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09-08-05 - The Fall of France

09-08-05 - The Fall of France - The Fall of France 1 Some...

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The Fall of France 9/8/05 1. Some Military Basics a. Clausewitz - notice that you crush the enemy’s main force by overwhelming faster b. Flanking – protect your sides c. Envelopment and Double Envelopment d. Blitzkrieg i. “Lightning War” ii. Penetrate quickly with mass forces, make bridgeheads, (leapfrogging) iii. Tanks were central to this – French had not developed anti-tank mines 2. Some Myths About the Fall of France a. The Maginot Line was a bad idea i. Came from the experiences of WWI ii. Necessary to have a good defense iii. Littered with French tanks and iv. Problem: incomplete, therefore needed to go around it 1. To help or to not help the Belgians b. The rearmament speed of the French was too slow i. True: slow response ii. By 1936, a rearmament speed matched with Hitler c. Britain and France were inferior in weapons i. Truth: Allies have numerical superiority in most categories ii. Germans did have a larger air force (critical blitzkrieg) d. The French and the British did not fight very hard 3. Planning a.
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