Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

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Imad
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Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Imad » 04 Feb 2020 20:10

Hello

There seems to be agreement among historians (not conspiracy theorists) that Hitler's "allowing" the B.E.F and its French allies to escape from Dunkirk was a ploy garnered to extorting a peace agreement with the British government is actually a fabrication.

I'm looking for some primary or other sources to back this up. It's hard to convince conspiracy minded people but I would like some help. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 04 Feb 2020 21:25

A close examination of the records of the meetings that led to the halt order should be revealing. At least to those willing to consider. In this specific case Rundsteadts conclusions about the Anglo French counter attack led to him recommending a 'consolidation' of Kleists Panzer Group to OKW.

Note that the record shows Hitler questioned the rapid armored group advance at least four times during the campaign and had previously ordered Kleists group halted. Each time Halder was able to talk him out of making such a order, or in the last case (18 May) to recind it within 48 hours. Contrary to another myth of WWII Hitler was not wholly behind the sicklecut manuver. He waffled on it, with favor at one meeting and nervous about its risk at another.

Sorry I dont have the exact dates and details. Histories of the campaign like Chapman, Horne, Jackson identify those & their effects in their narrative. 'Strange Victory' examines the development of the sicklecut manuver or plan & has some refrences to Hitlers unstable thinking during the six months planning and preparation.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by aghart » 04 Feb 2020 23:55

I will be going to Arras in France in May this year (2020) to commemerate the 80th anniversary of the 1940 counter attack. Certainly many believe that this action caused the Germans enough alarm and concern to make Hitler believe his forces were too far strung out, and thus very vulnerable to a decisive counter attack. The result was the halting of the German advance and the evacuation at Dunkirk. Both the 4th & 7th Royal Tank Regiment's were involved at Arras, I was 1st Royal Tank Regiment who were not involved, so why am I going to Arras 80? Any excuse for a beer is good enough for me!

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Feb 2020 07:26

Montifiores 'Dunkirk'. Is another that touches on the subject of the halt order. Specifically Rundsteads messages to OKW as the battle at Arras ended.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Imad » 05 Feb 2020 17:43

If I can find documentation that Hitler had firm resolve to annihilate the BEF rather than let them escape that might silence the loony conspiracy nuts.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Sheldrake » 06 Feb 2020 00:36

Read Karl Heinz Frieser's analysis here https://www.amazon.com/s?k=karl-heinz+f ... _ss_i_1_18

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 06 Feb 2020 21:32

Imad wrote:
04 Feb 2020 20:10
Hello

There seems to be agreement among historians (not conspiracy theorists) that Hitler's "allowing" the B.E.F and its French allies to escape from Dunkirk was a ploy garnered to extorting a peace agreement with the British government is actually a fabrication.

I'm looking for some primary or other sources to back this up. It's hard to convince conspiracy minded people but I would like some help. Thanks in advance.
Did you to look
viewtopic.php?t=75324
viewtopic.php?t=187839
and one started by lmad in 2006
viewtopic.php?t=109948

What is point to give evidence to conspirisy minded peoples? They are same like revisionist and imaginist minded peoples what are denying evidence to make own story.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Feb 2020 02:43

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
06 Feb 2020 21:32
... What is point to give evidence to conspirisy minded peoples? They are same like revisionist and imaginist minded peoples what are denying evidence to make own story.
One hopes to prevent others from falling into the swamp the conspricists create.
Ружичасти Слон wrote:
06 Feb 2020 21:32
...Did you to look
viewtopic.php?t=75324
viewtopic.php?t=187839
and one started by lmad in 2006
viewtopic.php?t=109948
....
These contain several points covered in the books I referred to earlier.

1. Hitler understood the problems of tanks & light motorized units fighting in urban areas. Related to this was a assumption the British or French formations there well prepared to defend the city & suburbs. Perhaps the example of the 4th Pz Div attempting to 'rush' the city of Warsaw in September 1939 was remembered.

2. Goering assured the air forces could destroy the trapped Allied armies in a few days. This was not a unreasonable assumption given the appearances of Warsaw, Rotterdam, the Sedan defenses, and lesser examples. It appears the German leaders were victims of their own propaganda?

3. The German leaders did not understand the actual capability of the Allied navies to embark men off beaches. They thought of evacuation in terms of transport ships loading at docks. Neither did they understand the nature of the British naval reservists & their many small craft suitable for lightering men off beaches to transports off shore.

There were some other contributing assumptions of the German leaders. In the aggregate all these assumptions caused them to view the Allied soldiers not as a escaping army, but as 400,000 prisoners who are just a few days from laying down their arms. In the previous two weeks the Dutch, Belgian, and French 9th Armies had surrendered. It was expected these corps of the BEF & Fr 1st Army would also surrender, trapped as they were. In that context it made sense to spare the debilitated tank regiments.

In this a look at the condition of the tank units is useful. The reports of lateJune show them to be badly understrength. Rommel remarked in his account of the campaign that his 7th Pz Div arrived at the coast with 25 tanks remaining. It required more than two weeks to restore the tank divisions to half strength through repairs. Sparing the tank formations further fighting in May &starting the recovery task made sense.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by pugsville » 07 Feb 2020 07:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
07 Feb 2020 02:43

3. The German leaders did not understand the actual capability of the Allied navies to embark men off beaches. They thought of evacuation in terms of transport ships loading at docks. Neither did they understand the nature of the British naval reservists & their many small craft suitable for lightering men off beaches to transports off shore.
Wasn't there a degree of pessimism in British leadership about how many could be evucated and how quickly? I thought that the evacuation went much much better than the British thought it would. Just saying IF the British with more experience and expertise thought is would not work you can hardly blame the Germans for not being better informed. (IF, I'm recalling this stuff correctly)

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Feb 2020 03:38

Admiral Ramsey remarked later that when first given orders for evacuating the BEF he was very pessimistic. As planning & preparation proceeded then execution started, the estimates went up substantially in the next few days.

Aside from not knowing the ability of the fleet to undertake a action never planned or rehearsed the ability of the RAF to interfere with bomber attacks was unknown. The idea air strikes would prevent any evacuation was on everyone's mind.
Last edited by Carl Schwamberger on 08 Feb 2020 16:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Feb 2020 11:35

I also wrote about the topic and where to see the heritage http://www.baldwinbattlefieldtours.com/ ... e-germans/

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 08 Feb 2020 14:21

Hello Carl Schwamberger

It seems to me to break in 2 things is good idea.
1 = stop order
2 = Hitler decision

Stop order was by german generals for operations reasons.

Then different generals are fighting each other about good idea or bad idea.

Then Hitler make decision to keep stop order not cancel.

It seems to me Hitler decision was about stop fighting between generals. He not make decision to stop. German army already was stop.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 08 Feb 2020 16:56

Ружичасти Слон wrote:
08 Feb 2020 14:21
...

Stop order was by german generals for operations reasons.

Then different generals are fighting each other about good idea or bad idea.

Then Hitler make decision to keep stop order not cancel.

It seems to me Hitler decision was about stop fighting between generals. He not make decision to stop. German army already was stop.
This addresses the core events among the leaders. Enabling actions among the leaders were:

Rundsteadts change from supporting the continued advance to halt. Previous halt orders from Hitler or OKW had been opposed by Rundstead. Now he was giving a halt order.

Goerings assurance the air forces could continue the complete destruction of the trapped Allied armies. This looked like a clear alternate to continuing to attack with the depleted armored corps. Frequently ignored in these examinations of the 'Panzer Halt' is how few tanks remained with the corps, and how depleted the artillery ammunition was.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by HR715 » 24 Feb 2020 08:28

Hitler did not intend to let the BEF “escape” or to withdraw.The air battle over and around Dunkirk would not have taken place if he had.

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Re: Hitler's decision at Dunkirk

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 Feb 2020 15:42

HR715 wrote:
24 Feb 2020 08:28
Hitler did not intend to let the BEF “escape” or to withdraw.The air battle over and around Dunkirk would not have taken place if he had.
Indeed, the air and ground attacks went forward. Only the tanks were halted, the infantry and artillery continued.

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