WI: The British Accidentally Kill De Gaulle

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by DAv, Feb 11, 2019 at 11:20 AM.

  1. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    So, reading a book on the preparations around Operation Sealion and came across an incident in 1940 where British forces were testing a weapon designed for anti-tank measures. During such demonstrations, one of the shots came close to hitting a crowd which included De Gaulle and Jan Smuts. So, let's go for there being a misfire of some sort and it hitting the crowd, but only killing De Gaulle, what happens then?

    Would the incident be revealed or successfully covered up? What would this do for Free France and other effects to the war effort?
     
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  2. Seandineen Member

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    The Official secrets act was designed for this,
    I think henri Girard would become the new leader.
     
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  3. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Giraud lacked political skills. About anyone else would have outmaneuvered him.

    Darlan was the true frontrunner. Maybe there is a chance DeGaulles death butterflies away the assassination. Then Darlan dominates to to 1945, or beyond.
     
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  4. Seandineen Member

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    Darlan was clever, but a turncoat. Giraud was at least honest. But i agree the ADMIRAL had more street credit.
     
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  5. benben Well-Known Member

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    But neither Giraud nor Darlan were in the UK in 1940.
     
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  6. Seandineen Member

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    Giruad could make his way on over.
     
  7. benben Well-Known Member

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    Giraud is in a German PoW camp at that time
     
  8. Roberto El Rey Minister-Chairman of the Chief Directive Executive

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    Darlan being in charge of postwar France brings back so many memories of "For All Time"...
     
  9. Seandineen Member

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    im sure a prison break could be arranged!
     
  10. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Post war investigation revealed Darlan in November 1942 was acting on previous prepared policy he & Petain had worked. Petains final guidance to Darlan was to to take the French colonies over to the Allies, if the Allies attacked. Darlan was appointed governor general of French North Africa in the autumn of 1942 specifically for this reason. Petain had few others he could trust to execute this plan. Both understood this meant the Axis invasion the unoccupied zone and the final destruction of the Vichy Army. Petain & Darlan & the other leaders in on this plan dithered for several days after the Allied invasion of Algeria & Morocco. Petain hoped somehow to delay the German invasion a bit longer, so he & Darlan failed to act decisively when the Allied Operation TORCH ws executed November 1942. Paxton history 'Vichy France' and Jacksons 'The Dark Years' are two English language histories of the Petain government 1940-1945 that discuss this subject.

    The "Turncoat" label comes from both pro Axis French who felt Petain and Darlan should have fought the Allies in Africa, and DeGaulists who accuse anyone who did not continue fighting the Germans of being a traitor to France.

    Not important. DeGaulle had limited support from the Brits, many felt him incompetent, and less from US leaders. It was only after Darlan died, Giraud failed, & others failed to take effective action the Allied leaders had to accept DeGaulle. With his considerable political skills he was pulling together the confused French as no one else was.
     
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  11. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    So, Darlan would have been the likely candidate to get some backing from the rest of the Allies for the war? That could have been ugly in post-war France if he had been able to cement his control enough.

    Under the idea that the British manage to keep the causes of De Gaulle's death secret until some time after the war, what would be the reaction when it leaks out at some point, no later than a decade or so after the fact?
     
  12. Driftless Geezer Donor

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    The news would need to come out soon, but the British & Darlan probably work to "bury the lede". Make the announcement after some successful event led by French arms
     
  13. Fearless Leader Donor

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    That being said, if De Gaulle dies in July 1940, perhaps Admiral Emile Muselier takes up leadership of the Free French in the meantime?
     
  14. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Oh, come now, does anyone here really believe it was an accident?
     
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  15. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    I honestly had to stop myself from using quote marks in the title.
     
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  16. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Now, that's funny...
     
  17. Donald Reaver Still alive Donor

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    Oops.
     
  18. cjc Well-Known Member

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    Whith out de Gaulle, dose France leave NATO like in otl?
     
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  19. Middlesex_Toffeeman Vox populi, vox Dei.

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    Equatorial pork, sir?

    We probably join the Common Market earlier and Euroscepticism is less of a force as with us in it at the founding stage "ever-closer union" is probably staved off - we were still the Empire back in 1960 and wouldn't submit to it like we did OTL.
     
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  20. corditeman Relatively Sane and Unique

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    LeClerc for President !

    A man of considerable charisma and military ability. Darlan will not do - associations with Vichy.