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 Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Wed 23 Aug 2017, 21:44

Triceratops,
La Bataille du Rhône

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataille_de_la_vall%C3%A9e_du_Rh%C3%B4ne_(1940)
Dès le 15 juin, le général Olry commandant l'Armée des Alpes a dû prélever des forces, notamment de l'artillerie pour préparer un second front, devant la menace allemande. En effet, le 15, les Allemands sont à Dijon. Il crée le groupement du général Cartier, avec des unités de bric et de broc, une division coloniale qui servait de réserve d'armée, des marins, quelques chars, de l'infanterie qui se sont repliées depuis le Nord-Est. Ce groupement est équipé avec du matériel de récupération. Les 30 000 hommes qui le composent vont être chargés de tenir sur trois lignes de défense successives : le Rhône, l'Isère, la Durance.
Devant l'avance allemande sur les deux rives de la Saône (le pont de Neuville-sur-Saône étant notamment resté intact), les soldats français prennent position dans le village de Chasselay et établissent des défenses. Les trois routes conduisant au bourg sont pourvues de chicanes[4].
Les 19-20 juin, les soldats du 25e régiment de tirailleurs sénégalais (RTS) commandés par le colonel Bouriand reçoivent l'ordre de « résister sans esprit de recul » et de défendre la route nationale 6 au nord de Lyon. Les Allemands de la Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland et de la 3e Panzerdivision SS Totenkopf, déferlent sur leurs positions, à 100 contre 1. Les tirailleurs sénégalais, à court de munitions, se rendent, non loin de Chasselay. Ils sont regroupés dans des champs près de la ville et sont massacrés de sang froid par les mitrailleuses de deux chars allemands[6]. Le 21 juin, quarante-huit Sénégalais furent inhumés par les habitants de Chasselay, une quinzaine de blessés furent recueillis et pansés[4].
Le 22 juin 1940, l'armistice est signé entre le gouvernement Philippe Pétain et les Allemands, mettant fin aux hostilités.
L'Armée des Alpes continue en effet le combat avant qu'un armistice ne soit également signé avec l'Italie de Mussolini dans la villa Incisa à l'Olgiata près de Rome, prenant effet le 25 à 0 heure 35[8].

From 15 June on, general Orly, commander of the army of the Alpes, had to take unities, namely artillery to ptrepare a second front, in defence of the Gemans. In fact the Germans were at Dijon on 15 June. He created the group of general Cartier with unities from odds and ends, a colonial division, which served as reserve, navy people, some tanks and infantery retreated from the Nord-Est. They had only recupeterated material. These 30,000 men will have to hold three successive fronts: the Rhône, the isère and the Durance. The Germans advanced on the two banks of the river Saone, they were gone over the Saone at Neuvill-sur-Saone. The French took position in the village of Chasselay and prepared the defence.
Note from me: The Saone comes from the Nord and flow in the Rhône at Lyon. Thus Chassselay is before the Rhône in the immediate neighbourhood of the Saone.

Le 22 juin 1940, l'armistice est signé entre le gouvernement Philippe Pétain et les Allemands, mettant fin aux hostilités.
L'Armée des Alpes continue en effet le combat avant qu'un armistice ne soit également signé avec l'Italie de Mussolini dans la villa Incisa à l'Olgiata près de Rome, prenant effet le 25 à 0 heure 35[8].
The 19-20 June, the soldiers of the 25th regiment of Senegalese sharpshooters, commanded by colonel Bouriand received order "to resist without thinking at retreat", defending the road to Lyon , North of it. The Germans of the Tank Division Grossdeutschland and the 3rd Tank Division SS Totenkopf, deployed to their positions, at 100 to 1. The Senegalese at least without munition surrendered not that far from Chasselay. They were grouped near the city and cold-blooded shot dead with the machine guns of two tanks. On 21 June the inhabitants of Chasselay burried 48 Senegaleses and some 15 wounded ones were cared for.
Note that all this passed after Pétain has asked on 17 June to lay down the weapons, the same on 17 June for the heroic defence of the Cadets of Saumur.



On 22 June 1940, the armistice was signed between the Pétain government and the Germans making an end to the hostilities.
The army of the Alpes fought on till the armistice was signed with the Mussolini Italy in the villa Incisa at Olgata near Rome, coming in effect at 25 June at 0h35.

PS: What I experienced during the translation from French to English, that nearly all the words were the same Wink ...

That was the end of Fall Rot, Triceratops.
I make a separate message about a part of the French government, in fact the whole government, which was ordered to leave for Northern Africa as it occasioned with the Masssilia.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Wed 30 Aug 2017, 19:51

Dirk,

while I see that you are overhere, can I offer you the controversy about the Masssilia story.
I have yet another controversy that I discussed on the forum Passion Histoire:

Gamelin knowing by his secret service that the Germans would push through the Ardennes. The French secret service had a German in the high ranks, who passed all topsecrets to the French "deuxième bureu, le quai d'Orsay...

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 01 Sep 2017, 12:51

Operation Catapult

Now that Italy had joined the War, there was concern in Britain that the French Fleet would be handed over to the Axis powers. This could have fatally tipped the naval balance against Britain leading to an Axis victory. The decision was therefore taken to takeover French warships in British ports and eliminate the French ships in other ports by having them either join the British or sail to the US.
When the French in North Africa refused, the Royal Navy was authorised to open fire.

The French destroyer Mogador on fire after being hit at Mers-el-Kebir, 3 July 1940.



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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 01 Sep 2017, 22:50

Triceratops,

too late today (a quarter to midnight)
Yes Mers-el-Kebir, I have a lot to say about it
See you tomorrow...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 02 Sep 2017, 22:23

Triceratops,

perhaps the most important result of the attack on Mers el Kebir, was that it showed to the world and there especially the US and Germany that the British would fight on. It was general believed by many including French and Germans (including Hitler) that the British would give up and go for an armistice as Pétain's France.

In the following American discussion about Mers el kebir it is also mentioned, but that the Battle of Britain, some months later, was also a proof of that kind and as such that Mers el Kebir was perhaps not necessary as there were many negative consequences on it, as the French soldiers remaining in Britain parted for France instead of to fight on with the British, the resistance of the French at operation Torch in 1942 in Northern Africa. But as the article rightly points to, Churchill couldn't foresee, what would happen in the near future, (even in his own country, my comments...wouldn't those for an armistice not influence the public opinion?). And as the article also says: Roosevelt was indeed impressed by the will showed in Mers el Kebir to fight on and thus be more flexible for weapon deliveries...

In my opinion as I read the about is the following is a honest site and to my experience from let's say 15 years research beginning 2002 with the BBC messageboard, the article elaborates it all as I before have read and researched in depth.
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/when-winston-churchill-bombed-france-the-battle-mers-el-17337?page=2
And the about us:
http://nationalinterest.org/about-the-national-interest


Kind regards from Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sun 03 Sep 2017, 08:29

Mers-el-Kebir must have been the the first and last time since the Napoleonic Wars, that British and French fleets engaged each other - albeit that the French didn't really get out of port and so they barely managed to get a shot off. 

It was, and still is, seen in France as a terrible betrayal. In the European theatre the French navy was second only to the Royal Navy: the French Mediterranean fleet alone outclassed and out-numbered Hitler's entire Kriegsmarine. But in the battle for France the French Navy had barely been deployed and remained proudly undiminished. In similar circumstances, following say a successful German invasion of Britain, I can't see the Royal Navy simply capitulating either. That said in the panic following the collapse of France I don't see what the British could do differently. The British naval commander, Somerville, by all accounts was desperate to get the situation resolved without the use of force and tried various approaches to his French counterpart before reluctantly giving the order to open fire. Bear in mind also from the point of view of individual French sailors (as well as all those French soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk), to not obey the orders of the Vichy French government would effectively be acts of mutiny or treason against the French state, and as Paul says above, no-one at the time could tell how things would work out in the long run.

After last year's Armistice Day I was talking to a couple of Ancien Combattants (French equivalent of the British Legion). Neither was old enough to remember WW2 but they had served in the Algerian war, and one of them was originally from Oran. He, like many of the Pied-Noirs, after Algerian Independence had settled here, the closest bit of France to North Africa. While not a witness to the attack he did say that it was bitterly remembered when he was younger as an example of British betrayal (Perfidious Albion), although he himself was more sanguine and admitted that it was an unfortunate consequence of the rapid collapse of France and of British concerns for the continuation of the war.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sun 03 Sep 2017, 21:48

Meles meles,

"After last year's Armistice Day I was talking to a couple of Ancien Combattants (French equivalent of the British Legion). Neither was old enough to remember WW2 but they had served in the Algerian war, and one of them was originally from Oran. He, like many of the Pied-Noirs, after Algerian Independence had settled here, the closest bit of France to North Africa. While not a witness to the attack he did say that it was bitterly remembered when he was younger as an example of British betrayal (Perfidious Albion), although he himself was more sanguine and admitted that it was an unfortunate consequence of the rapid collapse of France and of British concerns for the continuation of the war."

The "Pieds-Noirs" that I spoke were very embittered, when they left to France. Some said my source had burned down their house before leaving. I remember of the OAS bombings and assassinations in France, while Belgium had many links with France and French news was hot news in that time. The same with Germany and the Bader-Meinhof Gruppe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_arm%C3%A9e_secr%C3%A8te
And even the Algerian war itself was a dirty war too. I remember also the stories of a Belgian, with double nationality, French/Belgian. For some reason he had to serve in the French army and had to fight in Algeria. It was not a Westerner war, many times when a French soldier was catched they opened his belly with a knife...the rest you can imagine...the guy wasn't traumatised by it, but became he said very deadened (dulled?). He gave for instance the example, if somenone would take his cat, that he had overthere, he could have killed that one with his rifle...

To come back to Mers el Kebir, yes nearly 80 years after the facts many French are still divided over the Pétain armistice. I was on a French forum "Tribune Histoire", where there was a Pétainist (in the meantime he is sadly passed away), who said that Hitler said that it was his greatest mistake to have negociated with Pétain. He had to fight on directly to North Africa and from there to Egypt. I think that is wishful thinking as there were too much intangibles.
But the reality was that most leaders in France as the general population thought that Britain would not fight on and negociate. As from what I read also our Leopold III.
From the other side there are a lot, who, after the facts, think, that if there had been a Pétain, who was overruled, and the complete government fled to AFN (North-Africa) (as in reality a part of the government with the Massilia as I said) and fought on from there and from their colonies, with the new French and American planes in Algeria and with the French fleet intact, the war would have had quite another turn.
I have worked a bit with that what if, even on the beeb, but some said that the planes couldn't operate by lack of ground personel, some said even that the spare parts would be in English mesurements not compatible to the French planes and all that...
There is a what if on line since some years (I used it for the beeb in English translation, from an American perhaps or an English speaking Belgian. There were or still are Belgian contributors on the forum...) but now the translation is gone
http://1940lafrancecontinue.org/

I read, at the time, the first book that then wasn't yet a book.
My critique is that many what ifs, as the one of a Belgian contributor about Leopold III. Leopold wouldn't have fought on...one had to find a more credible scenario, which was more in line with the facts.
But nevertheless it is interesting as it works with existing equipment, planes and tanks and all and as such are an unequalled source about the real war as most of the contributors are experts in their own matters, as for instance tanks...
As for the what if, too many intangibles as I said, and one has to choose one direction each time out of the many...and each direction gives a counteraction also out of the many...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Wed 06 Sep 2017, 13:38

Osprey are publishing a book about Case Red at the end of November:

Case Red

The Armistice between France & Germany. Signed in the same railway carriage that the 1918 Armistice had been signed in:

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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sun 10 Sep 2017, 21:08

Triceratops,

thank you very much for this Forczyk book about "case red". It seems to be an interesting book. As I received  a 25 Euro check (to spent in a local bookshop) from the nurses of the kidney dialysis team during my "feast", I will "van mijn hart een steen maken" (I don't find a translation on internet nor in my dictionary. "Make from my heart a stone" (set my feelings apart)) and spent some money to buy a book instead from seeking it on the internet or looking in the local library Wink

And reading the book I will seek with all what I learned during the years, as for instance the Massilia story, if there are no anomalies with that in the book...to discuss it further overhere.

Kind regards, from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 09:34

@Triceratops wrote:

The Armistice between France & Germany. Signed in the same railway carriage that the 1918 Armistice had been signed in ...

.... then, immediately after the Armistice documents had been signed, the railway carriage was blown up and all the memorials to the 1918 Armistice destroyed, to finally remove all physical traces of Germany's WW1 defeat.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 11:09

The Glade of the Armistice as it is today.



in the museum in the background, is an identical replica of the original railway carriage:
wiki:
"After the war, the Compiègne site was restored by German POW labor. On Armistice Day 1950 a replacement carriage was re-dedicated: an identical Compagnie des Wagon-Lits carriage, No. 2439, built in 1913 in the same batch as the original and present in 1918, was renumbered No. 2419D."


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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 12:07

Often overlooked is Operation Ariel, the evacuation of those British forces which were in France after Dunkirk.

One reason is that during this evacuation, the liner RMS Lancastria was bombed and sunk off St Nazaire with a loss of life believed to exceed the combined totals of the Titanic and Lusitania.
Not surprisingly, the Government preferred to keep news of this disaster quiet.


wiki:
A fresh air raid began before 16:00. Lancastria was bombed at 15:48 by Junkers Ju 88 aircraft from II. Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 30. Three direct hits caused the ship to list first to starboard then to port while a fourth bomb fell down the ship's smokestack detonating inside the engine room and releasing 1,200 tons of crude oil into the Loire estuary. 15 minutes after being hit, Lancastria began to capsize and some of those who were still on board managed to scramble over the ship's railing to sit on the Lancastria's underside. Lancastria sank within twenty minutes. When German pilots began strafing at survivors in the water, they ignited the more than 1,200 tons of fuel oil which had leaked into the sea which was quickly transformed into a flaming inferno. Many drowned, were choked by the oil, or were shot by strafing German aircraft. Survivors were taken aboard other evacuation vessels, the trawler Cambridgeshire rescuing 900. There were 2,477 survivors, of whom about 100 were still alive in 2011. Many families of the dead knew only that they died with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF); the death toll accounted for roughly a third of the total losses of the BEF in France. She sank around 5 nmi (9.3 km) south of Chémoulin Point in the Charpentier roads, around 9 nmi (17 km) from St. Nazaire. The Lancastria Association names 1,738 people known to have been killed. In 2005, Fenby wrote that estimates of the death toll vary from fewer than 3,000 to 5,800 people although it is also estimated that as many as 6,500 people perished, the largest loss of life in British maritime history.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 22:17

Triceratops,

how regrettable the sinking of the Lancastria may be, the loss of the Gustloff was even greater, and there were also refugees in it, who had nothing to do with the Nazis
http://time.com/4198914/wilhelm-gustloff-salt-to-the-sea/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Wilhelm_Gustloff


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 23:17

Dirk, I read your message on the tumbleweed suite, but as it is related to the Case Yellow I will publish it here.

Dirk, I give first my information from the French forum, it gives also in English a text from a New Caledonian on Historum about the story I told you and yes the second bureau informed Gamelin two months before 10 May of the push through the Ardennes, indeed via the information of Hans-Thilo Schmidt that Colonel Paul Paillole of Second Bureau received.

I give first the whole text from Passion Histoire, because I see that certain links don't work overhere. Tomorrow I will make a coherent narration of it in English:


j'ai contribué sur un forum américain Historum à un what if. Et là bas un contributeur de New Caledonia, je suppose qu'il parle français, a dit que la persée par les Ardennes n'était pas une surprise pour l'état major français.
http://historum.com/speculative-history ... y-all.html
http://www.france5.fr/emission/notre-es ... 2016-22h25
Et mon fil ici:
http://passion-histoire.net/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=39405
Mon message du 14 Septembre:
"Merci pour les réponses...
Entretemps le sujet du fil que j'ai mentioné est dévié du message original: quoi si les alliés ont poussé pour le Ruhr dès le 3 Septembre, vers des questions de stratégie française en 1939/1940.
Je ne sais pas si ce n'est pas hors sujet ici, mais faute de trouver d'autrs fil sur le sujet je demande quand même des vérifications pour le sujet suivant...
J'ai lu "La chute de la Troisième République" de Shirer en anglais. et je n'ai pas retrouvé ce que un contributeur dit dans la séquence suivante concernant Daladier, Gamelin et Reynaud
http://historum.com/speculative-history ... all-5.html
The following can be considered as incredible.
The day he was informed by an officer of french intelligence service (2d bureau, lieutnant colonel Paillole ) that most part of panzerdivisionnen were located face to the ardennes other main french generals (Georges, Billote) accepted his plan in a not enthusiastic way.
French intelligence was informed that there were, at least,6 panzer in this sector and guessed that german planned to attack there, then allies still had an excellent occasion of victory.
It was the 21 march, almost 2 months before the beginning of german's attack.

Gamelin behaviour was very ambiguous, of course he refused to take into account information about the german's threat in the ardennes.
Certainly because he wanted to protect his carrer, but any historian Wonder if he would has been a little bit foolish.

Gamelin was more and more Under pressure.
At the same moment governement changed and Paul Reynaud became "prime minister" (president du conseil).
Paul Reynaud was an ennemy of Gamelin, he detested him and contested his competence for long years.
Paul Reynaud wanted to fire gamelin and was a tenant of armoured division.
No doubt that if gamelin changed the plan he promoted since many weeks ("manœuvre Dyle-Breda"), he would has lost definitely all credibilities, and this would has increased possibility to fire him.

If the trust in gamelin was contested for many years, he was supported in a very obstinate manner by Edouard Daladier one of the main french politician of 1930's and other politicians (president of the republic Lebrun).

Paul Reynaud took the power in march the 21 with only 1 voice of majority, therefore he couldn't fire Daladier and Gamelin who still had many supporters.
He wanted to do it since march and tried again to do it in the beginning of april in a very controversial government meeting cause the "failure of Norway" (Gamelin didn't guess anything about german's intention) but Daladier always defended him: "the worst day of my life" Gamelin.
Eventually nothing changed up to the 10 may despite the will of the "president of the Council" and the rise of the doubt about the gamelin's ability to command and german's attack trough the Ardennes (general Corap leader of IXth army, general Huntziger leader of the IId army, both located face the Ardennes).

Gamelin was fired the 19 may 1940, his last "act" as commander was a memorable meal in the morning of this day where he attempted to persuade others that general Georges had the complete responsability of the military disaster and that it was time he intervened in order "to see what he could do"
This was the end of the carrer of the very bureaucrat general Gamelin.
After WWII he wrote a very long book ("servir") were he defended his performance as commander in 1940.

Le 21 Mars un Lieutenant Colonel Paillole (deuxième bureau de la service secrète française) informe que le grand part des divisions blindées allemandes étaient localisées face aux Ardennes. Autres génerals, comme Billote dans le contexte de celà n'acceptaient guerre le plan Dyle-Breda.
La service secrète française estimait qu'on avait 6 divisions allemandes face aux Ardennes et pour ça pensait que l'attaque plus important va se développer par là.
Gamelin refusait de prendre au sérieux l'attaque par les Ardennes, mais Gamelin venait de plus en plus sous pression.
Paul Reynaud devenait président du conseil 21 Mars.
Paul Reynaud était un ennemi de Gamelin et le détestait et contestait sa compétence pendant des longues années.
Reyaud voulait déposer Gamelin et il était un favori de la division blindée.
Parce que Gamelin avait des supporters assez importants comme Daladier et d'autres comme le président de la république Lebrun, Reynaud n'avait pas le poids pour lui déposer.
Et peut-être pas de doute si Gamelin avait changé le plan Dyle-Breda, qu'il a promû pendant plusieures semaines il aurait perdu définitivement toute sa crédibilité et la chance pour lui déposer aurait augmenté.
Et rien n'avait changé jusque le 10 Mai. Et ultérieurement il est alors déposé le 19 Mai.

Ma question: Peut on vérifier les affirmations d'en haut.
La service secrète française qui savait que la grande attaque va se développer dans les Ardennes?
L'hésitation de Gamelin pour protéger sa carrière de ne pas dévier du plan Dyle-Breda et de nier les indices de l'attaque par les Ardennes?"

Et mon message du 15 Septembre:
"Pierma a écrit :

Je suis étonné par cette information qui aurait été donnée par Paillole. Pierre Nord qui travaillait sous ses ordres écrit : "Avouons que l'on a un peu tardé à déterminer que les Allemands mettaient le paquet sur Sedan. On n'en fut certain que le 11 mai au soir. Il faut dire que le problème était affreusement compliqué, les Allemands étant pratiquement à pied d'oeuvre et pouvant inscrire leur mouvement principal en très peu de temps. Il suffira, disait Guderian, "d'ouvrir les grilles des casernes."


Mon cher Pierma, vous savez que je trouve tout sur l'internet...
J'ai commencé ma propre enquête et ce type de la Nouvelle Caledonie semble être correct...
http://www.aassdn.org/acrFOpai01.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amISXBRlzl8
Alors je m'ai demandé si on avait un lien dans le haut commandement allemand et on avait déja reçu tant d'informations valables, pourquoi Paul Paillole ne pût être informé de la pousée allemande par les ardennes et voilà que j'ai trouvé ça (de la chaîne Cinq?)
Notre espion chez Hitler.
http://telescoop.tv/browse/1418624/10/n ... itler.html
"Hans-Thilo Schmidt continue d'informer les services français. Le 10 mars 1940 il révèle qu'à une conférence que s'est déroulée en février,Hitler, sur la proposition de von manstein, a décidé d'envahir la France à travers les Ardennes et de couper en deux notre front à Sedan"

Cordialement, Paul.

Qu'est-ce que les interferrants du fil pensent de tout ça?
J'ai vu que le lien http://telescoop... ne marche plus. j'ai pourtant vu le documentaire. Il est commenté sur "Le Monde en Guerre" Mars 2016 date de l'émission sur la Cinq...
https://www.amazon.fr/Notre-espion-chez ... 2847365680
https://rha.revues.org/7416
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Thilo_Schmidt

Cordialement, Paul.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Tue 12 Sep 2017, 21:35

Dirk,

I came first on the question on Historum by someone from New Caledonia, he also contributed on Passion Histoire, perhaps also with the same affirmation. I seems to be a touchy subject in France, although it is mentioned in the French wiki about Hans Thilo Schmidt.

Message from Phil on Sept.13th 2016 message 46:
Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville
the major tank clash in 1940 the French did ok.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gembloux_(1940)

If the French had kept there original plan, and not added the Dutch component throwing in effect all their strategic reserve forward to Holland, (their best most mobile units) they would have had a reserve to strike behind the leading panzer spearheads conceivably cutting them off. Of course the problems with French command and control /intelligence/German air power would still be working against the success of this counter offensive but it would have been a shot.
Agreed.
History of the "manœuvre Dyle-breda" is interesting.
French generals didn't want it.
Gamelin Under pressure of french and british government, struggled to impose it.
This was very curious, because the strategy of "Dyle-Breda" was an offensive one intended with a defensive army in a total contradiction with doctrine supported up to this moment.
Allies governments wanted to prevent a german control of Belgian coasts and to manage to engage the main battle the most far as possible of french border.
Plus they considered that they could have the benefit of the sustain of the belgian army and even the dutch one.
This can seem logical, but how to do this without real Relationship with belgian government which was completely opposed to an allies preventive move?

The following can be considered as incredible.
The day he was informed by an officer of french intelligence service (2d bureau, lieutnant colonel Paillole ) that most part of panzerdivisionnen were located face to the ardennes other main french generals (Georges, Billote) accepted his plan in a not enthusiastic way.
French intelligence was informed that there were, at least,6 panzer in this sector and guessed that german planned to attack there, then allies still had an excellent occasion of victory.
It was the 21 march, almost 2 months before the beginning of german's attack.

Gamelin behaviour was very ambiguous, of course he refused to take into account information about the german's threat in the ardennes.
Certainly because he wanted to protect his carrer, but any historian Wonder if he would has been a little bit foolish.

Gamelin was more and more Under pressure.
At the same moment governement changed and Paul Reynaud became "prime minister" (president du conseil).
Paul Reynaud was an ennemy of Gamelin, he detested him and contested his competence for long years.
Paul Reynaud wanted to fire gamelin and was a tenant of armoured division.
No doubt that if gamelin changed the plan he promoted since many weeks ("manœuvre Dyle-Breda"), he would has lost definitely all credibilities, and this would has increased possibility to fire him.

If the trust in gamelin was contested for many years, he was supported in a very obstinate manner by Edouard Daladier one of the main french politician of 1930's and other politicians (president of the republic Lebrun).

Paul Reynaud took the power in march the 21 with only 1 voice of majority, therefore he couldn't fire Daladier and Gamelin who still had many supporters.
He wanted to do it since march and tried again to do it in the beginning of april in a very controversial government meeting cause the "failure of Norway" (Gamelin didn't guess anything about german's intention) but Daladier always defended him: "the worst day of my life" Gamelin.
Eventually nothing changed up to the 10 may despite the will of the "president of the Council" and the rise of the doubt about the gamelin's ability to command and german's attack trough the Ardennes (general Corap leader of IXth army, general Huntziger leader of the IId army, both located face the Ardennes).

Gamelin was fired the 19 may 1940, his last "act" as commander was a memorable meal in the morning of this day where he attempted to persuade others that general Georges had the complete responsability of the military disaster and that it was time he intervened in order "to see what he could do"
This was the end of the carrer of the very bureaucrat general Gamelin.
After WWII he wrote a very long book ("servir") were he defended his performance as commander in 1940

When I mentioned it on Passion Histoire there was a strange silence around the subject finally a moderator replied to me that it was strange that the French knew it nearly two months before 10 May. Perhaps there had been a controversy with Phil already on the forum and I have the impression that he is banned from the forum.


Dirk I will continue with an addendum because of the length of the message.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Tue 12 Sep 2017, 22:16

Addendum to the previous message.


The former quote from Phil comes from this thread:
http://historum.com/speculative-history/121197-if-phoney-war-wasn-t-phoney-all-5.html


About the question I have found this, also mentioned in my French message:
http://telescoop.tv/browse/1418624/10/notre-espion-chez-hitler.html"Hans-Thilo Schmidt continue d'informer les services français. Le 10 mars 1940 il révèle qu'à une conférence que s'est déroulée en février,Hitler, sur la proposition de von manstein, a décidé d'envahir la France à travers les Ardennes et de couper en deux notre front à Sedan"
10 March 1940 he points to a conference that happened in February, Hitler on von Manstein's proposition has decided to invade France through the Ardennes and to split our front in Sedan in two.
https://www.amazon.com/Spy-Hitlers-Inner-Circle-Intelligence/dp/1612003710
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Thilo_Schmidt
Mais ces informations sont jugées trop incroyables par les responsables français (Daladier, Pétain, Cot, Gamelin, Campinchi...). Pourtant, Schmidt annonce l'Anschluss 15 jours avant sa réalisation, l'invasion des Sudètes dès août 1938 (soit 6 semaines avant les Accords de Munich), puis les plans de l'invasion de la Tchécoslovaquie. Le 10 mars 1940, il révèle que Hitler attaquera par les Ardennes en direction de Sedan lors de la bataille de France. Encore une fois, ces informations seront ignorées[2].
But his informations are judged too unbelievable by the French responsable ones. Nevertheless Schmidt announces the Anschluss 15 days before the happening, the invasion of the Sudetes August 1938, then the plans for the invasion of Czecho-Slovakia. 10 March 1940 he announces that Hitler will attack through the Ardennes in the direction of Sedan. Still once these informations will be ignored.

My comments: And Hans' brother had a high position in the tank command...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Wed 13 Sep 2017, 22:34

Dirk,

from the other side a certain Ernest R. May sets the question in perspective
http://books.stonebooks.com/reviews/001022.shtml
From the link with comments and excerpts from the book:
The experience of France and Britain in the spring of 1940 is a classic case of intelligence surprise. In retrospect, one can see scores of pieces of information available to both governments that indicated what Germany was planning. The French and British governments simply failed to pay attention.... This is not to say that the French and British governments should have anticipated exactly what was to happen or when; there is nothing extraordinary in having failed to perceive that the Germans had shifted the main line of attack from the Low Countries to the Ardennes or turned its axis east to west instead of north to south. But the signals that this might be the case were abundant and distinct; it is simply astonishing that Allied leaders continued to discount such a contingency and made relatively few preparations for it.
   May devotes a very strong chapter to understanding the Allied intelligence failure, a failure all the more inexplicable given their sources in Germany as well as the earliest successes of what would become known as Ultra. However, the author makes it clear that the post-war memoirs by various French intelligence officers—who purportedly knew exact details of the German plan, and the date, and warned Gamelin but were ignored—are totally off the mark. In fact, as May demonstrates, the Allies possessed remarkably clear clues about German intentions, but the intelligence officers failed to find anything conclusive in the them, and in any event the Allied commanders had already made up their minds about how the battle would unfold.

Quote :
   Intelligence on German deployments and intelligence targets did not establish unquestionably that the Germans intended to attack across Luxembourg, through the Ardennes, and thence west by north through Sedan and Charleville-Mezieres. But it seems almost incredible that General Gamelin and others in the Allied high command were not concerned that the Ardennes area—essentially the border of Belgian Luxembourg, running from Longwy at the northern terminus of the Maginot Line to Sedan, on the Meuse—had the thinnest coverage of any portion of the front.
   This is an important and complicated topic, and May gives an entire chapter to describing the reasons for the Allied intelligence failure, reasons he attributes to "individuals, organizations, doctrines, and culture." He follows this with one final chapter of preliminaries through the months of March, April, and May again as the Allies debate the wisdom of ventures in Scandinavia, the Balkans, and the Caucasus, and endeavor to wangle an invitation from Belgium for their troops to occupy defensive positions there before the Germans invade. Along the way, the French pass up two more opportunities to alter their plans and dispositions in ways which would have put them in much more favorable positions for dealing with the schwerpunkt of Fall Gelb.

"However, the author makes it clear that the post-war memoirs by various French intelligence officers—who purportedly knew exact details of the German plan, and the date, and warned Gamelin but were ignored—are totally off the mark. In fact, as May demonstrates, the Allies possessed remarkably clear clues about German intentions, but the intelligence officers failed to find anything conclusive in the them, and in any event the Allied commanders had already made up their minds about how the battle would unfold."

What does the commentator means with "-are totally off the mark"?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_May_(historian)
https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Victory-Hitlers-Conquest-France/dp/0809088541
http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/09/17/reviews/000917.17staffot.html?mcubz=1


Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Thu 14 Sep 2017, 22:29

Sorry Dirk too late to expand further.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Thu 21 Sep 2017, 20:38

Dirk, where are you?

Nordmann, how lucky I am that you "resurrected" again...
BTW: It is probably my fault, but can you bring the first part again in the normal frame...even annihilating the culprit...

Kind regards to both from a happy Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 29 Sep 2017, 20:39

Gamelin's big strategy was to basically hold on till 1941 when France would be up to speed. He also wanted to avoid fighting on French soil like in WW1. Hence the Dyle Plan, swing into Belgium ,dig in and hold. The only offensive that Gamelin authorised was the Saar offensive when French troops went a few miles into Germany, changed a few sign posts and flags and put some barbed wire up.

Then pulled out.

The French army was not an insignificant force.They had better tanks than Germany, they had the Maginot line and they were reasonable well equipped . What let them down was communications and Gamelin deserves a rollicking over this too.

He chose the castle at Vincennes as his headquarters. Not unusual in itself. What was highly suspect was that he had no radio communications nor even a telephone line! They would send out riders 1/2 hourly with instructions! In effect he was keeping himself and his army in the dark. He would have to rely on information to be delivered to him, assessed and then pass on instructions by courier.

Seriously,in the 20th century!

So when he receives reports that something is occurring in the Ardennes he is already behind. This is bad enough. What compounds this is that he either doesn't believe the reports or thinks that this is a diversionary tactic and that the main event will be where he has placed the best troops he has. On the River Dyle. 

And he continues this right up to the moment that the Wehrmacht break through at Sedan.Then the penny drops. Then you see the Allied airforces trying to take out the crossings on the Meuse with massive losses. Panic ensues, communications that were bad in the first place are now in complete chaos. Any hope of a counter attack was a pipe dream as coordination was now virtually impossible.

Gamelin gets the boot and the aged Weygand who replaces him understandably states at his first CinC adress to the French and British cabinets "You will understand if I do not promise you victory".


Can't really blame him.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 29 Sep 2017, 22:03

We have to agree that the invasion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands by Germany happened in 1940 but let us also agree that now in 2017 and discussing this event after having read numerous books , seen TV documentaries etc we usually fall into the trap of HINDSIGHT.


And therefore it is very easy for us to fault and point out mistakes made all those years ago.



Dirk Marinus
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 29 Sep 2017, 22:06

@VF wrote:

He chose the castle at Vincennes as his headquarters. Not unusual in itself. What was highly suspect was that he had no radio communications nor even a telephone line! They would send out riders 1/2 hourly with instructions! In effect he was keeping himself and his army in the dark. He would have to rely on information to be delivered to him, assessed and then pass on instructions by courier.

French officers at the time described Vincennes as "a submarine without a periscope".While the Germans were the main enemy, Gamelin also feared French politicians meddling in operational matters: perhaps this suspicion of his own government partly explains his strange "head in the sand" attitude.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 10:50

@Dirk Marinus wrote:
We have to agree that the invasion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands by Germany happened in 1940 but let us also agree that now in 2017 and discussing this event after having read numerous books , seen TV documentaries etc we usually fall into the trap of HINDSIGHT.


And therefore it is very easy for us to fault and point out mistakes made all those years ago.



Dirk Marinus


Absolutely. We have advantage of the retro scope!

However what isn't in doubt is that Gamelin did receive a multitude of reports that there was a lot of "traffic" in the Ardennes.Miles of it.

Also if you look at his troop dispositions there was a definite weak point at the end of the Maginot line to where his best troops were stationed.It was covered by some heavy artillery but was otherwise pretty sparse.

Personally I don't think that his idea to hold at the River Dyle was particularly unsound, but I do think that the dispositions lead to the fulcrum of his frontline being hollow. And they were hollow at exactly the same point as what his air recce was telling him that the Germans were mobilising some kind of force. 

And ironically the previous time that France "fell" it was at Sedan under Napoleon III. A little bit of history repeating itself.


Last edited by VF on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 16:00; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 14:28

The battles of Sedan of 1940 and 1870 are indeed intriguing on a compare and contrast basis.

In 1940 the German army attacked the fortress from the north and the east (i.e. via Belgium) appearing unexpectedly from the 'impenetrable' Ardennes. In 1870, however, the Prussians, Bavarians and Saxons approached Sedan from the south and the west having already decisively defeated the French is several key battles on the way from Wissembourg on the Rhine. Bizarrely the French commanders in 1870 had not expected an attack at Wissembourg or, at the very least, had badly underestimated the Bavarians in the vicinity and so had been on the back foot ever since that initial engagement.

This was bizarre because, strategically situated at the extreme eastern point of France, Wissembourg had been the location of not 1 but 2 battles only 77 years earlier during the French Revolutionary War. Both of these had taken place in 1793 when, in the first battle in October, the Austrians, Prussians and Bavarians had pushed the French out of the border town only for the French to rally under the mercurial Louis Lazare Hoche* and return 2 months later in December and drive the Allies back across the Rhine.    

By underestimating the German advance through Belgium in 1940, despite the fact that the German army had indeed advanced through Belgium during the First World War (although admittedly not via the Ardennes), and by underestimating the threat to Wissembourg in 1870 (despite this being the most vulnerable part of France to German attack as shown in 1793) it seems that both of the French defeats at Sedan were examples of the commanders not so much fighting the previous war but going to the other extreme and in fact totally ignoring the past.

*It has been suggested by some historians that General Hoche's early death (from consumption) at the age of just 29 meant that the world subsequently got to know the name of Napoleon Bonaparte rather than his.

P.S. Great to see you back Fletch!
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 15:58

@Vizzer wrote:
The battles of Sedan of 1940 and 1870 are indeed intriguing on a compare and contrast basis.

In 1940 the German army attacked the fortress from the north and the east (i.e. via Belgium) appearing unexpectedly from the 'impenetrable' Ardennes. In 1870, however, the Prussians, Bavarians and Saxons approached Sedan from the south and the west having already decisively defeated the French is several key battles on the way from Wissembourg on the Rhine. Bizarrely the French commanders in 1870 had not expected an attack at Wissembourg or, at the very least, had badly underestimated the Bavarians in the vicinity and so had been on the back foot ever since that initial engagement.

This was bizarre because, strategically situated at the extreme eastern point of France, Wissembourg had been the location of not 1 but 2 battles only 77 years earlier during the French Revolutionary War. Both of these had taken place in 1793 when, in the first battle in October, the Austrians, Prussians and Bavarians had pushed the French out of the border town only for the French to rally under the mercurial Louis Lazare Hoche* and return 2 months later in December and drive the Allies back across the Rhine.    

By underestimating the German advance through Belgium in 1940, despite the fact that the German army had indeed advanced through Belgium during the First World War (although admittedly not via the Ardennes), and by underestimating the threat to Wissembourg in 1870 (despite this being the most vulnerable part of France to German attack as shown in 1793) it seems that both of the French defeats at Sedan were examples of the commanders not so much fighting the previous war but going to the other extreme and in fact totally ignoring the past.

*It has been suggested by some historians that General Hoche's early death (from consumption) at the age of just 29 meant that the world subsequently got to know the name of Napoleon Bonaparte rather than his.

P.S. Great to see you back Fletch!
Thank you Vizzer,its been a long time.


I find the Fall of France in 1940 fascinating. There are few battles so conclusive.

I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.



The Allies could cause panic - Frankforce's raid at Arras caused chaos and potentially saved the British at Dunkirk due to the subsequent halt orders. The problem was that communications had gone out of the window by this time and any idea of a British/French counterattack was going to be a non starter. The final nail in the coffin was when General Billote (?) caught a packet. He was the only one who had any idea of what Weygand's plans were (if any).

Gort was left with one option and he took it. Although it caused French resentment, he was left with little choice. French politicians and high command were in disarray, the question of counterattack (or how it was meant to occur) was never really answered properly and there was a thick atmosphere of defeatism.


And all in an incredibly short time period.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:07

@Dirk Marinus wrote:
We have to agree that the invasion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands by Germany happened in 1940 but let us also agree that now in 2017 and discussing this event after having read numerous books , seen TV documentaries etc we usually fall into the trap of HINDSIGHT.


And therefore it is very easy for us to fault and point out mistakes made all those years ago.



Dirk Marinus


Yes Dirk your are right with your hindsight, but due to research and indeed many books and TV documentaries, there come new elements at light, which hint to a different narration than the "official" one" and if that diiferent narration is true the history is quite another one.
For instance the Thillo case that is verified as true, you even said thet the Deuxième Bureau received the information via someone in Switzerland (I have not yet researched your information).
I am not sure if the man from New Caledonia (he was also on the Passion Histoire) isn't right with his assumptions (it are only assumptions, as we discussed on the Beeb about Prince Bernhard and Arnhem), but if you take all the information, I saw even an interview with a responsable of the Deuxième Bureau during WWII, who told us about Thillo, but the youtube stopped sadly just before he had to speak about I suppose the information to the French government or to Gamelin. Was there a lack of information to the government or to Gamelin about the intention of the Germans to break through through the Ardennes?
Or was it indeed as the man from New Caledonia said on the Historum forum, that the upper echelon of the allied army, with Gamelin at the head, was already too far with the implementation of the Breda-Dyle plan, which was also dear to Britain to protect the harbours of Antwerp and Ostend?
A Breda-Dyle that started after the Maasmechelen incident pointing to a new kind of von Schliefen strategy?
In fact Gamelin couldn't easy change that plan as it was confirmed together with Britain, Belgium and The Netherlands.
It all depends on the question how much Gamelin was briefed about the Thillo information (information which was shown quite reliable as some former information was shown correct by the facts that followed)
But perhaps there we will never know it, because all possible information is perhaps hold in official documents, which are not open to the public?
On the French Passion Histoire, this information seems to be a bit touchy to be discussed, the same as the Massilia story, although in that case there is much more information.
Yes some items of national history seems to be not discussed on honest national history fora?
I remember on the Beeb, when you started about your opinions about Rhodesia? (or was it another country?), that you knew very well as ex-colonial, that they constantly erased your messages...

Kind regards from your friend Paul, who enjoyed your comments about your childhood in The Netherlands during WWII
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:23

@VF wrote:
Gamelin's big strategy was to basically hold on till 1941 when France would be up to speed. He also wanted to avoid fighting on French soil like in WW1. Hence the Dyle Plan, swing into Belgium ,dig in and hold. The only offensive that Gamelin authorised was the Saar offensive when French troops went a few miles into Germany, changed a few sign posts and flags and put some barbed wire up.

Then pulled out.

The French army was not an insignificant force.They had better tanks than Germany, they had the Maginot line and they were reasonable well equipped . What let them down was communications and Gamelin deserves a rollicking over this too.

He chose the castle at Vincennes as his headquarters. Not unusual in itself. What was highly suspect was that he had no radio communications nor even a telephone line! They would send out riders 1/2 hourly with instructions! In effect he was keeping himself and his army in the dark. He would have to rely on information to be delivered to him, assessed and then pass on instructions by courier.

Seriously,in the 20th century!

So when he receives reports that something is occurring in the Ardennes he is already behind. This is bad enough. What compounds this is that he either doesn't believe the reports or thinks that this is a diversionary tactic and that the main event will be where he has placed the best troops he has. On the River Dyle. 

And he continues this right up to the moment that the Wehrmacht break through at Sedan.Then the penny drops. Then you see the Allied airforces trying to take out the crossings on the Meuse with massive losses. Panic ensues, communications that were bad in the first place are now in complete chaos. Any hope of a counter attack was a pipe dream as coordination was now virtually impossible.

Gamelin gets the boot and the aged Weygand who replaces him understandably states at his first CinC adress to the French and British cabinets "You will understand if I do not promise you victory".


Can't really blame him.


Thank you VF for this "to the point" summary.

some remarks:
the Breda-Dyle plan seems in fact to be a common plan of both the British and the French?
the best French troops seems to be moved through the Antwerp tunnel to Breda?
I assisted to a nearly endless discussion on a French forum about the Saar invasion and the main argument was that the French army was not ready immediately after the German Polish campaign and that the push to the Ruhrgebiet was only wishful thinking, hence a bit of a public façade that the army was ready to do something. And yes the start of the phoney war.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:37

@Meles meles wrote:
@VF wrote:

He chose the castle at Vincennes as his headquarters. Not unusual in itself. What was highly suspect was that he had no radio communications nor even a telephone line! They would send out riders 1/2 hourly with instructions! In effect he was keeping himself and his army in the dark. He would have to rely on information to be delivered to him, assessed and then pass on instructions by courier.

French officers at the time described Vincennes as "a submarine without a periscope".While the Germans were the main enemy, Gamelin also feared French politicians meddling in operational matters: perhaps this suspicion of his own government partly explains his strange "head in the sand" attitude.


Yes Meles meles,

there was a constant fear from many high rank personnalities, who were in the extreme right camp, as for instance Gamelin, Pétain.
I read it for the first time in Shirer's " The fall of the Third Republic" that one of those right wing government members said at Bordeaux that Paris was in the hands of Communist ressurgents. Was it Paul Reynaud or someone else, who had the presence of mind to call the head of police in Paris to hear that nothing had happened in Paris. I got it confirmed later by many sources.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 21:58

@VF wrote:


I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.


Yes VF completely agree.
And to add a high fuel consumption (due to the electrical motor of the turret?)
And the Germans had the Jerrycan immediately on the field of the battle, while the French supplies were rather cumbersome...
In fact (and I think that you can still read on the links from the original BBC messages that I mentioned in my first messages in this thread) the discussion on the Hannut or was it the Gembloux tank battle, the B1 were invulnerable; but by their lack of fuel they became sitting ducks.
As the Swedish Hasse explained in his colourful language, the battle was already won beforehand, because the Germans with their lighter material had the advantage of the quantity and even above that a much better coordination by radio and all with a commanding tank coordinating the attacks.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 30 Sep 2017, 22:51

@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:


I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.


Yes VF completely agree.
And to add a high fuel consumption (due to the electrical motor of the turret?)
And the Germans had the Jerrycan immediately on the field of the battle, while the French supplies were rather cumbersome...
In fact (and I think that you can still read on the links from the original BBC messages that I mentioned in my first messages in this thread) the discussion on the Hannut or was it the Gembloux tank battle, the B1 were invulnerable; but by their lack of fuel they became sitting ducks.
As the Swedish Hasse explained in his colourful language, the battle was already won beforehand, because the Germans with their lighter material had the advantage of the quantity and even above that a much better coordination by radio and all with a commanding tank coordinating the attacks.

Kind regards from Paul.
Battles are won with logistics as much as tanks and men IMHO and the Germans were better in logistics than the allies, so it wouldn't surprise me that many a tank was lost because it either ran out of fuel of broke down.
The Wehrmacht may not have had the best tanks (I believe they even used Panzer Mk1's) but they were quick and reliable.

The Char B was neither from what I have read. Immensely strong and and packed a punch, but not light on its feet (tracks!) They had other tanks of course - sharing the one man turret concept, but they never utilised them in the same way as what the Wehrmacht did. 
The British had their own problems - The Matilda 1 was as tough as old boots but very poorly armed,The Matilda 2 was also as tough as old boots but was armed with a 2pdr that could take out German tanks but didn't have a HE round to use against infantry or other "soft" targets.The "cruisers" were fast, but had the same 2pdr as the Matilda 2 and were not always mechanically reliable...


As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves.

But then Hitler was the master bluffer and gambled (rightly) that the Allies wouldn't make any concerted effort to invade Germany in 1940. Its an interesting "what if" had the allies made a concerted effort to strike at Germany whilst they were tearing up the poor Poles. For that to have happened though you would need a completely different mindset in the commands in both Allied armies and at Government level. Perhaps if Churchill had been in power and De Gaulle in charge rather than Gamelin prior to May 1940 it stood a chance of being mooted. But a very outside chance.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Tue 03 Oct 2017, 23:30

VF,

too late for an elaborated reply. See you tomorrow.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Fri 06 Oct 2017, 23:35

@VF wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:


I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.


Yes VF completely agree.
And to add a high fuel consumption (due to the electrical motor of the turret?)
And the Germans had the Jerrycan immediately on the field of the battle, while the French supplies were rather cumbersome...
In fact (and I think that you can still read on the links from the original BBC messages that I mentioned in my first messages in this thread) the discussion on the Hannut or was it the Gembloux tank battle, the B1 were invulnerable; but by their lack of fuel they became sitting ducks.
As the Swedish Hasse explained in his colourful language, the battle was already won beforehand, because the Germans with their lighter material had the advantage of the quantity and even above that a much better coordination by radio and all with a commanding tank coordinating the attacks.

Kind regards from Paul.
Battles are won with logistics as much as tanks and men IMHO and the Germans were better in logistics than the allies, so it wouldn't surprise me that many a tank was lost because it either ran out of fuel of broke down.
The Wehrmacht may not have had the best tanks (I believe they even used Panzer Mk1's) but they were quick and reliable.

The Char B was neither from what I have read. Immensely strong and and packed a punch, but not light on its feet (tracks!) They had other tanks of course - sharing the one man turret concept, but they never utilised them in the same way as what the Wehrmacht did. 
The British had their own problems - The Matilda 1 was as tough as old boots but very poorly armed,The Matilda 2 was also as tough as old boots but was armed with a 2pdr that could take out German tanks but didn't have a HE round to use against infantry or other "soft" targets.The "cruisers" were fast, but had the same 2pdr as the Matilda 2 and were not always mechanically reliable...


As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves.

But then Hitler was the master bluffer and gambled (rightly) that the Allies wouldn't make any concerted effort to invade Germany in 1940. Its an interesting "what if" had the allies made a concerted effort to strike at Germany whilst they were tearing up the poor Poles. For that to have happened though you would need a completely different mindset in the commands in both Allied armies and at Government level. Perhaps if Churchill had been in power and De Gaulle in charge rather than Gamelin prior to May 1940 it stood a chance of being mooted. But a very outside chance.


VF,

thank you very much for this reply, especially about the tanks, which coincides with all what I learned on the different fora.

"As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves."

Perhaps the allies hadn't the mindset, but they had many handicaps especially in the coordination and working together. The British had perhaps other targets than the French as the defence of the Channel and the ports in Belgium. And Belgium remained neutral during the phoney war, not an easy moving theatre, when one could only act in the corridor of the Saar to push to the Ruhr.
I learned on the French fora that the French had only a fortnight, during the Polish Campaign till the German tanks and planes already were returning (it were unlike in the Russian campaign all affordable distances) and the French were then only in their first mobilsation phase, many regiments not having any coherence yet. No the general opinion of the French contributors was too early to act and when the full strength was obtained it was already too late to act against the already too strong German army as proved later on 10 May 1940.
The time to act came indeed as you said with a Churchill much later with Mers el Kebir and the bombing of Berlin (which is i.m.o a masterstroke from Churchill pushing Hitler to do stupities).
No in my humble opinion nor a Churchill nor a de Gaulle couldn't have altered the facts as they were in the beginning of the phoney war. There was even the possibility that the Germans did a blitz through Belgium and with another kind of Sichelschnitt had the allies "eingekesselt" near Luxemburg with no escape way as in Dunkirk.
I made once a what if, when the allies stayed in France and let the Belgians do their thing on their own. Even then the British and the French would have to retreat in a broad front together with the English to the South in continuous fighting with at the end evacuations of the BEF to Britain again or to AFN. But perhaps the political result would have been that the French and the British fought on together from AFN. But that too is a scenario with many intangibles...


PS: And you haven't to believe all what the German generals said to Lidell Hart, as they tried with hindsight to embellish their own position and handling in the French Campaign and before. And Liddel Hart seems even himself to have been a biassed (not real) historian.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 07 Oct 2017, 12:26

@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:


I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.


Yes VF completely agree.
And to add a high fuel consumption (due to the electrical motor of the turret?)
And the Germans had the Jerrycan immediately on the field of the battle, while the French supplies were rather cumbersome...
In fact (and I think that you can still read on the links from the original BBC messages that I mentioned in my first messages in this thread) the discussion on the Hannut or was it the Gembloux tank battle, the B1 were invulnerable; but by their lack of fuel they became sitting ducks.
As the Swedish Hasse explained in his colourful language, the battle was already won beforehand, because the Germans with their lighter material had the advantage of the quantity and even above that a much better coordination by radio and all with a commanding tank coordinating the attacks.

Kind regards from Paul.
Battles are won with logistics as much as tanks and men IMHO and the Germans were better in logistics than the allies, so it wouldn't surprise me that many a tank was lost because it either ran out of fuel of broke down.
The Wehrmacht may not have had the best tanks (I believe they even used Panzer Mk1's) but they were quick and reliable.

The Char B was neither from what I have read. Immensely strong and and packed a punch, but not light on its feet (tracks!) They had other tanks of course - sharing the one man turret concept, but they never utilised them in the same way as what the Wehrmacht did. 
The British had their own problems - The Matilda 1 was as tough as old boots but very poorly armed,The Matilda 2 was also as tough as old boots but was armed with a 2pdr that could take out German tanks but didn't have a HE round to use against infantry or other "soft" targets.The "cruisers" were fast, but had the same 2pdr as the Matilda 2 and were not always mechanically reliable...


As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves.

But then Hitler was the master bluffer and gambled (rightly) that the Allies wouldn't make any concerted effort to invade Germany in 1940. Its an interesting "what if" had the allies made a concerted effort to strike at Germany whilst they were tearing up the poor Poles. For that to have happened though you would need a completely different mindset in the commands in both Allied armies and at Government level. Perhaps if Churchill had been in power and De Gaulle in charge rather than Gamelin prior to May 1940 it stood a chance of being mooted. But a very outside chance.


VF,

thank you very much for this reply, especially about the tanks, which coincides with all what I learned on the different fora.

"As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves."

Perhaps the allies hadn't the mindset, but they had many handicaps especially in the coordination and working together. The British had perhaps other targets than the French as the defence of the Channel and the ports in Belgium. And Belgium remained neutral during the phoney war, not an easy moving theatre, when one could only act in the corridor of the Saar to push to the Ruhr.
I learned on the French fora that the French had only a fortnight, during the Polish Campaign till the German tanks and planes already were returning (it were unlike in the Russian campaign all affordable distances) and the French were then only in their first mobilsation phase, many regiments not having any coherence yet. No the general opinion of the French contributors was too early to act and when the full strength was obtained it was already too late to act against the already too strong German army as proved later on 10 May 1940.
The time to act came indeed as you said with a Churchill much later with Mers el Kebir and the bombing of Berlin (which is i.m.o a masterstroke from Churchill pushing Hitler to do stupities).
No in my humble opinion nor a Churchill nor a de Gaulle couldn't have altered the facts as they were in the beginning of the phoney war. There was even the possibility that the Germans did a blitz through Belgium and with another kind of Sichelschnitt had the allies "eingekesselt" near Luxemburg with no escape way as in Dunkirk.
I made once a what if, when the allies stayed in France and let the Belgians do their thing on their own. Even then the British and the French would have to retreat in a broad front together with the English to the South in continuous fighting with at the end evacuations of the BEF to Britain again or to AFN. But perhaps the political result would have been that the French and the British fought on together from AFN. But that too is a scenario with many intangibles...


PS: And you haven't to believe all what the German generals said to Lidell Hart, as they tried with hindsight to embellish their own position and handling in the French Campaign and before. And Liddel Hart seems even himself to have been a biassed (not real) historian.

Kind regards, Paul.
Thanks Paul,really interesting post.

I think that the allies were haphazard in there preparations and in their execution. Im sure that I have read that French call up ended up with those who were needed in factories or specialist occupations being drafted too. The British made a right balls up of the Norway Campaign,they sent troops with no ski's, equipment loaded in such a way that meant that nobody had an idea what was where. It was so bad it ended up in the Houses of Commons as the "Narvik debate".

My personal "what if" would be if the the armies (with the BEF on the coastal side) had been deployed like a wedge of cheese - with the thick end abutting the Maginot line, thining as you got closer to the coast. The Germans would almost certainly try to out flank, with a "Schlieffen Plan" style manoeuvre, but they would have their flank exposed.
Admittedly very risky as the Germans would (again) probably take the Belgian coast and hold it, if they didn't just steam roller round the Allies into France!


Maybe the Maginot Line worked to well!
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 07 Oct 2017, 12:27

@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:
@PaulRyckier wrote:
@VF wrote:


I have been reading a book about the memoirs of WW2 tank crews. The chapter about France was particularly interesting. The Char B was pretty much immune from German tank guns. There was one account where one Char B was hit upwards of 50 times with out any penetrating hits (the Germans tanks mostly used the 40mm). What did for them was 4 fold.

i)Reliability - The French tanks were pretty complex beasts

ii)Tactics - The French heavies tended to support infantry rather than the German en masse tactic (The British were also guilty of this)

iii)1 man turrets - The poor Commander not only had to command the tank but aim, load and fire the turret mounted gun

And lastly 

iv) The German 88mm AA gun. A fearsome foe. Not only could it outrange the Allied tanks was also able to penetrate the armour of the Char B and the Matilda II. A real game changer.


Yes VF completely agree.
And to add a high fuel consumption (due to the electrical motor of the turret?)
And the Germans had the Jerrycan immediately on the field of the battle, while the French supplies were rather cumbersome...
In fact (and I think that you can still read on the links from the original BBC messages that I mentioned in my first messages in this thread) the discussion on the Hannut or was it the Gembloux tank battle, the B1 were invulnerable; but by their lack of fuel they became sitting ducks.
As the Swedish Hasse explained in his colourful language, the battle was already won beforehand, because the Germans with their lighter material had the advantage of the quantity and even above that a much better coordination by radio and all with a commanding tank coordinating the attacks.

Kind regards from Paul.
Battles are won with logistics as much as tanks and men IMHO and the Germans were better in logistics than the allies, so it wouldn't surprise me that many a tank was lost because it either ran out of fuel of broke down.
The Wehrmacht may not have had the best tanks (I believe they even used Panzer Mk1's) but they were quick and reliable.

The Char B was neither from what I have read. Immensely strong and and packed a punch, but not light on its feet (tracks!) They had other tanks of course - sharing the one man turret concept, but they never utilised them in the same way as what the Wehrmacht did. 
The British had their own problems - The Matilda 1 was as tough as old boots but very poorly armed,The Matilda 2 was also as tough as old boots but was armed with a 2pdr that could take out German tanks but didn't have a HE round to use against infantry or other "soft" targets.The "cruisers" were fast, but had the same 2pdr as the Matilda 2 and were not always mechanically reliable...


As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves.

But then Hitler was the master bluffer and gambled (rightly) that the Allies wouldn't make any concerted effort to invade Germany in 1940. Its an interesting "what if" had the allies made a concerted effort to strike at Germany whilst they were tearing up the poor Poles. For that to have happened though you would need a completely different mindset in the commands in both Allied armies and at Government level. Perhaps if Churchill had been in power and De Gaulle in charge rather than Gamelin prior to May 1940 it stood a chance of being mooted. But a very outside chance.


VF,

thank you very much for this reply, especially about the tanks, which coincides with all what I learned on the different fora.

"As for the Saar offensive. I bow to greater minds, but I always wonder whether France had the mindset to launch a decisive attack in 1940. The French lost 1000's in 1914 when going on the offensive,I wonder whether this was playing on the High Commands mind. Interestingly the Germans were concerned - one general stated in "The World at War" that there was little to fight the French in the west apart from old men and reserves."

Perhaps the allies hadn't the mindset, but they had many handicaps especially in the coordination and working together. The British had perhaps other targets than the French as the defence of the Channel and the ports in Belgium. And Belgium remained neutral during the phoney war, not an easy moving theatre, when one could only act in the corridor of the Saar to push to the Ruhr.
I learned on the French fora that the French had only a fortnight, during the Polish Campaign till the German tanks and planes already were returning (it were unlike in the Russian campaign all affordable distances) and the French were then only in their first mobilsation phase, many regiments not having any coherence yet. No the general opinion of the French contributors was too early to act and when the full strength was obtained it was already too late to act against the already too strong German army as proved later on 10 May 1940.
The time to act came indeed as you said with a Churchill much later with Mers el Kebir and the bombing of Berlin (which is i.m.o a masterstroke from Churchill pushing Hitler to do stupities).
No in my humble opinion nor a Churchill nor a de Gaulle couldn't have altered the facts as they were in the beginning of the phoney war. There was even the possibility that the Germans did a blitz through Belgium and with another kind of Sichelschnitt had the allies "eingekesselt" near Luxemburg with no escape way as in Dunkirk.
I made once a what if, when the allies stayed in France and let the Belgians do their thing on their own. Even then the British and the French would have to retreat in a broad front together with the English to the South in continuous fighting with at the end evacuations of the BEF to Britain again or to AFN. But perhaps the political result would have been that the French and the British fought on together from AFN. But that too is a scenario with many intangibles...


PS: And you haven't to believe all what the German generals said to Lidell Hart, as they tried with hindsight to embellish their own position and handling in the French Campaign and before. And Liddel Hart seems even himself to have been a biassed (not real) historian.

Kind regards, Paul.
Thanks Paul,really interesting post.

I think that the allies were haphazard in there preparations and in their execution. Im sure that I have read that French call up ended up with those who were needed in factories or specialist occupations being drafted too. The British made a right balls up of the Norway Campaign,they sent troops with no ski's, equipment loaded in such a way that meant that nobody had an idea what was where. It was so bad it ended up in the Houses of Commons as the "Narvik debate".

My personal "what if" would be if the the armies (with the BEF on the coastal side) had been deployed like a wedge of cheese - with the thick end abutting the Maginot line, thining as you got closer to the coast. The Germans would almost certainly try to out flank, with a "Schlieffen Plan" style manoeuvre, but they would have their flank exposed.
Admittedly very risky as the Germans would (again) probably take the Belgian coast and hold it, if they didn't just steam roller round the Allies into France!


Maybe the Maginot Line worked to well!
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Sat 07 Oct 2017, 14:38

@VF wrote:

Im sure that I have read that French call up ended up with those who were needed in factories or specialist occupations being drafted too.

That is very true. French industry, including the armaments and munitions industries, nearly ground to a halt when conscription was introduced in 1939 ... but by 1940 common sense had prevailed, key workers had returned to their jobs, and French industry was generally operating well.

@VF wrote:

The British made a right balls up of the Norway Campaign,they sent troops with no ski's, equipment loaded in such a way that meant that nobody had an idea what was where. It was so bad it ended up in the Houses of Commons as the "Narvik debate".

The British also landed at Narvik with no artillery. But to be fair the French also blundered: they had well-trained ski troops, with skis, ... but they ommitted to bring enough ski straps!

The subsequent Narvik debate in the Commons and the widespread view amongst many politicians and senior military officers that Britain would certainly lose the war if it carried on in such a haphazard manner, culminated in the vote of no confidence in Chamberlain. He was of course replaced by Churchill which was somewhat ironic as the Narvik operation was largely Churchill's idea. Just like that other bold Churchillian plan, the Dardanelles Campaign in WW1, Narvik was great in theory but in the event didn't work. Nevertheless with lessons learned from Narvik and now with Churchill as PM, the war seems to have immediately started to be prosecuted with considerably more urgency and forward planning, although not in time to avert the collapse of France.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Tue 05 Dec 2017, 22:36

Triceratops,

endly I have received my book that I promised to buy on your recommandation:
Case Red The Collapse of France by Robert Forczyk. Freshly edited (after some months Wink )...
Hope I will have time to read it now...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Thu 07 Dec 2017, 10:11

I'm waiting for the paperback. From what I've seen of it, it looks to be very good:

Case Red

I saw this in the bookshop on Saturday. Will treat myself as one of my Christmas books:

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PostSubject: Re: Case Yellow, Case Red and Sealion   Thu 07 Dec 2017, 20:39

Thank you very much Triceratops for the new recommandation.

After skimming through the first chapter of the book Case Red, I started this afternoon with chapter two in September 1939 up to chapter four on page 214 just before Dunkirk 23 May.
It is really an excellent book and as I did already that much research about Fall Gelb even from 2002 on, I am still happy wondered how he goes from the whole picture to the details with pertinent comments. It is perhaps because I know now already that mucch that it is for me easier to read and that I find it so pertinent to the questions. I guess an outsider will have more difficulties with all the details. And even the author can't give all the details in full because of the size of the content. For instance about the conference at Ypres I made a whole page and the author can only give it one sentence (and my page is perhaps due to my Belgian point of view and the later surrender of Leopold III)
And up to now I haven't seen one item which is contraditory with what I learned before. I wonder how he will comment the "Haltbefehl"...from what I read up to now I think he will chose for the exhaustion of the tank army and its supplies and the quarrels between the OKW, Hitler and von Rundstedt and all...
Triceratops, if you have the second book, can you give perhaps comments in what that book differed from the comments overhere in the thread...next year of course...

Kind regards from Paul.
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