Renauds Government Refuses Armistice

Historically French leader Renaud wanted to move the government to Algeria and fight on with the French Empire against nazi Germany. His cabinet was initally open to the idea, but after the proposal was informally broached to the Chamber of Deputies it was found a majority favored seeking a armistice & cease fire and would vote to disolve Renauds government if the war was continued. Petain and two other cabinet ministers then begain pressuring Renaud to ask for a cease fire.

Renaud still planned for transfering the goverment and sought support for another day or two. The French military continued to transfer its most valuable assets to ports and embark them for evacuation, and about eight Deputies sympathetic to Renaud idea also got on ships and departed. However Renaud was pressured into asking for a ceasefire. Eventually he resigned, Petain was selected as the new head of government by the Deputies, and France had a armistice cramed down its collective throat by the victorious Germans.

The PoD come when Renaud sees there is no support among the Deputies, instead of dithering for two days & then resigning he instead slips away to the docks with his minority of supporters, dragging old Petain along to head off trouble. Along the way Renaud declares the government is established in Africa, the Deputies and administrators remaining in France are no longer part of it, and sets up shop in Algeria, reassuring the British and nuetral representatives that "France is still in the war".

So, now it is 25 June 1940, the last of the French metropolitan army field forces are making last ditch stands in South France, the skilled technicians are fleeing abroad to Britain or the colonies. The best aircraft of the French Air Force are continuing to fly to Africa, the French navy is piling whatever it can salvage aboard ship and departing.

How does this play out?
 
The Americans, the British and the French roll back the Germans in Africa, and follow that up with a simultaneous three pronged invasion of Europe, through Italy, Normandy and southern France?
 
I d say the British and French conquer Libya by the end of July 1940. nNorth Africa is securely in allied hands and the Germans don't bother to send Rommel. The front moves back to Europe in November 1942, when British, French and US forces invade Siciliy. tTeo weeks later, after Mussolini is overthrown, the allies quickly make a deal with the new Italian government. tThe Germans still block the allies in Northern Italy. In mid 1943, the allies invade Frsnce and Germany surrenders in mid summer 1944.
 
The French people are going to have a rougher time while the war lasts, as the Germans will occupy the whole country from the start. The "surrender monkey" meme dies in the cradle. If the French have time to wreck the place before they leave the German invasion of Russia will be harder, less French trucks, oil etc for them to use. They'll have to leave more troops in France than OTL as well.
An argument could be made that the Renaud govt acted illegally, a new govt could be set up in France that is more pro-German in an attempt to curry favor. A highly unpopular declaration of war against the Brits perhaps? Unlikely I think but you never know.
 
Indeed, the new government would be brought in to the Axis more so than the Vichy were. This might actually cause France to get a worse rap than they do now. Not only did they surrender, but then the fought for the Nazis.
 
Indeed, the new government would be brought in to the Axis more so than the Vichy were. This might actually cause France to get a worse rap than they do now. Not only did they surrender, but then the fought for the Nazis.
Doubtful. We hardly say the same thing of the Dutch or the Belgians. The only ace the Vichy Government held was the French overseas Empire and if that is in the hands of the still surviving legitimate government then the Nazis have no need of a collaborationist regime at all.
 
I d say the British and French conquer Libya by the end of July 1940. nNorth Africa is securely in allied hands and the Germans don't bother to send Rommel. The front moves back to Europe in November 1942, when British, French and US forces invade Siciliy. tTeo weeks later, after Mussolini is overthrown, the allies quickly make a deal with the new Italian government. tThe Germans still block the allies in Northern Italy. In mid 1943, the allies invade Frsnce and Germany surrenders in mid summer 1944.
I dont think the French, or British had that much offensive capability in July 1940, or later. In July there were three French infantry divisions guarding the Lybian Tunisia border, all understrength and short of motor transport. Further north in Tunisia there were some newly raised divisions that were also understrength, undertrained, and alcking the transport of move south quickly. The commander in Tunisia also must think about guarding Tunis & Bizerte. While the Italian amphibious landing ability is weak the coast cant be left entirely undefended.

What the Allies can do in Lybia later depends on how much they decide to gamble on reinforcing the place, and if Hitler decides to purse the French to Africa. He may decide to concentrate on the British Isles as in OTL, thinking that when the Brits surrender the French finally will as well.

Doubtful. We hardly say the same thing of the Dutch or the Belgians. The only ace the Vichy Government held was the French overseas Empire and if that is in the hands of the still surviving legitimate government then the Nazis have no need of a collaborationist regime at all.
Germany did establish colaborationist government in Norway & the former Yugoslavia states, and pro facist administrators in Netherlands, Belgium, Greece... Odds are they would attmept to do the same in France. If the remaining Deputiies (a large majority stayed put in OTL) attempt to form a new government from their members the Hilter might purge that group and allow the pro facists or collaborationsits to for a German friendly government. Such a government might be very weak, like Quislings government in Norway, but for political reasons the Germans would try proping it up.
 

Cook

Banned
Amazing, this thread is eight posts long already and yet no-one has even commented that the man’s name was actually Reynaud. It’s not exactly a small detail; he was the Premier of France after all!



What next, a thread asking 'If William Churchill doesn't become prime minister of Great Britain'?
 
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Actually his name is frequently misspelled in English language text. I've been scolded for spelling it the other way as well. Maybe I'll write it both/ways? ;)
 
With metropolitan reinforcement the French from Tunisia and the British from Egypt should have been able to remove the Italians from Libya by early 1941 even if the Italians in Ethiopia have to be left to wither on the vine.

If it can be wrapped up quickly enough then maybe the allied strength can be transferred to Greece and Franco British forces engage in a Balkan war. Would this cancel or delay Barbarossa?

With both the Royal Navy and the French Navy the Mediterranean would be an allied lake allowing easy shipping support into Greece.

If the Italians see the madness that is an invasion of Russia and faced with a european war along their Adriatic coast and Scicily then could they seek to change sides?
 
This also means that the British can deploy strong forces to defend SE Asia from the Japanese so potentially no Fall of Singapore debacle and a shorter Pacific War.
 
With metropolitan reinforcement the French from Tunisia and the British from Egypt should have been able to remove the Italians from Libya by early 1941 even if the Italians in Ethiopia have to be left to wither on the vine.
This seems more probable to me. The French had several large all weather airfields in Tunisia, some secondary airfields, and the infrastructure to build many more in a timely way. If you look at a map it is clear Allied bombers can use the Tunisian airfields as forward bases to interdict Italian cargo ship to Lybia. Forget Malta & its limited capacity, the Tunisian airfields could accomadate hundreds of aircraft, far more could be held in reserve further west in Algeria and Morroco to replace losses. Also note how Tripoli would be in easy range of these airfields. It will be really tough to get supplies or reinforcements to Lybia. Only a heavy commitment of the German air forces might suppress the Tunisia airfields and allow enough cargo to get through. ...but that leads directly to the next set of questions.

If it can be wrapped up quickly enough then maybe the allied strength can be transferred to Greece and Franco British forces engage in a Balkan war. Would this cancel or delay Barbarossa?
If the German airforces make a major effort in the Mediterranean they could offset the extra French combat power, but of course that would threaten to delay attacking the USSR.

With both the Royal Navy and the French Navy the Mediterranean would be an allied lake allowing easy shipping support into Greece.
The Italian navy will have a tougher time of it. It is easy to think they will be run off the sea. A large enough German air force committed to the Med could allow the italians operational freedom, but it is not certain.

If the Italians see the madness that is an invasion of Russia and faced with a european war along their Adriatic coast and Scicily then could they seek to change sides?
Mussolini may not, but there is the possibility of a earlier coup against him. If Hitler weakly supports the Italians then a new Italian government might seek a cease fire or armistice. This early in the war it is less likely they would change sides. That was a condition dictated by the Allies from a position of strength in mid 1943. In 1941 or 1942 the Allies might be satisfied with simple cease fire & armistice.

This also means that the British can deploy strong forces to defend SE Asia from the Japanese so potentially no Fall of Singapore debacle and a shorter Pacific War.
Even more important the French have the opportunity to challenge any Japanese ideas about invading Indo China. In OTL the Japanese army officers who instigated the ultimatu to the French and unopposed invasion were picking low hanging fruit. They had assurance from the Germans that any French objections from back at Vichy would be gaged and French resistance punished there.

It was this Japanese occupation of the French Indo China colonies which led directly to the US/British trade embargos of Japan. The Japanese action shocked the US public, at least those who knew where Indo China was. It also gave the Japanese control of the rubber exports from Fr Indo China which scared US businessmen dependant on the rubber industry. A lot of people who formerly had called themselves Isolationists found themselves claiming the US needed to take action. All that gave the Roosevelt government the ability to do just that.

With the French still a active ally of the Brits, and able to redeploy a portion of their fleet to Asia, and depend on the Brits there it is very unlikely the Japanese will get frisky, which means no embargos in 1941, no breakdown in US/japanese peace talks, and no Japanese attack in December 1941. No Pacific War is possible. Or that it be much delayed.

Well, you can try (if you know French) to read that exact same story and development in 1940 La France continue la guerre.
Have read bits of it, tho my inspiration for this came from elsewhere. It appears the writers there go a few places I'd think unrealistic or over the top.
 
Not seen the Yuku discussion. It looks large & complex & will take some time to asorb.

When this question came up on yet another site (Arm Chair General) one of the participants argued Germany& Italy would be able o deploy air and ground forces fast enough that the French would be overwhelmed and ejected from Tunisia during August and September. Anyone think that is possible?
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
I have thought a lot about this POD and have actually begun a TL on it, though I have not put it on this site due to the presence of the excellent Sword of Freedom TL, which deals with this exact subject through the POD of France accepting the British proposal of a political union between the two countries.

I think there are a few things to consider.

1. Spain is more likely to join the Axis powers ITTL because Hitler can more easily promise Spain territory controlled by the French in North Africa.

2. Britain's naval superiority is even more marked ITTL because it will continue to have the support of the French fleet and the Italian threat will therefore be greatly reduced.

3. Japan is less likely to embark on aggression in the Pacific, because the French will defend Indochina and the British will be able to deploy heavier naval forces. No occupation of Indochina means no American oil embargo, which means no need to conquer the Dutch East Indies. At least at first.

4. Hitler is less likely to invade the USSR in 1941 if the war against the Franco-British forces is going less well than IOTL. Does this mean a Soviet attack on Germany in 1942?

5. The United States is less likely to be embroiled in a war with Japan due to the reason stated in #3. Does this mean that war between the United States and Germany will be butterflied away?
 
I'm contributing to the original french variant, and I explained the difference between the two in this thread.

https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=260236

The FFO project is born in 2005, then 4 years later the APOD and FFO teams parted ways. Since then the APOD team rewrote large parts of FFO.
Yeah, I remember that. That whole thing about the colonies choosing sides in APOD was a bit over the top and actually served to put me off entirely of it.
 
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