Sunday, July 14, 2013


This is coolbert:

"inferiority of numbers, inferiority of equipment, inferiority of methods"
From Gamelin the French generalissimo as related to Churchill those reasons for allied defeat during the Battle of France 1940. Allied numbers, equipment and methods according to Gamelin all inferior.


NOT inferior numbers. According to Dupuy the allied forces prior to the Battle of France 1940 out-numbering the German adversary. Both in manpower and number of tanks available. The German possessing a greater number of warplanes available but not so much significantly so to make a major difference? Those allied forces consisting in totality of Dutch, Belgian, English and French.

NOT necessarily inferior equipment either. Those French and allied tanks generally speaking superior in quality and capability to the German counter-part.

Rather look to inferior methods.

Here we can be in agreement with Gamelin.

The German on the offensive and having the initiative. The allies content with defensive action at the strategic level of combat operations their combat posture demonstrably indicating a lack of initiative, almost totally so!

Most importantly so the German using CONCENTRATED AND FOCUSED ENERGY!

The German able to mass men and material in accordance with their overall plan at a point they had determined was decisive and critical to the overall campaign.

A decisive point and moment critical and being recognized by the high command as being such!

Keep in mind those three factors as identified by Dupuy contributing to success on the battlefield:

1. Officers are more dynamic and aggressive.

2. Doctrine, tactics, and equipment is more suited to the environment.

3. Troops perform team tasks better.

From the wiki entry for the Battle of France 1940 suggested reasons for allied defeat to include:

1. That German combat commander at all echelons was more aggressive and dynamic.

AND by doctrine allowed to exercise a degree of initiative in accordance with plan,  allowing for dynamic change under dynamic conditions.

"officers [German] were expected to use their initiative to achieve their commanders' intentions, and were given control of the necessary supporting arms."

2. German troops [armor in particular] performed team tasks better.

Those most critical to the offensive [armor troops] markedly able to do so. Performed better than their allied counterparts.

"The newer German Panzers had a crew of five men; a Commander, gunner-aimer, loader, driver and mechanic. Having a trained individual for each task allowed each man to dedicate himself to his own mission and it made for a highly efficient combat team."


 Each man a dedicated task allowing for more rapid and correct dynamic change.

3. The widespread use of radio communication by the various combat arms with inter-working allowing for concentration and focused energy in a coordinated manner. Ground and air combat units working together and networked with radio.

"The real trump card for the Germans was the radio. The Panzers all had radios that allowed voice communication with other units. This enabled German armour to respond rapidly to a constantly changing [dynamic] battlefield situation"

"The radio network went beyond tank to tank commands. The system also permitted a degree of communication between air and ground forces."

NOT ONLY the radio allowing for rapid communications between ground and air combat elements but also SECURE radio communications. Encrypted messages using the Enigma cryptographic machine allowing for that degree of security to the extent needed.

Those instances when the allies were able to "read" encrypted German communications too late in doing so or when time sensitive and producing actionable intelligence the allied combat commander on the ground not taking advantage of such intelligence.

It is NOT that the allied forces were not in possession of radio equipment. Merely that the allies had less radio equipment at their disposal and were less reliant on same. Also having a much less capability for networking between the various combat elements, ground and air both!!

4. German air force [Luftwaffe] doctrine was more flexible and responsive the main purpose of air power as envisioned by German military planners was to support the ground forces.


And flying artillery used in that concentrated and focused manner in an overwhelming manner.

"The task of German aviation was to provide close air support in the form of the dive-bomber and medium bomber. In 1940, the Luftwaffe was a broadly based force with no constricting central doctrine, other than its resources should be used generally to support national strategy. It was flexible and it was able to carry out both operational, tactical and strategic bombing effectively."

Again, it was so much that the allies had a numerical inferiority of combat aircraft, but that the German doctrine was superior, German units while the offensive better able to use concentrated and focused air power in furtherance of the objective.

5. German operational methods included a form of the strategic defensive?

German armor creating a breakthrough [a rupture in the allied defensive line] and capturing ground but that same armor NOT defending that same terrain.

"Although their tanks were not designed for tank-versus-tank combat, they could take ground and draw the enemy armour on to the division's anti-tank lines. This conserved the tanks to achieve the next stage of the offensive."

Armor can seize ground but cannot hold ground?

Terrain selected by the German as suitable for the defense then a stop line formed Nazi anti-tank guns in wait for the inevitable French counter-attack.

It was during the Battle of France 1940 that the famous German 88 mm gun was employed as an anti-tank gun? A role for the weapon was most suitable.

6. German FLAK [anti-aircraft-artillery] was numerically and qualitatively superior, furthering that mastery of the airspace over the battlefield?

"It is generally supposed that the Germans also had a major advantage in anti-aircraft guns, or 'Flak'".

German FLAK defenses at the Ardennes breakthrough sector in the vicinity of the Meuse river too strong for allied air power, massed FLAK defenses able to thwart the allied air forces.

"every available Allied light bomber was employed in an attempt to destroy the three bridges [bridges over the Meuse river, vicinity of the Ardennes]", but failed to hit them while suffering heavy losses. Some 44% of the Allies' bomber strength was destroyed."

NOT so much a major advantage in the numbers or quality or effectiveness of the German FLAK [anti-aircraft-artillery] but rather the concentration and focused use of such weapons at the most critical point? Concentration and focused energy!

Dupuy most adamant that stopping the German onslaught in 1940 was possible. IF the French with had a more dynamic and active response to the German offensive in the Ardennes, Gamelin replaced early by Weyand with De Gaulle as the operations Chief of Staff, disaster COULD have been averted. But it was not.

C'est le guerre mon ami!



maximex said...

Yes Coolbert.
Again, a good historical truth.
The irony of the matter is that the Guderianin armor was based on the strategy of De Gaulle doctrines which he had tried in vain to get through the home (france).

maximex said...

Yes Coolbert another interesting topic (in my opinion).
(The same principle was also the Soviet Union.
Tanks permitted only infantry direct support contact.
If the Soviet Union had used the armor, attack like the Germans, during the Winter War, Finland had fallen in less than a week.
The same use of (the statute) as the French, Finnish saved)

German armor in the wet was only a small part of the type III Pzkw / 37 mm long barrel, short of the 50 mm barrel, Pzkw type IV carriages / 75 mm short barrel of the cannon.
Of these, the majority of the cars had a 50 mm cannon to the public a short tube equipped versions, which at the time was sufficient for most of the wagons against the military.

Pzkw III coaches were about 280 pieces, and Pzkw wagons about 250 pieces.
The number of German tanks had a total of 2445 pieces.

Most of the Pzkw type I, II, Pzkw, as well as PzKpfw 35t (vickers) and PzKpfz 37 TNHP shapes that were either Czechoslovakia (skoda or Poland (7 TP / 10 TP) manufactured wagons (war booty)

French and British cars drawback of the use of only infantry support weapon, the attack without infantry support.
No radio, no wagon leader, no co-operation from vehicle to vehicle.
The only exception was De Gaulle's independent action by the 88 guns and often interrupted by Stukas.
English kind of Valentine and Mathilda coaches were about 100 of which about 30 Mathilda
In all, the British people, was 310 units.