WI: France really fights on from 1940?

POD might be that people with clout and will to fight evacuate themselves to the North Africa and declare themselves in charge of non-metropole France, and, as far as they can help it, they will fight Germany and Italy from mid-1940 on.
Without much of peeking at the existing FFON materials on the web, what impact to the ww2 and on might this have? Immediate effect for Europe and Med? Is Op Barbarossa still on? How fast the French and British can wrap-up the rest of Africa? Effects on Japanese conquest of Indochina? Lend-lease still as per OTL?
 
Armistice is signed, however Germans occupy whole metropolitan France in this instance.
Are we talking about figures like Reynald, Pertain, and Weygand escaping to North Africa? Are these a few parliamentarians, some undersecretaries, and several lower ranking generals?
 
Are we talking about figures like Reynald, Pertain, and Weygand escaping to North Africa? Are these a few parliamentarians, some undersecretaries, and several lower ranking generals?
People with a clout - marshals, politicians with a spine, ww1 heroes.
 
Whether the Armistice is signed or not, if this government declares it is not bound by the Vichy surrender, some French forces will gather in North Africa.The Marine National is likely to leave for more neutral ports. Italian North Africa is threatened. More French Colonies are liable to defect to the Algerian government.
 


Some French historians made a timeline about this and wargamed some events. The main premise is that Paul Reynaud and the French government decide to fight on and Pétain has a stroke.
They subsequently use a plan called "Le Grand Déménagement" consisting of an evacuation of about 500,000 French soldiers and as much material as possible to NA.

The main (quite plausible consequences) is that the Allies curbstomp the Italians in Lybia so the war is much shorter in this theater and IIRC France helped in Greece as well.
Now it's mostly a French wank at this point but the French get to be rearmed with US-made equipment (that is sometimes French designs or US designs that weren't approved OTL, such as the M7 Medium tank).

The French also fight well in Indochina, and overall the war ends in 1944 IIRC.
 
Get rid of Petain - government was on its way to North Africa but ordered not to! Reynaud lost his nerve; Weygand wanted to stop fighting.
The gold hoard was in Dakar along the Polish one.
Armee de l'Air was evacuating the aircraft that could manage crossing the Med.

How to do it - Petain was 84 let him stay in Madrid as ambassador to Spain. Find somebody else than Weygand to run the Army or perhaps with Petain out of the way he may grit his teeth.
The French wrote that the problem was Reynauds mistress and let her die in a car accident - perhaps without Petain that may not be necessary.

Having goverment leave Bordeaux for North Africa and continue evacuation your are on your way. Question is how many troops may be evacuated - go with the Colonial infantry tankers Polish Czechs and whoever decide to make a run for it. A couple of 100,000? 3-4? The important thing as Churchill saw it was to get Luftwaffe POWs out - some 1000 aircrew that won't fly against Britain or NA this autumm! Get the French Radar developers/operators and code breakers out too.
Marine Nationale is a given it's light forces did make a run for it in 1943 and a number made it. Here more are on station overseas and will survive.

Sitting on the gold hoard the French government is able to keep its procurement in the USA of aircraft going - quite vital as there is no production base in NA to speak of. As French designs wears out the Armee de l'Air will receive its ordered H-75s, P-40s or whatever those will be named in export, P-38s when available, light bombers DB-7 and Marylands, B-24 early version LB-30s, which won't be diverted to RAF use! - then they will go buy ammunition petrol and all the shit to wage war.
No de Gaulle to annoy Churchill and Roosevelt! ;)

With the French still alive and kicking the Japanese won't bully for bases in Indochina - if they do the French may dispatch more troops there.

When the French army get its shit together in NA - where a new army is training to replace the one sent to France following the declaration of war - its bye, bye Benny's Colonial Empire.
No Rommel in NA - no German/Italian reinforcement of Rashid Ali in Irak - no British resources spent neutralizing the Marine Nationale or Operation Exporter or Madagascar or whatever used to neutralize the French OTL. No airbattle against the Vichy over Gibraltar.
Franco even more than OTL shut up and do nothing with the French on his doorstep in NA.

Following clearing of Libya the French armed forces will need another round of reequipment and training before new operations. At least they will need new tanks to replace those lost - OTL the Italians did take out Commonwealth tanks in NA so they will take French ones out here.

The Germans - they need more troops to garrison France. Hitler have still done what he wrote in Mein Kampf - France have been defeated. It will stay for quite some time off Europe. Now what? OTL there was Battle of Britain - will it happen? Or is Hitler going for the French in NA? The Kriegsmarine is in no way able to go to the Med so that option would befall the Italian Navy which may be taken out by joint RN/MN action and that will most likely be high on the agenda in that area.
So it may still be a go at Britain as Churchill will be even more resolute here than OTL in keep fighting. Having lost quite a number of experienced aircrew the Luftwaffe will do worse than OTL over Britain.

Next up a lull in campaining where the Allies will build a strategic reserve in the Middle East which means more troops stay in Australia and more British/French troops available if the Japanese decide to go for the Greater Coprosperity Sphere by force.
 
Okay, so we might pehaps see this by 1942:
- Africa & Middle East firmly in 'Entente' hands, so are the Dodecanese
- Jugoslavia and Greece still fall by German attack, but Crete is in Entente possesion,
- Op Barbarossa still unfolds as per OTL?
- Entente attacks Sardinia and/or Sicily?

What about Asia/Pacific? No Japanese attack on the US forces = no declaration of war by Germany and Italy va. USA?
 
Okay, so we might pehaps see this by 1942:
- Africa & Middle East firmly in 'Entente' hands, so are the Dodecanese
Check - with Turkey leaning towards Entente but still neutral.

- Jugoslavia and Greece still fall by German attack, but Crete is in Entente possesion,
Check though only a possible about Crete (in an old TL of mine I had the 7. Fsjä. Div. bleed on Corsica..) - hence why Turkey is still a neutral with Wehrmacht on their doorstep! At some point the Germans will be lacking in Tungsten.

- Op Barbarossa still unfolds as per OTL?
It was Hitlers grand colonial scheme!

- Entente attacks Sardinia and/or Sicily?
A possible - to me it would be a step forward towards continental Europe and with no Italian Navy to stop it or reinforce the islands except Sicily.. Sardinia would be a nice place from which to fly bombers to Italian mainland Ploesti and such!

What about Asia/Pacific? No Japanese attack on the US forces = no declaration of war by Germany and Italy va. USA?
I expect the Japanese to still go south - probably to NEI first to secure the oil with a "Pearl Harbour" on Singapore to take out the combined Far East Fleet. As the campain unfolds the Philippines are at some point cut off and US enters war.

Just my 25 øre!
 
North Africa's secured by 1941; the Germans won't have enough time to send reinforcements to Libya before it crumbles. Even if the French do nothing else, this already has a significant impact on the rest of the war.

Japan won't be able to take FIC in 1940; OTL they were only able to do so because of the French defeat. Here, they will have to fully invade in order to do so... which they can't do while their last two carriers are being constructed. Therefore, any invasion won't occur until Dec. 1941 at the earliest. No doubt the Japanese will be able to take at least most of Indochina, but doing so will require troop assets that will have to be taken from the other invasion fronts, which could very well screw up their overall timetable. And they will have to invade the Phillippines as well, as the fall of Metropolitan France will have been more than enough to scare Congress into passing the Two-Ocean Naval Act, which will mean another race against time for Japan before the USN becomes overwhelmingly powerful.
 
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If France held Corsica at the beginning of the Med campaign then Sardinia would be the likely next target for the Allies.
I wonder what were the Italian defenses there and the Allied amphibious attack capability in 1941-42, this whether it's doable.

But if the Allies take control of several Med isles early on then it's a major change compared to OTL because Sardinia and Corsica were haben only after the Sicily and early Italian campaign.
With them they now have additional aircraft and maritime bases close to Sicily and Northern Italy so it might be easier to land at multiples points along the Italian coast and prevent the Germans from occupying much of Northern Italy.
 
If France held Corsica at the beginning of the Med campaign then Sardinia would be the likely next target for the Allies.
I wonder what were the Italian defenses there and the Allied amphibious attack capability in 1941-42, this whether it's doable.

But if the Allies take control of several Med isles early on then it's a major change compared to OTL because Sardinia and Corsica were haben only after the Sicily and early Italian campaign.
With them they now have additional aircraft and maritime bases close to Sicily and Northern Italy so it might be easier to land at multiples points along the Italian coast and prevent the Germans from occupying much of Northern Italy.
The French didn't have much of a force on Corsica some two demi-brigades of 12 battalions and the airfield was on soggy ground. It the Germans want it they'll take it at some cost. The Italians did have some troops on Sardinia - looked up Wiki - some 2 infantry div.s and three reserve coastal divisions and the island was quite fortified at the coast's as was Corsica.

Corsica is of limited value in its state in 1940.

I guess you would have to get the US into the fray to get a decent amphibious capability by 1942.
 
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However, such limited defenses only existed in OTL so maybe France will est more troops here. Unless they consider Corsica not worth it and withdraw from there as well
 
However, such limited defenses only existed in OTL so maybe France will est more troops here. Unless they consider Corsica not worth it and withdraw from there as well
It seems to me to have been a dead end in 1940; the central mountains divide the island in an east and west part with only one pass! Only one bad airfield at Ajaccio.
Of course they may decide to make a stand to take out some Germans but it seems futile.
 
IMO most of the discussion in this thread is far too sanguine about Allied chances in this situation.

At this time there were no Allied armies to speak of. The British army was largely destroyed in France; most of the men were evacuated at Dunkirk, but nearly all equipment was lost. The French army was in also destroyed. Even supposing a substantial number of troops could be evacuated to Algeria, they would have little or no equipment, and no source of new equipment. Or of ammunition, or fuel, or food. Britain was flat on its back, and had nothing to spare. The US was not providing any aid at this time - and was short of equipment for its own Army expansion.

The RAF was in reasonable shape; it could - barely - prevent the Luftwaffe from controlling the air over Britain, but not stop the Blitz. The Armée de l'Aire was effectively destroyed. Even if a few aircraft could have been moved to Algeria, there would be no fuel or spare parts.

Only in naval power were the Allies stronger than the Axis. The French Navy would be a substantial addition, but it would be a wasting asset, as French North Africa could not support it properly. (Nor could Britain supply ammunition or spare parts.)

In any case, the Allies would be unable to prevent large-scale Axis deployment to North Africa. In late 1942, Britain and the US were unable to prevent the Axis from deploying an entire Panzer Army to Tunisia, and that was after Italy's merchant shipping was depleted by two years of war, and while Germany was heavily engaged on the Eastern Front.

In 1940... The combined Allied navies can partially blockade Libya for a while, but at substantial and increasing cost as the Axis air forces develop effective anti-shipping techniques. Also it will be partial, as noted, so there will be at least enough Axis troops in Libya to defeat any Allied attacks.

By fall 1940, the blockading will become insupportable, and the way will be clear for large Axis deployments, and the start of a powerful Axis drive into French North Africa. I don't see how the French can stop such a drive. Britain can do a bit to help, but not enough IMO.

The British did manage OTL to deploy enough force to Egypt and East Africa for campaigns there. They still have to do East Africa or lose the Middle East, but they will go on the defensive in Egypt and support the French in North Africa. Even so, it is very hard to see how French colonial garrisons and a small British BEF can hold off, say, a third of the entire Wehrmacht.

I will say that the extra French ships, and the use of French bases in Morocco and West Africa, will be a significant benefit in the Battle of the Atlantic.

There will be diplomatic consequences. As the Axis advances in Morocco, Spanish Morocco comes into the line of fire. If the Axis takes Morocco, Rio de Oro is between Morocco and West Africa, which the Axis cannot reach.

Over in Asia - Japan cannot enter French Indochina without explicitly going to war against the Allies.
 
Given the quality of the Italian troops in North Africa, it very likely that any attack from Tunisia would be able to steamroll the western defences and wind up in Tripoli in short order. That alone would very nearly kill any Axis reinforcement to Libya.
 
Given the quality of the Italian troops in North Africa, it very likely that any attack from Tunisia would be able to steamroll the western defences and wind up in Tripoli in short order. That alone would very nearly kill any Axis reinforcement to Libya.
Italians in Defense in a TL without Rommel grabbing all their organic transports would be better than OTL Italians doing their half-hearted attacks and better than you realize defense.
 
Italians in Defense in a TL without Rommel grabbing all their organic transports would be better than OTL Italians doing their half-hearted attacks and better than you realize defense.
They've still got nothing that can crack a Matilda II. Also, Tobruk didn't exactly last long.
 
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