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edwest2 9th March 2019 23:37

Fall of France?
I have read nothing so far that explains, in a way that is credible to me, why France fell so quickly. What am I missing?

Thanks in advance,

Nick Beale 10th March 2019 12:55

Re: Fall of France?
It's an old book but have you read Alistair Horne's "To Lose A Battle"? My memory of that is that the French command and control systems were just too slow to cope with the pace of events, so that may be part of the explanation.

Also, Len Deighton's "Blitzkkrieg" is very readable, and forthright in its opinions.

Orwell1984 10th March 2019 19:03

Re: Fall of France?
I would add the following titles to the reading list for a good overview:

Strange Victory by Ernest May
The Blitzkrieg Legend by Karl-Heinz Frieser

I found France 1940 by Philip Nord an interesting shorter read.
and the recent Case Red by Robert Forczyk does a good job in its opening chapters of providing a summary of the respective arguments.

edwest2 10th March 2019 22:50

Re: Fall of France?
Thank you Nick and Orwell1984.


Fanair 11th March 2019 09:32

Re: Fall of France?
Also to lose a battle of Alister Horne and the collapse of the third Republic by William L. Shirer.

Very good books


Christer Engdahl 11th March 2019 10:53

Re: Fall of France?
Last week, on one of the history channels, I saw a program about WWII in France. If it was an established fact or pure speculation is difficult to tell but it was said that Germany had accurate information from spies regarding weak points in French defense and they knew exactly where to attack.

Alfred.MONZAT 11th March 2019 12:11

Re: Fall of France?
In a land war, the Germans had all possible advantage over their neighbors. In case of France, most are just slight, but a good number are appaling, showing serious flaws in French side. Military talking the French had just a couple of design superior and advantage in number in some category of weaponery but outdated military doctrine (like most country compared to Germany). Considering both country man power, only with Britain, France would have a slight chance. But rebunking intelligence from their spies and air reco, high command (still stuck in WWI) doomed their troops only to be sacrified to allow the BEF to escape. At this point, it was already almost impossible to recover from such losses but still the French Army fought three more weeks, inflicting more losses than with the help of three other nations in the three previous weeks. Then, and even before, lots of politician did not wanted the war and took the opportunity to take power and apply their (extreme right) politic, even if that was to half a puppet state. Not sure the communist who sabotaged factories in preparation of the german offensive were pleased by that.

To conclude, you won't find a decisive thing that allowed that, but many little and less little. But to be frank, no country did especially better in six weeks in a land war.

edwest2 11th March 2019 17:55

Re: Fall of France?
Thank you Alain, Christer and Alfred. All contributors have been quite helpful.



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