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1940 - What would Plan B have been, if there was one?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by grunt49, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. grunt49

    grunt49 Member

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    Something I was pondering over my morning coffee. The German plan in May, 1940 was extremely risky. If the French hadn't been saddled with aged generals thinking in WWI terms, inadequate communications, and had had more time to bring their armored divisions and air force up to snuff, a French counterattack on the long, exposed German flanks could have left the heart of the German panzer forces cut off and vulnerable to defeat in detail. As one historian put it, the German army in 1940 was really two armies; a relatively small, modern, highly trained armored/mechanized force, and a much larger foot and horse mobile force more like the 1918 army, with widely varying levels of training and equipment.

    So, for the sake of argument, the Luftwaffe gains only partial control of the air over the battle space, allowing succesful attacks on the German supply lines. A major armor battle develops, decimating both sides, but leaving the Germans in a much worse position, cut off in enemy territory and having lost their momentum. The German thrust to the channel ends somewhere around Cambrai.

    What do the Germans do next? What's Plan B? What are the implications for Hitler and the Nazi Party? Do the Generals boot him out of headquarters and make him a figurehead? Does Stalin see this as a good time to grab the rest of Poland?
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Germans had artillery ammunition for three months once the war started in the west. After that no plan B. Also not taking Eben Emael would mean they could not attack the northern section. Quite weak I would say.
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Blitzkreig worked quite well, not giving the enemy time (The US likes the idea too "Shock and Awe")...Defending is easier than attack (you don't have to transport anything)
    But as usual, if the circumstances were different then the outcome would be different. The German attack/response would be different.
    " the Luftwaffe gains only partial control of the air" - Critical to any battle is air superiority, so if only partial control was gained then again the response would have been different - They would certainly be ready for a counter attack.
    If France had not sat on it's backside and took their defence more seriously THEN the Germans would have had major problems and maybe WW2 may never had happened. As it was, they practically walked into the country. France was found lacking in every department. Perhaps forgivable for a country miles away...but if Germany was your next door neighbour? Tank and aircraft were the key...France should have had WAY more of both and looked abroad for what the best had to offer. (Including Germany herself.)
    People were talking about another war with Germany YEARS before 1939...18 months before most in the know were almost certain of a war with Germany...so France (and the world) had ample time to prepare.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2021
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Like we all know the Allied believed the Germans could not attack with a southern tank pincer. So the main effort was put to North. Of course there was the Maginot line but it was not able to stop the German attack however. Originally the whole attack was the Schlieffen plan but the plan was changed due to a German plane with attack plans landing to the Allied area.
     

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