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Old 19th August 2008, 22:50
Grozibou
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Causes of a unique defeat

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJE View Post
Franek, it's hard to sum up a quite complex issue in a few words.
Let's say that the French were intellectually inferior to the Germans in 1940.
For once I couldn't agree more with CJE - both sentences. I would just add : the French GENERALS were intellectually inferior... French aircraft, ship, gun and tank makers, engineers and workers were among the very finest in the world* but, sadly, not the top-ranking military leaders, in one word most generals from 2 to 5 stars (in France the lowest general rank has two stars).

* a very high-ranking nazi, I think it was Saur, who had been looking for skilled workers all over Europe, wrote in his book that French workers were just as good as German ones and he was generally full of praise for them. Coming from a genuine nazi this really was SOME statement! Saur (whom Hitler had appointed Albert Speer's successor as industry and armaments minister in his testament, Speer being no longer politically reliable in April 1945...) managed NOT to be hanged in Nürnberg. Indeed, even the production of aero-engines with fuel injection had started in France too (Hispano-Suiza 12 Z I think, no guarantee) and this demanded workmanship of top quality. This is what limited the supply of such engines in Germany (He 111).

About 1975 I wrote to my brother, who was a captain with the paratroopers : "It was an INTELLECTUAL defeat." In the meantime I learned a lot and it only confirmed this opinion more and more as time passed by.

Besides, it was hardly better 1914 and also 1914-18 but that time the French moustached generals had a little more luck. 1914 French first-line soldiers were wearing bright-red trousers - like old times! German soldiers called them "The red pants". Those red pants alone probably cost tens of thousands of French lives before the generals chose a less conspicuous colour - "bleu horizon"...

But WW I is off topic. Sorry!
 

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