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the allied attacked Germany first in 1940?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Kai-Petri, Nov 10, 2002.

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  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    After the beginning of the Polish campaign, everyone expected heavy combat in the west, like the summer of 1914. The British Expeditionary Force landed in France, British children were sent to Canada or the countryside; At various times, neutral Belgium and Holland braced for invasion.

    The heavy combat did not immediately materialize. Instead, the warring nations settled into a lull in fighting. The British press dubbed it the “sitzkrieg”. Overlooked was the hot war in the Atlantic. British merchantmen were fighting for their lives to keep Britain supplied with resources.

    The "phony war" gave the Germans time to gather supplies and weapons, to strengthen defence and to develop forces. They created at that time 43 new infantry divisions and increased the number of armoured divisions to 10.

    On the other hand Allies' military preparations were sluggish and effortless. The French formed three times fewer divisions than the Germans did. The Brits also were increasing their army slowly. It was not until February 1940 that the British government resolved to form 55 new divisions, but the deadline for their final readiness was not established. British troops were not in hurry to France: in October 1939 only four British divisions, and by the beginning of 1940 another six ones arrived there.

    However France and Great Britain possessed superiority in troops till the end of the ill-fated campaign of 1940. The Germans had some superiority in tanks, aircraft and artillery, but this superiority was considered so slim, that it could not solely justify their further victories and the Allies' defeats. France alone was a serious military power. She had 110 divisions; 90 of them were amassed on the German border. Staffs and military schools worked out principles of the operational and tactical combat to the tiniest details, and their military science and doctrine used to be copied by virtually all the general staffs throughout Europe and America.

    The Phony War did lull many French and British citizens into a false sense of complacency, but on May 10, 1940, the “Phony War” came to a swift and terrible end with the invasion of France and the low countries.
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    So I am asking what do you think if instaed of trying to use economical pressure against Hitler the Allied would have attacked, then when would that have happened, why and what would have happened in the end?

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    http://2ndww.tripod.com/West/maginot.htm
     
  2. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    If Germany would have been attacked, let's say in November 1939 maybe Germany could have halted the Allies in the Rhein with reinforcements rapidly mobilised from Poland. Then you have maybe a year or two of static warfare until Germany id defeated by the Western Allies in an attrition, trencher warfare like in 1914. Or maybe, the war would have ended when Stalin's mighty and new Red Army smahsed the Eastern flank of Germany and then the war would have been over two years earlier. It would have been only an European war and many, many lives would have been saved.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I think that the Germans would be halted--at least for a nice length of time--then they might try to sue for a "compromise" of somekind--then still attack Russia at some other time--providing uncle joe doesnt instigate an attack first.
     
  4. dasreich

    dasreich Member

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    Germany had very few troops on the border of France at the invasion of Poland. Had Britain and France attacked they could have easily breached the rhine put Germany in a fight for her life. Had Stalin chosen to break the treaty as Hitler would later do, then the war would be over by 1941.

    Stalins army won ww2 at a terrible price. It would have been relatively a piece of cake to defeat them in 1939/40 had Britain and France made an attempt on Germany, so the Red Army would have likely kept going into Western Europe.

    But what if Stalin came to Germanys aid? It would have been a real mess for the Allies to bring the Soviet Union in on Germanys side.
     
  5. Sniper

    Sniper Member

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    Indeed, like dasreich said, Britain and France could easily have breached the Rhine into Germany if they had wanted. I think France alone outnumbered the German forces in the west at that time. With British and French troops on German soil, probably re-occupying the Ruhr industrial area, Germany would have had no other choice but to sue for a quick peace. One of the reasons why they didn't do it (at least in the beginning) was because they didn't want to violate Belgian neutrality. Only planning to enter Belgium if the Germans moved that way.

    I don't know if Stalin would have taken advantage of a British/French western invasion though. At least not against Germany herself, but probably he would take the opportunity to invade the rest of Poland, if the German forces there withdrew to face the British/French. Maybe with a view to attacking Germany later. Remember he was still saddled with an army that had had most of it's experienced officer corps exterminated.

    If Britain and France had invaded, the war would have been a lot shorter and a lot less people would have died. Hitler and the Nazi's may even have been ousted completely.

    _______________

    We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. - Winston Churchill
     
  6. vonManstein39

    vonManstein39 Member

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    The Allies could have reached the west bank of the Rhine without too much difficulty in the first few weeks of the war - all the Germans could do would be to fight a delaying action. Crossing the Rhine and exploiting a bridgehead would be very difficult without command of the air.

    The one thing no-one has mentioned so far is the Luftwaffe, which unlike the German Army was stronger in 1939 than the French and British air forces put together. Remember the British and Americans had quite a tough time fighting the German Army in 1944-45 even WITH the benefit of total air superiority!

    Also in 1939 Air Marshal Dowding kept most of the RAF fighters in the UK to defend against expected bombing attacks - only ten squadrons of Hurricanes, a few Gladiators and a lot of obselete light bombers went to help the French air force in France.

    The Allies would have been pushed out of Germany by the main German army after its return from Poland, in the winter of 1939-40. By May 1940 the Allies would be back behind the Maginot Line where they'd started.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Which is why I figured the allies would be halted-or slowed so much that the Germans could change stragities and move troops into postition to stop the allied attack. The allied forces on hand were too weak to do much even if they did get onto German soil. When the Germans recovered from the initial shock--then these allied soldiers would have been pretty much doomed--and most likely many more would be captured and or killed--than originally had been when Dunkirk was finally over. Less troops to defend England.
     
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