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The French March in Rhineland in 3-36

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by Tom, Sep 16, 2006.

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  1. Tom

    Tom Member

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    How much of an inpact would it make on the war if the French moved against the nazis in the rhineland in 36? Hitler said about it that he would have ran with his tail between his legs.
     
  2. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    i think they may have gotten somewhere with that....the germans were still building their military somewhat
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Member

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    I've read that the French had about 100 div to the germans 30000 lightly armed troopers.The rebuilding goal was something like 36 div and 550000 men this was right before the 36 olympics in berlin.At the time of the Rhineland the French could have stopped Hitler cold and had every right by versillese to do so were they that paranoid of hitler?I got my info from historyplace.com
     
  4. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    No WWII. France would have occupied the Rheinland and Hitler's government would have, most surely, fallen by a military coup.
     
  5. Tom

    Tom Member

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    there would be a lot of chaos but I think it would be like the early days after the first war with diffrent groups jumping for power.Could there be a purge within the nazi party thus disrupting the counrty i.e. long knives type?
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Meet the new Führer, Heinrich Himmler!
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Could he have gathered up the potential mess left behind?
    Assuming Nazism survived such an event and Hitler fell personally (perhaps an impossibility for the ideology to survive without the man) would Goering or maybe even Heydrich be more likely candidates? If a coup were triggered then who would lead it in 1936, forces external, or perhaps even internal, to the party?
    So many questions. Another 'what if' brain-melter. :confused:
    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  8. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    If they did march in the Rhineland, the Germans would retreat and England would force the French to withdraw. There would be no coup because the French would not wage an all out war and by 1936 the Nazis have firmly controlled Germany. Hitler will probably think twice before he makes a move and the war would start somewhere around 1941.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I do think the Germans did not have "an army" in 1936. So actually the Germans could not put up a real fight if needed. It´s another thing what the French thought they were facing.

    Back then and perhaps even as late as 1938 I´d think the Wehrmacht men might be there to take the power first. SS was not existing ( in numbers ), and SA had been ripped to pieces. But if the Rheinland gamble failed Hitler would seem rather pathetic and chances are his position would be threatened. You know there was a coup coming in late 1938 lead by Wehrmacht ( Halder etc )but the Munich talks stopped it just as it was about to start.
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    This is an interesting subject. If Germany were forced to back off by the French reentering the Rhineland in force, expanding further inside Germany to add injury to the insult, it is quite possible changes would be seen, possibly with Hitler himself being removed, killed by accidentally stopping a 9gm lead pill.

    There would be two forces to consider: the Army and the Party. The Army had a conspiration already ongoing (as always) but would they be able to go ahead? They would be discredited in the rereat too, most of the few troops would be tied up trying to confront the French, confusion all around. But they might manage to throw their palace putsch.

    The Party would be scared stiff of the Army, and the top heads would be Himmler, Bormann and Goering. Inside the Party I think Goering would be most qualified to do anything, as he was at the top of his performance. He had lots of prestige as the creator of a reborn Luftwaffe (for what it's worth at the time), minister of economic planning, president of the Reichstag, police minister of Prussia, etc, etc. He was still very far away from his later setbacks like the BoB and Stalingrad, so he really was the top contender.
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'd lean towards Goering too. At that stage much of his personal charisma and reputation from the 1st war was still intact. He was also, as he demonstrated at Nuremburg, capable of being one of the most pugilistic of the leadership even when independent of Adolf. If he had any sense however he'd be regarding Heydrich as his most dangerous internal rival wouldn't he?
    I just can't see the Army forming a coup. I don't think even an embarrasing setback against France would have stiffened their spines enough to go against the leadership. After all it took several years of war before there was much evidence of them being prepared to break with 'Prussian tradition' and show some real resistance to the regime.
     
  12. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    This has always mystified me........

    'Why' didn't France intervene when Hitler re-occupied the Rhineland? Perhaps the French government hesitated because the French public would have refused to accept any French casualties, and even if the Germans were lightly armed and under instruction to withdraw if confronted, there would have been bloodshed and the French government of the day might have fallen.

    But considering what France had suffered at the hands of the Germans in 1870 and the first world war, you would have thought the first thing they would do is stop the Germans from remilitarizing the Rhineland.

    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I think it was getting to the turning point that it was thought that the demands at Versailles peace negotiations had been too tough after WW1 and letting things like this happen would make the Germans happier and forget the past.
     
  14. chocapic

    chocapic Member

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    @ANZAC

    If you want to know and understand what France did at this time and all the reasons behind (military, politics, psychology etc etc) I strongly advice this book :

    The Collapse of The Third Republic by W. Shirer

    http://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Third-Republic-Inquiry-France/dp/0306805626/sr=8-5/qid=1159791459/ref=pd_bbs_5/102-2869955-3910524?ie=UTF8&s=books

    It's really one of the best books I've ever read, it's an account of many contemporary sources, so you'll know what was discussed in the French government, HQ, with Churchill etc etc, and also it goes deep into France history to explain some events in 36-40
     
  15. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Thanks chocapic, I'll check that book out.
     
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