier !
There was at least one French General who openly stated that he would rather serve Hitler than Leon Blum.
The infighting between the left and the right in France paralyzed that nation until the Germans over ran them.
On the other hand, a Victory in Spain, not for Communism, but rather for a more moderate coalition of
Center-Leftists, might create in France a similar period of collaberation between the Left and Center, allowing
them to squeeze the Right wing out of power in time for a defeat of Hitler.

It is a historical fact that Edouard Deladier made the comment in October 1938, "If I had three or four thousand
aircraft, Munich would never have happened. " If France embarked on a program of rapid aircraft construction, concentrating initially on the Dewoitine D500 series in 1936 and 1937, by the summer of 1938, they might have
had as many as 1000 of these fighters, more than enough to intimidate Hitler into staying out of Czechoslovakia,
and thus PREVENTING WW2. Even if this had not taken place, the subsequent production of the
Morane Saulnier MS406 could have been speeded up, with some 2000 aircraft being available in the spring
of 1940. Finally, the Dewoitine D520 and the Caudron C714 programs could have been streamlined and
accelerated, with perhaps as many as 250 of each aircraft being available when the balloon went up in
May of 1940. This would give the French some 1000 D500s for ground attack, 2000 MS406s as their main fighter,
and some 500 of the new D520s and C 714s coming on line. A luftwaffe facing 3500 single seat fighters would
have a daunting task indeed....
9 What FDR said during the war is for under the bus . He said a lot of things that were for
under the bus, during and before WWII,and he said things that even for the period when he said
such things , were very risky .
What Freewheelin' Franklin was expressing was what we in the United States refer to as, '20 - 20 Hindsight' - The
old saying is, " Everyone has 20-20 Hindsight !" In other words, looking back, allowing Franco to come to power
was a massive mistake.
9 A US intervention in the Spanish Civil War would have created a big uproar at
Capitol Hill,and it would be over for FDR .
I have not, in my post, suggested that Roosevelt intervene in the SCW. My suggestion was, had FRANCE
intervened, it might have saved France four years later in the summer of 1940.
10 A Republican recapture of the Mallorcas was excluded , as the Spanish navy was
no longer operational .
True, but the FRENCH navy WAS OPERATIONAL ! With a half dozen battleships, an equal number of heavy
cruisers, an aircraft carrier, some destroyers, and a few submarines, the French navy might have been able
to prevent the Italians from re-inforcing the Fascist troops in the Mallorcas, and the Republican forces, which
at one point, controlled three of the four islands and part of the fourth, might have been able to finish off
the Fascists, and place the islands under the control of Madrid. If further manpower was needed, then
a few more volunteers could have been loaded onto chartered merchant ships and, convoyed by French
Navy Destroyers and Cruisers, made the quick trip to the Mallorcas, landed the men, and returned
to Spain. The additional manpower, bolstered by a few Renault Ft17s and some of the French 75mm
artillery pieces, could have made quick work of the remaining Fascists on Palma.

Then, with the French putting a couple of fighter squadrons on Palma, and patrolling around them
with a couple of flotillas of destroyers and cruisers to prevent the Italians from doing something stupid,
the Islands could have been held througout the rest of the war. Holding the Mallorcas prevents Mussolini
from flying aircraft to Franco, and the presence of French warships blockading the Spanish coast will
prevent Italian troops being shipped by sea. As a result, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie remains in Italy,
where it belongs......

An early defeat of Mussolini might have blunted his enthusiasm for a Spanish Vacation, and a subsequent
imposition of a French Naval Blockade on the Atlantic Coast of Spain, with the seizure of a few German cargo
ships hauling supplies to Franco might have intimidated Hitler to the point to forcing him to end his attempt
to install Franco into power.


But, we will never know. Because of the cowardice of a few men, and the rapacity of others, ' Man's Hope '
became ' Man's Fate ' .

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Last edited by paulrward on 26 Mar 2020 01:35, edited 3 times in total.

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Ironmachine
Member
Posts: 5406
Joined: 07 Jul 2005 10:50
Location: Spain

Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by Ironmachine » 25 Mar 2020 22:47

paulrward wrote:After the Victory in early 1937, the Spanish people, seeing how close they had come to a political and
social disaster, experienced a new birth of political tolerance. Leaders of the different factions began
working together in the Cortes General to create a new, United Spain, with improved rights for factory
workers, improved educational opportunities divorced from the control of the Catholic Church, a
re-distribution of the land to the farmers and peasants who worked it, and strove to empower ALL
Spaniards with the political rights and freedoms to openly express themselves politically without resorting
to violence.
Many wrong things about Spain in paulward's whole post that I'm not really in the mood to counter one by one (I don't think he is really interested in my comments, anyway), but this little bit it's a jewel. He seems to be lost in la-la land regarding a victorious Republican Spain. :roll:

paulrward
Member
Posts: 345
Joined: 10 Dec 2008 20:14

Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by paulrward » 26 Mar 2020 00:06

Hello All :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqA7UewhmtI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7zWOiK8xF4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up8Y28qAwuw


and now let's get back to keeping Germany from defeating France in 1940.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

ljadw
Member
Posts: 10192
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by ljadw » 26 Mar 2020 08:31

paulrward wrote:
25 Mar 2020 22:14
Hello All :

Mr. ljadw posted the following, which I will handle in order:
1 There was no Fascist Victory in Spain : Franco was not a Fascist
If you look like a pig, act like a pig, smell like a pig, and lay down with pigs, people will call you a pig. Franco's
initial support base was the Falange, he staged a military coup, he created a repressive government after the
Civil War was over, and had friendly one-on-ones with both Hitler and Mussolini . That makes him a pig - oops -
sorry, that makes him a Fascist.
2 During the war Franco remained neutral and did not help Germany
During the War, Franco allowed German U Boats to refuel and re-arm in Spanish ports, offered to join the Axis in
June of 1940 after the Fall of France, and sold critical items like Tungsten and Oil to Germany. His government
cooperated with German Intelligence, and he sent a division of troops to fight in Russia ( The Blue Division ). He
did NOT become a neutral until AFTER the U.S. invaded North Africa, and he realized he might be next.
3 The victory of Franco had nothing to do with the outbreak of WWII,which was caused by
the German invasion of Poland. A Communist victory in Spain would not have prevented the outbreak
of WWII .
In fact, Franco's victory freed up Germany to start the war. After the Condor Legionaires returned home, and
the Heer and Luftwaffe had absorbed the lessons learned in the fighting, they were able to wage a modern
combined arms type of war against Poland and later France. Had Hitler and Mussolini been defeated in Spain,
it might very well had deterred them from attacking Poland, as a revitalized France would be more of an enemy
than it was historically.
4 There was no need for the US to support the Spanish Republic : the Spanish Civil War did not
concern the USA.
The United States embargoed shipments of aircraft, machinery, transport equipment, and medical supplies
to Republican Spain while allowing Texaco to ship U.S. Petroleum products to Franco. Had the Roosevelt
Administration allowed shipments to the Spanish Republic, it might have defeated Franco, and one less Fascist
Government in Europe would be a very good thing for the United States, as well as everyone else in Europe....
5 A victorious Spanish Republic would have remained neutral, as did Franco, and would not have
joined the Wallies .Til June 1941.
The MYTH that Franco was a neutral in the war is just that - a MYTH ! Franco supported the Axis powers up
until it became obvious that they were losing, then , like a good little cowardly fascist, he suddenly turned his
coat and tried to join the Allies. The United States paid him off during the war with oil, which Franco continued
to sell to Germany, and then at the end of the war, we cut him off like a gangrenous wart. Fascist Spain became
a pariah in Europe until the election of Eisenhower, who, over the objection of several other members of NATO,
pushed to have Franco admitted, and restored U.S. aid, mainly in the form of military hardware, to Franco, allowing
him to stay in power until his death.

On the other hand, a Victorious Spanish Republic, grateful for the aid given to them by France in their hour
of peril and desperate need, might very well have been more than happy to send a few divisions to northern
France to fight the despicable Nazis and the hated Fascists..... ( Note: I am using the jargon of 1940 ! )
6 A coalition of Spanish communists with the Wallies was excluded in 1940 .
In 1939, Stalin had informally joined the Axis by signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which allowed for the
partition of Eastern Europe. At that time, the USSR was treated by France, Britain, and the U.S. as an enemy.
The only people who were apologists for Stalin's action were members, either actively or covertly, of the
Comintern and it's fellow travelers. For this reason, anyone who had been associated with the Spanish Republic
was tarred with the brush of Stalinism. And excluded from participation in the war in 1940. Then, in 1941,
Hitler invaded Russia, and things changed. In 1941.
6 The Army of the Spanish Republic was, as the Army of Franco, incapable to fight outside
Spain, and would thus play no role in Fall Gelb/Fall Weiss
After the end of the Spanish Civil War, Spain was left prostrate and destitute, and misguided Francoist economic
policies did nothing to help that situation. Despite this, they were still able to send a division of soldiers to fight
in Russia until nearly the end of the war. Now, if FRANCE had come into the war from the beginning, and soundly
defeated Hitler and Mussoliini in, let us say, six to nine months, then the Civil War would have been over in the
Spring of 1937, and Republican Spain, without it's Communist dominated POUM, might have been able to turn
things around economically, and put together a few divisions that could be sent to fight in France.

Even without them, the fact is, France had to keep an entire army of about three Corps watching the Pyrenees,
for the same reason they had to watch the Southern Border with Italy, in order to prevent a possible attack
by Franco in the Spring of 1940. But, If Spain was still Republican, and diplomatically grateful for the French aid that
had saved them from Franco, then it is likely that some or most of these troops could be been re-deployed
into the front between the end of the Maginot Line and the English Channel. Nine divisions of troops is a LOT
of men....
7 After its victory in 1939, Spain would be the terrain of a new civil war : communists,
anarchists and socialists would fight against each other . They did so already in the HTL.

After the Victory in early 1937, the Spanish people, seeing how close they had come to a political and
social disaster, experienced a new birth of political tolerance. Leaders of the different factions began
working together in the Cortes General to create a new, United Spain, with improved rights for factory
workers, improved educational opportunities divorced from the control of the Catholic Church, a
re-distribution of the land to the farmers and peasants who worked it, and strove to empower ALL
Spaniards with the political rights and freedoms to openly express themselves politically without resorting
to violence.
8 The Spanish Civil War did not discredit the French rightists,thus why should this happen in the ATL ?
In point of fact, France was nearly as divided at the outbreak of the WW2 as Spain was three years earlier !
There was at least one French General who openly stated that he would rather serve Hitler than Leon Blum.
The infighting between the left and the right in France paralyzed that nation until the Germans over ran them.
On the other hand, a Victory in Spain, not for Communism, but rather for a more moderate coalition of
Center-Leftists, might create in France a similar period of collaberation between the Left and Center, allowing
them to squeeze the Right wing out of power in time for a defeat of Hitler.

It is a historical fact that Edouard Deladier made the comment in October 1938, "If I had three or four thousand
aircraft, Munich would never have happened. " If France embarked on a program of rapid aircraft construction, concentrating initially on the Dewoitine D500 series in 1936 and 1937, by the summer of 1938, they might have
had as many as 1000 of these fighters, more than enough to intimidate Hitler into staying out of Czechoslovakia,
and thus PREVENTING WW2. Even if this had not taken place, the subsequent production of the
Morane Saulnier MS406 could have been speeded up, with some 2000 aircraft being available in the spring
of 1940. Finally, the Dewoitine D520 and the Caudron C714 programs could have been streamlined and
accelerated, with perhaps as many as 250 of each aircraft being available when the balloon went up in
May of 1940. This would give the French some 1000 D500s for ground attack, 2000 MS406s as their main fighter,
and some 500 of the new D520s and C 714s coming on line. A luftwaffe facing 3500 single seat fighters would
have a daunting task indeed....
9 What FDR said during the war is for under the bus . He said a lot of things that were for
under the bus, during and before WWII,and he said things that even for the period when he said
such things , were very risky .
What Freewheelin' Franklin was expressing was what we in the United States refer to as, '20 - 20 Hindsight' - The
old saying is, " Everyone has 20-20 Hindsight !" In other words, looking back, allowing Franco to come to power
was a massive mistake.
9 A US intervention in the Spanish Civil War would have created a big uproar at
Capitol Hill,and it would be over for FDR .
I have not, in my post, suggested that Roosevelt intervene in the SCW. My suggestion was, had FRANCE
intervened, it might have saved France four years later in the summer of 1940.
10 A Republican recapture of the Mallorcas was excluded , as the Spanish navy was
no longer operational .
True, but the FRENCH navy WAS OPERATIONAL ! With a half dozen battleships, an equal number of heavy
cruisers, an aircraft carrier, some destroyers, and a few submarines, the French navy might have been able
to prevent the Italians from re-inforcing the Fascist troops in the Mallorcas, and the Republican forces, which
at one point, controlled three of the four islands and part of the fourth, might have been able to finish off
the Fascists, and place the islands under the control of Madrid. If further manpower was needed, then
a few more volunteers could have been loaded onto chartered merchant ships and, convoyed by French
Navy Destroyers and Cruisers, made the quick trip to the Mallorcas, landed the men, and returned
to Spain. The additional manpower, bolstered by a few Renault Ft17s and some of the French 75mm
artillery pieces, could have made quick work of the remaining Fascists on Palma.

Then, with the French putting a couple of fighter squadrons on Palma, and patrolling around them
with a couple of flotillas of destroyers and cruisers to prevent the Italians from doing something stupid,
the Islands could have been held througout the rest of the war. Holding the Mallorcas prevents Mussolini
from flying aircraft to Franco, and the presence of French warships blockading the Spanish coast will
prevent Italian troops being shipped by sea. As a result, the Corpo Truppe Volontarie remains in Italy,
where it belongs......

An early defeat of Mussolini might have blunted his enthusiasm for a Spanish Vacation, and a subsequent
imposition of a French Naval Blockade on the Atlantic Coast of Spain, with the seizure of a few German cargo
ships hauling supplies to Franco might have intimidated Hitler to the point to forcing him to end his attempt
to install Franco into power.


But, we will never know. Because of the cowardice of a few men, and the rapacity of others, ' Man's Hope '
became ' Man's Fate ' .

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
1 Franco was a conservative who had no sympathy for the Falange ( which was the Spanish version of Italian fascism,but not identical to Italian fascism ): Franco eliminated the Falange as a factor of power and the Falange was fusioned with the Carlists ,who labeled the Falange as ''our red allies '' and the Falange became the Falange Tradicionalista .
That Franco was not a fascist is something basic for everyone who wants to learn about the Spanish Civil War : the only thing that tied the Falange, the Carlists, the ''official'' Bourbon royalists, the army ( a lot of generals were hostile to the monarchy ) was their common enemy .Nothing else .
2 Franco did not sell oil to Germany : he had no oil ! That he sold tungsten to Germany did not make him an ally of Germany : the SU, Switzerland, Sweden,..were trading with Hitler, that makes them not allies of Hitler . Hitler sold weapons to the Chinese KMT which used them to kill Japanese , USA sold oil to Japan which used them to kill Chinese ...
3 WWII would also happen if there was no Spanish Civil War . And the WM did not need the lessons of the Spanish Civil War to defeat France .
4 It was impossible , I repeat : impossible for France to build after Munich an additional number of 3500 modern aircraft . Besides : where would the French get the needed crew and technicians ? And Daladier lied : even if he had these 3500 aircraft , he would not declare war on Germany : a French DOW was depending on what Britain would do,and on what CZ would do : Germany would only invade CZ if this refused to hand over the Sudetes .And the historical fact is that France and Britain would have declared war on Germany in September 1938 if Germany had attacked CZ. The 3000 missing aircraft would not have prevented an allied DOW .
5 US intervention : it was NOT so that US were selling oil to Franco while refusing to sell oil to the Republicans . You have first to prove that the Republicans asked Standard Oil and its sisters for oil .And I like to see PROOFS that the WH was forbidding the transport of weapon and supplies to the Republicans : the WH could not do this, as the WH had not the power to forbid to sell supplies to the Republicans and allow the transport of oil to Franco .
Other point : if the WH allowed the transport of supplies to the Republicans ( thus helping them ) this would result in the catholic church openly attacking the WH ,in an election year . And everyone knows the influence the catholic church had on the Democratic voters .The Vatican supported openly Franco : it would have been a political suicide for FDR to support openly the Republic .
What FDR did was doing nothing,which was a wise thing to do in an election year .
FDR did also nothing when Italy invaded Ethiopia and allowed the Seven Sisters to sell oil to Mussolini .He also did nothing when Japan invaded China : it was : business as usual .
When FDR became potus, he expressed several times his admiration for Mussolini and Stalin. Does this make him a fascist ? Or a communist ?
Thus why should Franco be a fascist ?

ljadw
Member
Posts: 10192
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 17:50

Re: How could France have avoided defeat in WWII?

Post by ljadw » 26 Mar 2020 10:15

Some more replies on post 71
POUM : was a Trotzkyst party, not communist ,its Spanish leader (Nin ) was killed by the Cheka in Madrid .
The arrival of Spanish volunteers in France to fight against Germany in May 1940 : they would arrive in a country where the communist party was outlawed,and communists were executed for sabotage . Why would the French accept these Spanish communists, when the SU was selling grain and oil to Germany ,and why should Spain send thousands of soldiers to fight against Germany, knowing the strength of the Communist party in Republican Spain and the influence of the Kremlin on the Spanish Communists .
And,a victory of the Republicans would not allow France to send its forces stationed at the border with Spain,to the border with Germany,as a Republican Spain, dominated by the communists,who were controlled by the Kremlin,which was considered as a German ally,would also be considered as a potential danger .
Last point : a French military intervention in the Spanish Civil War to help the Republicans,was politically out of the question : the French government would fall .The Front Populaire had a majority of 63 in the Chamber ( including the communists who were not represented in the government ),without the Radical Party ( center-left , and becoming more center ) which had 110 seats, Blum had no longer a majority , and the Radicals were opposed to a military intervention to help the communists .To intervene in Spain, France needed to mobilize , and France would not accept to fight for the Spanish Republicans .France had no obligations to Spain and a communist Spain would be as dangerous as a Franquist Spain .
France was sending weapons and soldiers to help Finland against the Soviets and was making plans for air attacks on the Soviet oil installations in the Caucasus . Thus why should France welcome thousands of Spanish communists to fight against Germany ?

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