WI: France really fights on from 1940?

If the US or Soviets don't join the war, Could a Korean style armistice be possible between the Allies and the Axis .
 

mottajack

Banned
About French resistance and German slowing down, mid-june.

We didn't pulled out this out of thin air.
It was wargamed, from OTL historic trends and stastistics from mid-June 1940, somewhat 13-25 June, before the armistice.
This was actually happening OTL - Luftwaffe and Wermacht were far, far from their bases, and their logistics had difficulties following them. This is OTL, except the Germans were saved by the Armistice late June.
France is a very large country, 600 miles from North to South. Dunkerque is at the northern tip. Banyuls I mentionned is at the bottom south, near the Spanish border. In the middle is the Loire river, where OTL the Germans stopped thanks to the Armistice.

Now if they have to fight their way south of the Loire, the last two weeks of June and the first week of July will be difficult for them. Notably, the 109s lack range, as shown by the battle of britain. And even unescorted He-111s or Me-110s, even a MS-406 can take its chance.
Meanwhile French morale after June 15 is better. Note that the 5-10 june OTL fight around Paris (Weygand line) was much, much harder for the Germans, with substantial losses far higher than in May.
With a better morale, all the depots emptied of all the weapons, fighting like early June, and the Germans over-extending their logistics - inevitably the advance will slow. The government will move from Bordeaux to Toulouse, note that South-West France south of Bordeaux to the Spanish border won't be defended a lot. Essentially the bulk of the French troops fight for Toulouse and the Mediterranean coast, from Banyuls to Marseille to Menton.

On the other side (Eastern France) the Germans are running into a bottleneck: the Rhone valley, that narrow corridor stuck between Massif Central (left) and the Alps (right).
This is a perfect place to mount defensive lines, all the way from Dijon to Grenoble to Lyon to Marseille - at the bottom end.
Basically the sheer bulk of the Massif Central means that the two main axis of German attack are coming either from the North (Rhone valley) or from the South-West - in the direction of Toulouse.
Hence the French government settles in Toulouse and establish a defensive perimeter around Toulouse and the Mediterranean coast. Which mean the bulk of the "Grand Déménagement" will transit via the Mediterranean ports, not the Atlantic of course. Bordeaux is gone by early July and after that, there is no large port left minus, perhaps, Bayonne. Toulouse also has the Dewoitine D-520 plant, another reason why that city will resists to the very end.

Near Toulouse is yet another bottleneck for the Germans, once again the Massif Central - with the Pyrénées this time: le seuil de Naurouze. Not as bad as the Rhone valley, but another good place for a defensive line.

When I said "this was wargamed" I mean it was done very seriously by experts and the end result that was chosen was conservative - NOT a best case (which had a pocket on the Mediterranean coast resisting until early September !)

The Mediterreanean coast resisting until the first week of August is a realistic option.

Three more things.

First, a part of the French army essentially fights to death, sacrificing itself to inflict maximum casualties to the Germans (think ISIS fanatic fighters).

Secondly, whatever obsolete weapon on hand - obsolete aircraft, 75 gun, FT-17 tank, whatever - is send to the frontline and expended. And there was a boatload of them, French Army depots in 1939 were crammed with old weapons "just in case". Well the time has come. While a FT-17 won't do miracles against Panzers, it can be dismantled and used to mount defensive lines.

Third, the French armement industry, even mutilated of its northern plants, is still running like crazy, churning tanks and aircraft like crazy. The bulk of the production is ferried to Algiers.
Then once the Germans get too close from the plant - production stops, it is dismantled, what can be saved is send to Algeria, what can't be moved, is razed to the ground.
Rinse, repeat for every armement plant in the Toulouse - Mediterranean coast defensive perimeter.
 
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Hello peole, new poster here, although i lurked here for a while (mainly around Ancient China and Byzantine Empire TLs, and the Reds! timeline). I also have been reading tthe FTL's work for years by now, so I'd like to participate here too.

That's all fine, but there are several really silly points in the summary that defy reality. The French holding out in France until August? The French fought hard until the armistice and by then the Germans were days away from Marsellies, the Italians were fixing multiple French divisions at the border who would be trapped when the Germans continued to push down the Rhone valley, the ALA had been swept from the skies in early June and the French army had run out of men. The Rhone front was in collapse by the time the armistice was signed and fighting stopped on the 25th:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bataille_de_la_vallée_du_Rhône_(1940)

See where they were at the time of the armistice:


Not evacuating with full speed means little to stopping the German advance in late June, while it means little gets out of France. Evacuating anything combat related means France falls sooner. Little gets out unless they start sooner than IOTL to leave.
Note: Most of my following arguments are coming from the 'Arguments' Folder on the FTL website, a folder where the authors always stressed they were starting from data crunching docs about state of frces at the time.

Except that... if you except the Alps troops and the Maginot Line troops, by then, resistance was more the exception than the rule, long before 25th June, because nobody really bothered to put the front back into shape after the collapse, and the fact the armistice was asked was well-known rather quickly, wich didn't hep any idea of organizing a resistance to die for nothing. And that advance here, that was mainly motorized units exploiting that fact to take as much as France as possible to weigh in as heavily as possible during the armistice. But that advance was partly a bluff, because of the L-word which has been the bane of all amies since the dawn of time (and make wehraboos recoil in pain just as easily as crucifixes and garlic do that to vampires): Logistics. a stroll in the park to get more territory on a collapsed army is easy, although costly in fuel. Fighting your way through an actual resistance? Now that's way more costly, and you go slower, especially if your opponent do its bet to retreat rather than letting himself be trapped in locations like Lorraine.

And the L-word also means no Bf 109s fighters beyond Toulouse for a while, according to a Luftwaffe report from 15 June, saying it would take between 2 and 3 weeks to get the Bf 109s set up again to finish off the front. And without that escort, serious attempts to stop evacuation by sea are toast, because escortless bombers (or escorted by Bf 110s, which aren't still all that good) aren't going to do the job. They didn't do it back at Dunkirk with fighters cover and only one port to cover, they're going to do it now? Said doc was at the EHESS, with originals back at the BundesArchiv (FTL people did work on the subject before writing).

The L-word in combat situation also means a logistic pause to resupply from roughly 20th June to 5th July, because you fought your way up here and can just throw vanguards forward to do the scaring without losing them. It also means can't go as fast as in reality, with 24km/day for Guderian back in May 40. FTLs authors went with a roughly 20km/day number, getting the Germans at Marseille theoretically by 28th July, 29th in actual FTL. And that means 460km crossed, compared to the 240 ones of May for Guderian. You better believe that a logistic pause is needed to have units in fighting condition for the final wrap-up, especially in an army still massively under-motorized as the Wehrmacht (the bulk of the army still used the horse right until the end). If anything the FTL authours point out in their Arguments section that they took a best case... a German best case. Anglo-saxons authors with the same data were more inclined to put the final wrap-up during fall And not just because of French resistance, because the army is quite beaten up, but because of the nasty L-word which has always been hampering armies since the dawn of time.

And for the resistance, assuming you have a command actually decided to do something else than surrender, you can have at least some resistance, and units completely disorganized can be directed to the harbors for evacuation. And thhere are reserve troops, troops waiting to be reorganized younger recruits forming recruiting reserves... Again, back at Dunkirk, resistance didn't stop evacuation, and the Wehrmacht was far closer, why should it do it now? Besides, evacuation here also means doing it for the machines of thhe war industry, sabotaging what cannot be taken, and also evacuating the workers, meaning more people who could be evacuated (although here, not all of them could be used for combat once in North Africa).

And regarding planes, Armée de L'Air's datas and numbers from the Armistice Commissions' analyzes got the FTL authors to evaluate that, again with being quite pessimistic, you can end up with 1300 planes in North Africa by 21st of June, assuming you use everything back in Metropole to rpoduce on the last production lines viable for aircraft (like the D.520 at Toulouse, the FTLs authors giving it 3 more weeks, or all the Leo.451 that can be evacuated). That could lead to roughly more than 850 operational, and Lybia and Italia wouuld take priority for them, roughly 650 for the FTL, while having essources for a last stand in Franc and reinforcing Corsica. And there are orders of American material sent to North Africa after that the Battle of Fracne is clearly lost, and even an H.75 is enough to trump anything the Regia Aeronautica has in te air by 1940.

Plus the Italians and Germans were bombing the French ports on the Mediterranean:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardement_de_Marseille_(1940)
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardement_de_Toulon

Meanwhile the French fleet based on Toulon was occupied trying to bombard Italy rather than assisting and evacuation:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opération_Vado
One escortless raid for Germans, one raid for Italians, who were then focused on the Als offensive, where they weren't exactly doing wonders. Assuming priority is given to harbors' protections right until the end, things will lead to the Italians getting a tiny itty bitty slaughtered, having at the time their best fighter with the Cr.42, a biplane. G.50 was inferior, and MC.200 was out for all of summer 40 becase they had to fix a fault crashing the plane when maneuvering too much, with the delays for finding and fixing the problem, fix production lines, ge tthe planes to units and conversion, the MC.200 wans't really used until end of 40). And no torpedo bombers yet, the experimental units are created in the second half of 1940, with units acutally created by the end of 40 again. and again, the L-word means it will take a while for the Germans to put in place Bf 109s for bomber escort, and since escortless bombers is suicide, all that means time can be used for evacuation. And again, the Luftwaffe couldn't stop Dunkirk, why could it stop evacuation now?

And... Four cruisers, and that means the entire navy can't do anything to evacuate? In the optic of a decision to evacuate everyhing possible, the Marine naionale will certainly give prriority to making sure evacuation convoys' protection, something that bombing Italian ports also do by intimidtaing the Regia Marina, by the way. Regia marina who also has to worry about the British ships in the Mediterrannean sea, or helping to supply Lybia, and wasn't already that aggressive back in OTl against British alone when they were spread thin accross the Atlantic and Mediterrannean Sea alone, so with a French lfeet around, which will probably fight as i it has nothing to lose, whle they only have to BBS disponible by then (two old one getting an overaul, and the Vittorio Venetos still getting finished), and that the Fench alone have 3 battleships and two battlecruisers alone? Yeah, nope.

And PS, evacuation mainly asks for cargos and convoys escorts, so that would be the main sort of ships being concentrated on evacuation, while battle units could be used elsewhere.

Corsica as another example; it lacked an airport or air base IOTL and the only civilian air service to the island was a seaplane ferry to Marseilles started in 1935. Vichy apparently had an inactive air unit officially based in the one grass field landing strip they had on the island, which is today the main airport on the island. They were not and won't be any sort of transit point for air units out of France, same with naval units. It was didn't have a naval base either:
https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-the...ut-a-naval-base-there-in-preparation-for-WWII

Once France falls taking Corsica is extremely easy and wouldn't require any sort of major paratrooper operation in 1941. The Italians could take it in 1940 by themselves, especially given the proximity of Italian and Sardinian bases that would impede any sort of French support for the island once the mainland falls.
1) I seriously doubt there was absolutely nothing in Corsica, ecause tat looks like giving up the island to the Italinas on the air front, and even if it happened, do you really think there wouldn't be any effort to build air bases here?

2) I'm sorry, what? Once again, let's take an OTL example. Crete, 1941, not far at all from Greece. British fleet on shambles, no air cover to speak of, and only remnants of broken units. German still used paras here, and Merkür was enough of a bloody mess that ducking Hitler thought that the bill was too much for him. The Italians alone, with their air force of biplanes fighters and no real anti-ships bombers yet, and a total failure on the attack ground front (they didn't use obsolete biplanes and German planes on that front for the fun of increased difficulty and more complex logistic, you know), an outnumbered fleet and most of their efforts spent in France, against French and British fleets, and whatever effort will be made to defend the last piece of Metropolitan France on the air and ground front, when there was probably troops already there for doing the job? You bet that paras would have been a necessity for not making it a slaughter for the Italian army and navy, one it couldn't replace with its quite lacklutser war industry. And, you know, that mention of Sardinia could have been why FTLs authors included an invasion of Sardinia, because that was a strategic necessity. You can't assume one side in a war won't do anything just to arrang their opponents.

The Franco/Spanish stuff is just entirely contrary to Spanish scholarship on Franco and his desire to enter the war provided the material prerequisites were available.
And he asked for slices of the French colonial empire, knowing that Hitler wouldn't do it out of fear of pushing the French to reist him after all. He didn't do it for Mussolini, and he fought (badly) the French, not even in 1942. Why do it for Franco? In diplomacy, a polite to say 'nope' is always to ask for the impossible. And material-wise, his demands were also beyond what Gerany could afford to spend on other countries.
And even ignoring that... He didn't join the gagn-bang in 40 when it looked like the Axis had it all but won, why do it here?

Also how are the French going to invade Libya in 1940 given their messed up situation? The Italians had 8-9 divisions on the Tunisian border and the Brits were in no position to help until late in 1940.
Under-strength and under-equipped dvisions out of 12000 men for regular and Lybian divisions, and only 6000 for the two Black-Shirts divisions, divisions which were only at full strength because another was dissolved, and facists militas weren't elite troops by a fr cry (first SS units were made of concentration camps gurds for instance, and surprise, brutallizing ill-treated prisoners don't actuually prepare you to war), totalling roughly 90000 men. 300 planes tops, not all of them operational at the same time of course, and again, biplanes (more CR.32 than CR.42 to boot) and failed planes, with the SM.79 the only real decent ones here, and escortless... A logistic that was pretty much in shambles because they had to empty the stocks here to annex Albania and hadn't renewed them still, and wouldn't while they were fighting in France (tehy didn't wait late 40 to attack Egypt for fun and love of difficulty, you know), and no real hope of doing it either way against the French and British fleets (Malta was already enough to give them hell in OTL. With two fleets in position to stop them? Yeah, nope). And beyond the fact that emptying the Egyptian border with Brits alone would have been stupid, there was a French expiditionary corps in Syria, originially set up for intervention in the Balkans, of three divisions with their logistical support. So yeah, Egyptian border is a threat, and there are British reinforcement to take into consideration too (easier to send because let's face it, if the Wehrmacht finish off resistance in Metropole by early August, with one month to set the Luftwaffe again against England, like historically with better condiditons, Battle of England is more of a bluff than in reality, so possibilities to reinforce Egypt are greater).

French Armee de Terre in North Africa of 1940 had 420000 men by June 1940, with artillery totalling 1400 cannons, and supply for 3 monthes of operations (they had an army in the Alps to counter an Italian attack, do you really think there would be nothing in one of the biggest part of the colonial empire, esecially one counting Algerie, which was nominally consisting of three French departments?), plus Air and naval forces present and evacuated, and an offensive strategy in North Africa in case of war with Italia (likely since 1935) since the 20s, and logistic here was built for generation and training of forces from the empire, originally for sending troops in Metropole. They'll do for Metropole evacuees, and even counting sovereignity troops and and troops to keep Franco away, there are plenty men to crush at least Tripolitaine now to squash possibilities of reinforcements for good, and the rest of Lybia with the English a bit later. Again, D1, R35 and H35/39 of NA weren't that good, but Italians had almost nothing to stop them. Use them as an armored mass, with their stocks present here in North Africa. And beyond the strategic necessity there is also the one factor which can decide to give a go to even the worst operations: Political factor. After and during losing Metropole you need to boster morale, and one of the best way of oing so is oing on the offensive to porve that you aren't finished. And Itlaian Lybia is perfect for that, especially when the war plans were thought for an offensive apporach here for a long while.

Why does the Greece invasion still happen given the very active situation in North Africa and the Mediterranean, no prospect for an armistice on the horizon, and the jewel of grabbing the French colonies in North Africa very up for grabs? Why does Barbarossa happen in 1942 given that Hitler thought it was 1941 or never due to Soviet rearmament efforts? Especially with the Mediterranean very active and France still a significant threat?
1) Allies bribing them with the Dodecannese islands (why let the Italians keep air and naval bases to poison life in Eastern Mediterrannean Sea when you can take them), plus Metaxas' death at OTL date leading to less pro-Axis thinking... What was left of it since it's deadly obvious Mussolini wants to nvade Greece ('Nah, I didn't invade Albania for a base for ground troops agianst Greece, I just wanted another balnear station on the Adritatic, honest.').
2) USSR and the Lebensraum are Hitler's deinfing monomania, he won't waste time for a few acres of sand when there is his life's great plan to accomplish (he did in OTL only because he needed to prop up Mussolini), especially when, as you said, USSR is a 'now or never deal'.
3) Better organized and earlier support from Allies means that continental Greece only falls by the end of June/early July 1941. WIth the delay to put forces back in place for attacking USSR (always the L-word and historical delay), that's almost all of summer gone. Even Hitler can't believe he'll win in what little time is left. So no choice, that's spring 42 or nothing. Besides, there is the fact that finishing off France in North Africa is beyond his means (Italia doesn't have the fleet to support a ladning invasion there, air logistics isn't good enough, especially with a short-range focused Luftwaffe, and again, no Franco). But he can put in place air forces limiting what they can do from this southern bank too, and from Greek islands and Dodecannese.

In Asia the Japanese don't invade Indochina, but US-Japanese relations are like OTL...and then they try to invade anyway, just later?
Indochina wasn't just invaded OTL because it was vulnerable and as a base to attack Malaya you know, but also because it was the main supply route for Nationalists Chinese. Who were at war with Japanese for years by now. With (light) Allied suport for supplies and weapons. The choice made by OTL authors was 'Japan tries to pressure weakened France into stopping to supply China. They say nope to that, despite increased pressures (and use of pasties by goading Thailand into seizing bits of Camdogia). US don't take kindly to that. Voila, deterioration of relationships.' Gven the almost total control the army had of Japan by then (army who forced the governemnt to approve after the facts their invasion of China), and a blatant will to see the end of the war in China to its end in a Japanese victory at all costs if only for reasons of not losing face, which wasn't endearing them to the Americans in any way, I don't see why this couldn't happen in FTL. France is baldy weakened after all, and Europeans country focused on Europe, so the opportunity is still there.

I don't know who participated in this TL and what special knowledge they have, but clearly they aren't very knowledgeable about a great many things, including French capacity for resistance as of mid-June 1940.
I consider that one as rather disrespectful though, given the fact the FTL authors always stressed the fact they started with datas from the time, always analyzed them thoroughly to avoid missing something,and di so with years of work.
 
I consider that one as rather disrespectful though, given the fact the FTL authors always stressed the fact they started with datas from the time, always analyzed them thoroughly to avoid missing something,and di so with years of work.
I read FFO years ago and had a few interactions with some of the key people. I don't want to get into the weeds and give examples of this or that being wrong, but my problem with the project as a whole was that they admitted one of their motivations was to somehow restore French esteem. I always saw that as ridiculous. I don't think the French people today should feel any sense of shame of the events of World War 2, and, even if they should, a work of fiction changes nothing. There was also, stemming from this, an almost arrogance about the work, with claims like you've made here about how they so thoroughly researched everything. At the end of the day, it was a work of fiction. That's the bottom-line.
 

mottajack

Banned
I read FFO years ago and had a few interactions with some of the key people. I don't want to get into the weeds and give examples of this or that being wrong, but my problem with the project as a whole was that they admitted one of their motivations was to somehow restore French esteem. I always saw that as ridiculous. I don't think the French people today should feel any sense of shame of the events of World War 2, and, even if they should, a work of fiction changes nothing. There was also, stemming from this, an almost arrogance about the work, with claims like you've made here about how they so thoroughly researched everything. At the end of the day, it was a work of fiction. That's the bottom-line.
Don't over-inflate that point. It is somewhat minor and very much "under control" - i mean, it never turned the entire story into a French-wank. That trend certainly exists, but it was really kept "under control" and did not permeated the cold numbers and analysis that went into the work.

It is actually pretty funny to turn that argument upside down. The FTL, while not a wank in any way, illustrates what "might have been" had France stayed in the war - or had Vichy be weakened into nothingness.
In fact it underlines how much of an historical aberration was Vichy - a monstrosity in every sense of the word. An accident in history. Not only because it is a shame, a very dark spot in France history (Le Vel d'hiv, for a start).
But also because the way Vichy was born is completely improbable - if somebody wrote a TL imagining Vichy ascent, most readers would shoot it down as a distopia for distopia, a French screw related to "cheese eating surrender moneys" trope. Really.

Let's consider that week of mid-June 1940 - when Reynaud gave up and Pétain took over and De Gaulle had to escape to Great Britain with next to nothing in his hand to create Free France.
The two weeks between June 13 and June 28, 1940. That's the exact moment when Vichy France was born - before that date, capitulation, betraying the British, negociating with Hitler, screwing the Republic was out of question. And then early July, it happened - Pétain being granted full power, the Republic shot down...
Well, some said "Vichy was bound to happen, because Pétain was there since mid-May, when Reynaud called him back".
No.
Vichy was NOT bound to happen, even if the Métropole was lost after Dunkirk.
Mind you, in a lot of occupied countries in WWII, governments went in exile in London and left behind them a skeleton government to barely keep the country together and avoid chaos - and no more. No active collaboration with the Nazis, as did Vichy France. See the Netherlands. Only basic running of the country daily matters, waiting for the Germans to be beaten.

Vichy France compromised itself DEEPLY, up to its neck, into collaboration, mostly through Pierre Laval, although Pétain had its share of mistakes, for sure. And that's the real shame. The german where winning, and occupying the country, and there was nothing France could do about this after Dunkirk. But that didn't mean voluntary collaboration with them was to happen.

The utter shame that was Vichy france was not bound to happen, even by mid-June. That's the sticky point that makes the FTL interesting.
In FTL there is actually a "rump Vichy state" still with Pierre Laval but the damage it can do (to the jews, obviously, but also to France as a whole) has been cut by 90% when compared to OTL - simply because occupied France was stripped down of every asset that regime (and the occupying Germans) could use.

In the OTL Vel d'Hiv raffle, for example, the full strength of the French police could be used to track the jews, with devastating results - 13 000 were send to their deaths.
In FTL, the police forces have been moved to Algiers, and the Rump vichy crucially lacks all these men to arrest the jews and then them to their death.
 
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Don't over-inflate that point. It is somewhat minor and very much "under control" - i mean, it never turned the entire story into a French-wank. That trend certainly exists, but it was really kept "under control" and did not permeated the cold numbers and analysis that went into the work.
I don't need to over-inflate the point. The fact it even existed is a problem with the story. And I'm sorry but FFO is very much a French wank. How much of a wank may be up for some debate, but a wank in any case.
 
I don't need to over-inflate the point. The fact it even existed is a problem with the story. And I'm sorry but FFO is very much a French wank. How much of a wank may be up for some debate, but a wank in any case.
Could you efine the points you consider as wank please? Discussing them seems better to me that just saying 'blah, wank' and throw it all away.
 
Could you efine the points you consider as wank please? Discussing them seems better to me that just saying 'blah, wank' and throw it all away.
Well I don’t mean “wank” in a dismissive sense. I mean the entire purpose of the work is to throw some PODs at the historical in order to engineer a particular outcome, in this case one that “wanks” French performance.
 
Well I don’t mean “wank” in a dismissive sense. I mean the entire purpose of the work is to throw some PODs at the historical in order to engineer a particular outcome, in this case one that “wanks” French performance.
Euh, with that way of thinking, almost any uchrony is a form of "wank", because creating divergence points to explore different outcomes in a timeline is a basis of uchrony. And frankly, for having read the years after 1940 of that TL, I can tell you that France is far from being the only one having a different performance... Something maybe not that surprising, because, to said it honestly, France crumbling like it did OTL is pretty much a German Best Case when it comes with dealing with the western front. From there, increased difficulties for the Axis are to be expected with a less favorable situation (although Pacific War is far from being a walk in the park for both sides involved).
 

mottajack

Banned
I mean the entire purpose of the work is to throw some PODs at the historical in order to engineer a particular outcome, in this case one that “wanks” French performance.
Well... no. This completely miss the point. I don't consider losing the Métropole a wank by any mean. Don't forget that the 1940 defeat is the worse in France history with Crécy and Azincourt: and the FTL story consist of barely salvaging something positive out of that huge disaster.
Crossing the Mediterranean in a hurry, leaving 40 million people behind as hostages to the Germans for three years - hardly a wank nor something glorious.

A blunted sickle by contrast is a partial Wallies wank. In the sense that the Métropole is not lost, and the Sedan breakthrough does not happen, and Germany is presently curbestomped late 1941. In fact Paris is encircled as per 1870, yet the French manage to cut the corridor and encircle the germans and crush the "paris pocket" before methodically proceeding to the destruction of the Wermacht. If that's not a French wank, then I'm presently Mickey Mouse.

A French wank would actually be the German sticks with the Pre-Manstein plan, what I call the shlieffen 2.0 of late 1939. Hence they attack in the Belgian flatlands (Gembloux, Namur) with their full strength, nothing come out of the Ardennes forrest... all nine panzers in mid-Belgium, zero in the Ardennes.
And the French, BEF, plus Belgian, resist and kick the German asses after one month of fighting, in June. Then after a pause of some months in 1941 they go to the offensive and crush Germany, and by spring 1942 they are in Berlin, the war is over on a complete Wallies victory.

THAT would be a French 1940 wank ! no Metrople lost, not even a German strategic surprise (as in A Blunted sickle or... OTL) - the Germans do what they were supposed to do, that is, running into the bulk of French armies in central Belgium. And losing.


https://www.amazon.fr/1941-1942-France-avait-continué-guerre/dp/2847347747

Biographie de l'auteur
Jacques Sapir est directeur d'étude à l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Frank Stora est journaliste et spécialiste des jeux de simulation et Loïc Mahé est ingénieur informaticien.

For a start, the FTL is the brainchild of that man, who is hardly a nobody. He is the founding father of the entire thing, in 2004-2007.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Sapir

Frank Stora is a journalist and a specialist of wargames.

Loic Mahé is the third founding father, an talented informatician that run the website and also made the simulations.
He told me he had registered here to discuss the FTL matter. Truth be told, he is far more patient that I am, knows the FTL better, and better for arguing. Wait and you shall see.
 
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Well... no. This completely miss the point. I don't consider losing the Métropole a wank by any mean ... hardly a wank nor something glorious.

A blunted sickle by contrast is a partial Wallies wank.
Well, first, the entire work was aimed at wanking French performance, salvaging something more than positive, but somewhat glorious, out of the 1940 disaster, and, as I said, part of the motivation of writing the work was to rebuild French pride - an idea I find frankly insulting to the many French men and women who fought on in World War 2 even after their government capitulated. It oozes through the work and in the justifications given by the authors for every twist and turn.

Second, ever heard the expression two wrongs don't make a right? A Blunted Sickle is a Western Allies wank, absolutely. Does that means it's entirely implausible or not enjoyable to read? Not necessarily on the first, and it's up to the reader on the second. But, irrespective, citing another work doesn't help your case. It's not what we're discussing.

Third, I don't need the authors' bios thanks. I engaged with them, read much of the early work and also much of the discussion that resulted. I recall an American poster who was perhaps the most knowledgeable commentator on the English language forum on which it was shared who made many constructive contributions to that discussion but was constantly told that he should not criticise the work if he wasn't prepared to be part of it. You two gents seem to have come later to the FFO work and become so enamored by it that you won't accept any criticism. Too bad. You enjoyed it? Great. I didn't hate it. Never said I did. I found it rather interesting. But I have my criticisms too and funnily enough they were founded in admissions made by the authors.

Fourth, FFO might be a published work about the idea raised in this thread but it doesn't make it the last word - or the first, second, third, and so on. It's of interest to the discussion but shouldn't dominate it.
 

mottajack

Banned
I don't know who you talked with, but you got the project objective completely wrong.

Oh, I see where this is coming... Mark Bailey and the FFO split ? Well, in this case I'll let Loic Mahé explains that to you.
 
I don't know who you talked with, but you got the project objective completely wrong.

Oh, I see where this is coming... Mark Bailey and the FFO split ? Well, in this case I'll let Loic Mahé explains that to you.
I remember when Bailey had the Japanese successfully attack the Panama Canal and take it out... despite the fact that it was the most heavily guarded and defended area in the Americas south of the Rio Grande... and despite the existence of the locks that would have mitigated any damage immensely, and which others kept telling him about, which he promptly ignored. And that's just one example.
 
I don't know who you talked with, but you got the project objective completely wrong.

Oh, I see where this is coming... Mark Bailey and the FFO split ? Well, in this case I'll let Loic Mahé explains that to you.
No, no I didn't. The author admitted it. This was more than a decade ago now, well before the first volume was published. And I didn't care for Mark Bailey and his split with FFO, nor about either. All I would really say about all of that is the people involved were clearly at crossed purposes. The French were writing a French wank. Mark and co. were trying to just generally wank the war to pursue the rule of cool.
 

mottajack

Banned
I remember when Bailey had the Japanese successfully attack the Panama Canal and take it out... despite the fact that it was the most heavily guarded and defended area in the Americas south of the Rio Grande... and despite the existence of the locks that would have mitigated any damage immensely, and which others kept telling him about, which he promptly ignored. And that's just one example.
and this resulted in the APOD, which had the comparative advantage of being written in english language... and this confused the two stories even further ! APOD is also called FFO, which is the english accronym used once for the FTL...
 

mottajack

Banned
On an unrelated note, once we've got a rough idea together, anyone else up for a collaborative TL?
If I can manage to drag the FTL authors here, it might be fun to make a collaborative TL basedon their work, which would be akindof bridge between the two worlds...
 
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