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Old 03-28-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
Black Peter
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What could the French really do after Poland?

I'm curious what you think about France's position after the successful German invasion of Poland. Some people argue that the French and the BEF should have immediately invaded western Germany. They argue that the French army was huge and could have made a big impact early on, if not even beaten the Germans. Others say the French would have been annihilated either way and that the Brits were unable to help much.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:02 PM   #2
golfnutt
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

France needed Britain. Britain, like most countries in the world, tend to not want to do pre-emptive strikes. Much easier to sell war politically after being attacked.

It seems that way currently with North Korea. If North Korea attacks Seoul, everyone will second guess why we didn't do anything knowing that is openly one of their stated missions (may not be actually true.) Still, brutally tough decision to decide what and how to disable a country's ability to attack and it certainly might make the outcome much worse. The what-ifs analysis are always that way.

It seems that Germany could have continued their dominance if they didn't fight a two-front battle and used their the Jewish people to help their war effort. They easily could have developed a nuclear bomb if they didn't scare every scientist away.
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Old 05-21-2017, 03:08 AM   #3
Zeno
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

Just a reminder that this is a history forum not a current events forum. There is a wall of separation between history and the poltards.

Anyway - There are some good posters here that have a sound grasp on many of the intricacies of WWII and their input would be interesting and valuable. As far as what if questions go, that is.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:18 AM   #4
Mason Malmuth
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

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Originally Posted by Black Peter View Post
I'm curious what you think about France's position after the successful German invasion of Poland. Some people argue that the French and the BEF should have immediately invaded western Germany. They argue that the French army was huge and could have made a big impact early on, if not even beaten the Germans. Others say the French would have been annihilated either way and that the Brits were unable to help much.

Thoughts?
Hi Black Peter:

While the French Army may have been big, I think it's fair to say it was an army built for defense. Not only was there the Maginot line which their army was suppose to support, but defense is essentially what they did in the first world war and they had no reason to think it wouldn't work again. So in my opinion, they get annihilated either way.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:25 AM   #5
Mason Malmuth
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

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Originally Posted by golfnutt View Post
France needed Britain. Britain, like most countries in the world, tend to not want to do pre-emptive strikes. Much easier to sell war politically after being attacked.

It seems that way currently with North Korea. If North Korea attacks Seoul, everyone will second guess why we didn't do anything knowing that is openly one of their stated missions (may not be actually true.) Still, brutally tough decision to decide what and how to disable a country's ability to attack and it certainly might make the outcome much worse. The what-ifs analysis are always that way.

It seems that Germany could have continued their dominance if they didn't fight a two-front battle and used their the Jewish people to help their war effort. They easily could have developed a nuclear bomb if they didn't scare every scientist away.
Hi golfnutt:

I subscribe to the theory that the Germans thought they would win the war quickly and thus there was no reason to develop nuclear weapons. And if Moscow falls in 1941 (before winter comes), this might have been the case.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 05-22-2017, 11:33 AM   #6
golfnutt
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi golfnutt:

I subscribe to the theory that the Germans thought they would win the war quickly and thus there was no reason to develop nuclear weapons. And if Moscow falls in 1941 (before winter comes), this might have been the case.

Best wishes,
Mason
Although they thought and wanted a quick war, their scientists were engaged in rocketry for weapons I imagine. Hard to say what would have happened though because so many of their scientists left. I don't think Einstein would have helped Germany either with the atomic bomb if he stayed since, like many scientists, he was against using science for weaponry.

Many of scientists in America who helped develop the bomb came out against it right after witnessing what they built.
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Old 05-23-2017, 03:05 PM   #7
Husker
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

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Originally Posted by golfnutt View Post
Although they thought and wanted a quick war, their scientists were engaged in rocketry for weapons I imagine. Hard to say what would have happened though because so many of their scientists left. I don't think Einstein would have helped Germany either with the atomic bomb if he stayed since, like many scientists, he was against using science for weaponry.

Many of scientists in America who helped develop the bomb came out against it right after witnessing what they built.
Einstein wrote to Roosevelt in 1939 about the possibility of creating atomic weapons.
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:23 AM   #8
DoTheMath
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

The best time for a French military intervention would have been in direct response to the re-militarization of the Rhineland in 1936. The force disparity would have been so great the French wouldn't have even needed full mobilization. Having failed then, their next best chance was about two weeks after the start of the war. The national mobilization was well under way, and most of the German forces were engaged in Poland. Having failed once again, their options were quite limited.

Just sitting there, as they did, makes you a target. If you are going to declare war, you need to be prepared to actually fight. And having a system of military alliances is not of much value if the members of those alliances have neither the will nor materiel to conduct military operations.
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Old 06-01-2017, 04:03 PM   #9
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Re: What could the French really do after Poland?

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Einstein wrote to Roosevelt in 1939 about the possibility of creating atomic weapons.

The information is presented well enough in Wiki to provide a link, see Below. Leó Szilárd wrote the letter and Einstein signed it. The book, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes provides all the details. It is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

Einstein–Szilárd letter_letter
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