WI/AHC: Anglo-French rivalry revived in the interwar period

There was some research being done on my part on the British radar system built to provide early warning for bombers coming to the home isles, and there was a particular line in the book I was reading that caught my eye, mentioning that the first of the radars were built in the southern United Kingdom during the Twenties in expectation that France, not Germany, would be the aerial threat that the U.K. would have to face in the next war.

My question is, what if the Anglo-French rivalry was revived? There were enough tensions as it was between the two post-Versailles Treaty especially over the treatment of Germany, and how would it most likely be brought about if there were a split to form between the former Allies of the Entente?
 
France being overzealous towards Germany and refused to back down. There was a lot of sympathy for Germany that could be built up them, especially if Communism is on the rise.
 
France being overzealous towards Germany and refused to back down. There was a lot of sympathy for Germany that could be built up them, especially if Communism is on the rise.
That being said, at what point is the trade off for German sympathy to French friendship made?

For example, the Ruhr Crisis of 1923 where French and Belgian troops march into the Ruhr demanding debts paid as per the reparations of the Treaty of Versailles, would a prolonged occupation, which seems unlikely considering the reasoning behind it collapsing in the first place, be enough, or would it take active hostility by the occupying French forces to do so?

While that would be the most likely point to bring about a returned rivalry between the two traditional opponents, would the United Kingdom really take the crippled Germany husk in exchange for French animosity at that point post-war?
 
That being said, at what point is the trade off for German sympathy to French friendship made?

For example, the Ruhr Crisis of 1923 where French and Belgian troops march into the Ruhr demanding debts paid as per the reparations of the Treaty of Versailles, would a prolonged occupation, which seems unlikely considering the reasoning behind it collapsing in the first place, be enough, or would it take active hostility by the occupying French forces to do so?

While that would be the most likely point to bring about a returned rivalry between the two traditional opponents, would the United Kingdom really take the crippled Germany husk in exchange for French animosity at that point post-war?
I agree that this is unlikely, and it would probably have to be in the 30s after an early 20s POD happened to be even plausible. The other way is France going communist at some point, which is more unlikely.
 
While nothing is impossible per se, I find it unlikely without extreme modifications to the French political structure and climate equivalent to a revolution. The French were utterly convinced that they had to have the support of the British to be able to triumph over the Germans, and attempting to get the UK to enter into an alliance with them was a consistent part of their foreign policy. The British during the interwar period were stupid, self-centered, selfish, and short-sighted which led them to sometimes convince themselves that the French were the bigger threat to continental security than the Germans, but being able to translate that fantasy into an actual delusion of the French being a threat and opponent to them would take a whole new level of lead in their tea. Fundamentally it takes two to tango as well, and the French would never play their part of being a rival to the British, since they fundamentally want the British to be on their side.

To achieve a rivalry you would need either the British or the French to go off the rails. With the British their furthest policy gamut seems to have been the idea of an understanding with Germany, in which case the French would essentially just have to retrench and keep on praying that eventually the British would come to their senses, while a Communist revolution in Britain seems extraordinarily unlikely. It isn't possible per se that a much more nationalistic and right-wing French government could pursue a more interventionist and aggressive military police which would strengthen its alliances with the Central European states and Poland which might lead to some greater tensions with Britain, but even this I don't think would reach the level of a cold war. As others mention a communist revolution could do it in France, but this would have been a messy and chaotic affair which probably would have devolved into civil war.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
The Anglo-French rivalry did revive in the interwar period. It continued during the War as well, along with the Anglo-American rivalry.

If you read A Line In The Sand and Lords of the Desert both by James Barr then the intrigues and back biting that went on between the Allies before (Anglo-French) and during (Anglo-French-American) the War in the Middle East and Africa.
 
There are too many good reasons for any Anglo-French rivalry to truly become more than a reasonable precaution by Great Britain but let’s go wild…

The German Imperial Navy’s ships aren’t scuttled and become war booty. France, having suffered the most (certainly in their own eyes), take the German ships as compensation.

The German vessels prove to be formidable, easily superior to the British dreadnoughts of the day and only German timidity prevented a major victory at sea for the Central powers.

Suddenly, the French have the means of upsetting the cosy situation the British have created for themselves where no other country can challenge their supremacy at sea and aren’t shy about pressing their claims to a larger share of international trade and colonies (the ex-German ones?).

After 4 years of total warfare, France is in no mood for another shooting war, but the mere existence of a rival fleet is enough for the British to soil their trousers and turn their propaganda machine against the French.
 
Not that hard to imagine. Simply have the UK response to the post-WWI environment mirror US/NATO foreign policy post-1991.

Of course in this scenario, France disliking Britain and getting into trade snits with the UK would be a rather minor concern compared to the US's disliking britain.
 
could you have French-Soviet relations increase, a joint effort in Spain, etc., have seen analysis that this would lead to a French civil war, but maybe not?

or would French-Italian relations be an easier POD? as Italy did not warm to the Nazi regime until Ethiopia and SCW? would/could stitch together France-Italy-Poland?
 
could you have French-Soviet relations increase, a joint effort in Spain, etc., have seen analysis that this would lead to a French civil war, but maybe not?

or would French-Italian relations be an easier POD? as Italy did not warm to the Nazi regime until Ethiopia and SCW? would/could stitch together France-Italy-Poland?
Maybe the French support Italy at the Brenner Pass in 1934?
 
could you have French-Soviet relations increase, a joint effort in Spain, etc., have seen analysis that this would lead to a French civil war, but maybe not?

or would French-Italian relations be an easier POD? as Italy did not warm to the Nazi regime until Ethiopia and SCW? would/could stitch together France-Italy-Poland?
Maybe the French support Italy at the Brenner Pass in 1934?
IDK, maybe that would make the Italians more interested in some quasi-alliance (at least against Germany), but all speculation on my part is based on the UK NOT wanting the two to collaborate, especially as their joint naval strength would be so great, at least in the Med?
 
While nothing is impossible per se, I find it unlikely without extreme modifications to the French political structure and climate equivalent to a revolution. The French were utterly convinced that they had to have the support of the British to be able to triumph over the Germans, and attempting to get the UK to enter into an alliance with them was a consistent part of their foreign policy. The British during the interwar period were stupid, self-centered, selfish, and short-sighted which led them to sometimes convince themselves that the French were the bigger threat to continental security than the Germans, but being able to translate that fantasy into an actual delusion of the French being a threat and opponent to them would take a whole new level of lead in their tea. Fundamentally it takes two to tango as well, and the French would never play their part of being a rival to the British, since they fundamentally want the British to be on their side.

To achieve a rivalry you would need either the British or the French to go off the rails. With the British their furthest policy gamut seems to have been the idea of an understanding with Germany, in which case the French would essentially just have to retrench and keep on praying that eventually the British would come to their senses, while a Communist revolution in Britain seems extraordinarily unlikely. It isn't possible per se that a much more nationalistic and right-wing French government could pursue a more interventionist and aggressive military police which would strengthen its alliances with the Central European states and Poland which might lead to some greater tensions with Britain, but even this I don't think would reach the level of a cold war. As others mention a communist revolution could do it in France, but this would have been a messy and chaotic affair which probably would have devolved into civil war.
Let’s say a strongman government in France is the most practical future for carrying out a souring of Anglo-French relations. My first question is, why you don’t think it would lead to a loosening of affairs between the United Kingdom and France?

My next would be about how one could come about? Perhaps a stronger reason to have a greater fear of Bolshevism spilling over int

The Anglo-French rivalry did revive in the interwar period. It continued during the War as well, along with the Anglo-American rivalry.

If you read A Line In The Sand and Lords of the Desert both by James Barr then the intrigues and back biting that went on between the Allies before (Anglo-French) and during (Anglo-French-American) the War in the Middle East and Africa.
Maybe “hostilities” is a better term to describe what I intend, then, but I will definitely check these out, I appreciate the suggestions and am always looking for ways to expand my knolw

There are too many good reasons for any Anglo-French rivalry to truly become more than a reasonable precaution by Great Britain but let’s go wild…

The German Imperial Navy’s ships aren’t scuttled and become war booty. France, having suffered the most (certainly in their own eyes), take the German ships as compensation.

The German vessels prove to be formidable, easily superior to the British dreadnoughts of the day and only German timidity prevented a major victory at sea for the Central powers.

Suddenly, the French have the means of upsetting the cosy situation the British have created for themselves where no other country can challenge their supremacy at sea and aren’t shy about pressing their claims to a larger share of international trade and colonies (the ex-German ones?).

After 4 years of total warfare, France is in no mood for another shooting war, but the mere existence of a rival fleet is enough for the British to soil their trousers and turn their propaganda machine against the French.
This is definitely a possibility but it runs into the problem of understanding any situation under which the German Navy wouldn’t have scuttled the ships by the time the war came to a conclusion.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Maybe “hostilities” is a better term to describe what I intend, then, but I will definitely check these out, I appreciate the suggestions and am always looking for ways to expand my knolw
I cannot recommend highly enough that you do. They’re both fascinating books and highlighted an interesting era of history I didn’t know enough about. A Line in the Sand makes some interesting claims about French support for Jewish resistance against British rule in Palestine that I was unaware of.
 
Everyone is assuming World War I goes as IOTL but the POD is post 1900. But you get this with the maximum possible Entente victory during World War I.

Some specific scenarios:

1. World War I goes as IOTL until July 1916, but the British, French, and Americans curbstomp Germany after that date, including things like the High Seas Fleet sunk at Jutland and the Niville Offiensive succeeding. Germany is broken up into French puppet states, the parts that aren't annexed directly to France, with Britain gaining some puppet states in nothern Germany.

2. Big early Entente victory early in World War I and Germany is squashed. France and Tsarist Russia remain in alliance against the British empire.

3. Britain stays neutral but France and Russia manage to defeat Germany and Austria-Hungary on their own anyway, and remains allies against the British empire and a weaker Germany.

I happen to think #2 is most likely, but the OTL French and British cooperating came about because of the specific situation of Germany losing World War I, but not badly enough for it to stop being a threat.
 
I have a map for this:



The French and Russians are able to defeat the Germans in the 1914 campaign, bringing the war to an end in late 1915. Britain allies with the Germans at the peace table to limit the growth of Franco-Russian power, as France is able to detach the Rhineland and economically link it to herself in a WWI-version of the Monnet Plan while gaining much of the Imperial German fleet.
 
Let’s say a strongman government in France is the most practical future for carrying out a souring of Anglo-French relations. My first question is, why you don’t think it would lead to a loosening of affairs between the United Kingdom and France?
Because there is a big difference between the French and the British not being on good terms with each other and actually being involved in a rivalry. It would take extremely drastic modifications to the European balance of power for the French to be able to realistically contemplate a hostile policy towards the British, and in the OTL 1919-1939 political context the French always would be pushed to try to form an alliance with the British, which inherently made any real hostility impossible because it takes two to produce a rivalry, regardless of how many fantasies and exaggerations the British had. Even in a different political context it is extremely difficult to alter this calculus.
 
I have a map for this:



The French and Russians are able to defeat the Germans in the 1914 campaign, bringing the war to an end in late 1915. Britain allies with the Germans at the peace table to limit the growth of Franco-Russian power, as France is able to detach the Rhineland and economically link it to herself in a WWI-version of the Monnet Plan while gaining much of the Imperial German fleet.
Several problems-
Russia will annex East Prussia and Galicia and establish a client Polish state out of Russian Polans, extending probably to the oder or about halfway to OTLs eastern border (say west prussia, Posnan, lower silesia) A rump austro hungarian empire will remain as Italy, France, Russia and Britain all want it as a buffer and to avoid union with Germany. Say Austria+Bohrmia+Croatia+Hungary.

Italy will probably get Dalmatia (at least that's she was offered at the treat of London) and Albania outright.
 
Several problems-
Russia will annex East Prussia and Galicia and establish a client Polish state out of Russian Polans, extending probably to the oder or about halfway to OTLs eastern border (say west prussia, Posnan, lower silesia) A rump austro hungarian empire will remain as Italy, France, Russia and Britain all want it as a buffer and to avoid union with Germany. Say Austria+Bohrmia+Croatia+Hungary.

Italy will probably get Dalmatia (at least that's she was offered at the treat of London) and Albania outright.
Russia, to my knowledge, did not have designs on East Prussia given its German majority and I can definitely see Britain siding with the Germans on this in order to prevent the acquisition of Koenigsberg by the Russians with all the strategic implications therein for their Navy. Likewise, Russia did desire to establish what was essentially a Monarchist Czechoslovakia under a Romanov.
 
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