Decolonization without the Fall of France

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Futurist
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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Futurist » 18 Jun 2019 22:26

Sid Guttridge wrote:
17 Jun 2019 10:31
Hi Futurist,

The Muslim League adopted the Lahore Resolution calling for a separate Muslim State on 23 March 1940 - before the fall of France.

So the writing was already on the wall.

Cheers,

Sid.
AFAIK, though, the Muslim League's Lahore Resolution was vague as to whether Pakistan should be a state within India or its own country. It was only later that the Muslim League began explicitly demanding their own country.

Also, AFAIK, the Muslim League might not have had a charismatic leader to take Jinnah's place after his death in 1948. With WWII ending earlier, might Britain be less exhausted and less bankrupt and thus be more delayed in its withdrawal from India?

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Jun 2019 09:48

Hi Futurist,

In my opinion, had there been no WWII, the UK might have been more likely to fight to retain India.

However, the UK's army was always small and its military presence in India was extremely light numerically. Since the Indian Mutiny, the Raj had depended on the implied threat of violence as a last resort much more than its actual use.

I would suggest that the fate of the French in Indo-China indicates how any struggle by the British in India would probably have ended. Metropolitan France had a population almost as big as that of its empire and historically a large army. The metropolitan UK had a population about one tenth of its empire and a historically small army.

WWII bankrupted the UK and made it concede accelerated independence to the Congress Party in order to keep India on-side during the war. So neither the means, nor the legitimacy existed to hold up Indian independence for long after WWII.

And with India gone, the principal of independence had been conceded and almost all the rest of the colonial empire followed within 20 years.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by maltesefalcon » 21 Jun 2019 17:20

Sid Guttridge wrote:
19 Jun 2019 09:48
Hi Futurist,

WWII bankrupted the UK and made it concede accelerated independence to the Congress Party in order to keep India on-side during the war. So neither the means, nor the legitimacy existed to hold up Indian independence for long after WWII.

Cheers,

Sid.
Not disagreeing with your analysis, but you could probably make a convincing argument that WWI did as much or more damage to the UK's economy and world power status.

The post-war depression hurt Britain's ability to modernize and augment their armed forces until it was nearly too late. Had Britain been stronger, Hitler may not have risked war with them in 1939.

As for decolonization, IRL during the first war, the writing was already on the wall towards the inevitable independence of Ireland, for example. Canada and South Africa were already independant (dominions) as well, even prior to WW1.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 22 Jun 2019 11:56

Hi MalteseFalcon,

WWI, with victory and the addition of League of Nation mandated territories to British rule, increased Britain's apparent strength. However, beneath the imperial facade the UK was a relatively declining industrial power compared with the USA, or Germany, or the USSR.

However, it was WWII that revealed the hollowness and tenuousness of the so-called British Empire.

There was nothing inevitable about imminent Irish independence. There were hundreds of times as many Catholic Irishmen serving loyally in the British Army as occupied the Dublin post office in favour of Irish nationalism. What accelerated independence was the chronic mishandling of the Easter Uprising by the British authorities.

All the Dominions had a pathway to independence (even Newfoundland) and more could be added (like India actually and Southern Rhodesia almost). Growing autonomy was explicit in "Dominion" status. This was a result of US independence, where the 13 colonies had had no acknowledged route to greater autonomy. The result was the war which led to the independence of most of them as the USA in 1784.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by maltesefalcon » 22 Jun 2019 15:06

The point I was trying (and obviously failed) to make was that the Empire was not intact at the beginning of WW2. Not even close. It was unravelling even prior to WW1 evidenced by the number of nations released from colonial status prior to 1914.

As to Ireland, home rule was passed by the UK parliament in 1914, but put on hold due to WW1. Agreed the British botched the handling of the IRA afterward. But I think the fact they re-offered some form of home rule for conscription in spring 1918, indicates they did indeed consider the outcome to be inevitable, and wanted to get at least something in return. (Marrying the offer to conscription both painted this as cynical and doomed to failure.)

Britain's status as a world power in the 15 years following Versailles was only relative. In this I mean they emerged on the winning side at least so treaties went in their favour. Military rivals such as Russia, Germany, Austria Hungary and the Ottomans had been devastated by war and in some cases had their military restricted by treaty. So in the European area at least they were the one-eyed king in the land of blind men.

But they could no longer throw their weight around everywhere. They now lived in the shadow of the US, later Russia and Germany would build up their strength as well.

Very sad that they had to go begging 1939-41 for arms, goods and ships from the New World to rescue Europe from tyranny.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 25 Jun 2019 14:14

Hi Maltesefalcon,

The UK had been in relative decline compared with other major powers since about 1865, when their rates of industrial expansion began to overtake it.

I would suggest that the current nations "released from colonial status prior to 1914" were actually promoted to Dominion status. These were essentially the colonies repopulated by immigrants of largely British stock, who were acknowledge to be equals of metropolitan Britons. A lesser level of loosening of the imperial apron strings was "responsible government", as enjoyed by white-dominated Southern Rhodesia from 1923. If I remember correctly, the racial barrier to "responsible government" was broken when Jamaica got similar status in 1944.

Movement was not just one way. Newfoundland went bankrupt in the early 1930s and had to be ruled for over a decade by a London-appointed Commission of Government, with 50/50 UK/Newfoundland ministerial membership.

I highly recommend the following book: The British Empire as a Superpower, 1919-1939 by Anthony Clayton.

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Cantankerous » 02 Nov 2019 02:23

Even if France hadn't fallen, Mussolini would have invaded Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco because he wanted to recreate the Roman Empire, agreeing with the Roman emperors that the Mediterranean basin was the domain of the Italian nations.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Futurist » 06 Nov 2019 01:50

Cantankerous wrote:
02 Nov 2019 02:23
Even if France hadn't fallen, Mussolini would have invaded Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco because he wanted to recreate the Roman Empire, agreeing with the Roman emperors that the Mediterranean basin was the domain of the Italian nations.
If so, he'd have been a real idiot because Britain and France could have certainly kicked his country's butt--at least after they were done dealing with Germany.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 06 Nov 2019 11:13

Hi Futurist,

I think the UK and France alone would have had a hard time defeating Germany. Their metropolitan populations combined (about 85 million) were only marginally larger than Germany's (80 million).

Furthermore, the British were almost totally unprepared for continental-scale warfare and would take about two years to develop a big enough army to contribute usefully to a serious combined offensive with the French. Until then, the French would have to hold the line largely on their own.

Throw Italy into the mix and France's problems would have been greatly compounded, because the French had to send all their major colonial formations to France to help make up their metropolitan army's numbers. By contrast, Italy had a large colonial army in Libya that might well be a threat to Tunisia, where a majority of the European colonists were already of Italian, rather than French, descent.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Loïc » 11 Nov 2019 16:12

Mussolini would have invaded French North Africa...dream was not forbidden, no chance without the help of Germany and Spain
that he wished o wanted is one thing, that he can an other matter, just to see the fate of the Italian Empire and what the British did with only 30 000 men to have serious doubts when you have to face an invicted French Army of 400 000 men on other side
thanks to the Armistice Southern Italy and Libya have narrowly escaped a massive air reprisals bombing ordered by the Armée de l'Air largely withdrawn there with 48 of its 74 Groups

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Nov 2019 10:39

Hi Loic,

I thought France sent all its formed North African and Colonial Divisions to France to reinforce the metropolitan army against Germany, leaving few troops in North Africa?

Didn't French build the fortifications of the Mareth Line in Tunisia to cover their backs if most of the North African troops were sent to France?

The Mareth Line's existence tends to indicate that France was worried by the Italian threat from Libya.

The British troops in Egypt, although few in number, contained high proportions of metropolitan British and Indian regular soldiers in 1940 and were largely mechanized. They therefore had certain advantages over the Italians that the French in Tunisia probably did not have after most of the regular North African troops were sent to France.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Loïc » 12 Nov 2019 16:28

hello
in may-june 1940 only both 84e and 85e DIA renforced the 3 Divisions already in metropolitan France more the metropolitan 344e RI being back home and the 67th Tank Battalion, so 5 Divisions of the 16 DIA/DM/DLC formed in North Africa throughout 1939-1940 took part in the campaign

there were still ~400 000 men including 167 000 Europeans, and 9 Divisions not counting Mareth line troops like a tenth
3rd Moroccan Division (+ units of the former disbanded 2nd Moroccan) in Morocco
3 understrenght 181e to 183e protection Divisions in Algeria for each Dept, howewer there were others undivisionned battalions in Reserve
Tunisian Fronts concentrated 5 Divisions with 6e DLC 81e 83e 88e 180e DIA and Mareth line troops and others elements

Regards
Loïc

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Sid Guttridge » 13 Nov 2019 11:07

Hi Loic,

Many thanks. You have highlighted a "forgotten front".

Was there any military activity on the Tunisia/Libya border in June 1940?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Loïc » 13 Nov 2019 15:11

hello
only at the level of few border skirmishes along Tunisia/Tripolitania, and Algerian East Sahara/Fezzan, (also around Somalia/Djibouti) envolving north african auxiliaries and goumiers, but here they were Tunisian Goumiers and Moroccan Fezzas, the famous Moroccan Goumiers, also sent in Tunisia, were not concerned

e.g. the 10th june ~230 Lybian goumiers and meharists took the post of Tin-Alkoum (15 men) located in the southeastern Algerian Sahara

after a planned Air raid late june, a ground offensive was planned for the 4th july against Tripolitania, but I don't have details as the History ended the 25th june...

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Re: Decolonization without the Fall of France

Post by Anthonycumia1776 » 14 Nov 2019 00:34

Futurist wrote:
25 Nov 2018 00:01
If France doesn't fall in 1940, is decolonization still going to occur the same way that it occurred in real life?

For the record, I am thinking of two separate scenarios here:

1. France doesn't fall in 1940 and anti-Nazi German generals overthrow Hitler and the Nazis within a year. The two sides are then able to reach a compromise peace.

2. The scenario in #1, but with the sides being unable to reach a compromise peace and thus World War II becomes a long, drawn-out battle which ultimately results in Germany capitulating to Britain and France.

How would decolonization have proceeded in both of these scenarios?
No, as the post world war worldview of "anyone who does not agree with the egalitarianism world view is the next Hitler" was pushed by the internationalist/Anti Western groups for the reason of harming the west and its people, within them having power and using the long/bloody war as an excuse and a mentally/emotionally shattered people unable/willing to fight back it is unlikely that France would give away such wealth when they would not have to.

NO ONE gives up anything of worth by choice save cowards and fools.

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