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luftluuver
11-24-2007, 05:04 AM
During the Battle of France,

- did the BEF begin to withdraw too early?

- or, did they see that the battle was lost and decide to cut their losses after the French 9th Army collapsed and the BEF was being outflanked?

maps
http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/ww2%20eu...pe%20war%20index.htm (http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/ww2%20europe/ww2%20europe%20war%20index.htm)

DuxCorvan
11-24-2007, 05:10 AM
Not that they had much time to decide it, after the French collapse. 'Blitzkrieg' had that name for something.

EiZ0N
11-24-2007, 05:19 AM
Of course not.

If they had stayed, it'd have been slaughter.

luftluuver
11-24-2007, 06:01 AM
I agree guys, the BEF did not have much choice.

It has been bothering me all week. Earlier in the week while doing some browsing can a cross I guy saying it was the Brits who precipitated the collapse by withdrawing from the area of Brussels leaving the Belgians and French on the BEF's flanks 'out to dry'.

ptg101
11-24-2007, 06:16 AM
Earlier in the week while doing some browsing can a cross I guy saying it was the Brits who precipitated the collapse by withdrawing from the area of Brussels leaving the Belgians and French on the BEF's flanks 'out to dry'.


Was he French or Belgian perchance? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Ratsack
11-24-2007, 06:22 AM
I seem to recall that Alan Brooke's diary deals with this period in some detail. I'll dig it out when I get the chance.

My memory of it was that the BEF had one flank left hanging by the collapse or surrender of one of their allies.

But enough from memory. I'll dig it out of the boxes and see.

Ratsack

VW-IceFire
11-24-2007, 07:34 AM
No they didn't bug out early...and the only reason that they weren't completely inundated with the German army was that Hitler or one of his generals ordered the advance to slow so that they could allow for time to get properly prepared/supply routes setup as they had moved much faster than they had expected.

The did the right thing...had to get out of there as quickly as possible. Also the evacuation of the BEF was a morale victory for Britain despite the overall loss.

K_Freddie
11-24-2007, 08:52 AM
There is evidence that the Reich was at it's weakest at the completion of the Polish campaign.

If there was any bugging out or inaction, it was at this point, it was by Germany's neighbours (whom I shall not name). Russia is not one of them due to the non-aggression agreement.

There is overwhelming evidence that if the 'allies' had attacked Germany at this point WW2 would have been finished in 'two weeks' http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

leitmotiv
11-24-2007, 09:04 AM
Read Strange Victory by Ernest May and The Blitzkrieg Myth by John Mosier before accepting the Anglo-Saxon take on the Battle of France. Other than these two books, everything you will read in English will assert Dunkirk was inevitable. May's analysis, interestingly enough, was written as a project for the CIA.

Von_Rat
11-24-2007, 09:14 AM
read ,,,strange victory,,, by ernest may.

it examines this in some detail. if i remember correctly the brit general wanted to retreat even sooner than he did. and had to be stopped by orders from higher up.

there is a school of thought that if the brits had not retreated so quickly, a real counter attack might have been been put together to cut off the german breakthrough, or at least slow it enough to permit a allied retreat to the south rather than the channel.

i myself knowing, knowing what i do from hindsight, find this idea farfetched. the allied command structure was just to slow to deal with a blitzkrieg breakthrough. once the germans were through retreat was the only real option imo.

Von_Rat
11-24-2007, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
I agree guys, the BEF did not have much choice.

It has been bothering me all week. Earlier in the week while doing some browsing can a cross I guy saying it was the Brits who precipitated the collapse by withdrawing from the area of Brussels leaving the Belgians and French on the BEF's flanks 'out to dry'.


in strangee victory the author makes a convincing point that locally at least the quick british withdrawl caused the belgians to collapse, not the other way around that he accuses some brit historians of claiming.

as i stated above i believe the brits had to retreat, but they might have taken more care to keep their allies better informed of their intentions.

Von_Rat
11-24-2007, 09:35 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Read Strange Victory by Ernest May and The Blitzkrieg Myth by John Mosier before accepting the Anglo-Saxon take on the Battle of France. Other than these two books, everything you will read in English will assert Dunkirk was inevitable. May's analysis, interestingly enough, was written as a project for the CIA.

didnt see your post.

i agree, both these books are a "must read" on the subject.

in lidells harts history of the second world war. the chapter on the battle of france has interesting comments on the slowness of the allied command and its inability to deal with the fast tempo of the blitzkrieg.

leitmotiv
11-24-2007, 09:35 AM
It is a matter of record that the one half-hearted counterattack mounted by the British against the thin line of German armored and motorized divs making for the coast, by two understrength tank regiments and a disorganized smattering of infantry, resulted in a near rout until artillery smashed the unsupported tanks. Had Gort done what French did with the BEF in 1914, and turned about and headed south with the utmost violence, there is no telling what would have happened.

The encirclement is a favorite problem in staff colleges even today, and the Dunkirk solution is not recognized as being inevitable.

Von_Rat
11-24-2007, 09:46 AM
when faced with the choice of possiably saving france or of possiably saving the army.

the british chose to save the army.

using hindsight its easy to critise their decision.

in the end, who knows.

SeaFireLIV
11-24-2007, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
when faced with the choice of possiably saving france or of possiably saving the army.

the british chose to save the army.

using hindsight its easy to critise their decision.

in the end, who knows.

Agreed. In the confusion and fog of combat, it`s not so easy to make all the right choices or decisions. One doesn`t have time to sit there and make perfect analytical choices and Humans under pressure can make mistakes. Not that I`m saying the Brits made or didn`t make a mistake.

I would like to see these students or whoever goes over the battle of France with a fine toothcombe 60 years later be as smart if they were suddenly thrown into a command position at the critical time of the war with all the pressures breathing down the back of their neck.

TheGozr
11-24-2007, 10:36 AM
http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/viewtopic.php?t=423&sid=be...c1c223511cae9e7df329 (http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/viewtopic.php?t=423&sid=bedbbe09756bc1c223511cae9e7df329)

Friendly_flyer
11-24-2007, 12:49 PM
The interesting question is whether the combined Expeditionary force and what was left of the French army would have had time to reorganize and deliver a war stopping counter attack.

If the answer is yes, then the British retreat was a bad move that prolonged the war by 5 years and countless lives lost.

However, if the counter offensive had not been enough to stop the war, Britain did the right thing in pulling out. Britain was short on manpower, particularly in the later part of the war. Had Britain stayed in France, they would have lost "that only resource that can't be replaced" sooner or later.

luftluuver
11-24-2007, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:
in strangee victory the author makes a convincing point that locally at least the quick british withdrawl caused the belgians to collapse, not the other way around that he accuses some brit historians of claiming.

as i stated above i believe the brits had to retreat, but they might have taken more care to keep their allies better informed of their intentions. On this map it shows the French 7th Army pulling completely out of the line. From this map it appears it was the French and not the Brits who screwed the Belgians.

http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/ww2%20eu...%20europe%20map%2011 (http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/ww2%20europe/ww2%20europe%20pages/ww2%20europe%20map%2011)

Von_Rat
11-24-2007, 02:57 PM
the map doesnt tell the whole tale. anyway if you look closer at those other maps you'll see part of the 7th stayed in place on the belgian left.

as i said ernst may goes over the whole controversy in some detail.

MB_Avro_UK
11-24-2007, 04:39 PM
Hi all,

To be an 'Allied' side you all have to speak the same language and have the same comms.

This did not happen in 1940 and also not in 1805 when Wellington had massive problems communicating with his allies against Napoleon.

The Germans in WW2 were on the same wavelength with each other and had the initiative.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

JG52Uther
11-24-2007, 05:45 PM
The British did not 'bug out early' it was simply time for tea.They said they would be back later.

JtD
11-25-2007, 02:04 AM
I think the power of the German offense in the West in general is somewhat overestimated. A decided defense could have quite easily stalled it. Germany at that time hardly had the resources to fight a prolonged war, they were dependent on quick, successful campaigns.

I think that this is a question far too complex, the result could have been the saving of France as well as a total disaster for the BEF - depending on how things were done on both sides.

Mind you, there were plenty of chances for the Brits to end the war in 1940. Germany wanted peace with the UK, the UK decided they wanted to go on.

Pluto8742
11-25-2007, 04:38 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
Mind you, there were plenty of chances for the Brits to end the war in 1940. Germany wanted peace with the UK, the UK decided they wanted to go on.

I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

Cheers,

P8.

Boandlgramer
11-25-2007, 05:55 AM
Just a bit more than 20 Years after the WW1.
Imagine the fear to have an enemy in your back.
And of course not sure to know where stands the foe and where is my allied & own troops.

JtD
11-25-2007, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by Pluto8742:
I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

You join with us and we go for the Soviets together or you leave us alone we leave you alone is not that unacceptable. Hitler didn't want to fight the British, they were way too "Germanic".

Whirlin_merlin
11-25-2007, 07:12 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pluto8742:
I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

You join with us and we go for the Soviets together or you leave us alone we leave you alone is not that unacceptable. Hitler didn't want to fight the British, they were way too "Germanic". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

With respect JtD I have to completly disagree.
It would have been most unacceptable.
It would be more like capitulation than 'joining'. Also the 'leave us alone we leave you alone' wouldn't be believed by anyone.More like 'we ignore you for now, you let us dominate much of your former sphere of influence'.

JtD
11-25-2007, 08:05 AM
The German leaders were trying to conquer the East. They didn't have war with the UK on their mind. They were hoping that the British would help them in their war against the Eastern European people. It may seem odd given the militaristic nature of the Nazis, but I'm not sure that in the German-British relation the Germans were keener on the fighting than the British.

harryklein66
11-25-2007, 09:27 AM
Just a question
Why a country with a population of 48 million (France 40 million ) did only provided a small percentage of the ground forces , 10 to12 divisions, whereas Belgium provided 22 div, Nederland 13 div and France 101 div ?

Are there some books that explain the British's startegic choices during the interwar ?

Von_Rat
11-25-2007, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pluto8742:
I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

You join with us and we go for the Soviets together or you leave us alone we leave you alone is not that unacceptable. Hitler didn't want to fight the British, they were way too "Germanic". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

hitlers credibility was completly shot with britain by 1940.

they werent going to believe any assurances he gave that they would be "left alone". not in the long run at least. as soon as he finished with russia he'd be back making more demands on britain.

leitmotiv
11-25-2007, 09:49 AM
Harry---The Right of the Line by John Terrain is not only a superb history of the RAF in WWII, it also explains the pre-war strategic and production choices made by the governments of the day. In sum, in 1940 the British were planning on going on the offensive in 1942 with the French. Both were in a miserable state of ill-preparedness in 1940. Before the war, the British had bet on the RAF to (1) provide a massive deterrent in Bomber Command, and (2) to provide a complete defense against air attack in Fighter Command. Both of these programs, and the tardy rebuilding of the fleet, left next to nothing for the army in the pre-war spending. The British Army was the Cinderella force until war was declared. If the Germans had not struck, and left the French and the British to attack them in 1942, they would have been formidable. In 1940, the British could not equip a continental army the size they had by 1918. Paul Kennedy in The Rise and the Fall of British Naval Mastery discusses the British resistance to building continental-sized armies until forced by circumstances in WWI and WWII. Furthermore, the RAF Marshals had convinced pre-war governments strategic bombing would eliminate the need for the clash of huge armies, and the British people were pacifistic, and dead set against massed infantry armies after the bloodletting in WWI. Air Marshall Slessor's The Central Blue discusses the political factors, and the RAF salesmanship which led to the British placing a huge bet on four-engine bombers, and strategic bombing starting in the mid-'thirties. In 1939 the Chamberlain government found itself with a nascent bomber force, a nearly complete air home defense system, but practically nothing to contribute to the defense of France in land power. An army had to built on the run as had been the case in 1914.

Finally, the pre-war strategies of deterrence, and appeasement had completely failed. Britain had to suddenly build an army to fight in Europe.

SeaFireLIV
11-25-2007, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pluto8742:
I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

You join with us and we go for the Soviets together or you leave us alone we leave you alone is not that unacceptable. Hitler didn't want to fight the British, they were way too "Germanic". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Don`t make me laugh. That is so naive.

Churchill had a pretty good idea what was on the horizon with Hitler. He was neither a good man or a man to be trusted. His earlier record showed what hitler`s eventual goal was. And that`s even considering that Churchill didn`t like the Russians either, but he went in with the Ruskies rather than adolf.

Hitler respecting or liking a nation never stopped him from wanting to ultimately control it and put his own draconian rules in place which he would`ve done once he`d finished with russia or even before that.

VW-IceFire
11-25-2007, 10:05 AM
Originally posted by harryklein66:
Just a question
Why a country with a population of 48 million (France 40 million ) did only provided a small percentage of the ground forces , 10 to12 divisions, whereas Belgium provided 22 div, Nederland 13 div and France 101 div ?

Are there some books that explain the British's startegic choices during the interwar ?
I don't know the answer specifically but France was embroiled in turmoil even when the invasion came. Some felt that the Maginot line would simply stop the Germans and they could be content with waiting things out. Just looking at the aviation industry they were making allot of great aircraft but they hadn't the time or resources to properly fine tune their designs and bring them out in mass quantities. So not being able to field a large number of troops on the ground is probably a part of the turmoil that was gripping the country at the time.

Wepps
11-25-2007, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by SeaFireLIV:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pluto8742:
I think the sort of terms available might not have been entirely acceptable to the Brits.

You join with us and we go for the Soviets together or you leave us alone we leave you alone is not that unacceptable. Hitler didn't want to fight the British, they were way too "Germanic". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Don`t make me laugh. That is so naive.

Churchill had a pretty good idea what was on the horizon with Hitler. He was neither a good man or a man to be trusted. His earlier record showed what hitler`s eventual goal was. And that`s even considering that Churchill didn`t like the Russians either, but he went in with the Ruskies rather than adolf.

Hitler respecting or liking a nation never stopped him from wanting to ultimately control it and put his own draconian rules in place which he would`ve done once he`d finished with russia or even before that. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perhaps this modern, more enlightened viewpoint of the leaders would be better respected, if those who claim they know the character of the men involved took into account the fact that men like Churchill were simply put...the right men at the right time for the right job.

Pointing out their character flaws is pointless discussion, since we each have them.

They were no more angels than you or I, but perhaps better leaders in their time than we ever will be...

harryklein66
11-25-2007, 10:56 AM
Leitmotiv and IceFire thank's for the explanations, now I have to find those books http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

JtD
11-25-2007, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Von_Rat:

they werent going to believe any assurances he gave that they would be "left alone". not in the long run at least. as soon as he finished with russia he'd be back making more demands on britain.

I guess they underestimated Hitlers obsession with "races". Conquer the East, annihilate it's population and move in "Germanic" blood. That's what the sicko ultimately wanted.

Britain put itself into his way. If you ask me, the right choice. But this had little to do with self defense.

Von_Rat
11-25-2007, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by JtD:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Von_Rat:

they werent going to believe any assurances he gave that they would be "left alone". not in the long run at least. as soon as he finished with russia he'd be back making more demands on britain.

I guess they underestimated Hitlers obsession with "races". Conquer the East, annihilate it's population and move in "Germanic" blood. That's what the sicko ultimately wanted.

Britain put itself into his way. If you ask me, the right choice. But this had little to do with self defense. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


hitler broke every argreement he made with britain. do you think that suddenly britain would trust to his hatred of other races to save britain. what was gonna happen after those other races were conquered? britain wasnt going to just be left alone you know.

for centuries it has been a keystone of british foreign policy to prevent one country from gaining hegmony over europe. this was because if one country became that strong it could invade britain. opposing hitler was just the lastest example of this policy.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 05:48 PM
Forget it JTD, this topic needs decisive understanding of nature of the Third Reich and it's internal development during it's existance.
Absolutely no offense meant to you mates - but some of your things outered towards JTD seem to be made out of a position without extensive knowledge about the matter, especialy concerning Hitler.
I'm in no way saying that you have to read up on it, just that it is by far to complicated and nuanced to be treated here.

Starts of with the commonly aknowledged ( false ) thought that Hitler went out to dominate the world.

Von_Rat
11-25-2007, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
Forget it JTD, this topic needs decisive understanding of nature of the Third Reich and it's internal development during it's existance.
Absolutely no offense meant to you mates - but some of your things outered towards JTD seem to be made out of a position without extensive knowledge about the matter, especialy concerning Hitler.
I'm in no way saying that you have to read up on it, just that it is by far to complicated and nuanced to be treated here.

Starts of with the commonly aknowledged ( false ) thought that Hitler went out to dominate the world.


and i think your understanding of british politics in 1940 shows a lack of knowledge.

my whole point is there's no way in hell the brits were going to trust hitler. i guess they were showing a lack of "extensive knowledge about the matter, especialy concerning Hitler".

im in no way saying that maybe you should do some reading up on brit politics in 1940.

if you honestly believe that hitler would not have made intorable demands on britain after he contolled all of europe, we have nothing to discuss.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 06:16 PM
And I am saying that JTD did not comment on the British but on the german wish to make peace with them.

I am in no way saying that you did not read my post. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Von_Rat
11-25-2007, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
And I am saying that JTD did not comment on the British but on the german wish to make peace with them.

I am in no way saying that you did not read my post. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif



and im in no way saying you didnt read all of his and my posts in this thread so as to understand the context of my reply to his post.

it was about terms acceptable to the brits.

Airmail109
11-25-2007, 06:25 PM
Oh Jesus are the luftwhiners on here trying to bash Britain for first getting involved in the war and then bugging out of France to save as many troops as possible? Britain had an alliance with France and Belgium, one which I doubt any politician at the time would have ever considered withdrawing from. Second once Germany had taken hostile actions against Britain, it would be silly to assume Britain would back down. You forget we have a long, long history of kicking peoples arse's in various wars. More than the rest of Europe combined, you think Britain would step down from such a fight lol?

Launching a counter attack in that mess would have been nigh on impossible. Communications between division was poor, there was no way an organised offensive could have been mounted once the German Army got on a roll.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 06:32 PM
I did read them.
JTD says that Britain had many chances to make peace.
You say why they didn't.
JTD says that they underestimated Hitlers obsession with "races". Conquer the East, annihilate it's population and move in "Germanic" blood. That's what the sicko ultimately wanted.
Britain put itself into his way. If you ask me, the right choice. But this had little to do with self defense.

You continue to explain why Britain continued the war.

I come in and say that to really discuss Britains descision in context with the Third Reichs plans, wich will ( by experience ) not be possibly via forum and needs a "complicated and nuanced" treatment with an objective standard of knowledge of all sides by all participants of the discussion.

You say that I lack knowledge about british politics in the 1940s, on wich I have never commented.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Aimail101:
Oh Jesus are the luftwhiners on here trying to bash Britain for first getting involved in the war and then bugging out of France to save as many troops as possible? Britain had an alliance with France and Belgium, one which I doubt any politician at the time would have ever considered withdrawing from. Second once Germany had taken hostile actions against Britain, it would be silly to assume Britain would back down. You forget we have a long, long history of kicking peoples arse's in various wars. More than the rest of Europe combined, you think Britain would step down from such a fight lol?

Launching a counter attack in that mess would have been nigh on impossible. Communications between division was poor, there was no way an organised offensive could have been mounted once the German Army got on a roll.

1. I'd appreciate if you'd stop placing users you don't know in certain corners in wich they don't belong.

2. Were did anyone bash the British for doing what they did?

Airmail109
11-25-2007, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
I did read them.
JTD says that Britain had many chances to make peace.
You say why they didn't.
JTD says that they underestimated Hitlers obsession with "races". Conquer the East, annihilate it's population and move in "Germanic" blood. That's what the sicko ultimately wanted.
Britain put itself into his way. If you ask me, the right choice. But this had little to do with self defense.

You continue to explain why Britain continued the war.

I come in and say that to really discuss Britains descision in context with the Third Reichs plans, wich will ( by experience ) not be possibly via forum and needs a "complicated and nuanced" treatment with an objective standard of knowledge of all sides by all participants of the discussion.

You say that I lack knowledge about british politics in the 1940s, on wich I have never commented.

Britain did not put Germany in its way. Germany knew of the various treaties and alliances.

Germany put itself in Britain's way.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 06:44 PM
1. The line your are refering to is not by me but from JTD.

2. Britain did put itself into Hitlers way for dominance.

Airmail109
11-25-2007, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
1. The line your are refering to is not by me but from JTD.

2. Britain did put itself into Hitlers way for dominance.

Don't tell me this is going to boil down to a who started it thread.

Hitler...okay...get this...invaded Poland....and get this also we had a protection treaty with the poles and we also had an alliance with the French. Basically this meant "If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us".

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 06:50 PM
No, thats not what I'm talking about.
We are talking about the point after the Battle of France when Britain had the opporturnity to make peace with the Third Reich.
At the time people were shocked and stunned by the "winning streak" - Britain could have backed out.
The point is that they activly decided to continue their efford against the Nazis.
That's why JTD said that Britain put itself in the way and I agree with him.

Airmail109
11-25-2007, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
No, thats not what I'm talking about.
We are talking about the point after the Battle of France when Britain had the opporturnity to make peace with the Third Reich.
At the time people were shocked and stunned by the "winning streak" - Britain could have backed out.
The point is that they activly decided to continue their efford against the Nazis.
That's why JTD said that Britain put itself in the way and I agree with him.

I cant understand how you think thats "putting oneself in Germanies way". Germany had the chance to pull out of France and give the whole thing up didn't they, but no they put themselves in Britain's way and tried to boss them around.

You don't get the concept of honor do you? Britain could not have backed out, public opinion would not have supported it. In Britain the only calls for peace came from our own Nazi party, we stayed in to defend the interests of our allies and our own.

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 07:02 PM
No words...
I will not continue with this debate as you allready have revealed to be uninterested in an exchange of opinion because you insult me personaly.

As a hint for your own conceptional education I will tell you that "putting something or someone in the way" has absolutely no moral magniloquence.

jensenpark
11-25-2007, 07:25 PM
couple of good books to read on the subject:

Lightning War by Ronald Powaski which covers very well a lot of the issues. Problems with Belgium - and their cooperation (or lack thereof) with the French and Brits, state of the French army (lots of divisions but a lot of uninterested conscripts, useless generals).
Great read.

On the whole "Hitler was really planning this or planning that with Britain and the USSR" bit, read Albert Speer Memoirs - Inside the 3rd Reich. A true 'insiders' view of what happened. Though not focusing on the issue - it does cover timing, Hitler's comments on the situation, etc.

Kauzio
11-25-2007, 07:29 PM
I'm confused.

HuninMunin, what exactly is your point?

If I'm right (and I'm probably wrong!), your point is that people don't necessarily know what Hitler was going to do at the time, and thus people can't argue either way.

Which I disagree with; I agree with anyone who said that making peace with Hitler is ultimately the wrong idea. I also disagree with the idea that Britain should have counter-attacked rather than retreated, to shorten the war.

The way I see it, yes, it's possible the war could have been considerably shortened, however it's also possible that the war could have been lost, and if you ask me, I'd rather not take that risk.

In other words, if you said to me
"Britain would have had a 90% chance of shortening the war considerably, and 10% chance of failing, resulting in Hitler's success", and I had the power to somehow change the past, I'd obviously tell you to get lost.

Sorry HuninMunin if I misinterpreted your posts. (I did say I got confused)

HuninMunin
11-25-2007, 07:37 PM
You did misinterpret my post and the reason is that I wholeheartly agree with you.
Britain was absolutely right to continue fighting.

What I am saying ( and that you misinterpretet my post proves it to me ) is that such a discussion is prone to fail if it is held in this forum because of the nature of this medium.

When JTD says that Britain has put itself in Hitler's way he says that Britain decided to continue to fight for the right cause.
And the fact that it did so whilst facing the chance to make peace with an ( at the time ) sheer unbeatable advisary makes it all the more noteworthy.
This is what I say.

And by the way:
Welcome to the forums.
It's one of the most interesting on the web.

Dagnabit
11-25-2007, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by Aimail101:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by HuninMunin:
1. The line your are refering to is not by me but from JTD.

2. Britain did put itself into Hitlers way for dominance.

Don't tell me this is going to boil down to a who started it thread.

Hitler...okay...get this...invaded Poland....and get this also we had a protection treaty with the poles and we also had an alliance with the French. Basically this meant "If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us". </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thank you Aimail, I was going to eventually mention the agreement Britain had with Poland to go to war if Poland was invaded. I dont believe any other country wanted war at that time except the axis powers. The Brits were honoring their obligations. I dont see how anyone can believe Hitler ever planned to stop at the channel, once he had conquered the mainland of Europe. Why would he consider leaving a known threat to the reich, once he had all of Europes resources, and manpower wrapped up. It is just my opinion, but I dont think Hitlers Axis friends would have fared very well later down the line, if he had won the rest of Europe, and Britain too.
Dag

JtD
11-25-2007, 11:33 PM
Originally posted by Aimail101:

...Germany had the chance to pull out of France and give the whole thing up didn't they, ...

No, they did not have. The war would not have ended had the Germans retreated from France.

Von_Rat
11-26-2007, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by HuninMunin:
I did read them.
JTD says that Britain had many chances to make peace.
You say why they didn't.
JTD says that they underestimated Hitlers obsession with "races". Conquer the East, annihilate it's population and move in "Germanic" blood. That's what the sicko ultimately wanted.
Britain put itself into his way. If you ask me, the right choice. But this had little to do with self defense.

You continue to explain why Britain continued the war.

I come in and say that to really discuss Britains descision in context with the Third Reichs plans, wich will ( by experience ) not be possibly via forum and needs a "complicated and nuanced" treatment with an objective standard of knowledge of all sides by all participants of the discussion.

You say that I lack knowledge about british politics in the 1940s, on wich I have never commented.

britain did not have any chance to make peace under acceptable conditions. unless you count surrendering europe to hitler acceptable. the brits of 1940 could not find this politically acceptable, thats the whole point.

you have to take in account brit 1940 politics. it was their politics which would decide what was acceptable, not hitlers. my coment about lack of knowledge was in response to your comment about those who disagree with jtd lack knowledge of nazis politics, on which i didnt comment on either. in other words i was being somewhat factcious.

btw it had everything to do with self defence. because nearly everyone in britain felt that to allow hitler a free hand in europe would be the same as commiting national suicide.

luftluuver
11-26-2007, 12:59 AM
Can we get back to the Battle of France?

Whirlin_merlin
11-26-2007, 01:05 AM
Let's keep this civil chaps.

BTW I am aware that Hitler wasn't a Bond Villian trying to conquer the world http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Could Britian have avoided war with Germany, well yes but I'm glad they didn't. To use a crude and blunt analogy, just because the rabbid dog is in your neighbours garden not yours, doesn't mean tou dont kill it.

I would like to point out that I am aware Britian had many selfish reasons for entering this war, but in the end the German actions were more provokation than could be ignored and it has always amazed me that Hitler could have thought otherwise.

Whirlin_merlin
11-26-2007, 01:20 AM
A good book on this is.

The Battle of France 1940 by Col. A.Goutard.

The book holds no punches, he dismisses many of the myths/excuses that the allied leadership used to justify the collapse of the lines.
He basically puts the allied defeat down to a failure of military doctrine. The allies were still thinking in WWI terms.

carts
11-26-2007, 03:10 AM
Intresting thread,Personally im pretty sure we were right to "Bug out"when put in context of the time,The attackers will always have the advantage(this was pre ultra and broken codes)as other posters have pointed out,The germans had common equipment,no language barrier and a common purpose(the same reason was posted by General Clark during the fighting in Italy to explain the germans ability to fight well despite numbers)
What would have happened had we listened to French demands for more aircraft,and allowed the R.A.F. to be decimated over France,and still had to retreat.
The Battle of Britain may well have been lost.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 03:49 AM
Originally posted by Whirlin_merlin:
A good book on this is.

The Battle of France 1940 by Col. A.Goutard.

The book holds no punches, he dismisses many of the myths/excuses that the allied leadership used to justify the collapse of the lines.
He basically puts the allied defeat down to a failure of military doctrine. The allies were still thinking in WWI terms.

Will definitely give it a look, Whirlin. May in STRANGE VICTORY blames the lack of a modern communications net in the French Army for the situation being allowed to spin out of control. To use modern military speak, the German mechanized units were moving too fast for the French decision-making process to handle---they were moving too fast for Hitler's HQ to be able to handle! Schnell Heinz!

Gort was no Iron Duke, not even a French of Mons 1914. Except for the remarkable campaign in N Africa in the winter of 1940-41, and special ops, WWII was not a shining moment in the history of the British Army. There will always be questions about the wisdom of retreating to Dunkirk, which was not a Cabinet-level decision, but was made in the field by Gort.

DuxCorvan
11-26-2007, 03:55 AM
The Brits always 'bug' out early. Ask British women. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 04:00 AM
That's why they love Yanks!

ploughman
11-26-2007, 04:03 AM
Always late coming? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

foxyboy1964
11-26-2007, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
Always late coming? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Rickustyit
11-26-2007, 04:21 AM
I think that in the overall "Grand strategy" the British did the right thing.
They were aware that that campaign was going to be lost anyway; it's much better to preserve the forces and unleash them later (when they are going to be well prepared) than going to fight the enemy and knowing that probably you are going to be slaughtered.

They did the right think in the grand strategy.

Had the British and French Armed forces attacked the Germans while they were attacking the Polish ... well that's another story. Maybe they could have destroyed the western german front (I remember the Germans didn't have many divisions at that time guarding the allies).

Maybe the blame is to be handed to the French and NOT the British. The French were the ones that didn't want to "provoke" the Germans , while the British RAF wanted to initially start an air offensive against the Germans.

Now... if Mussolini hadn't been involved with that idiot of Hitler, and had the "Treaty of Stresa" come to a final mutual assistance between France-Italy-UK, it would have been great.

Instead, we (Italy) went on to fight against the French and the British, countries and people we have NEVER hated, our ex-allies and brother in arms in the First World War, in the Crimea campaign etc...
Our soldiers didn't really feel that war...

But that's another story...

Cheers.
Riccardo

http://jshobbies.net/catalog/images/HA09444.jpg

whiteladder
11-26-2007, 04:51 AM
I think one the hardest things to understand about British Military involvement in WW2 was how much it was effected by the First World War.

That war had brought the country to its knees, it still hadn`t recovered by the 1939.

Most of the British military leaders had been through the meat grinders of the Somme, Ypres etc and I don`t think they had the stomach to subject another generation of young British men to that.

The British had became loss adverse through experience of WW1 and nessecity, they just didn`t have the manpower to mobilise the forces necessary and run an economy.

This had a profound effect on British tactics as the war progressed. During the Normandy campaign the Americans complained bitterly about the pedestrian approach the British were taking around Caen. The simple truth is the British were spent, most battalions that incured heavy losses during Normandy were never rebuilt, there just wasn`t the manpower available to do it.

I just don`t think the British were prepared to sacrifice the number of men that would have been necessary to hold the line in France in 1940.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 05:07 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
Always late coming? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

AGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

Friendly_flyer
11-26-2007, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by whiteladder:
I just don`t think the British were prepared to sacrifice the number of men that would have been necessary to hold the line in France in 1940.

I think that is the crux of the matter. It may have seen cold hearted or even cowardly to their allies, but I think the Britsih dod what they had to do.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 05:17 AM
Originally posted by whiteladder:
I think one the hardest things to understand about British Military involvement in WW2 was how much it was effected by the First World War.

That war had brought the country to its knees, it still hadn`t recovered by the 1939.

Most of the British military leaders had been through the meat grinders of the Somme, Ypres etc and I don`t think they had the stomach to subject another generation of young British men to that.

The British had became loss adverse through experience of WW1 and nessecity, they just didn`t have the manpower to mobilise the forces necessary and run an economy.

This had a profound effect on British tactics as the war progressed. During the Normandy campaign the Americans complained bitterly about the pedestrian approach the British were taking around Caen. The simple truth is the British were spent, most battalions that incured heavy losses during Normandy were never rebuilt, there just wasn`t the manpower available to do it.

I just don`t think the British were prepared to sacrifice the number of men that would have been necessary to hold the line in France in 1940.


You hit the nail on the head, WL. John Terraine goes into this quite a bit in his history of the RAF in WWII, THE RIGHT OF THE LINE. He presents evidence that the Army became "addicted" to air support because of an unwillingness and profound disinclination by the WWI-era leaders to accept casualties (Terraine, of course, is best known for his massive contribution to WWI British Army history). The irony was that the way Montgomery elected to fight in Normandy in 1944 inflicted crushing casualties on the infantry battalions. The disinclination to get into a Donnybrook probably had much to do with Gort heading up the road to Dunkerque. An American general who had not experienced four years of attrition in WWI probably would have relished turning about and falling on the German pincer.

Wepps
11-26-2007, 05:27 AM
That's true. WWI had wiped out basically an entire generation of French and British. The French particularly had had enough, the will to fight was weak there for that reason.

Can't blame them. They had hoped it wouldn't happen again and the harsh terms on Germany were meant to keep the country down permanently. It was a bad idea that had obvious repercussions.

Us Americans didn't understand British doctrines during the liberation of France, and you had a lot of conflict between the offensive minded Americans, and British trying very hard to finish the Germans with a minimum of casualties. In the cases where the British tried to conform to American thinking they took very heavy losses which did not go over well.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 05:43 AM
Speaking of France 40


http://ch-hoeltge.de/foto/char_b1bis_1.jpg

whiteladder
11-26-2007, 05:47 AM
An American general who had not experienced four years of attrition probably would have relished turning about and falling on the German pincer.

I think this is a really important point. I can`t remmber the name of the book, but it was about British attitudes to war pre and prior WW1.

Leading upto ww1 the British (like many)had a rather romantic idea of warfare, the ideal of the heroic death(General Gordon at Khartoum had been raised to almost sainthood in contempory British culture) was part of the British Military ethos.

The grim reality of Flander`s changed this to a large extent. The young men who survived the gas and machine guns came back home broken, and in the space of a generation attitudes to war had changed.

The division/brigade commanders in the BEF had been the captains and lieutenants leading men in pointless and futile charges across no-manland in 1917. It is impossible to think this didn`t effect the way they conducted operations in 1940.

As Leitmotiv said not having this as part of your experience would have made you react in a different way.

whiteladder
11-26-2007, 05:48 AM
Did you make that Leit?

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by whiteladder:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">An American general who had not experienced four years of attrition probably would have relished turning about and falling on the German pincer.

I think this is a really important point. I can`t remmber the name of the book, but it was about British attitudes to war pre and prior WW1.

Leading upto ww1 the British (like many)had a rather romantic idea of warfare, the ideal of the heroic death(General Gordon at Khartoum had been raised to almost sainthood in contempory British culture) was part of the British Military ethos.

The grim reality of Flander`s changed this to a large extent. The young men who survived the gas and machine guns came back home broken, and in the space of a generation attitudes to war had changed.

The division/brigade commanders in the BEF had been the captains and lieutenants leading men in pointless and futile charges across no-manland in 1917. It is impossible to think this didn`t effect the way they conducted operations in 1940.

As Leitmotiv said not having this as part of your experience would have made you react in a different way. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I bet you are thinking of Paul Fussell's magnificent THE GREAT WAR AND THE MODERN MEMORY---must reading for anybody who wants to understand what happened to the British mind due to WWI.

I wish that Char B was mine---I have two incomplete in my closet. Tried to find one of the classic phots of a British Cruiser Mk IV, the A13, in France but couldn't find a good one on the internet. It's my favorite WWII British tank---it kicked arse righteously in the fight in Calais.

whiteladder
11-26-2007, 07:12 AM
The Char B is nice, someone has done a nice job on it. You should crack on with yours.

Its hard to find any original photos of earlier British tanks in the field, other than publicity photos or field manuals.

Ironically some of the best photos of brit tanks are German ones!

A13 serving with the 18 PZ div in Russia
http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/3751/a1318ir9.jpg

Xiolablu3
11-26-2007, 07:55 AM
Britian and france get a lot of stick from the Poles is for dropping leaflets instead of attacking the Germans right away.

If we look to WW1 we can see the reasons for this.

The French and British are trying their hardest to avoid a repeat of the WW1 bloodbath.

CHaimberlain in particluar ruined his whole career and reputation in trying to avoid the second world war.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 11:29 AM
I nearly posted that A13 image WL---I didn't realize it was with 18 Pz in Russia---gad the Germans were packrats! An A13 with Panzergruppe Guderian---now I've seen everything!

MEGILE
11-26-2007, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ploughman:
Always late coming? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

AGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You walked right into that one I'm afraid, L.

leitmotiv
11-26-2007, 11:43 AM
O the huge manatee!

Airmail109
11-26-2007, 02:55 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
That's why they love Yanks!

Conversely American women love British guys, over here women dont tend to dig American guys anymore. Think they're to loud http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif

Oh yes and Spanish women love Blonde haired British, Nordic and German guys....so heres a big http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/mockface.gif

Xiolablu3
11-26-2007, 03:06 PM
I LOVE long dark haired, dark skinned Yank girls.

http://okipatrick.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/vlcsnap-3400196.png



My favourite English girl, Joanna Taylor (I http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif this girl...) :-

http://img360.imageshack.us/img360/4903/joannataylor29za.jpg

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

waffen-79
11-26-2007, 03:13 PM
^^^^^^^^^
|||||||||

Oh my, a Brunette version of hayden panetierre http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif

Xiolablu3
11-26-2007, 03:21 PM
Sexy Joanna, SHe WILL be mine.

http://www.maximmag.co.uk/images/library_UK_0/joanna_taylor_20_12.jpg

Oh Yes, she WILL be mine. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif


I usually prefer brunnets, but Joannas just so gorgeous, who cares about the hair colour... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

gunner82
11-26-2007, 04:06 PM
Well if we can get back to the subject and forget the top totty, the French campaign was re fought at the Staff College Camberley in 1979 with very similar results the basis being that the sudden surrender of the Belgium's left the right flank in disarray.
Coupled with this the inability of the French general staff to communicate to army and divisional formations made any form of counter attack imposable. In addition French and British infantry could not communicate directly with either armour or close air support and the French insistence that tanks should be deployed in penny packets rather than in armoured formation meant the battle for France was lost almost as soon as the Germans captured Sedan. Off course we have learned the lesion of coms is king have we not? Unless of course you are in the British army with BOWMAN ( better off with a map and a Nokia)

HerrGraf
11-26-2007, 09:36 PM
But the real question Xiolablu3 is "Can she cook?". Looks fade with age, but cooking usually just gets better with age.

I just love when folks double guess history.

Xiolablu3
11-27-2007, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by gunner82:
Well if we can get back to the subject and forget the top totty


Top totty is always worth a look, in ANY thread http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


The real problem was that decision always beats indecision. The Allies did NOT want to fight and create another WW1, the French in particular did not want to provoke another bloodbath. They were the main forces, and the others were reliant on their plan.

The Germans made a bold plan, and hit suddenly where the line was weakest, therefore panic set in when strong German forces were discovered well into the lines, causing panic, rumours and doubt amongst troops.


The whole collapse was a combination of :-

1: Allied hope to stop another bloodbath like that of WW1

2: German Aggressiveness

3: Luck/Bad luck