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  #21  
Old June 26th, 2009, 12:11 AM
esl esl is offline
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The logistical thing was resolved in a matter of days, Hitlers halt order was only part of his fright wars with Britain. Just like BoB and Mamal operation, they were all designed to scare the brits out of the war.
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  #22  
Old June 26th, 2009, 12:22 AM
FlyingDutchman FlyingDutchman is offline
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The logistical thing was resolved in a matter of days,
??? Could you explain that?

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Hitlers halt order was only part of his fright wars with Britain.
No. The BEF at that time were 9 completely beaten divisions which were of no inmediate threat to the Germans.

The French on the other hand had 60+ divisions left at that time of which many still could be a threat to the Germans, for which Fall Rot was designed. Hitler was afraid that it would be WWI all over again; in 1914 the Germans had been very close to victory too, with Paris in sight. He just didn't want another Miracle of the Marne and found the French divisions more important then the British ones.

Reasons like 'keeping the British army intact so they'll negotiate', 'Flanders is bad tank country' and 'Goring promised me the flyboys will take care of it' were just excuses.
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  #23  
Old June 26th, 2009, 09:45 AM
Andrew Hudson Andrew Hudson is offline
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??? Could you explain that?



No. The BEF at that time were 9 completely beaten divisions which were of no inmediate threat to the Germans.

The French on the other hand had 60+ divisions left at that time of which many still could be a threat to the Germans, for which Fall Rot was designed. Hitler was afraid that it would be WWI all over again; in 1914 the Germans had been very close to victory too, with Paris in sight. He just didn't want another Miracle of the Marne and found the French divisions more important then the British ones.

Reasons like 'keeping the British army intact so they'll negotiate', 'Flanders is bad tank country' and 'Goring promised me the flyboys will take care of it' were just excuses.

The panzers had advanced ahead of the infantry and the British counter attack at Arras scared the German High Command resulting in their halting the panzers. That is why a large proportion of the BEF escaped

The consequences of defeat at Dunkirk would probably be the fall of Churchill and Halifax negotiates peace leaving the British Empire largely intact but Europe under the German sphere of influence.

Hitler still had to contend with the largest navy in the world and the RAF if he had tried to invade. Germany would however have the upper hand over Britain and probably become a threat to the United States resulting in a cold war or even a nuclear exchange
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  #24  
Old June 26th, 2009, 10:44 AM
RedRalphWiggum RedRalphWiggum is offline
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I think once consquence could be the USSR taking the German threat more seriously and making proper preperations for a war with them. This could actually end up with the Red Army either defeated or on the Atlantic coast.
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  #25  
Old June 26th, 2009, 11:04 AM
Markus Markus is offline
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Egypt will be much more vunerable and look to the Axis winning in the NOrth Africa Campaign, followed by a middle eastern Campaign

No Free French forces of any real significance as 140,000 are now prisoners.
Wasn´t Egypt mostly defended by troops already there and by reinforcements form the dominions and colonies? Plus, I´m very sure most of the rescued french soldiers went back to France, some right away, other after they decided not to join de Gaulle.


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The French on the other hand had 60+ divisions left at that time of which many still could be a threat to the Germans, for which Fall Rot was designed.
IIRC they had clearly lost their best divisions at this point and Germany had roughly twice as many when Fall Rot began. No reason to hold anything back.


By the way, in 1940 Malta´s defences were weak, particularly in the air.
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  #26  
Old June 26th, 2009, 11:18 AM
The Red The Red is online now
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I think once consquence could be the USSR taking the German threat more seriously and making proper preperations for a war with them. This could actually end up with the Red Army either defeated or on the Atlantic coast.
I think the greatest divide of AH.commers is revealed when this question is asked.

Atlantians: People who believe that the Soviet Union would eventually defeat the German army on their own or wiith some US help leading nto the cliche Atlantic Iron Curtain.

Uralians: People who believe that without a Second front or Lend Lease Germany and its allies would crush the Red Army and push them up to the Urals creating a Soviet rump state and engaging in a Cold War with the US.
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  #27  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:27 PM
FlyingDutchman FlyingDutchman is offline
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The panzers had advanced ahead of the infantry and the British counter attack at Arras scared the German High Command resulting in their halting the panzers. That is why a large proportion of the BEF escaped
It's not as easy as this.
As I tried to explain in my last post, there were a number of reasons, some of which were only excuses.

Walter Lord's "The miracle of Dunkirk" doesn't even mention yours AFAIK as a reason why the Germans would hold back their armour from Dunkirk. Most of that British armour used in Arras had broken down long ago and was irrelevant for Dunkirk.

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The consequences of defeat at Dunkirk would probably be the fall of Churchill and Halifax negotiates peace leaving the British Empire largely intact but Europe under the German sphere of influence.
Any proof this would cause the fall of Churchill?
Any proof Halifax would even want to use this to negotiate peace?

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Originally Posted by Germaniac
Egypt will be much more vunerable and look to the Axis winning in the NOrth Africa Campaign, followed by a middle eastern Campaign

No Free French forces of any real significance as 140,000 are now prisoners.
No not really as Markus already pointed out.
Besides, De Gaulle would be extremely happy if he already had 140 000 men in 1940 IRL. He barely had a single brigade AFAIK for much of the war. His forces didn't really grow untill after the Allies landed in Tunis.

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Originally Posted by Markus
Wasn´t Egypt mostly defended by troops already there and by reinforcements form the dominions and colonies? Plus, I´m very sure most of the rescued french soldiers went back to France, some right away, other after they decided not to join de Gaulle.
Jep, correct on both accounts AFAIK.

The Axis going on a Middle-Eastern conquering spree, or worse, approaching the Caucasus from the South is logistically even more impossible than winning in Egypt.
Untill the Axis takes Alexandria and has it functioning proper, they just can't supply enough forces to successfully throw the British out of Egypt.

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IIRC they had clearly lost their best divisions at this point and Germany had roughly twice as many when Fall Rot began. No reason to hold anything back.
No offense, but this isn't correct or very relevant.

The French at that time had 60+ divisions, the British 9 completely defeated and exhausted ones. No one in Germany thought the British could evacuate more then a few thousand without a big harbor and the British not having airsuperiority.
The French may have lost their best divisions, they were still 8 times bigger a force then the British on land.
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  #28  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:28 PM
wiking wiking is online now
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Originally Posted by The Red View Post
I think the greatest divide of AH.commers is revealed when this question is asked.

Atlantians: People who believe that the Soviet Union would eventually defeat the German army on their own or wiith some US help leading nto the cliche Atlantic Iron Curtain.

Uralians: People who believe that without a Second front or Lend Lease Germany and its allies would crush the Red Army and push them up to the Urals creating a Soviet rump state and engaging in a Cold War with the US.
You forgot the 3rd option: realists who understand that neither is possible and that the Germans would likely remain somewhere is Russia without lend-lease, but not near Moscow.
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  #29  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:41 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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Since the Germans at the time didn't realize a major evacuation had taken place, Rommel among them, and believed that the 40K bagged at Dunkirk was a clear victory, you'll first have to convince the Germans that such a thing is even happening and that they need to stop it.

It is also uncertain that Churchill would be blamed for any events in France given that he had only just taken over from Chamberlain.
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  #30  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:50 PM
The Red The Red is online now
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You forgot the 3rd option: realists who understand that neither is possible and that the Germans would likely remain somewhere is Russia without lend-lease, but not near Moscow.
Indeed. What would we call these guys though?

And personally I reckon that without Lend Lease the Soviets would probably run out of steam and the Germans would probably get Poland and the Baltic states.
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  #31  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:53 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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The Red, we would call them users of logic and reason and shun them accordingly.


Based on actual negotiations I would predict the Baltic States, Belarus and between one third and one half of the Ukraine.
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  #32  
Old June 26th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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The number of people who believe the 'Hitler stopped the panzers to let the British escape so they would negotiate' story seems nearly as high as those who believe in overweight sea mammals taking a summer vacation on the British beaches....

A few points.

The germans stopped the panzers for a number of reasons. They needed a break for a day or so to rest and fix broken tanks (now the number of temporarily unavailable tanks is a rather dodgy statistic, since the german commanders weren't always telling the high command the truth, in order to do what THEY wanted). The available tanks looked worryingly low (bearing in mind they were only part through the campaign against France), and many of the senior german officers didnt know the difference between a tank temporatily unavailable, and one out of action for a long time.

Second, the weather. The original idea was for a hammer-and-anvil attack on the trapped armies, using the tanks as the attack against the infantry armies in the north. But it rained. And that bit of Belgium is not good tank country, especialy in the wet! (btw, Hitler was aware of the general layout of the area, from WW1). So the very logical descision was to swap the roles - the tanks would now be the anvil (also allowing them time to refit, let the supplies catch up, rest the crews) while the infantry drove into the trapped armies. Slower, but just as effective (and preserving those vital tanks). Nothing to do with letting the British off, it would just take a few days longer.

After all, the trapped armies had their backs to the sea, they weren't going anywhere...were they? Even the British didnt think they could evacuate more than 50k over open beaches - to the Germans, the concept was just silly. To the Germans, the sea was the edge of the map. Fortunately, the RN didn't share that opinion.

Could the Germans have trapped the British completely away from the coast? That is the only way they could have prevented a sizeable evacuation. Possibly, but the armoured formations necessary would have been awfully exposed between the BEF and the coast, and the British had already shown what they could do at Arras. Given that the choice is break to the coast or die, the British would certainly have attempted it, and very probably would have broken through the inevitably thin line of Germans. Cue evacuation again...
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  #33  
Old June 26th, 2009, 03:48 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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I'll get home later and look up a book breaking down the evacuaton by day which might be useful for the thread.
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  #34  
Old June 26th, 2009, 04:34 PM
Dathi THorfinnsson Dathi THorfinnsson is online now
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Originally Posted by Astrodragon View Post
After all, the trapped armies had their backs to the sea, they weren't going anywhere...were they? Even the British didnt think they could evacuate more than 50k over open beaches - to the Germans, the concept was just silly. To the Germans, the sea was the edge of the map. Fortunately, the RN didn't share that opinion.
Not just the RN, of course, although I imagine that the vast majority were evacuated on real ships. But every dinghy and pleasure craft that could cross the channel did, and brought folks home. I also suspect that German high command just never considered that.

Edit: looking up the history, it looks like many of the smaller craft worked more as shuttles getting soldiers from shore (or shallow water) out to the waiting RN. Still, the absence of those shuttles might well have meant that only those soldiers able to get to one of the piers would get off, which would have been a huge loss.
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  #35  
Old June 26th, 2009, 04:36 PM
FlyingDutchman FlyingDutchman is offline
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After all, the trapped armies had their backs to the sea, they weren't going anywhere...were they? Even the British didnt think they could evacuate more than 50k over open beaches - to the Germans, the concept was just silly. To the Germans, the sea was the edge of the map. Fortunately, the RN didn't share that opinion.
.
To be precise, the British didn't evacuate 50k over open beaches.
Most men were evacuated from the small port Dunkirk had.

To be even more precise, not from the harbor itself, which was very small as that was on fire most of the time thanks to the Luftwaffe, but from the eastern mole (breakwater) stretching into the sea.

On the beaches several units improvised 2 or 3 breakwaters themselves from abandoned trucks.
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  #36  
Old June 26th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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The BEF was not the majority of the British Army, it wasn't even the best units in the Army. It's loss would have been a blow but if you look at the expansion of the Army after Dunkirk the numbers evacuated could have been replaced by reducing deployments elsewhere. Certainly Greece would be one place a smaller token force would have done no worse than in OTL.

The idea that the frankly obsessionaly anti Nazi Churchill would have capitulated or allowed anybody to usurp him is ASB. He would have put a careful manipulation of the news media into place just as the Germans did later in the war. The Germans suffered greater losses than forces the size of the BEF and didn't cave in so why would anybody think the British would have? Don't you realise how arrogant, sorry I mean self assured the British are/were.
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  #37  
Old June 26th, 2009, 07:59 PM
esl esl is offline
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The number of people who believe the 'Hitler stopped the panzers to let the British escape so they would negotiate' story seems nearly as high as those who believe in overweight sea mammals taking a summer vacation on the British beaches....

...
Yes they are also the ones who have taken the time to read their history books aswell. ... Or should I say they read history from both sides. Hitler made it clear through out the 1930s the last thing he wanted to do was to attack the UK and force the British Empire into the arms of America etc. He genuinely believed he could convince them to remain out of his racial war and ultimately join him in his crusade against the American lead Jewish conspricy etc etc.

All these actions, Dunkirk , BoB and Sealion were part of his clumsy attempt to frighten/convince/bully the British out of the war. Thats why its called 'Hitlers war'. So the only reason that makes Operation Sealion 'impossible' is because Hitler never wanted it to happen in the first place.

Given how badly every one misunderstood the effectiveness of modern warfare...including the Germans, they probably could have pulled of Sealion , just based on incompetance alone....it might have been a race to see who mirco meddled the fighting the most Hitler or Churchill. The British were only slightly more mentally prepared for war than the French were and would have folded once the main battle came to their shores.

The Number of people who believe the BEF defense of Dunkirk and the counter attacks at Arras were great British actions are probably equal to the number of people who believe Sealion was impossible in the first place. The british fighting experiences during this time are just embarrasing to read. They were just not ready for the effort that was required. Months later Churchill admitted privately that it was 'the worst british military defeat in 400 years'.

The German tank units were at 50% of strength when the halt order was issued. Immediatly efforts were underway to reverse this decision ,but the order was held for political reasons. After a few days the Tank strenght returned to 70% of strenght with repairs and they were ready to resume fighting.

Its only post war military science interpretation that allows these kinds of revisionsts histories to be writen. Their is nothing in German doctrine that demands that an offensive is to be halted when X amount of units are lost. The absolute first thing German doctrine was based on was delegating such decision making to the commander at the scene and not impose decisions from above. If the troops think they can do it , let them try. The Germans viewed warfare as a artform not Rocket Science. Thats why most people don't understand them. Westerners focus on minor factors like bean counting supplies and weapons etc and pay lip service to critical factors like morale and doctrine and leadership etc.
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  #38  
Old June 26th, 2009, 08:18 PM
Grimm Reaper Grimm Reaper is offline
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There was no order to halt, the panzers stopped because on reaching the sea they had to make the decision as to whether to throw their full weight north against the BEF plus the Belgians and several French divisions or south against the bulk of the French army.

That delay was vital to the British as an otherwise identical state of affairs only 3-4 days earlier would have cut the number of troops evacuated by nearly two-thirds.
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  #39  
Old June 26th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Astrodragon Astrodragon is online now
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Yes they are also the ones who have taken the time to read their history books aswell. ... Or should I say they read history from both sides. Hitler made it clear through out the 1930s the last thing he wanted to do was to attack the UK and force the British Empire into the arms of America etc. He genuinely believed he could convince them to remain out of his racial war and ultimately join him in his crusade against the American lead Jewish conspricy etc etc.

All these actions, Dunkirk , BoB and Sealion were part of his clumsy attempt to frighten/convince/bully the British out of the war. Thats why its called 'Hitlers war'. So the only reason that makes Operation Sealion 'impossible' is because Hitler never wanted it to happen in the first place.

Given how badly every one misunderstood the effectiveness of modern warfare...including the Germans, they probably could have pulled of Sealion , just based on incompetance alone....it might have been a race to see who mirco meddled the fighting the most Hitler or Churchill. The British were only slightly more mentally prepared for war than the French were and would have folded once the main battle came to their shores.

The Number of people who believe the BEF defense of Dunkirk and the counter attacks at Arras were great British actions are probably equal to the number of people who believe Sealion was impossible in the first place. The british fighting experiences during this time are just embarrasing to read. They were just not ready for the effort that was required. Months later Churchill admitted privately that it was 'the worst british military defeat in 400 years'.

The German tank units were at 50% of strength when the halt order was issued. Immediatly efforts were underway to reverse this decision ,but the order was held for political reasons. After a few days the Tank strenght returned to 70% of strenght with repairs and they were ready to resume fighting.

Its only post war military science interpretation that allows these kinds of revisionsts histories to be writen. Their is nothing in German doctrine that demands that an offensive is to be halted when X amount of units are lost. The absolute first thing German doctrine was based on was delegating such decision making to the commander at the scene and not impose decisions from above. If the troops think they can do it , let them try. The Germans viewed warfare as a artform not Rocket Science. Thats why most people don't understand them. Westerners focus on minor factors like bean counting supplies and weapons etc and pay lip service to critical factors like morale and doctrine and leadership etc.
Ah, so halving the strength of the tanks army wasnt a reason for stopping to fix stuff? fascinating how willing some people are to go on till the last man or tank.

Viewing warfare as an art form? Utter rubbish. Lets see some real data to show the germans thought this!!
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  #40  
Old June 26th, 2009, 09:18 PM
Astrodragon Astrodragon is online now
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To be precise, the British didn't evacuate 50k over open beaches.
Most men were evacuated from the small port Dunkirk had.

To be even more precise, not from the harbor itself, which was very small as that was on fire most of the time thanks to the Luftwaffe, but from the eastern mole (breakwater) stretching into the sea.

On the beaches several units improvised 2 or 3 breakwaters themselves from abandoned trucks.
Oh, picky picky....
Open beaches as in no port - the port of Dunkirk was bombed and unusable, the mole was just that, a mole..
But yes, you're quite correct.
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