Delayed Fall of France

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Noscoper, May 15, 2019.

  1. Noscoper Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2015
    Would it be possible Germany's initial offensive in Western Europe 1940 to fail but Germany's succeeds at a later date in overrunning Western Europe.

    How much of a delay could be possible

    What would be the impact if the fall of France was delayed
  2. sdgottsch Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2017
    Germany invaded on 10 May and took out Luxembourg on 11 May, 15 May Netherlands, and really by 17 May Belgium had evacuated Brussels and the Allied troops fought a withdrawal to the coast (Dunkirk).

    So, Germany basically had all of Western Europe (other than France) by 28 May when Belgium capitulated but Fall Rot (Case Red) didn't actually start until 5 June.

    The point is, France hadn't fallen at the same time and it was only after the German's were done in Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Belgium that they turned their entire attention to crossing the Somme and completing the Fall of France.

    So you have to stop the German advance in Belgium.
  3. Matteo Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2012
    It is not impossible but unlikely that, if Fall Shelby had failed, France would have been overrun.

    The german general staff was very anxious about the risk of overextension that characterized the german offensive.

    To put it more precisely : the spearhead of the german army was operatively the best and most efficient group of units that, but the spear itself (without the spear) was quite frail.

    If the spearhead fails and suffers terrible damage or is surrounded somewhere west of the Ardennes or in the Ardennes, then the german army would have lost its mojo.

    The western powers will progressively rise in power, progressively improve their armies, and then Germany will face attrition. The western allies will probably negotiate again with the USSR.
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  4. Michele Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2007
    Entirely possible. The whole plan depended on difficult successes at critical bottlenecks. A section of AA MGs on top of Eben-Emael commanded by a gutsy NCO might, alone, means a delay of two days in the whole operation, possibly a week - and that alone would have catastrophic cascading effects.

    The German armed forces remain better than the opposition overall, and it's very likely they still continue to achieve a series of victories - a series of limited, smaller victories. But the tempo of the operations goes from one that the French comamnd system couldn't handle, to one that it was built for, and the German victories come at a price, paid especially by the fast but fragile and few German armored divisions.

    As to the impact, it depends on how long the delay lasts. If, as it is possible, France does fall anyway in 1940, but, say, in August or September, then the whole timeline of the war goes astray. Italy probably does not enter the war. The Luftwaffe is not bled white in the Battle of Britain. The Soviets continue to have unexplainable organizational problems in supplying oil and other raw materials to the Germans. The Romanians and Hungarians and other minor powers are much less impressed with the Heer, which is now sizably smaller due to heavy losses, and more on a WW1.5 footing, and needs to keep a few third-rate divisions guarding the Italian border. In short, a pretty significant impact.

    OTOH, if France has not fallen by September 1940, then bad weather arrives, and the delay would go up to the next year - a WWI scenario and an even more significant impact. So significant that Hitler may have a deadly accident while cleaning his pistol, followed by a German proposal for negotiations.
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  5. sendô Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    If France doesn't fall as OTL, then Britain/France probably win any war of attrition, especially with a sympathetic USA behind them.
    Derwit likes this.
  6. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Apr 13, 2007
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    If France doesn't fall quickly, it probably doesn't fall at all. So, no.