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Old 15 Dec 15, 20:25
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Dracoco Dracoco is offline
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Well Planned Invasion of France in 1940

Hello, Draco became Dracoco because I cancelled my old email address, had forgotten my password & could not input my address to get a new password.

Although everybody seems to think that Manstein did a great job, I beg to differ:
Well Planned Invasion of France
Analysis of the Actual Invasion:
The LW did not start massive attacks on allied planes until the invasion started & during the invasion many of its planes were busy supporting the ground forces over a huge area (Holland, Belgium & France). Accordingly, allied fighters survived longer than they should have & managed to shoot down hundreds of invaluable German planes.
It would have made much more sense to start massive attacks on airfields at least a day before the invasion, rapidly wiping out allied fighters before the plane had to dedicate a lot of time to supporting the ground attack. Germany forced gratuitously 10 Dutch & 21 Belgian divisions to fight, lost over 100 planes & tanks & wasted a huge tonnage of bombs, shells, fuel, cartridges, etc, and the invaluable use of the airborne troops, 22 divisions, 1,400 guns & 800 tanks & planes invading in record speed these two neutral countries.
The purpose of invading Holland & Belgium was to lure the allied forces away from France & Belgium & into Holland. It makes a lot more sense for Germany not to invade Holland at all and to invade only the Belgian Ardennes & to force the allies to invade Holland in order to attack Germany over a wide front. By creating a very strong defensive line in the W & N Ardennes & inflicting heavy losses by bombing, shelling & blasting with mines the allies on a narrow Ardennes front, Germany can force the allies to invade Holland, but Germany can respect Dutch neutrality & help to enforce it by bombing the allied forces in Holland (once the German armor columns have crossed the Meuse). Germany can use most of the armor & some of the 22 divisions, airborne troops, shell, bombs, planes, fuel, etc, not used in Holland & Belgium to advance into France. In this scenario practically no Panzers are lost in Belgium (hundreds of tanks were lost in Gembloux, Hannut, Holland, etc,) & Germany will not have to occupy Holland after defeating the allies.
Since the invasion takes place through the Ardennes, south of Eben Emael, it is pointless to take that fort & make the allies feel terribly vulnerable on the first day of the war (which forced hundreds of thousands of refugees into the roads). Those special troops, gliders, innovative explosives & the paratroopers, Ju-52, etc, wasted in Holland & Belgium would have been much more useful capturing airfields across the Meuse from Sedan & Verdun & near Reims, Dunkirk, St Quentin & Boulogne, etc, a few days into the war (after German armored columns had burst into France through the Ardennes), opening the way to Paris & helping the armor columns to cut off the allies & prevent allied evacuation.
Von Kluge’s 5th & 7th Panzer divisions advanced exposed in open Belgian territory toward Dinant (quite a bit north of Sedan & also on the Meuse) quite rapidly & were ready to cross the Meuse on the evening of 12 May. Early on 13 May the LW wasted 1,500 planes & a large tonnage of bombs & fuel attacking artillery & infantry positions between Sedan & Dinant. It would have made a lot more sense to lignore that allied artillery & infantry (without mobility they presented no threat to the German invasion of France) & not to have ventured beyond the Ardennes, in order to force the allies to move into east Belgium & to attack the German defensive line along the Ardennes & for Germany to use the LW & the tons of bombs to finish off allied aviation & to pommel allied artillery, armor, infantry, etc, along the routes of the Panzer columns advancing rapidly in France.
Hundreds of the tanks in Guderian’s & Rommel’s columns were very inferior Panzer I [extremely vulnerable, slow & under gunned (no turret or cannon, only a 7.92 mm MG)]. Given the extremely crowded roads & limited time, fuel, supplies, etc, & the fact that many of the lousy Panzer I were knocked out (costing excellent tankers & losing all the effort & cost of placing them deep into Holland, Belgium & France), it would have made a lot more sense not to use these tanks at all in Belgium & France (they had proven nearly useless even in weaker Spain & Poland). Using only the better tanks would have allowed faster advance & provided much more formidable firepower & more survivability. Moreover, since Von Kluge is not advancing to Dinant nor any tanks are entering Holland, Von Kluge can advance behind Rommel (also without lousy Panzer I), so many more of the good Panzers enter France on the first crucial days (more quantity & quality of Panzer during the crucial first days of the invasion of France). The Panzer I should have been used only for training, after they proved to be so vulnerable in Spain.
Because no trucks are entering Holland nor venturing beyond the Ardennes into Belgium, more trucks can be deployed in the Ardennes & France & no horses at all are deployed there in the first days of the war, reducing the risk of traffic jams & expediting considerably the flow of the massive forces into France.
The powerful 2,000 kg bombs & 65 cm mortars on tracks designed especially to blast the Maginot line were not used on the first days of the invasion. When they were finally used, the Germans broke through at Strasbourg, when France was close to capitulation. Since they were available, they should have been used from the first hour of the war, in order to break through the Maginot near Strasbourg & distract the French from the Ardennes.
Since the bulk of the invasion was to pass through Luxemburg into the Ardennes, it would have been much smarter to invade Luxemburg at least a day before invading Belgium, this would have allowed Germany a starting line right on the Belgian & French Ardennes, instead of wasting the crucial first morning of the invasion crossing Luxemburg.

Improved German Invasion:
24 April, 1940
German troops occupy only tiny Luxemburg & the LW concentrates on destroying allied planes in France during short periods of fair weather
Belgium & Holland are not attacked, so they remain neutral. Many French & British planes & some of the armor, artillery pieces, etc, in N France are destroyed. Germany does not deploy any divisions along the German-Dutch border. The Maginot line near Strasbourg is blasted with 2,000 kg bombs & 65 cm mortar shells.
Although it may not work, Germany stands to lose nothing if it doesn’t work (it doesn’t have to invade Switzerland if it doesn’t want to) & can gain a lot if it does: Germany begins to amass infantry, Motorized & Panzer divisions, near Basel & in Luxemburg & extends a joint ultimatum to Belgium & Switzerland: Either merge with Germany (as Austria did in 1938, in order to benefit from the allies’ defeat) or agree within 3 days to allow passage to German planes, troops, vehicles, trains, etc, to invade France until 1 July, 1939. Failure to do either will cause Belgium & to be invaded after practically all Belgian & Swiss planes are destroyed within 2 days & all Belgian & Swiss cities are bombed to ashes in daily 1,000 plane raids (as in Poland). The devastation will be comparable to that suffered by Belgium in WW I, but it will take days & happen before the invasion even begins.
Germany points out that the allies have a lot fewer & inferior planes than the LW has & are losing them more rapidly than Germany is, so that allied planes cannot even defend France or themselves, much less Belgium & Switzerland. Moreover, if Germany invades Switzerland, Italy may take advantage to invade the Italian speaking area (much like the USSR took advantage of the German invasion to occupy half of Poland), so that Switzerland will face even more planes, bombs & troops & be split between the invaders.
To conclude the ultimatum, Germany urges both neutral nations to extend these terms to the allies in order to risk destruction of their countries:
In order to ignore the ultimatum Switzerland & Belgium demand that these conditions be met within 2 days:
1) RAF send all its fighters with pilots to France (Britain knows that France faces thousands of superior LW planes, if Britain believes that France is tenable, there no reason to send a few fighters to France & keep by far most of the fighters idle in Britain, including all the excellent Spitfire).
2) That the allies either invade Germany to prevent a German invasion of the neutral nations or supply each neutral neighbor with 200 each Char B-1 & Hurricanes, 1,000 each 45 mm AT guns, heavy machine guns, 37 mm AA guns, 82 mm mortars & field cannon & 10 million shells for each type of gun & for the mortar, all sold at cost within 2 days. If 75% or more of these have not been received an hour before the ultimatum expires, Switzerland & Belgium will be forced to allow passage to German forces in order to avoid complete destruction of their cities from the air.
RAF will never send all its fighters (including the Spitfires) to France, because it knows that France is doomed. The allies will never either invade Germany (they are hiding behind the Maginot line to win the war) nor give the neutral nations the materiel, for they know the neutral nations are doomed if Germany invades them.
Germany suggests that if both conditions have not even begun to be met a day before the ultimatum expires, thet Belgium & Switzerland grant the right of way to Germany a day before the ultimatum expires. The right of passage for the armed forces expires on 1 July, 1940.
Switzerland & Belgium give the allied ambassadors a copy of the ultimatum immediately & insist that the conditions suggested by Germany be met, if they are to ignore the ultimatum..The allies panic, because they know that if Switzerland or Belgium grant passage, German forces will bypass the Maginot line. The allies urge their neighbors strongly to join them & ignore the ultimatum.
However, both neutral countries know that the conditions suggested by Germany make perfect sense, that the French government is very divided, that Anglo-French cooperation & mutual trust are lousy, that the LW is much more powerful than the allied air force in France, that the German forces are more experienced & mobile & better led than the allied forces & that Germany deployed paratroopers in Denmark & Norway & can easily deploy thousands of them in France behind the Maginot, while German bombers blast pillboxes, armor & cities & finally, that the Maginot line itself (the allies’ only hope) is beginning to crumble under the 65 cm shells & 2,000 kg bombs, so even if they do not grant passage, France (which put all its hopes on the Maginot line) is doomed before the war starts.
26 April
The allies have not even begun to fulfill either of the conditions stipulated for Belgium & Switzerland to ignore the ultimatum. They only continue losing planes rapidly whenever the weather clears & watching the Maginot slowly crumble near Strasbourg. However, the allies do threaten Belgium & Switzerland with seizing the Belgian Congo & Belgian & Swiss bank accounts in allied countries, severing trade & diplomatic relations, etc, if they grant passage. Therefore, both neutral nations grant right of way to the German forces to invade France. Moreover, the neutral nations threaten with joining the Germans in invading France & allow German planes to bomb France & Britain from bases in their countries & U-boats to operate from Belgian bases if the Congo or their bank accounts are seized or any other reprisals are undertaken. Which causes even more panic, division & confusion within the French government & between the French & British governments.
France knows that with the Maginot line doubly outflanked & without at least a thousand modern fighters & the help of the equivalent of 21 well equipped & led Belgian divisions & the Belgian fortifications, France is lost. Much more so if Belgium attacks France together with Germany.
France issues an ultimatum to Britain: Either deploy all your fighters & at least a half million well equipped troops in France within a week or France will sue for peace separately.
After receiving the French ultimatum, Dowding, Gort, Alexander, etc, inform Chamberlain that France is doomed, so that the expeditionary force should be evacuated to defend Britain before the ultimatum expires & France sues for peace. However, the Churchill &the rest of the RN leadership worry that the French fleet (or even part of it) may end up in German hands or under German influence per peace negotiations.

28 April
Seeing France’s precarious situation & the facts that Switzerland has allowed passage to German forces & is peeved at France for its threats, Germany urges Mussolini to request (with German assistance) that Switzerland also allow passage of Italian troops to attack France in case of war between Italy & France. Switzerland agrees, in order that France may sue for peace before there is bloodshed or be swiftly defeated. Germany also urges Mussolini to deploy large forces along the French, Tunisian & Swiss borders & in NE Sardinia & to issue an ultimatum to France: allow Italian occupation of Tunisia & Corsica within 3 days or be at war with Italy, which will attack France through Switzerland, destroy French planes, attack French ships in the Med & bomb Nice, Marseille, Tunis, Bizerte, Ajaccio, etc, to ashes & invade Tunisia & Corsica with German help. Germany sends a division to Libya & a battalion to Sardinia.
Upon learning of the Italian ultimatum to France (Ciano delivered a copy to the British ambassador), the BEF begins to be recalled from France. Most planes leave today.
29 April
Germany also convinces Franco (after appraising him of France’s full situation, including the Duce’s ultimatum) to issue an ultimatum to France: allow Spanish occupation of French Morocco within a week of be at war with Spain, which will invade France & French Morocco together with German troops & allow German planes to bomb France from Spain & to close the Strait of Gibraltar to the allies.
Germany informs France that if it sues for peace & yields Alsace-Lorraine, its armor, trucks, tractors, artillery (including ammunition) & half of its navy & air force to Germany as compensation for having gratuitously declared war on Germany, France will save millions of people (among prisoners, severely wounded or dead troops & civilians), devastation of its cities, industry, etc, & Germany will stop aiding Italy & Spain & Germany will dissuade Mussolini from invading Tunisia & Corsica & Franco from invading French Morocco.. On the other hand, if France is defeated, Germany will charge millions of franks per day in occupation charges & annex the whole country & Algeria to the Reich, while Italy keeps Tunisia & Corsica & Spain keeps French Morocco.
The French & British governments are going crazy & more divided than ever. France has no allies & faces a pack of wolves. Britain is terrified over half the French warships, submarines & planes & all the armor, trucks, etc, falling in German hands.
The US is amazed by German diplomacy & disappointed at allied incompetence, impotence, lack of coordination, etc, Roosevelt’s experts inform him that both France & Britain have been outmaneuvered & are doomed, so the US & Canada have to stop aiding them & begin to arm themselvesat full speed.
In his desperation Churchill orders the capture or destruction of the French fleet, without a war declaration. Chamberlain has to approve Churchill’s order.
30 April
France is outraged by the treasonous British attack, without even declaring war & not only does it sue for peace with Germany (yielding Alsace Lorraine), it demands to retain all the armament & colonies, on condition of
1) Declaring war on Britain, attacking British vessels & planes & invading Britain together with Germany, allowing U-boats, torpedo boats, German warships, merchant raiders, planes, etc, to operate from Dakar & all other French bases & ports.
2) Invading weak & rich South Africa together with Germany to share the rich resources (gold, diamonds, chromium, coal, etc,) & then to invade & share Zambia, Rhodesia, etc,
3) Invading British Egypt, Cyprus, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Kenya, British Somaliland, etc, together with Italy & allowing Italian ships & planes full use of French bases & ports to attack the RN & the British merchant fleet.
4) Using Syria to help Iraq & Iran to kick out the British & keep their oil companies.
5) Invading together & sharing weak Malaya, Burma, Mauritius & British Borneo with Japan & Thailand & allowing IJN ships to use all French ports (New Caledonia, Madagascar, etc,) to attack the RN.
6) Invading Ceylon together with Italy, Japan & Thailand.
7) Invading Switzerland together with Italy & Germany & splitting it according to languages.
8) Invading Belgium with Germany. France keeping the francophone area & Germany keeping the Flemish area & then together coaxing Holland into merging with Germany.
9) Invading weak Spain, the Canary & Balearic Islands, Spanish Morocco & British Gibraltar together with Portugal, Italy & Germany, so that Italy keeps the Balearic Islands, ¼ of Spain & half of Spanish Morocco, France keeps half of Spanish Morocco, Catalugna, the Basque Country & Navarre, Portugal keeps the Canary Islands & part of Spain (Gallicia, etc,) & Germany keeps the rest, including the approach to the Strait of Gibraltar to control access to the Med.
10) Liberating together with Germany, Romania & Finland Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia & the parts of Romania, Poland & Finland occupied by the USSR.
11) Helping the axis to coax Turkey to join it & allow access to warships to the Black Sea, by using Syria as a staging area for an invasion. So that Turkey is attacked from Bulgaria & Syria if it refuses to join the axis.

1 May
France signs the peace treaty with Germany, joins the axis, declares war on Britain.& starts attacking British shipping, planes, etc,
France realizes that the British Empire is extremely weak & has too many enemies & decides to expand together with Germany, Italy, Japan, Romania, Finland, Turkey, Thailand, Portugal, etc, at the cost of the British Empire, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium & the USSR..

3 May
Immediately after France declares war on Britain & begins sinking British ships, Italy & Japan also declare war on Britain & invade its colonies together with France. France & Japan convince Thailand to join the axis & declare war on Britian, in order to invade British colonies.
Since Germany & Italy already have troops in Switzerland, they agree with France about invading & splitting Switzerland & they do it. Switzerland capitulates promptly. Germany & France do the same with Belgium.

5 May
After occupying all of Belgium, France, Japan & Germany press Holland into joining the axis in order to avoid simultaneous invasion of Holland & the DEI & to share in the spoils of the British Empire.
German, French, Dutch, Italian & Japanese submarines & warships sink an alrming number of British warships & cargo chips every day.
The French Atlantic fleet, the German & Dutch navies & the LW start deploying along the English Channel, while German, French & Italian diplomats persuade Ireland to join the axis in order to avoid invasion & to expel the British from N Ireland & benefit from the fall of the British Empire.
Ignoring threats from Britain, Ireland joins the axis & allows axis warships, planes, submarines, etc, to operate from Ireland and axis tanks, vehicles, troops, cannon, etc, to arrive in Ireland.
Italian & French marines land in Cyprus with heavy naval support & air support from Rhodes.
A Japanese Batallion captures British Borneo with intact oil wells & refinery.
Japanese, DEI & Thai forces invade Singapore, Malaya.
Japanese, French & Thai forces invade Burma.
DEI, Japanese, French & Thai forces invade Ceylon with carrier & naval gun support & attack shipping in the Indian & Pacific oceans.

8 May
Axis planes, torpedo boats, warships, minefields, etc, dominate the English Channel & St George’s Channel so the invasion is imminent.
Irish, German & French armored columns penetrate rapidly with heavy air & naval artillery support liberate N Ireland in 3 days.
The LW starts a campaign to wipe out the RN & RAF. The French & German submarines & the large, fast French destroyers & cruisers assist the LW in the onslaught against the RN.
French & Italian forces with Char B-1 invade Egypt with plenty of trucks, motorcycles, fuel, food, etc, which arrived in Tunis & Bizerte & was transported by train to south Tunisia & by truck to Bardia. The ground forces are supported by naval artillery & by Italian & French bombers escorted by P-36, MS.406 & CR.42.
French forces from Syria together with Iraqui & Irani forces attack the meager British forces in Iraq, Iran, Palestine & Jordan.
French forces from Madagascar & Reunion invade Mauritius.

9 May
Most of the few Gladiators in Egypt, Iraq & Iran are shot down by the P-36, etc, & the few Matilda II tanks in Egypt are wiped out by the Char B-1, 75 mm cannon, naval cannon, etc,
French & IEA forces attack British Somaliland, Sudan & Kenya.
France, Iran, Iraq, Italy & Germany persuade Turley to koin the axis.

10 May
German airborne troops capture several aerodromes, airports & small ports. Troops are flown in & transported by boats & ships.
The tiny British army rapidly loses its tanks & trucks to axis planes, AT guns, naval guns, etc.
British troops can hardly be deployed in Kent & W Wales because axis planes are destroying trains, vehicles, etc, & German paratroopers are capturing bridges, crossroads, etc,
The RN suffers terrible losses trying frantically to stop the flow of troops by ship to Britain. Likewise, RAF suffers terrible losses trying to stop the flow of troops by plane into Britain.
17 May
Axis forces have captured the Suez Canal. British forces have capitulated in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Kenya, Palestine, Cyprus & Jordan.
There are 7 German, 5 French & 2 Irish divisions in Britain, RAF has practically no planes left & the RN has lost most of its ships. The tiny British army has been decimated.
Plane, tank, artillery & munitions factories are being bombed heavily by planes based in captured aerodromes & airports in Britain.
Kent & W Wales are completely in German hands & armored columns are advancing 60 to 100 km per day in every direction.
Practically no fuel, food, raw materials, etc, are arriving in British ports.
Canada begins peace negotiations with the axis.
4 each German & French divisions start landing in South Africa, while naval guns pound the bases, ports & coastal cities. The French aircraft carrier ferries Bf 109, Stukas, etc,
Flush with victory, Germany convinces all axis members
France offers to Japan to with mediate for peace between China & Japan or to share China with Japan, since it is obvious that Japan cannot defeat & administer alone huge China, especially now that it has a lot of colonies. Japan asks France & Thailand to extend an ultimatum to Chiang: Sign peace with Japan placing the borders at the frontline & join the axis within 3 days or be at war with Thailand & France & lose the rest of China.

18 May
Britain capitulates, prompting Burma, Malaya & South Africa (which are being trounced) to capitulate also.
French, Japanese & DEI forces invade Tasmania, Papua, Perth & the South Island of NZ.
Chiang cannot receive supplies now that Burma is in axis hands & cannot fight France & Thailand simultaneously with Japan without supplies. So it negotiates peace & enters the axis, on condition that the axis provide armament, munitions, medications, fuel, vehicles, planes, etc, & help to expel the Soviets from Xinjiang & defeat the Chinese Communists. The axis agrees & welcomes China.

19 May
China Signs the peace treaty with Japan & is glad to receive the outdated planes, tanks, cannon, etc, of the axis & starts an strong campaign to wipe out the Communists, with Japanese air support. German & French officers arrive to start training the Chinese army in dive bombing, armor warfare, etc, French pilots help a lot to train pilots of other axis nations.

20 May, 1940
Flush with victory the axis agrees to invade the USSR after inducing Finland & Romania to join the axis.
The axis rapidly deploys massive forces in Turkey, Iran, Manchuria, Finland, Romania, N Norway, N China, former Poland, etc,
Large war & Merchant fleets enter the Baltic & Black Seas & sail for Vladivostok, Murmansk & Archangelsk.
german pilots receive Dewaitine D.520 & the aces receive a few Bf 109, Hurricanes, Spitfires, etc,

1 June
The axis invades the USSR along a huge front. German & French armor columns advance along the shores of the Baltic & Black Seas with extremely heavy air & naval support. Odessa & Lithuania fall on the 1st day. All the warships & planes in these areas are wiped out in 2 days.
The Char B-1, the STUG III & the Panzer III & IV are the only armored vehicles which can knock out the KV-1 & T-34 with a side shot.
Advancing from Finland, axis armor rapidly captures encircles Leningrad & the infantry assaults it before it has time to prepare defenses.

Last edited by Dracoco; 15 Dec 15 at 22:42..
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  #2  
Old 15 Dec 15, 21:34
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A few monkey wrenches in all that...

First, an attack on Luxembourg is an attack on Belgium. Occupying the former gets the later into the war. France and Britain are already in the war.

Since you start with just an air campaign and Belgium enters the war, all the Belgian forts around Liege are fully manned and ready for an invasion within a day or so. This means that Eben Emael is fully manned and the German surprise glider assault fails as the fort's infantry and adjoining forts pummel the tiny German force into surrender.
The British and French advance into Belgium and make it to their defensive line unmolested.

The Netherlands goes on full alert and has their defenses manned in full. The German air assault, if used, fails.
Without Eben Emael taken out the Liege defense line holds for over a week meaning the German advance into Belgium stalls.
The German advance into the Ardennes runs into a more coherent defense by the Belgians and French delaying their arrival at the Meuse River by more than two days where the French have now reinforced their positions. That in turn stalls the panzer divisions and they get bogged down trying to cross a now heavily defended river.
Since only Richtohfen's VIII Flieger Korps is really capable of ground support and even then takes more than a day to fill requests, the Luftwaffe proves incapable of breaking the French positions.

The German offensive stalls and a WW 1 ensues. The Dutch embargo most goods to Germany if the country isn't involved in the war. Without the Dutch Philips company tubes for example, the German radio and electronics industry are hit hard (among other imports).

Faced with a failing economy and a protracted war of attrition the German people lose faith in Hitler and he's deposed. The war ends in a negotiated peace.
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  #3  
Old 15 Dec 15, 22:14
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Dracoco Dracoco is offline
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Dracoco has a little shameless behaviour in the past [-1 to -99]
Invading Luxemburg des not equal declaration of war by Belgium any more than invading Poland equal declaration of war by France & Britain In WW II or invasion of Belgium equal declaration of war by Britain in WW I.
Regardless of treaties & assurances, Belgium has to actually declare war, which it is not likely to do unless it is actualy invaded.
Britain & France cannot advance into Belgium until Belgium does declare war.

Regarding your comments about Eben Emael:
As stated already in the analysis, Eben Emael & other forts are totally irrelevant to defeating France. Eben Emael is in N Belgium, at the level of Aachen & Germany does hot give a damn if there are 100 divisions manning the forts & central, northern or western Belgium, so long as there are two deficient divisions guarding the Ardennes (far away from Eben Emael), through which Kleist, Kluge, Guderian, Rommel, etc, head into France in thsi scenario.
As stated in the analysis of the invasion of France, even Von Kluge's advance to Dinant & the bombing with 1,500 planes the artillery & infantry positions between Dinant & Sedan were a humongous, gratuitous waste of massive resources, which would have been far more useful if deployed in France itself.
Similarly, invading Holland in order to defeat France is absurd. Actually, Germany should have delivered the full 120 105 mm cannon ordered by Holland, instead of delivering only 8, so that if the allies invade Holland to attack Germany (because they simply cannot break through German defenses in the narrow Ardennes front), the Dutch can shell them to defend their neutrality, while Dutch submarines attack allied ships and the army blows bridges & floods entire areas to stop the allies.

Picking a fight with 10 Dutch & 21 Belgian Divisions & several forts gratuitously, when one can attack directly French & British forces who haven't a clue about mobile warfare & when Germany has complete air domination is a moronic, expensive, wasteful strategy.

On the other hand, using diplomacy to press the neutrals into grantng passage to avoid destruction & to drive even deeper the wedge between France & Britain is sound, profitable strategy.

Last edited by Dracoco; 15 Dec 15 at 22:31..
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  #4  
Old 16 Dec 15, 00:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
Invading Luxemburg des not equal declaration of war by Belgium any more than invading Poland equal declaration of war by France & Britain In WW II or invasion of Belgium equal declaration of war by Britain in WW I.
Regardless of treaties & assurances, Belgium has to actually declare war, which it is not likely to do unless it is actualy invaded.
Britain & France cannot advance into Belgium until Belgium does declare war.
Yes it does. Invading Luxembourg brings Belgium into the war. But, feel free to refute that with proof. Belgium was pro-France / Britain and allied to them up through 1939 and the election of the Rexist Party into power.


Quote:
Regarding your comments about Eben Emael:
As stated already in the analysis, Eben Emael & other forts are totally irrelevant to defeating France. Eben Emael is in N Belgium, at the level of Aachen & Germany does hot give a damn if there are 100 divisions manning the forts & central, northern or western Belgium, so long as there are two deficient divisions guarding the Ardennes (far away from Eben Emael), through which Kleist, Kluge, Guderian, Rommel, etc, head into France in thsi scenario.
You'd be wrong. The whole reason the Netherlands was invaded and Eben Emael assaulted by that specialist glider assault was to bypass the Liege fortification line. Like with the Maginot Line, the Belgian fortifications had to be gotten around or too much time would be lost plowing their way through them for the Germans.



Some of those forts held for weeks before surrendering in the original campaign. With an intact line, fully manned, the Germans are doomed to a war of frontal assaulting Allied positions held across rivers.



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As stated in the analysis of the invasion of France, even Von Kluge's advance to Dinant & the bombing with 1,500 planes the artillery & infantry positions between Dinant & Sedan were a humongous, gratuitous waste of massive resources, which would have been far more useful if deployed in France itself.
That is because the Maginot Line was the barrier the French intended. Later in the historical campaign the Rhine defenses were penetrated using direct fire 8.8 and 10.5cm Flak guns against the bunkers. Against the main Maginot line forts the French defenses held to the end.

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Similarly, invading Holland in order to defeat France is absurd. Actually, Germany should have delivered the full 120 105 mm cannon ordered by Holland, instead of delivering only 8, so that if the allies invade Holland to attack Germany (because they simply cannot break through German defenses in the narrow Ardennes front), the Dutch can shell them to defend their neutrality, while Dutch submarines attack allied ships and the army blows bridges & floods entire areas to stop the allies.
The Netherlands were invaded to bypass the Belgian Liege fortifications. But, that required Eben Emael neutralized. Without that, movement through the Maastricht district of Holland was useless.

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Picking a fight with 10 Dutch & 21 Belgian Divisions & several forts gratuitously, when one can attack directly French & British forces who haven't a clue about mobile warfare & when Germany has complete air domination is a moronic, expensive, wasteful strategy.

On the other hand, using diplomacy to press the neutrals into grantng passage to avoid destruction & to drive even deeper the wedge between France & Britain is sound, profitable strategy.
Once you give the Belgians and then the French and British warning you are opening an offensive you lose the initiative and are defeated. What you propose leads to a German defeat.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 10:25
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Eben Emael, Liege, etc, were totally irrelevant & Holland & Belgium were decoys (and a most costly decoys).

Although Guderian, Kleist & Rommel had to waste the whole morning of 10 May crossing Luxemburg (removing massive concrete road blocks, etc,), they arrived near Sedan (the Meuse) on the evening of 12 May. Kluge arrived in Dinant (also on the Meuse & far north of Sedan) the same evening.

If Luxemburg is already in German hands long before the invasion of France, if Kluge does not go toward Dinant & the Panzer divisions have no slow & vulnerable Panzer I (since German tanks are not entering Holland nor Belgium beyond the Ardennes, plenty of good tanks are available to invade France) & if Guderian sets out before dawn from the Luxemburg-Belgium border, the Panzers will arrive in Sedan around noon of the second day.
Since the LW is not farting around Holland & central or eastern Belgium, it will have wiped out the allied planes & provide incredible support to the Panzers & since all the airborne troops are available to capture bridges, roads, etc, attack artillery positions, etc, in France (with the awesome air support), etc, the Panzers cross the Meuse on the 3rd day, instead of on the 5th day. So they surround Reims days earlier than in real time. If Guderian continues toward Chateau Thierry & Paris, while Rommel & Kluge head for St Quentin & Kleist heads for Verdun (to cross the Meuse north of Verdan & head toward Paris), while motorized & infantry divisions attack the flank of the Maginot from the rear to start opening the Luxemburg & German borders to traffic, France is defeated in days, despite the Belgians holding all the fortfications & France holding Maubeuge, Metz, etc, Fortifications are totally useless against Blitzkrieg.
Even if all the allied tanks & troops are along the Belgian-French border, they will never concentrate in time near the Panzer columns under complete German air domination. The Matilda II has a maximum speed of 15 mph, the Matilda I is even worse at 8 mph, many French tanks were also slow & all had a short range & had to stop frequently to refuel, exposing themselves & fuel trucks to attack even more.

Belgium built up its army in order to dissuade Germany from invading it, not to fight Germany, which it knew it could not defeat. If Germany does not invade Belgium, the army has served its purpose, so Belgium has no reason to declare war & undergo certain destruction.
You assume that Belgium will declare war instantly and undergo suicide even without being invaded. I am sure it would not.
If Belgium was pro allies & so brave, why did it not allow allied forces access, until it was invaded?

Assume Germany waits until 17 September, 1939 to invade Poland together with Stalin. Minutes into the joint invasion the 3 allies know that Poland is doomed to rapid defeat against Germany and the USSR, do you think that Poland opposed strong resistance on two fronts & Britain & France issue the same ultimatum & declare war on Germany?
Treaties, assurances, promises etc, are not automatically enforced. If the situation is such that declaring war makes no sense, it simply will not be done.

According to your logic, when the Germans invade Luxemburg & heavily reinforce it several days before the actual invasion of France, the allies will take the initiative. What can the poor bastards do? invade Germany? The allies simply didn't know what to do with the initiative.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 12:31
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Arguably the best move Germany could have made before invading Poland was to keep only the reliable 38 t Czech tanks & to trade 300 lousy Panzer I, all the unreliable 35 t Czech tanks, the Do 17 & all other outdated equipment & deliver the 120 105 mm cannon ordered by Holland in exchange for Dutch submarines, torpedoes, etc, This would have allowed Germany to sink more allied ships after declaring war & Holland to defend its neutrality if invaded by the allies during the invasion of France (Germany not invading Holland at all, as in WW I).

Similarly, the best move Germany can make in this scenario after invading Luxemburg is to offer Belgium 200 Panzer I, some clumsy artillery pieces with shells, He 111, etc, (which are invaluable during wartime) in exchange for cobalt, copper, zinc, rubber, etc, from Belgian Congo & right of way only through the Ardennes & only for a month.

Regarding your idea that Belgium automatically declares war when Germany invades Luxemburg, but not Belgium, remember that France (far more powerful & prestigious than Belgium) had a solemn, written agreement with Poland to attack Germany with 50 divisions & within 15 days of declaring war on Germany if Poland were attacked. However, despite there being only 12 German divisions facing 80 French divisions, France only sent a weak raid & hauled butt, ignoring completely its commitment.

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Old 16 Dec 15, 13:13
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The German invasion of France in 1940 was arguably one of the most wildly successful military operations in history. It wasn't perfect but it accomplished in a month what earlier couldn't be done in 4 years, with arguably a weaker force relative to the Allies than what Germany had in 1914. All things considered, apart from Dunkirk it's hard to realistically imagine how it could have gone much better. Only you could find that many serious problems with it.

What's next a thread about how Napoleon was an idiot at Austerlitz? Maybe Morgan's amateur performance at Cowpens? Perhaps Ceasar's ineptitude at Alesia?
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Old 16 Dec 15, 13:27
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The German force had over 4,000 superior planes available to support Panzers upon a radio call, it was in no way inferior to the Maginot & Liege mentality allied forces. It is a fact that much of that invaluable air force was wasted ruining Holland, Belgium & France & then Blitzing Britain gratuitously.

Germany also had a large & invaluable airborne component (which was completely wasted in neutral countries, instead of being deployed in France or Britain to much better advantage).

Germany managed to ruin France, Holland & Belgium in weeks, wasted nearly 3,000 planes over Holland, Belgium, France & Britain in 1940 & up tp June 22, 1941 (which would have been invaluable in Barbarossa) & lost the war during Barbarossa. So the French campaing was much less succesful than if the neutral countries had been spared & coaxed into granting right of way in order to persuade France to admit being outmaneuvered & concede defeat intact & then use its mighty navy, army and thousands of aviators to defeat Britain & the USSR, as suggested.

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Old 16 Dec 15, 17:34
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Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
Arguably the best move Germany could have made before invading Poland was to keep only the reliable 38 t Czech tanks & to trade 300 lousy Panzer I, all the unreliable 35 t Czech tanks, the Do 17 & all other outdated equipment & deliver the 120 105 mm cannon ordered by Holland in exchange for Dutch submarines, torpedoes, etc, This would have allowed Germany to sink more allied ships after declaring war & Holland to defend its neutrality if invaded by the allies during the invasion of France (Germany not invading Holland at all, as in WW I).
Okay, that means that the Germans are down a panzer division, possibly two by giving away those tanks. They lose the artillery for 4 infantry divisions as well.
The Allies have no reason to invade the Netherlands so that's just nonsense. However, it is possible that the US and other Allied nations decide not to supply the DEI equipment in protest of the Netherlands cooperating with Germany. Then the Dutch get massively slammed.
The Dutch government ordered, and was in the process of getting delivery of over 1000 tanks, about as many aircraft, and masses of other war materials all far in excess of what Germany could supply for defense of the DEI.
Since the Dutch can't openly side with Germany and Japan, they end up hit being neutral but favoring the Axis.

Quote:
Similarly, the best move Germany can make in this scenario after invading Luxemburg is to offer Belgium 200 Panzer I, some clumsy artillery pieces with shells, He 111, etc, (which are invaluable during wartime) in exchange for cobalt, copper, zinc, rubber, etc, from Belgian Congo & right of way only through the Ardennes & only for a month.
Which the Belgians would turn down seeing as how the French and British already had contracts to supply them better tanks...
The Belgians already have a decent artillery park so offering them crappy guns would go nowhere.
Both the Belgians and Dutch had indigenous aircraft manufacturing capacity that they saw meeting their needs. Aside from that, the US offered better terms on aircraft as the Dutch buys show. For example, the Dutch were getting P-40 fighters, PBY Catalina, and B-25 bombers to replace older, less capable aircraft in their inventory for the DEI.
As for imports, ain't happening either. The Allies would have put the brakes on that as Germany doesn't have a navy so the British and French control the seas. Blockade, embargo, or demanding that Belgium sell them the material vice Germany. Happened with Spain and Portugal...

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Regarding your idea that Belgium automatically declares war when Germany invades Luxemburg, but not Belgium, remember that France (far more powerful & prestigious than Belgium) had a solemn, written agreement with Poland to attack Germany with 50 divisions & within 15 days of declaring war on Germany if Poland were attacked. However, despite there being only 12 German divisions facing 80 French divisions, France only sent a weak raid & hauled butt, ignoring completely its commitment.
France did launch an abortive Saar offensive with a corps but France wasn't fully mobilized at the time either. The French also, at the time, characterized this offensive as an "invasion" and made claims they were meeting "stiff resistance."
Belgium would have declared war if just Luxembourg were invaded. Even if they didn't they would have returned to letting French and British troops access to their nation to help defend it as had been done up to 1939.
Aside from any of that, the Germans are now facing the main portion of the Maginot line and having to try and break through it rather than bypass it coming out of Luxembourg into France. The gros ouvrage at Rochonvillers is right in the path of such an invasion route for example. Behind that line are older forts at places like Metz. Essentially, you have the Germans trying to break one of the most heavily fortified areas in Europe.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 17:55
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Artillery played a ridiculous role in the sickle cut, especially 105 mm guns.

Guderian had about 770 tanks but only a ridiculous 130 cannon & most of his tanks had MGs, 20 mm or 37 mm guns (even his few Panzer III had a 37 mm gun at the time), so that when he arrived in Sedan late on 12 May he had no fire power & had to wait for dawn & hope for good weather for air support by the 1,500 planes at his disposal to pommel allied artillery & infantry across the Meuse.

Defending Holland's neutrality against the allies is not at all cooperating with Germany. It is the duty of a neutral nation, which if not performed justifies German reprisals or invasion.
The US did not "help" Holland with faulty, overhauled Buffaloes, Hudson's, etc, with underpowered export engines because the Dutch were cool, but because it was terrified of what the Japanese would do with DEI oil, nickel, rubber, etc,
In any event, with all the USN old battleships neatly lined up in PH & the old RN BBs in Ceylon & then running away to Kenya, the DEI were doomed.

It is much better to be down a Panzer division (or 3) & have 770 good tanks in Sedan than to have several Panzer divisions in neutral Holland & Belgium & 2 in reserve but only hundreds of Panzer I (which are not even tanks, since they have neither turret nor cannon & have only a crew of 2, they are tankettes), unreliable 35 (t) & Panzer II & 38 (t) & a few Panzer III & IV in Sedan.

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Old 16 Dec 15, 20:19
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The importance of common sense & efficient communications:
Strachwitz (the tank general-count without any experience regarding naval artillery support) in 1944 used the slow firing, 20 cm guns of Prinz Eugen 30 km away to blast entire units of formidable T-34 in Tukum, Latvia,
In contrast, 3 allied destroyers off Boulogne could not defend the port with their quick fire guns from Guderian's small tanks with weak armor.
Such was the use given to the formidable British & French navies.
Cheers to the allies taking the initiative T.A.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 21:23
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This is a non-starter for me.

You are trying to improve on a success that was so swift and overwhelming that the Germans themselves were not prepared to exploit it properly.
Thus Dunkirk and the abortive BoB, not to mention Sealion's flop.

If you want to try something like this, how about Norway, or maybe visit the "Island madness" of 1940-42.
I could even play Devil's Advocate (the Germans) for that one.

And I have something even more insane.... yeah, all I need is a complete TO&E for a IJN Infantry Division.
THis ought to be a real killer.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 21:48
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It is interesting that because something succeeds beyond expectations (nobody thought that the allies would be so incompetent), it cannot be critisized, eventhough it cost Germany the war.

A medical operation can succeed beyond expectations initially & yet be a big mistake if it causes the patient's death a year later & it turns out not to have been necessary or to have been contra indicated.

By the way, if Guderain or Rommel (two wasteful, nearly parallel columns) had gone directly for Dunkirk, instead of taking a tortuous route, they would have arrive earlier & the allies would not have evacuated.

Rommel went from Dinant all the to Arras & then all the west to Avesnes.
He could have easily gone Dinant-Dunkirk in a few days.

Guderian went from Sedan all the way south to Reims & then to Abbeville, Boulogne, Calais & finally close to Dunkirk, by which time Rundstedt & Hitler had panicked & orderes a halt. He could have easily gone Sedan Dunkirk in a few days.

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Old 17 Dec 15, 12:19
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From wiki, battle of Gembloux:
Hoepner's XVI Corps led the attack at Gembloux. Its forces included General Horst Stumpff's 3rd Panzer Division, which on 10 May had the 3rd Panzer Brigade with 343 tanks, the 3rd Motorised Rifle Brigade, an artillery regiment and a squadron of reconnaissance aircraft, plus engineer and service personnel. Of its 343 tanks, only 42 were medium Panzerkampfwagen; 16 Panzer IIIs and 26 heavier Panzer IVs). General Johann-Joachim Stever's 4th Panzerdivision had the 5th Panzer Brigade with 331 tanks, the 4th Motorized Rifle Brigade, two artillery regiments, and support forces like those of the 3rd Panzerdivision. Of its 331 tanks on 10 May, only 20 were Panzer III and 24 were Panzer IV. Hoepner also disposed of the 20th Motorized Division and the 35th Infantry Division during the Battle of Gembloux.

so out of 674 tanks in the 3th & 4th Panzerdivisions in central Belgium only 50 had 75 mm cannon (the rest had 37 mm, 20 mm cannon or MGs) & only 36 were Panzer III with 37 mm cannon & by far most were light tanks & tankettes. It was the few real tanks (86 Pz III & IV), which trounced the French armor, while the numerous tankettes took heavy losses to 25 mm Hotchkiss & larger AT guns, R-35 tanks, etc, & accomplished nothing.

Guderian had objected strongly to the absurd decision to arm the Panzer III with a 37 mm gun, which was useless both against personnel & against heavy tanks at any range or against medium tanks at long range. Had he prevailed & the Panzer III been armed with 50 mm guns, all the difficulty of placing those few Pz III deep into enemy territory would have produced much better fruits, even if there had been no Pz I & 35 (t) at all in Hoeppner's force.

In other words, Höppner would have been much better off with 100 Pz II & 75 38 (t), 75 Pz III (with 50 mm guns) & 50 Pz IV (300 tanks) in a single division than with 674 tanks (mostly crap) in 2 divisions.

Most importantly:
On 15 May:
Höppner had the 3rd & 4th Pz divisions in Gembloux
Kluge had the 5th & 7th (Rommel's) Pz divisions advancing from Dinant to Arras
Reinhardt had the 6th & 8th Pz divisions crossing the Meuse at Montherme
Guderian had the 1st, 2nd & 10th divisions crossing the Meuse at Sedan in order to head south to Reims, before heading west to Abbeville
So the LW & engineers had to support multiple crossings of the Meuse & armor thrusts, while the LW still fought allied planes & the Pz divisions were fighting against myriad allied defensive positions far apart. Logistics were extremely complicated to reinforce & supply those 4 columns, plus those in Holland.

In contrast, had Germany not invaded Holland nor Belgium beyond the Ardennes, but only held on to an Ardennes defensive line & thrust south to emmerge at Sedan to launch three Pz & an infantry columns:
a) Guderain with a single, very good Pz division to cross the Meuse and head for Reims & then straight to Paris.
b) Kluge with a single, very good division heads from Sedan to Dunkirk. by 21 May the BEF, Belgian & French army would have been cut off from France (evacuation from Antwerp or Holland is not feasible, for lack of fighter escort & exposore to U-boats, E-boats, etc,) & Guderian would be approaching Paris.
c) Höppner with a single, very good Pz division heads SE from Sedan for Paris-Verdun RR & road & then to Paris.
d) 6 infantry & a motorized division attack the flank of the Maginot from the rear to open the Lux. & German borders for massive flow of troops & materiel into France between Guderian's & Kluge's columns.
It is much easier to supply & provide air support for the 3 armored columns close to Germany & the infantry column advancing behind the Maginot line, along the German border than it is to support a large number of rapidly advancing Pz divisions in several columns along tortuous routes in Holland, Belgium & France.
Intead of having to create simultaneously & rapidy 3 crossing for the Meuse (Dinant, Montherme & Sedan) under fire, a single area needs to be cleared of enemy artillery & infantry in Sedan and several pontoon bridges can be build there to move tanks, trucks, etc, rapdily into France, while the RR lines through Luxemburg & Germany into France are reestablished as infantry clears the Maginot's flank & while a crossing is established & a RR bridge built in Strasbourg.

On 21 May Guderian is past Chateau Thierry, Kluge is in Dunkirk & Höpner is approaching Paris along the Verdun RR. Infantry has opened
The allies hold Calais, Boulogne, Belgium & central, east & south France, but they know that they have been defeated.

However, it is much smarter to persuade Belgium & Switzerland to grant passage & to turn France against Britian (its traditional enemy) than to destroy the cities & ruin the armies of France, Belgium & Holland.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 16:02
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Originally Posted by Dracoco View Post
It is much better to be down a Panzer division (or 3) & have 770 good tanks in Sedan than to have several Panzer divisions in neutral Holland & Belgium & 2 in reserve but only hundreds of Panzer I (which are not even tanks, since they have neither turret nor cannon & have only a crew of 2, they are tankettes), unreliable 35 (t) & Panzer II & 38 (t) & a few Panzer III & IV in Sedan.
I would think the Germans themselves would disagree with you on that assessment.
The Panzer I did have a turret, and it's pair of MGs are adequate at dealing with infantry A Battalion of the little things has the same number of "heavy MGs" (defined as a MG with a tripod) as an entire Infantry Division, and the armor to shrug off return MG fire and shell fragments, with a high degree of mobility (compared to infantry).

Considering that a French Infantry Battalion being attacked by even a company of these tanks (~20ish) only has 2x 25mm AT guns to defend it self (as well as 2x 81mm mortars and 3x 60mm mortars and 16 HMGs (Hotchkiss M1914s)). A Pair of MGs might not be as effective at knocking out a AT gun as a canon round but they will still suppress the unit, as the tiny gun shields are barely enough to protect the gunner, the loaders are not going to be as protected...

Though by in large most Panzer Company's where mixed units, with a theoretical OOB as of the sprig of 1940 was as such

HQ Unit: Panzer III, 2x Panzer II, Panzer I command tank (radio tank)
1st & 2nd Zug (Platoons in German), 3 Panzer II and 2 Panzer I (each)
3rd and 4th Zug 3x Panzer III
The Panzer IIIs could be swapped out with Panzer 35(t) and 38(t).

Strength reports suggests that by in large at the time of the invasion of France most "Light Company's" where equipped as such (with exception of the 3rd and 4th Panzer divisions which where a bit short of Panzer IIIs, about 25% under in that regard).

Panzer Is had the task of Flank security and recon.
Source is Jentz Panzertruppen vol 1

As for your remark on Sedan would of been better if Germany had 770 good tanks and not the "useless" Panzer I as you put it, Well the Tank brake down for this force was (19th Panzer Corps on 10th May 1940 had)
Panzer I 144
Panzer II 326
Panzer III 174
Panzer IV 104
Command Tanks 42
So they had far more good tanks than the useless Panzer I (which again was useful for flank protection and recon), they had more Panzer IIIs than Is.
Getting rid of the Panzer Is while it might slightly improve this corps performance is going to be detrimental elsewhere, as the better tanks have to come from somewhere, some other unit, which is going to be now weaker.
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