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Thread: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender] commentary thread

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    Default The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender] commentary thread

    The thread

    I am arguing they could have fought on, my opponant belives they did what they could.
    Enjoy.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Excellent rebuttal by LCJ, the differences in small-arms was a poor opening gambit, and the differences in manpower element seems to be dealt with in a few scant sentences making broad generalizations.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Excellent rebuttal by LCJ, the differences in small-arms was a poor opening gambit, and the differences in manpower element seems to be dealt with in a few scant sentences making broad generalizations.
    Thank you very much for the comment! I would also invite you to have a further look at my rebuttal as I wasn't quite done with it when you posted this and I've extended it somewhat.

    Cheers!

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    The Lance Corporal has this in the bag due to a stable argument and well researched facts. Personally, I believe that the French ditched out for cowardice in their officer corps, not their ground forces as a whole. I may disagree with the Lance Corporal, but I think he has this debate in the bag unless the Pretender brings something big to the table.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Na, so it finally happened...

    So what are we actually debate about?? French sucks??

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    It states the debate aims in the OP, though it's a little more in depth than that summary.

    If LCJ wanted, he could point out that much of the argument of France surrendering too early is based on cosy hindsight. France had little reason to believe they would be occupied for 4 years, or indeed at all. The assumption by the French government that Germany would force a peace, hand over some colonies and land such as the Alsace and other Versaille-related territories and then let them get on with it was not completely a work of fantasy from their point of view. They forgot they were dealing with the Nazis, rather than a Wilhelm I in 1871 or a French Republic after WW1, ironically.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

    -Emile Cammaerts' book The Laughing Prophets (1937)

    Under the patronage of Nihil. So there.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    It states the debate aims in the OP, though it's a little more in depth than that summary.

    If LCJ wanted, he could point out that much of the argument of France surrendering too early is based on cosy hindsight. France had little reason to believe they would be occupied for 4 years, or indeed at all. The assumption by the French government that Germany would force a peace, hand over some colonies and land such as the Alsace and other Versaille-related territories and then let them get on with it was not completely a work of fantasy from their point of view. They forgot they were dealing with the Nazis, rather than a Wilhelm I in 1871 or a French Republic after WW1, ironically.
    Surlely the events in Slovakia, Austria and Poland would have convinced them otherwise? Did Hitler not do the same there aswell?

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    It states the debate aims in the OP, though it's a little more in depth than that summary.

    If LCJ wanted, he could point out that much of the argument of France surrendering too early is based on cosy hindsight. France had little reason to believe they would be occupied for 4 years, or indeed at all. The assumption by the French government that Germany would force a peace, hand over some colonies and land such as the Alsace and other Versaille-related territories and then let them get on with it was not completely a work of fantasy from their point of view. They forgot they were dealing with the Nazis, rather than a Wilhelm I in 1871 or a French Republic after WW1, ironically.
    Na, your statement clearly has flaw - won't Hitler give even more harsh peacement if French did not surrender?? Obviously, fighting a hopeless war and lost all France (and national army) was far worse than than gained a peace and preserve a small land of France (and colony).

    However, we never know what Hitler's "suitable peace with France" means; yet German's occupation of northern France was rather a strategical approach to prevent a British attack fron there (so, you can actually blame British for their unreasonal approach towards German after Battle of France which caused Vichy France lost northern France).

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Surlely the events in Slovakia, Austria and Poland would have convinced them otherwise? Did Hitler not do the same there aswell?
    Austria and Slovakia were not invaded, one was annexed (anschluss) and the other allied to maintain it's integrity as a client state. Given that the annexation of Austria was seen by many in the West as a reunification of Germanic peoples and Slovakia was a far-away land nobody knew or cared much about in the west. As Poland was the very last line in the sand and had been regarded in lukewarm terms by French and British statemen as troublemakers, and given Poland was occupied by troops neighbouring Soviet ones it would actually make sense in leaving France a humbled but unnocupied country. With France passive and beaten, who is left in the west? The tiny recently-beaten BEF? May as well wait for the Nazi-soviet pact to disolve and France could get on with life.

    Na, your statement clearly has flaw - won't Hitler give even more harsh peacement if French did not surrender?? Obviously, fighting a hopeless war and lost all France (and national army) was far worse than than gained a peace and preserve a small land of France (and colony).
    I'm not sure about a flaw, but I'm not sure what you're trying to say either. The French situation was similar to that of Churchill's throughout the war- preserve the Empire by all means. The French leadership had no idea what Hitler wanted, he was repeatedly saying he was trying to reverse Versailles and other punishments that reduced the German Empire- what better way to pay for peace than handing over some colonies and coal-producing areas in the Alsace? It was a serious misjudgement of charactor by the French. Churchill thankfully saw through them.

    ----------------

    One of the other arguments is that of resoluteness. WW1 had been over for little more than 20 years and had seen a huge loss of French lives and destruction of towns and villages. The declining birthrate of France in the inter-war period didn't exactly help either. Germany had a fascist dictator with the chip of Versailles on his shoulder, which had inflamed the German people. What did motivation did France have to sacrifice another generation?
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    I'm not sure about a flaw, but I'm not sure what you're trying to say either. The French situation was similar to that of Churchill's throughout the war- preserve the Empire by all means. The French leadership had no idea what Hitler wanted, he was repeatedly saying he was trying to reverse Versailles and other punishments that reduced the German Empire- what better way to pay for peace than handing over some colonies and coal-producing areas in the Alsace? It was a serious misjudgement of charactor by the French. Churchill thankfully saw through them.
    I am not sure what you are trying to say either; Hitler clearly stated he wanted white peace with Great Britain and Churchill just ignored it, any thought??

    Not to mention Petain's original intention was to surrender before it was too late, did he do wrong?? Of course not; we never know what Hitler would ask if Petain did not surrender before whole France got occupied - perhaps, Hitler would even ask the whole annexation of France; did that worth a lost of whole country due some silly national proud?? No.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    I am not sure what you are trying to say either; Hitler clearly stated he wanted white peace with Great Britain and Churchill just ignored it, any thought??
    Yes but I don't see how it ties in.

    Not to mention Petain's original intention was to surrender before it was too late, did he do wrong?? Of course not; we never know what Hitler would ask if Petain did not surrender before whole France got occupied - perhaps, Hitler would even ask the whole annexation of France; did that worth a lost of whole country due some silly national proud?? No.
    So... you agree the French leadership could not foresee what the conditions of armistice would be and had misjudged the situation? It was not a case of cowardice in the French people and an unwillingness to 'fight to the death'.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

    -Emile Cammaerts' book The Laughing Prophets (1937)

    Under the patronage of Nihil. So there.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    So... you agree the French leadership could not foresee what the conditions of armistice would be and had misjudged the situation? It was not a case of cowardice in the French people and an unwillingness to 'fight to the death'.
    It is not a misjudge; what French government wanted was peace and the consider of territory lost was rather not in their thought (in fact, they probably felt relax that German did not annex whole France). So, your statement about "French leadership could not forsee what the conditions of armistice would be and had misjudged the situation" was wrong; in fact, they probably had in mind it would be a harsh one but they just wanted peace; but then, we still need sources in order to know what French leadership really thought about it at that time.

    You have to remember that, a government represented its people, hence French had no execuse to put the responsibility on others about the situation their government caused, because that was the government they elected.

    About the situation of Great Britain after Battle of France, we can actually argue that Great Britain was fighting a war that had no logical reasons on it but only for British proud; clearly, Great Britain lost any political reason to fight Germany when both Poland and France lost, and Hitler offered nothing but white peace gave Great Britain little execuse to fight on.
    Last edited by hellheaven1987; June 27, 2009 at 07:18 PM.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    It is not a misjudge; what French government wanted was peace and the consider of territory lost was rather not in their thought (in fact, they probably felt relax that German did not annex whole France). So, your statement about "French leadership could not forsee what the conditions of armistice would be and had misjudged the situation" was wrong; in fact, they probably had in mind it would be a harsh one but they just wanted peace; but then, we still need sources in order to know what French leadership really thought about it at that time.
    So I'm wrong, but we need sources to prove it. That doesn't make sense.


    You have to remember that, a government represented its people, hence French had no execuse to put the responsibility on others about the situation their government caused, because that was the government they elected.
    But French troops continued to fight as LCJ pointed out, and DeGualle also. Both had to fight against the wishes of the government. It again shows France was not throwing their hands up like some sychronised Mexican wave. It also shows they fought as much as they could against political and military defeatism.

    About the situation of Great Britain after Battle of France, we can actually argue that Great Britain was fighting a war that had no logical reasons on it but only for British proud; clearly, Great Britain lost any political reason to fight Germany when both Poland and France lost, and Hitler offered nothing but white peace gave Great Britain little execuse to fight on.
    Churchill tried desperately to keep France in the war but it was a lost cause due to the German break-through. There was little France could do, they were outwitted on the strategic level. Fighting on 'to the death' would accomplish nothing.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

    -Emile Cammaerts' book The Laughing Prophets (1937)

    Under the patronage of Nihil. So there.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    So I'm wrong, but we need sources to prove it. That doesn't make sense.
    Well, from the British accounts I read it seems French government was in chaos just as much as their army, so it was rather not surprised they wanted peace after all.

    And Hitler did not force French government to sign the peace treaty; they could always reject it and continued fighting on but the government accepted it (Petain played a big role in here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    But French troops continued to fight as LCJ pointed out, and DeGualle also. Both had to fight against the wishes of the government. It again shows France was not throwing their hands up like some sychronised Mexican wave. It also shows they fought as much as they could against political and military defeatism.
    You mean, rogue general de Gaulle??

    When your government asked you to put down arm and stop fighting, you obey that; if not, you are a rogue. The only reason why de Gaulle was justified is because Allies won the war, that is it.

    And Vichy France was in peace until Allies tried to invade it.

    Edit: About the legacy of Vichy France, LCJ made an interesting claim that Vichy government was illegal because it did not follow Constitution, then he tried to legalise Free France by saying it followed Constitution, by completely ignored the fact that Free France was never a legal exile government connecting with previous French government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Churchill tried desperately to keep France in the war but it was a lost cause due to the German break-through. There was little France could do, they were outwitted on the strategic level. Fighting on 'to the death' would accomplish nothing.
    He tried, but French government just ignored him (in fact, Churchill request was not even discussed by French government). Churchill even willing to go as far as propose a Angol-French Union - nice way to deal French, Mr Churchill.

    And we cannot forget that Churchill, like Hitler, made as many military disasters as possible; the only reason why British ever won the war was because American was in and able to recover from all the mistakes.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    About the legacy of Vichy France, LCJ made an interesting claim that Vichy government was illegal because it did not follow Constitution, then he tried to legalise Free France by saying it followed Constitution, by completely ignored the fact that Free France was never a legal exile government connecting with previous French government.
    I never claimed the Free French were legal; I was claiming that republican continuity had not been, de jure, interrupted. If you know anything about law you'll be able to figure this one out.

    Scenario: There is a constitution and a form of government, the French Republic, in power.

    1 - Using strong man tactics, Laval forces a fraudulent election through the National Assembly to give Pétain powers to reform the Constitution.

    2 - The election is illegal as it violates the prescriptions of the 1875 constitutional law.

    3 - Therefore, Pétain's constitutional reforms are de jure null and void.

    Conclusion: The French III Republic didn't cease to exist, legally, during that time frame.

    Of course, once legality was restored, the III Republic was ended and a new constitution was drafted, giving birth to the IV Republic. But my point stands: No matter what Pétain did from a practical standpoint, from a legal standpoint it was void.

    I don't think that's too difficult to understand, now, is it?

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post

    And we cannot forget that Churchill, like Hitler, made as many military disasters as possible; the only reason why British ever won the war was because American was in and able to recover from all the mistakes.
    Battle of Britain, El Alamein, Taranto.. How did America save us from those 'mistakes'? Quite the contrary, the US made the same mistakes Britain did (due to inexperience) such as at Kasserine Pass. The myth that the competant US showed the ditzy Brits how to do it is just that- a myth. They simply had more resources to plug the gaps.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender] commentary thread

    It would appear that my prediction of a one sided debate is coming to fruition. This is in no part a reflection of either participants' skills - it's a reflection of the material available on which to debate. French soldiers were not cowardly, and did not perform anywhere near on par with the currect perception held by many people. LCJ has history on his side, while The Pretender merely has a baseless string of myths and misconceptions to argue from. I see the comparison of the opposing side's weapons as an odd opening - it seems way off topic, and should invetably add nothing to the discussion. The meat of the debate, IMO, will be discussions on some of the engagements in May-June 1940.

    Anyway - keep up the good work. I'll be interested to see if TWking/The Pretender changes his tune about the combat effectiveness of the French...

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    Battle of Britain, El Alamein, Taranto.. How did America save us from those 'mistakes'? Quite the contrary, the US made the same mistakes Britain did (due to inexperience) such as at Kasserine Pass. The myth that the competant US showed the ditzy Brits how to do it is just that- a myth. They simply had more resources to plug the gaps.
    I said "because American you guys could recover from those mistakes". Read carefully next time.

    And you cannot deny that Churchill's biggest strategical mistake was Far East, which pretty much screw all British's military reputation. It was only because American that British could ever pass Burma, or they had no chance to ever do that (and probably got Australia and India screwed up, thous screw up North Africa campaign).

    Quote Originally Posted by OTZ View Post
    It would appear that my prediction of a one sided debate is coming to fruition. This is in no part a reflection of either participants' skills - it's a reflection of the material available on which to debate. French soldiers were not cowardly, and did not perform anywhere near on par with the currect perception held by many people. LCJ has history on his side, while The Pretender merely has a baseless string of myths and misconceptions to argue from. I see the comparison of the opposing side's weapons as an odd opening - it seems way off topic, and should invetably add nothing to the discussion. The meat of the debate, IMO, will be discussions on some of the engagements in May-June 1940.

    Anyway - keep up the good work. I'll be interested to see if TWking/The Pretender changes his tune about the combat effectiveness of the French...
    Well, that depends; cowardice is rather hard to debate since different people have different standard. However, it was possible to debate French's military flaws, which LCJ includes.
    Last edited by hellheaven1987; June 28, 2009 at 05:29 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by hellheaven1987 View Post
    I said "because American you guys could recover from those mistakes". Read carefully next time.
    I can read perfectly, but your sentence makes no sense so I interpret as best I can.

    And you cannot deny that Churchill's biggest strategical mistake was Far East, which pretty much screw all British's military reputation. It was only because American that British could ever pass Burma, or they had no chance to ever do that (and probably got Australia and India screwed up, thous screw up North Africa campaign).
    For better or worse, Churchill did not consider the Far East as a premiere theatre to defend. It was an outpost of the Empire, with just enough resources sent to defend it. This is OT, anyway. The thread is about the Battle of France.
    'When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything. '

    -Emile Cammaerts' book The Laughing Prophets (1937)

    Under the patronage of Nihil. So there.

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    Default Re: The french in 1940 commentry thread [Lance-Corporal Jones vs. The Pretender]

    Quote Originally Posted by Markas View Post
    For better or worse, Churchill did not consider the Far East as a premiere theatre to defend. It was an outpost of the Empire, with just enough resources sent to defend it. This is OT, anyway. The thread is about the Battle of France.
    Which was his mistakes; British government had to rely on the metal ores (tin, basically) from Malaya, the reinforcement from Australia and New Zealand, and the supplies from India (the North African troops were supplied by Indian government), yet Churchill prefered to store up a ridiculous large force in North Africa instead sending "enough resources" to defend Far East. Odd enough the "enough resources" were not even reached before Japanese invaded.

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