The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

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The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Futurist » 08 Apr 2019 01:57

What if, after their breakthrough at Sedan, the Germans would have went for Paris instead of going towards the English Channel in May 1940?

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by maltesefalcon » 08 Apr 2019 17:14

A direct assault on Paris could only be swiftly attained by use of the 10 Panzer divisions in existence at the time. The infantry would have to plod along behind. Thus the attacking column would be exposing its northern flank to the Allies along the entire route.
This time however the Allies would not be pinned against the Channel. It would also be fairly easy to figure out the German's plan once the wheels were in motion.
Once there the Wehrmacht could be bogged down in urban fighting, which the Alllies could use to press for time.
In any event there were armies from four Allied nations and there was no guarantee the capture of Paris would induce them to seek terms.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by BDV » 09 Apr 2019 19:59

Also, everyone is fighting the last war, and the 2nd Reich paid dearly for advancing with the right flank in the air.

Unlikely the 3rd would repeat the error.
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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Apr 2019 15:57

During the Channel dash the 'panzer corridor managed to remain intact despite bypassed French soldiers wandering about it, counter attacks on both flanks, and a pair of infantry armies lagging behind, leaving a widening gap between the panzer corps and the infantry. It reached point where it was not just the two flanks of Kliests Panzer Group hanging in the air, but its rear. A wide gap, filled with stragglers, broken tanks, and French PoW marching east.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Futurist » 27 Apr 2019 08:40

Carl, have you ever gamed a German attack on Paris instead of on the English Channel? If so, what were your results?

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Apr 2019 20:15

With the game I was using the results were the same. Later I became aware of some structural flaws in the combat system, but cease playing the game soon after, so I never had a take on if this affected on strategy over another.

Most of my 1940 gaming concerned the Ardennes battle & how much force it would take to fatally slow the PzGroup there.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Sheldrake » 29 Apr 2019 00:27

According to Frieser's semi official history Von Manstein proposed to address the problem of the long exposed southern flank of the sickle cut with an offensive solution - an army thrusting south into the area likely to be used by any counter attacking force. Once the allies had been encircled on the coast the southern attack fall rot bass to become the main effort.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 May 2019 01:34

Frieser claims, Mays claims, the History Channel claims, Guderian claims, Chapman claims, Moiser claims... so many claims for what Manstein planned, many contradictory. Anyone here have a copy of this Manstein plan?

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 May 2019 01:42

Sheldrake wrote:
29 Apr 2019 00:27
According to Frieser's semi official history Von Manstein proposed to address the problem of the long exposed southern flank of the sickle cut with an offensive solution - an army thrusting south into the area likely to be used by any counter attacking force. ...
OTL selective attacks on a few points on the French fortifications east of Longwy served in part for this. There was also a German deception plan with the goal of drawing French reserves to the tri border intersection with Switzerland. This included a Gobbels radio boast that 'In twice twenty-four hours there would be no neutral nations in Western Europe.' On that day Switzerland and Italy were the two remaining neutrals in the west. Finally there were probes, reconnoitering, and local attacks along the flanks by the following infantry corps as they filled in on the flank. While the role of these armies was operational defensive, tactically they were ordered to be aggressive & keep the French wondering about an attack south.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Sheldrake » 05 May 2019 11:31

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
05 May 2019 01:34
Frieser claims, Mays claims, the History Channel claims, Guderian claims, Chapman claims, Moiser claims... so many claims for what Manstein planned, many contradictory. Anyone here have a copy of this Manstein plan?
Mungo Melvin, Manstein's biographer also makes the same point as Frieser.
Manstein extract.jpg
The issue is not one of strategic distraction, but operational advantage denying the French an opportunity to create a solid line on the southern side of the corridor.

General Melvin is one of Britain's leading military doctrine experts and listened to by current serving NATO. He understands this stuff which is "Grandmaster" level military thought.
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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 May 2019 23:02

I'll add that to my reading list. I'd still like to see the actual 'plan'. Mays claims it was written originally for a November 1939 map exercise at Zossen & the requirements were specified by Halder. Manstein at the time was on the staff of Army Group A and it was his job to write the plans as directed by Rundsteadt. Guderian made a claim about his influence that seems unsubstantiated, the list goes on.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Sheldrake » 06 May 2019 10:52

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
05 May 2019 23:02
I'll add that to my reading list. I'd still like to see the actual 'plan'. Mays claims it was written originally for a November 1939 map exercise at Zossen & the requirements were specified by Halder. Manstein at the time was on the staff of Army Group A and it was his job to write the plans as directed by Rundsteadt. Guderian made a claim about his influence that seems unsubstantiated, the list goes on.
I suggest you read Frieser and Melvin and then revisit this post.

[1] As documented in Frieser, the plan evolved as the initial revised Schlieffen Plan was amended.
[2] The German commander and staff relationships were different to those in British or US Armies. The Chief of Staff was expected to take the intellectual lead.
[3] As the extract from Melvin suggests Manstein and von Rundstedt were pressing for their arm group to have the main effort and most of the toys from the very beginning of November.

According to Mungo Melvin the animosity between Manstein and Halder made it harder for v Bauchtish and Halder to accept the sickelcut while Manstein was in post at Army Group A. Manstein's command posting to an Infantry Corps made it possible for Halder to support- and claim the plan. That may not be in the book, but it is what Mungo told me over a beer.

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 May 2019 01:41

Sheldrake wrote:
06 May 2019 10:52
... told me over a beer.
;) Hmm...

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Sheldrake » 07 May 2019 09:55

Time your next visit to the UK with one of our military history conferences, or a talk. I organised dozens of talks as fundraisers including Mungo Melvin on Sevastapol and Singapore. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ ... -singapore

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Re: The Germans go for Paris instead of the English Channel in 1940?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 May 2019 02:45

Unlikely with my circumstances I'll have the opportunity to visit Britain, but thanks for the invite.

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