Post-Summer 1934 French Sanity Options

The mle.1931 has .313 pounds of HE for a burster, and the 47mm mle.1937 cannon weighed 2500 pounds.
The mle.1916 AL HE had 1.63 pounds for the burster. You need Five 47mm shells to have the effect of the 75mm explosive round.
The French mle1918 APHE had .2 pounds for the burster after penetrating 61mm of armor at 500m

They also had a variety of other semi-ap rounds with up to .72 pounds of HE with penetration up to 40mm for wrecking lightly armored targets.

Yes, the mle1897/33 weighed 800 pounds more than the 47mm, but had more capability than just drilling holes and tossing a high speed grenade, like smoke, cannister and shrapnel
You're fundamentally not understanding the role of the 47mm or 75mm AT gun in the French army. A heavy AT gun which is placed in the rear and deployed to protect the artillery and to provide mobile reserves ISN'T something which is shooting at soft targets - it is deployed specifically for the purpose of stopping enemy tank offensives. The Germans got use of their flak 88s in shooting at bunkers and hardened targets, but the Germans were on the offensive and needed to move quickly under their doctrine - the French had no such problems since their integral fire support came from their attached tank forces for infantry divisions and their massive quantities of heavy artillery and their offensives were by design slow and reliant on massive artillery fire to suppress and destroy obstacles rather than using direct fire weapons. The capability of shooting at infantry targets is not important for the 47mm or 75mm gun in the French army - it probably would have made sense with the 25mm guns, but not the heavy AT guns, it is like designing your main field gun around being able to shoot at air targets - the costs to get that performance far outweigh the actual benefit you get from it. Having a good anti-tank is what mattered, and the French found that the 75mm was not a good anti-tank gun, which is why they developed the 47mm instead.
 
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Your thinking IS unoriginal by definition since it is stuff that the French DID. You critique the French government but essentially every single thing you have proposed is either something that the French did, or something which they thought about and rejected due to good reasons.
1. Uh.... no, because what I wrote is taken STRAIGHT from The Federalist Papers. The French never tried it until AFTER de Gaulle pushed a variant through. He saw the American system and wanted a French version. No-one has ever found out who gave de Gaulle Federalist #9 and #10 for example.

And so your proposal to fix the problem of American neutrality laws is... to change the French constitution? That sounds like a rather schizophrenic suggestion.
2. The American neutrality laws were not a problem at all for France. The French government was.

I think this is probably the stupidest thing I have seen all day frankly. Have fun trying to explain to French airline companies why they need to change their routes to East Asia from around 10,000 kilometers to going 23,000 kilometers, this including a detour of 6,400 kilometers around Southern Africa where refueling isn't possible unless if you stop in British territory, and a 6,000 kilometer flight directly across the Indian Ocean where again the only possibility is refueling in British territory, all to... avoid stopping in British territory? Have you ever read any books or articles about 1930s aviation technology? Your plan is the height of impracticality and is motivated by nothing than arbitrarily declaring that you aren't going to cross British territory. The only thing this utterly impractical and insane plane is going to do is 1)Result in a lot of planes dropping into the ocean when they run out of fuel thousands of kilometers before their destination and B)Nobody flying French airlines.
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3. Summary of indices...
a. Fuel supply. (Americans or Dutch, tankers, take your pick.)
b. Fuel COSTS. (PanAm fuel costs are CHEAP compared to the British.)
c. Maintenance capability. (Ditto)
d. Duties. (British tariff everything.)
Which makes it irrelevant for comparison to PRE-WAR French lines.
4. Pre-war 1930s PanAm is not relevant? Good one. The Doolittle surveys started in 1935.

Did Ansaldo mount a 75mm gun on a Vickers 6 tonner? No? Then whatever point you're making here is irrelevant. They only got a 75mm gun on a tank AFTER, long after actually, the Fall of France, so once again completely irrelevant to French defensive planning in the 1930s.
5. You are NOT going to like this.



What do you know? They started with a Vickers 6 ton and evolved it into a Semovente.

Not going to like this one either.


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Those are 騎兵騎兵 (Imperial Japanese cavalry) and that is an ITALIAN made tank, a Fiat 3000 to be exact. It was selected over the FT17. Japanese built the Fiats. Cheaper and better versions of the Renault.

Not an interwar battle, completely irrelevant to French defense planning for 1940. Unless if your new original idea for fixing French defense also includes giving them a time machine?
Nah. If the French had been like the Americans, they would have had embedded observers riding along with the British Army "Experimental Mechanized Force" and played with one of their own and then staged their own "Louisiana Maneuvers" based on the 1927 British and 1929 American experiments. Then the fighting around Sedan (1940) might have gone a bit differently.

And the point about Kasserine which you missed completely was that the Americans did everything I wrote they did and they were still beaten, because the idiot, Fredendall, used FRENCH command and control methods (bunkered up 40 kilometers to the rear using telexes, instead of the ones prescribed by then current British doctrine which was lead from the van with the command element embedded with the maneuver units and everyone radioed up.. As it was, PATTON, who came in to clean up the mess, reached back 80 years and used American leadership methods from the American civil war 80 years past where troop leaders rode up front with the actual troops and where they could see the battle eyes on and lead from the front. It worked. Guy named Napoleon invented them.

Your evidence and citations are you moving the goal posts and inserting false and arbitrary metrics. The evidence is on my side - the French got their numbers on the German air force wrong. You are the one who is trying to play around with statistics to get the result you want.
Actually, NO. Your evidence has been the one that is inconsistent and not on point or linear in progression.

No. You said the French need to not rely on others for their defense. Your idea of the French carving an independent defense strategy and not relying on others for their defense is then backed up with examples that are the complete opposite of what you claim, and now proposals for Moscow - which the French TRIED and just like 99% of your proposals there were GOOD REASONS for why the alliance with Moscow didn't work out, based on geography, different interests, and opposition from the allies who the French were trying to save. Until you find a way for the Poles to ally with Moscow, an alliance with Moscow is useless because it cannot exert effort. The French leadership TRIED every strategy you suggest, and you just don't realize that their options were limited and instead of realizing that you just refer to a completely different era and political conditions that made different strategies possible.
It is in black and white, replete with examples; Bad@Logic. I will even repeat it. Convergent interests. Cut a deal with Stalin. Diplomacy.

If your solution to "Fixing the French army in 1940" is "learn from mistakes in 1940-1945" then you either need a time machine or some really good mushrooms.
If the ACTUAL case is that the Germans learned from WWI, then what are you suggesting I wrote here, again? What the HELL do you think I mean by German Maneuver Warfare, which the HERR published for crying out loud? You want to know what the Americans used as instruction manuals for the Louisiana Maneuvers? GERMAN comic books made for Private Hans Goofus in 1938 explaining to him in pictures how it was supposed to work. All the armor school did was translate the word balloons from German to English. Prepared by the their troop training command. And then there were the professional journals with articles written by a gentleman named Heinz Guderian in 1936 forward. If the Americans could get the articles and write doctrine from it, what about the French?

This entire paragraph is completely irrelevant then since it is happening after 1940 so by definition it does not concern preparing the French for 1940.
Note that the Louisiana Maneuvers were based in what I wrote? Again the root lessons were WWI and sources were the French, the British and the Germans well before 1940.

This is about anti-tank guns, not tanks, once again you misquote and refer to things which are DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED to the point of a post. And again, the 47mm gun that you are talking about fired HE, so your point is irrelevant.
Marathag answered that one. I will not waste bandwidth covering what he wrote again.

No idea, but the point is that the 75mm is a vastly heavier weapon, when the 25mm is a perfectly suitable weapon on a 1940 battlefield - and a 47mm overkill.
The 4.7cm could deal with can opening out to about 500 meters with the majority of panzers until the Germans thicken up the PZKWIII and IV. This was bound to happen. Then there is the little FACT that the 7.5 cm/40 could throw a heavier shell 1000 meters and punch through plate that a 4.7 cm skipped off at 1000 meters.

1,500 had gone to the Poles, thousands were in the US, there were major exports to China, Brazil, and Romania, 18,000 were supposedly lost in WW1 (although I have my doubts about that but I have no doubt that there were huge losses), around a thousand were in anti-aircraft, and 4,500 were in use with the field artillery. Now, can you see why the idea of a limitless number of canons de 75 being available is nonsense?
So why not do what the Americans DID? Make NEW ones. About 80,000 I believe.

The idea was also that the new generation bombers would be fast enough that intercepting fighters would only be able to attack directly from the rear, which would result in them having to fly into the cannon. Unfortunately the LeO 45's bottom machine gun turret was a massive drag penalty when deployed which ruined the aerodynamic profile, and in general the French bombers, although certainly very fast, were just not quite fast enough to make this scenario work.
Pull that bathtub UP and out of the slipstream and fly low-low-low mission profiles.
 

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Change the constitution so that it is weighted winner take all elections and create a 2 party federal state. Then ensure that the socialists and the center left form one party and the right are stuffed into the other party and go at it. This tends to create centrist governance. and a professional civil service that is fairly non-ideological or tends to be leftist, but still nationalist.
I would say the British/Canadian-style First-past-the-post, perhaps with Ranked-Vote Choice like Australia, since the Electoral College eventually turns out to be very dysfunctional as well. Two main parties would emerge (like Labour vs Tories or Liberals vs Tories), but there would be no such thing like two groups with completely different ideologies being stuffed into a single party.

in black and white, replete with examples; Bad@Logic. I will even repeat it. Convergent interests. Cut a deal with Stalin. Diplomacy
Thing is. The Poles might not even be the problem, because you can work with Romania to secure a line to move Soviet troops to Czechoslovakia. The biggest problem in any deal with Stalin is the British led by Chamberlain.
 
1. Uh.... no, because what I wrote is taken STRAIGHT from The Federalist Papers. The French never tried it until AFTER de Gaulle pushed a variant through. He saw the American system and wanted a French version. No-one has ever found out who gave de Gaulle Federalist #9 and #10 for example.
Your proposals with the government are irrelevant and in any case the OP's proposals already define the scope of political changes in the thread: your proposals concerning French armed forces are consistently things which the French already did or make absolutely no sense for the French situation.

2. The American neutrality laws were not a problem at all for France. The French government was.
Please inform me how the French government is the one which is responsible for the Americans pulling their advisors out of France and stopping the export of supplies.

3. Summary of indices...
a. Fuel supply.
b. Fuel COSTS.
c. Maintenance capability.
d. Duties.
Cut to the chase and tell me how you are going to get French planes to fly 6,000+ kilometre without refueling in 1931 and how you are going to make a 23,000 kilometre route compete with a 10,000 kilometre route, instead of posting random lists.

4. Pre-war 1930s PanAm is not relevant? Good one. The Doolittle surveys started in 1935.
Your map is not pre-war: it is a wartime map

5. You are NOT going to like this.
You need to stop being so schizophrenic. You made the case for an Interwar period French long 75mm direct assault gun, I informed you that there were good reasons for why this didn't work, and your response was to post WW1 tanks and WW2 tanks, and when challenged about this you have shifted the subject to random Italian vehicle designs with absolutely no relevance to the original topic. Please stay on subject.

Nah. If the French had been like the Americans, they would have had embedded observers riding along with the British Army "Experimental Mechanized Force" and played with one of their own and then staged their own "Louisiana Maneuvers" based on the 1927 British and 1929 American experiments. Then the fighting around Sedan (1940) might have gone a bit differently.
Your examples are not pre-war observation of foreign maneuvers - you posted battles that happened in 1940. In any case it is irrelevant - the French did send observers to look at what the British were doing throughout the 1930s. They were not impressed with the quality of the British army and its implementation. They also did their own training and exercises - or do you think that the DLMs with a balanced force of tanks, armored reconnaissance cars, motorized artillery, motorized and mechanized infantry, and anti-aircraft artillery just emerged out of the thin air?

And the point about Kasserine which you missed completely was that the Americans did everything I wrote they did and they were badly beaten, because the idiot, Fredendall, used FRENCH command and control methods (bunkered up 40 kilometers to the rear using telexes, instead of the ones prescribed by then current British doctrine (lead from the van with the units embedded. As it was, PATTON, who came in to clean up the mess, reached back 80 years and used American methods from the American civil war 80 years past where troop leaders rode up front with the actual troops and where they could see the battle eyes on and lead from the front. It worked.
Again, random changing of the subject is not good form nor does it make sense. You posted the idea of the Lee as an appropriate model for a French interwar vehicle mounting a long 75mm gun, then posted two battles as examples of the vehicle, and now

Actually, NO. Your evidence has been the one that is inconsistent and not on point or linear in progression.
Simply saying "But no, you" is not actually a valid counter-argument.

It is in black and white, replete with examples; Bad@Logic. I will even repeat it. Convergent interests. Cut a deal with Stalin. Diplomacy.
Give an example of the Franco-Soviet alliance working and successfully working and containing Germany while simultaneously 1)Preserving Eastern European states without Soviet control, 2)Getting the Poles to accept Soviet aid, 3)Being able to offer a secondary front to the French while presenting an attractive opportunity to the Soviets to actually do so: you will quickly find that diplomacy is not built on individuals alone but upon reality, and reality militated against an effective Soviet-French alliance. You may repeat the stale reasoning of "convergent interests" without any further justification all you want, but the reality of Interwar diplomacy shows otherwise.

If the ACTUAL case is that the Germans learned from WWI, then what are you suggesting I wrote here, again? What the HELL do you think I mean by German Maneuver Warfare, which the HERR published for crying out loud? You want to know what the Americans used as instruction manuals for the Louisiana Maneuvers? GERMAN comic books made for Private Hans Goofus in 1938 explaining to him in pictures how it was supposed to work. All the armor school did was translate the word balloons from German to English. Prepared by the their troop training command. And then there were the professional journals with articles written by a gentleman named Heinz Guderian in 1936 forward. If the Americans could get the articles and write doctrine from it, what about the French?
Again, you change the subject and engage in the most bizarre posting style. You pointed out that every power learned the lessons of 1940-1945 through war and now it switches to studying the Germans and their doctrine: do you REALLY think that the French didn't study the Germans and their war of war? They very much did so and there were plenty of reports prepared on the Germans and how their army worked, which is mentioned even in documents I've posted such as "Où est la masse de manœuvre?"The French problem wasn't lack of interest or study of the Germans and what they were doing - it is that they drew different conclusions about how new technology, military possibilities, and ideas would impact their doctrine, and had to filter them through their own army which had its own logic, possibilities, limitations, and objectives. And despite how simplistic you make things out to be, things were never as obvious as you try to write: there were German officers themselves who, writing in their own military journals, questioned the wisdom of German military doctrine and preferred the French style.

Note that the Louisiana Maneuvers were based in what I wrote? Again the root lessons were WWI and sources were the French, the British and the Germans well before 1940.
Your claim is that the Americans were watching what happened in 1940 in France and North Africa, without any mention whatsoever of anything pre-war. By definition it is useless and if you want to suggest something about the French army and learning in the Interwar leading up to 1940 you need to talk about something for the French to learn THEN, not American 1941 military maneuvers.

The 4.7cm could deal with can opening out to about 500 meters with the majority of panzers until the Germans thicken up the PZKWIII and IV. This was bound to happen. Then there is the little FACT that the 7.5 cm/40 could throw a heavier shell 1000 meters and punch through plate that a 4.7 cm skipped off at 1000 meters.
Which would be all very well and good - except the French weren't USING that gun. The French weren't using a 75mm/40 gun, they were using the canon de 75 mle.1897/33 and if you look at penetration tables for only has 50mm/30 degrees at 400 meters with its normal Mle 1910 APHE - sources meanwhile for the 47mm gun differ, with the conservative statistics suggesting 60mm at 30 degrees at 600 yards and 80mm at 15 degrees at 200 yards. Optimistic penetration levels are 106mm at 100m, and 57mm at 1,000m against armor with zero degrees of slope. Even at 1,000 meters the 47mm would have had better penetration, and even if the French got decent 75mm AP, the difference is not that great, with the American M2 75mm guns with similar muzzle velocity only achieving 65-75mm penetration at that range - so for a few millimeters extra penetration which is OVERKILL in 1940 when the most heavily armored German tank has 30mm of frontal armor, you pay for that with a gun which is 500 kilograms heavier, larger, and much less stealthy. The French were not idiots with their choice of anti-tank guns, and stop assuming they were.

And this is ignoring your bizarre logic that the French early 1930s designed tank guns are supposed to be based around fighting 1943 tanks: the real answer to that is the 75mm L/53 TAZ mle 1939, NOT a warmed over field gun that is 40 years old and offers broadly inferior anti-tank performance to even a 47mm AT gun.

So why not do what the Americans DID? Make NEW ones. About 80,000 I believe.
Yes, let us make new models of the obsolete 40 year old artillery gun. You're full of good ideas aren't you?
 
Yes, let us make new models of the obsolete 40 year old artillery gun. You're full of good ideas aren't you?
The M-10 tank destroyer used the M1892 USN 3"/50 as its baseline antitank gun.
The US Navy used that SAME gun in the 1950s as an automatic AAA gun to replace the "obsolete" Borfors 40mm/70. on its cruisers.
And as I pointed out, the US Army had about 80,000 model 1897 French 75 barrels made for its Sherman tank park. BTW, that cannon made its way to Russia (glad to get 5,000 Shermans) and the UK (glad to get 17,000-20,000 Shermans.) Most of those Shermans came with the "obsolete" French 75 gun.

Don't knock the gun or the geniuses who designed it. For 1897 that was one bit of excellent artillery ballistics and one bit of a "wonder weapon" compared to the CRAP that was out there at the time.

This herein is a small portion of where I respectfully disagree with your entire presentation. It is not meant as anything but a courteous disagreement. I look at the OTL and note what worked and did not. I then extrapolate and speculate a bit sideways as for example an international airline agreement to get around the British tariff and exclusion of services wall, with the use of seaplane tenders as the French, Dutch and Americans DID to cover those gaps where the airlines had no touchdown points for their clippers. I suggest American and Dutch fuel sources to get around the British route supply monopolies. It is that convergent interests and diplomacy thing again.

I do not try to create obstacles or represent misrepresentations or actually suggest through semantics concepts or opinions not supported by historical example. The Dutch and the Americans had reciprocity in the southwest Pacific to support each others commercial traffic in the late 1930s. Why not France? It is a LOOOOONG way over the Indian Ocean without support.
 
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I wonder if we could stop the arguing and stating the obvious/previously mentioned.

With regard to armored forces, the Lorraine 37 was used as a base for VBCP 38L and the VBCP 39L personnel carriers. At least one 47mm self propelled gun has been seen on the Lorraine chassis. The 37L chassis was used by the Germans for self propelled artillery, munitions carriers and supply vehicles. The Somua S35 chassis was used to develop the SAu 40, a 75mm armored self propelled gun too late for the war.. Have a factory in the south of France build the Lorraine. Speed up development of new vehicles.

There was a complete failure to develop radios and radio-navigation equipment by the AdA. Gamelin's bias against radio or even telephone communication crippled the French reaction times. better communications is never a bad thing.
 
do you think that the DLMs with a balanced force of tanks, armored reconnaissance cars, motorized artillery, motorized and mechanized infantry, and anti-aircraft artillery just emerged out of the thin air?
The DLMs were an excellent concept, more advanced than the panzer divisions. In the Battle of Hannut, 411 french tanks faced 674 german ones and fought them to a standstill. In that simple 2 PZ Div vs 2 DLMs, the ability of the french army to innovate its tactics was clearly demonstrated.

I think it is a fallacy to comare any 1939-1940 army to an army of later stages of the war. Having said that, let me suggest a couple of plausible actions without any hindsight.

Here is a post of mine in the excellent "Hurry up living, or hurry up dying" timeline.
I doubt it.

The old 75mm guns were to be replaced by modern 105mm howitzers, so there were hundreds in reserve. In December 1939 the French sent 24 105mm and 12 155mm guns to Turkey along with with 15,000 rounds.

At the same time, France sold 250 anti-tank guns (25mm) to Turkey to cultivate some good will.

Other deliveries to Turkey in the 1939-1940 winter included:
LMGs: 5,000
81mm mortars: 200
Rifles: 25,000

In terms of tanks lets see the example of R35:
95 R35s in May 1940 were in Syria
34 (originally earmarked for Poland) were sold to Romania in late September 1940
100 were sold to Turkey in January 1940
54 were sold to Yugoslavia in April 1940

Bottomline is that France could easily afford to equip 4 polish infantry divisions and another armored one. That's two corps with a veteran core standing ready in May 1940.

Sources:
Ill-Made Alliance: Anglo-Turkish Relations, 1934-1940
The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940
The aforementioned diplomatic moves couldn't have yielded more than the already existing goodwill. Yugoslavia had almost the whole officer corps trained by french missions and France was already the biggest investor in the turkish economy. Moreover, Turkey had just received Alexandretta, while it got lucrative trade deals.

That was very valuable material that could have equipped the polish army. Of course, French officers need to be less dismissive of their polish counterparts.

Likewise, the Army of Levant was a foolish notion. At least 1 infantry division (86 DIA), 2 R-35 battalions and several 105mm artillery groups could have been assigned to the metropolitan reserves.

The important factor is to have an ever greater feeling of urgency, a maximized effort needed to stop the initial onslaught and then beat the German army slowly and methodically as per plan. The same can be said for the British in an even greater degree, but that's another thread.
 
Likewise, the Army of Levant was a foolish notion. At least 1 infantry division (86 DIA), 2 R-35 battalions and several 105mm artillery groups could have been assigned to the metropolitan reserves.
IIRC there were also a number of MS 406 and bomber squadrons in North Africa and the Levant, some intended for the infamous project of an attack on Baku oilfields. Quite a few modern fighter squadrons also stayed in Southern France even during the invasion. It can be certainly argued that the disposition of French air forces prior to May 10 left much to be desired, and some level of urgency could have avoided this dispersion of forces. But that's wartime strategy.

Regarding some of my previous posts, I found some useful information:
- an official program for a 75mm SPG for the infantry was already started in 1935, as well as an earlier program to apply the lessons from the flawed Garnier-Renault prototype, so my proposal does not add something new.
"General Garnier was already sceptical. By 1935, he designed a new SPG. At a mass of 21 tons, it had 50 mm of armour. The mobility also improved. A 260 hp diesel engine would allow it to accelerate to 36 kph. The cruising range also increased from 140 to 400 km. A radio station and a radio operator, which were absent from the Garnier-Renault, were also added. Unfortunately, this project remained on paper."
This is actually a pretty reasonnable proposal. The 260HP diesel engine requirement is particularly interesting and could have been the basis for development of high power diesels prior to OTL developments by AMX after 1937.

- SOMUA worked on a SPG project in 1935 in the same program as the Garnier-Renault, and seems to be based on work that would lead to the S35. It is rather reminiscent of the future SAu 40. However SOMUA soon focused on the early G1 program (essentially a 20-ton B1), but dropped out when the requirements were changed. When SOMUA returned to the infantry SPG program, the SAu 40 prototype was built in December 1937 but as the gun and turret were developped by the ARL-BDR consortium working on the ARL V 39, and only one of each was available, the prototype sat unequipped for months. The ARL V 39 was ready in mid-1938 and joint testing began in early 1939.

As we can see, there was some potential of the SOMUA project reaching completion sooner if the company focused solely on the infantry SPG program, which could be achieved ITTL if the 20-ton B1 program never happens. By virtue of being mostly comptable with the S35 and simply more mobile than B1 derivatives, this could have been a great opportunity to introduce a SPG sooner, hopefully in 1938.

- the SOMUA S40 was a direct offshoot of the company's proposal for the G1 program. Yet again I think that it would be highly beneficial to concentrate research efforts, and not having the G1 program would allow SOMUA to develop the SPG and upgrades for the S35 more quickly, as the G1 proposal was a compromise between the two classes that added extra work.
 
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e French weren't using a 75mm/40 gun, they were using the canon de 75 mle.1897/33 and if you look at penetration tables for only has 50mm/30 degrees at 400 meters with its normal Mle 1910 APHE - sources meanwhile for the 47mm gun differ, with the conservative statistics suggesting 60mm at 30 degrees at 600 yards and 80mm at 15 degrees at 200 yards.
That was one of the prewar Semi-AP class shells in use.
Nothing stopping them from deploying the APDS they developed in 1939 for the 75x350R cartridge that did 90mm pentration of a 35°degree plate at 1000m,with initial MV of 900m/s
Note with the French, many of their reports measure from 0°, not 90° like most, so that 35° is what everybody else called 55°.
 
I wonder if we could stop the arguing and stating the obvious/previously mentioned.
I think that in and of itself is what stop me from wanting to see if I could make a case. Then again, if nothing else, such arguments was what probably convinced me as to why France was doomed from the start...

...Was there anything that needed change in terms of military doctrine overall, rather than actual military equipment changes (that probably did need to be made mind you.)
 
...Was there anything that needed change in terms of military doctrine overall, rather than actual military equipment changes (that probably did need to be made mind you.)
a. Signals doctrine. Trust radios.
b. The use of the cavalry as screen. Maybe in the Ardennes for example?
c. Trust their military intelligence, but do a better job on the analytical side.
d. Simplify the artillery park and their tank park. (Actually everybody needed to do this.)
e. Hold field exercises to refine "controlled battle" as a doctrine, seeing if the concept actually works?
f. CAS and TAC-AIR. Relearn the WWI French lessons learned.
g. At sea, scrap everything they think they know and watch what the Americans are doing and do NOT do that stupid stuff. Learn, instead, how to knife fight with light forces at night.
h. Learn ASW because what they think they know is even worse in fact than the Germans and the Japanese and those guys were TERRIBLE.
 
I think that in and of itself is what stop me from wanting to see if I could make a case. Then again, if nothing else, such arguments was what probably convinced me as to why France was doomed from the start...

...Was there anything that needed change in terms of military doctrine overall, rather than actual military equipment changes (that probably did need to be made mind you.)
Don't worry, you can make your case!;)

As far as doctrine goes, the French one seems to have been mostly sound considering the lack of fighting experience to point out flaws. It was after all the prototype for the future US doctrine which proved itself well in the MTO and ETO past the early fuckups. The only serious issue seems to have been in insufficient anticipation of the decision making speeds needed in a future conflict, with too much focus on communication security that led to the distaste of radios. However, this seems to be more of an issue with interpretation of the doctrine by some officers that something inherent to the doctrine itself.

To some extent the disaster of 1940 was precisely due to officers NOT respecting the doctrine. The Army was simply not suited to the meeting engagements that the Dyle and Dyle-Breda plans would make inevitable. There were some fair reasons to choose the Dyle plan but given how risky it was the high command should have been far more cautious with it, and Breda should never have happened. I'd even argue that the Escaut plan would have been the better option past 1936 in hindsight considering Belgian neutrality, because at least the French forces would be able to dig in before the German forces invading Belgium arrive and would be less exposed to a Sickle Cut.
 
Don't worry, you can make your case!;)

As far as doctrine goes, the French one seems to have been mostly sound considering the lack of fighting experience to point out flaws. It was after all the prototype for the future US doctrine which proved itself well in the MTO and ETO past the early fuckups. The only serious issue seems to have been in insufficient anticipation of the decision making speeds needed in a future conflict, with too much focus on communication security that led to the distaste of radios. However, this seems to be more of an issue with interpretation of the doctrine by some officers that something inherent to the doctrine itself.

To some extent the disaster of 1940 was precisely due to officers NOT respecting the doctrine. The Army was simply not suited to the meeting engagements that the Dyle and Dyle-Breda plans would make inevitable. There were some fair reasons to choose the Dyle plan but given how risky it was the high command should have been far more cautious with it, and Breda should never have happened. I'd even argue that the Escaut plan would have been the better option past 1936 in hindsight considering Belgian neutrality, because at least the French forces would be able to dig in before the German forces invading Belgium arrive and would be less exposed to a Sickle Cut.
Hmm. About 80% of that is accurate and I can agree with it. Ignores the American armor doctrine evolving out of their own cavalry doctrine and the tank destroyer appendix, but it is reasonably land warfare accurate at the macros. If you want to see the differences between French and American practice, look at French 1st Army operations and compare with US 3rd Army at division level and below as they close up on the West Wall. It is startling. The French make far fewer mistakes, but are march speed a little slower.
 
Don't worry, you can make your case!;)

As far as doctrine goes, the French one seems to have been mostly sound considering the lack of fighting experience to point out flaws. It was after all the prototype for the future US doctrine which proved itself well in the MTO and ETO past the early fuckups. The only serious issue seems to have been in insufficient anticipation of the decision making speeds needed in a future conflict, with too much focus on communication security that led to the distaste of radios. However, this seems to be more of an issue with interpretation of the doctrine by some officers that something inherent to the doctrine itself.
I won't argue against that, I had to do a quick glance on the Dyle Plan again vs. the Escaut Plan, and frankly, the Dyle plan really depended too much on hoping you'll have defensible positions available to you by Belgium (and or Netherlands with with Dyle-Breda). Though would the Escaut Plan, even with the power of hindsight, been enough to stand up to the German Blitzkrieg though? Personally, I'm kinda contemplating (granted the idea is from HoI4 so I know this is something that is going to be taken with a grain of salt at best and...pretty much be shat on at worst) if it's possible to establish harder defenses along the Franco-Belgian border?
 
. At sea, scrap everything they think they know and watch what the Americans are doing and do NOT do that stupid stuff. Learn, instead, how to knife fight with light forces at night.
Why on earth would the interwar French do something like that? Why is the USN so exceptional? What victories and what achievements did it have by that point? How did american naval tradition compare to the french one? What did the USN do in WW1 that would have the french admirals say "scratch our institutional knowledge, lets copy the Americans"?

The use of the cavalry as screen. Maybe in the Ardennes for example?
As a matter of fact, the french cavalry divisions were used in the Ardennes.
 
Why on earth would the interwar French do something like that? Why is the USN so exceptional? What victories and what achievements did it have by that point? How did american naval tradition compare to the french one? What did the USN do in WW1 that would have the french admirals say "scratch our institutional knowledge, lets copy the Americans"?
At sea, scrap everything they think they know and watch what the Americans are doing and do NOT do that stupid stuff.
Perhaps a moment of clarification. What the Americans were doing in the 1930s ='s "stupid stuff". Do NOT do it. The Americans were playing at fighting Jutland. The Americans should have known better for they had a tradition. For Murphy's sake the surface brawls they fought with the Japanese resembled more the American Civil War and the Spanish American War in technique and types of combat and the naval geography involved. See analysis upthread? Here it is again with a little addition. Hence:

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Compare with...

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Kind of OBVIOUS is it not? You are fighting in an island studded narrowly confined airpower encircled environment in the Eastern Mediterranean especially in the Ligurian and Tyrhennian Seas. It is the equivalent of two half blind bantam weight boxers armed with shotguns fighting each other in a locked closet. Anyone trying to Jutland in those waters will be annihilated. Hence develop small fast cruiser destroyer raiding squadrons and learn the fine art of the night torpedo ambush.

Learn, instead, how to knife fight with light forces at night.
IOW, what the British and the Japanese and the Italians were doing or thought they were doing.

As a matter of fact, the french cavalry divisions were used in the Ardennes.
Report contact, then fight a mobile battle delaying action to develop enemy intent and axes of approach, report it and delay further, until the enemy reaches the main line of resistance? Cause that is what cavalry is supposed to do and I do not see that happening in the Ardennes at all in 1940.[/QUOTE]
 

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The M-10 tank destroyer used the M1892 USN 3"/50 as its baseline antitank gun.
Missing the point: the problem was not the gun tube, the problem was the gun mounting.

The US Navy used that SAME gun in the 1950s as an automatic AAA gun to replace the "obsolete" Borfors 40mm/70. on its cruisers.
Again, it wasn't that the 75mm gun tube was obsolete, as shown by its usage on tanks, it was obsolete as an artillery piece in its mounting.

And as I pointed out, the US Army had about 80,000 model 1897 French 75 barrels made for its Sherman tank park. BTW, that cannon made its way to Russia (glad to get 5,000 Shermans) and the UK (glad to get 17,000-20,000 Shermans.) Most of those Shermans came with the "obsolete" French 75 gun.
The 75mm was obsolete as an artillery gun, with the howitzer being a better option, and by 1940 it was clearly showing its age, with worse range, far worse traverse since it didn't have a split trail, and weight than many foreign equivalents. It was still serviceable, but it was definitively obsolete compared to modern artillery designs: thus why the only significant French artillery production project of the 1930s was building new 105mm howitzers.

Don't knock the gun or the geniuses who designed it. For 1897 that was one bit of excellent artillery ballistics and one bit of a "wonder weapon" compared to the CRAP that was out there at the time.
The key point to that is "for 1897..."

This herein is a small portion of where I respectfully disagree with your entire presentation. It is not meant as anything but a courteous disagreement. I look at the OTL and note what worked and did not. I then extrapolate and speculate a bit sideways as for example an international airline agreement to get around the British tariff and exclusion of services wall, with the use of seaplane tenders as the French, Dutch and Americans DID to cover those gaps where the airlines had no touchdown points for their clippers. I suggest American and Dutch fuel sources to get around the British route supply monopolies. It is that convergent interests and diplomacy thing again.
Your convergent diplomacy is going to drive any French airline attempting this route into bankruptcy, because now not only do you have to pay for sending an aircraft 2.3 times as long, but you have to pay to keep a huge number of seaplane tenders out in the middle of the ocean for a limited air traffic. It is again your case of taking what worked for the Americans, having seaplane tenders to help to support seaplanes cross in a relatively direct line across the Pacific (where, if you note, the line is still principally going to islands), to instead supporting a 6,600 kilometre going around Africa in a pointless diversion because you've decided that whatever happens, no French plane shall touch down on a British base despite French policy being to pursue good relations with Britain. So in the end, one gets a 23,000 kilometre air route that absolutely no one flies on and anybody going to French East Asia goes on Dutch or British planes, and the French government subsidizes a bunch of empty aircraft and sea tenders.

I do not try to create obstacles or represent misrepresentations or actually suggest through semantics concepts or opinions not supported by historical example. The Dutch and the Americans had reciprocity in the southwest Pacific to support each others commercial traffic in the late 1930s. Why not France? It is a LOOOOONG way over the Indian Ocean without support.
Because your proposal is insane and makes absolutely no financial sense.

That was one of the prewar Semi-AP class shells in use.
Nothing stopping them from deploying the APDS they developed in 1939 for the 75x350R cartridge that did 90mm pentration of a 35°degree plate at 1000m,with initial MV of 900m/s
Note with the French, many of their reports measure from 0°, not 90° like most, so that 35° is what everybody else called 55°.
And nothing was stopping them from using APDS for the 47mm gun, and in any case you're missing the point - WHAT are you using this APDS shell against, when German tanks only have 30mm? The problem which needs fixing with the 75mm is not the penetration, it is the basic characteristics of the gun which are inferior for being an anti-tank gun.

The aforementioned diplomatic moves couldn't have yielded more than the already existing goodwill. Yugoslavia had almost the whole officer corps trained by french missions and France was already the biggest investor in the turkish economy. Moreover, Turkey had just received Alexandretta, while it got lucrative trade deals.
All good points, and it seems to fit the standard French problem of not having sufficient focus: diverting resources to secondary fronts like Scandinavia, Finland, Turkey, Syria, while at home the French desperately needed to shore up their own defenses. Some of this may have made sense, but the French should have been more disciplined and not frittered away resources when the decisive action was happening elsewhere.
 
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My dear @McPherson, again you are posting Ww2 actions in an interwar topic. The Solomons campaign was brilliantly fought yet it was in the future of the period we are talking about. You may ask the 1946 MN to copy the 1945 USN, but you cannot ask such thing of the 1934 MN. The interwar strategic thinking was based on the WW1
experiences along with decades or even centuries old national interests.


the French should have been more disciplined and not frittered away resources when the decisive action was happening elsewhere.
That is what blows my mind. The very day that the Soviets attacked Poland should have sent Paris and London in to a panic mode. They had already calculated that they would win a long war and they had already overestimated the german might, especially the Luftwaffe. The only logical conclusion would have been that the Germans would strike hard and at least try to have a quick victory.

Thus, it is beyond frustrating that the Allies dragged their feet for 8 months. The British kept valuable Regulars in garrisons around the Empire, while they could swap these troops with green Territorials who could finish their training in backwaters. Moreover, the British spent HALF their time in the 1939-1940 winter digging trenches in the franco-belgian border and not training even after the Dyle Plan was set in stone. The French sent a whole corps in Syria along with >90 tanks and heavy artillery!

The Alies could have easily provided 8-12 additional divisions without a single pre war POD, just by acting upon the threat of a Germany without a second front.
 
The problem which needs fixing with the 75mm is not the penetration, it is the basic characteristics of the gun which are inferior for being an anti-tank gun.
That it's 800 pounds more for being dual purpose.

The 47mm is an less effective 6 pdr, that was found from it's introduction that the lack of decent HE was a higher penalty than the slightly higher AP performace it had over the 75mm, provided.

For the weight, it did not take much development to make a lighter weight tube for aircraft use that quickly was used for ground use in the M24 Tank.
The 75mm350R cartridge was at a sweet spot for its Muzzle Energy, more powerful guns got heavier, fast, like the Pak 40 was 500 pounds more than the Pak97/38 to the US 3" M5, near criminal 4900 pounds or actually criminal 17pdr QF at 6700 pounds.

McNair (in)famous for US TD policy, also really loved the idea of towed guns. After the M6 37mm armed GMCs got spanked in North Africa ,he saw the problem of them not being concealable, so wrote them off for towed M1 57mm and M5 3".
So AT gunners in rhe Army went from frying pan to the fire, since doctrine was still to advance the guns for a mobile counterattack. Did not work well in Italy or especially during the Bulge.
Anyhoo, the French did not have that nonsense in mind, their AT were defensive in nature.
A 25mm or 47mm gives you a big sniper rifle against incoming Infantry that went along with the Panzer Divisions.
Thinking the Germans would also be attacking with lighter tanks was also a mistake. Don't forget the propaganda use the Germans got from their prewar Heavies in Norway.
The French and British swallowed whole all the other propaganda the Nazis put out, why not be ready for Tanks with more armor to attack in 1940?
 
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My dear @McPherson, again you are posting Ww2 actions in an interwar topic. The Solomons campaign was brilliantly fought yet it was in the future of the period we are talking about. You may ask the 1946 MN to copy the 1945 USN, but you cannot ask such thing of the 1934 MN. The interwar strategic thinking was based on the WW1 experiences along with decades or even centuries old national interests.
My dear @formion. Everything I wrote and write in this thread is based on what the French knew themselves before 1940. In naval matters what other sense is there for the Magadors? Except for a navy that intended to fight small scale surface actions of the type we will later see in Iron Bottom Sound only for the MN it is in the Ligurian Sea? 1935 was that class. So why are the Magadors posted with the Force de Raid in the Atlanta ports? Why were the Dunkerques there?

How about the air force? The LeO 457 was designed for a specific purpose. It was at least as good as the Ju 88 for battlefield interdiction. So the French air force knew about battlefield interdiction missions (BIMs) and they had someone who knew about the importance of close air support and battlefield reconnaissance because they also built planes for it, too.

The Somua S35 with an AMC35 2 man turret (there is room enough to fit a ball race large enough to fit it.) would have been a FORMIDABLE cavalry tank. I also, unlike many, do not fault the French army for all the small infantry tanks they made, because I can see those as they did, as a mechanical force multiplier and an adjunct for French infantry in attack and defense that saves French lives in the sort of controlled battle the French army expected, but I do note that with the rest of the planet trying and fumbling toward a standard cavalry tank for general melee combat purposes (Cruisers in the British theory of the day) (char de cavalerie); why in Murphy's name did the French army waste so much time, money and limited resources on the Char B1? It was clearly not working by 1938 and it did not fit evolving French doctrine at all..

That is what blows my mind. The very day that the Soviets attacked Poland should have sent Paris and London in to a panic mode. They had already calculated that they would win a long war and they had already overestimated the german might, especially the Luftwaffe. The only logical conclusion would have been that the Germans would strike hard and at least try to have a quick victory.
This, too the French KNEW. If not from WWI, then from the Napoleonic and what Americans learned in their schools as the 7 Years Wars and later the Franco-Prussian War. The Germans because of their geographic position, and resource limitations had to win their wars quickly or they would be overrun and overwhelmed by coalitions. I joke about "Bulldozerkrieg", but Napoleon invented it with the Prussians specifically in mind.

Thus, it is beyond frustrating that the Allies dragged their feet for 8 months. The British kept valuable Regulars in garrisons around the Empire, while they could swap these troops with green Territorials who could finish their training in backwaters. Moreover, the British spent HALF their time in the 1939-1940 winter digging trenches in the franco-belgian border and not training even after the Dyle Plan was set in stone. The French sent a whole corps in Syria along with >90 tanks and heavy artillery!
I cannot speak to it, other than agree with you. The French should have ATTACKED when the Germans were bogged in Poland. There was a good chance had Stalin seen France on offense, he would have double crossed the Berlin Maniac and switched sides. Stalin would have screwed it up, but the Berlin Maniac with a million Russians on him and with the Poles and the French? He's not going to last 3 months. It was absolutely the last chance to avert the greater tragedy.

The Alies could have easily provided 8-12 additional divisions without a single pre war POD, just by acting upon the threat of a Germany without a second front.
And Fermion... Charles de Gaulle wrote "The Edge of the Sword" in 1935, so yes HE knew where the problem essentially was and he had some answers. Unpopular answers, but valid ones, which if applied in a strictly limited and controlled way to the armed forces and under STRICT civilian political control and oversight to the situation in which France found herself, probably would have been more important (morale factors) than any twiddling that we discuss here with hardware, tactics and methods or even with the shuffling around of a dozen divisions here or there..
 
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