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(Politico)   Apparently we're creating a nuclear Maginot Line with Iran, which means the Germans will sweep in around it and conquer Tehran in six weeks, or something   (politico.com ) divider line 51
    More: Unlikely  
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1102 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Jul 2014 at 8:16 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-02 11:12:41 AM  
Well, obviously the Iranians will never be able to cross the Ar-Dennes Forest.
 
2014-07-02 04:40:20 PM  
The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.
 
2014-07-02 07:17:25 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


More or less this.
 
2014-07-02 07:49:39 PM  
Pearl harbor. never forget.
 
2014-07-02 08:20:31 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


Stupid Flanders!
 
2014-07-02 08:27:04 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


I... actually, I have nothing more to add. That's the single most succinct summary of the Maginot Line's history that I've ever seen.

Good job.
 
2014-07-02 08:38:04 PM  
Iran Iran so far away Iran all night and day

/couldn't get away
 
2014-07-02 08:40:39 PM  
Do they have a Luxembourg and Belgium nearby to serve as handy neutral neighbors with little in the way of an army to roll over on their way to victory?
 
2014-07-02 08:41:23 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


But it didn't work in A Separate Peace.
 
2014-07-02 08:47:41 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


Here we have it folks....A complete dismantling of Politico's entire argument accomplished in a few lines of text on Fark.
 
2014-07-02 08:50:50 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


Don't forget that had Belgium not gotten pissy that there would be a fortified border and biatched about it, the Maginot Line would've extended to the sea and would've kept the Germans at bay. Instead became a German welcome mat into France for a second time.

/other than that, excellent points made
 
2014-07-02 09:04:53 PM  
Didn't the crazy guy get term-limited out of office and replaced by a fairly sane guy who actually pissed off conservatives in Iran for being too friendly to Obama?

Why are we still shiatting our pants about Iran getting nukes when Pakistan, Best Korea, and Israel already have them and are all far more dangerous?
 
2014-07-02 09:06:18 PM  
Admiral William Fallon laughs from his golf cart.

He was the one major military leader who questioned using force against Iran to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. He retired shortly after his opinion became known.

Iran will take over parts of Iraq--like they haven't already. The Kurds will get a piece, Turkey will get a piece, Syria will get a piece.

There's no since in being on the wrong side of a conflict. Just sit on the sidelines and eat popcorn.
 
2014-07-02 09:40:43 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


The story of the French Army/Air Force in 1940 was perhaps one of the biggest clusterfarks of a failure of command and control. No armor-infantry cooperation (in spite of the doctrine of splitting up armored units and the primacy of tanks as infantry support), no command staff communication (Gamelin had no radios in his GHQ), and almost no land-air cooperation (the better fighter units began ignoring their orders from higher up thte chain and going after unprotected bombers and vulnerable Bf 110s instead of taking the major and heavily escorted bomber groups head-on). It's amazing how individual formations found success when they did; Gamelin and then Weygand were systemically incapable of decisive and timely coordination of forces.
 
2014-07-02 09:47:43 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


4.bp.blogspot.com

lolwut?
 
2014-07-02 09:52:38 PM  

cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?


Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.
 
2014-07-02 09:57:55 PM  

whistleridge: cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?

Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.


The Maginot linne was meant to slow, not repel , an invasion and give the French time to muster. Since they spent all their money on the line, they didn't have enough tanks and planes  to actually fight.

And the command and control problems.

The whole fact it was built facing the wrong way doesn't make much difference.
 
2014-07-02 10:02:53 PM  

RaiderFanMikeP: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

Stupid Flanders!


"Feels like I'm getting invaded by nothing at all.  Nothing at all..."
 
2014-07-02 10:12:20 PM  

cretinbob: whistleridge: cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?

Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.

The Maginot linne was meant to slow, not repel , an invasion and give the French time to muster. Since they spent all their money on the line, they didn't have enough tanks and planes  to actually fight.

And the command and control problems.

The whole fact it was built facing the wrong way doesn't make much difference.


They had plenty of tanks - a full thousand more than the Germans - and would have had enough to win a war of maneuver IF they'd employed a modern armor doctrine.

/the Char outclassed the Pz III in one-on-one engagements, and the Somua was a better fast tank than the Pz IIs.
 
2014-07-02 10:29:02 PM  
Any successful complex defense is bound to weaken with time due to the success of the defense leading to public neglect of it. The belief that the Maginot Line was enough led to neglect of the forces the Maginot Line was meant to bolster so when France was attacked they failed to respond with forces the way the Maginot Line was meant to ensure.

You see it with people demanding cuts to certain military programs including nuclear deterrents and force multipliers.
 
2014-07-02 10:38:15 PM  

cretinbob: whistleridge: cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?

Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.

The Maginot linne was meant to slow, not repel , an invasion and give the French time to muster. Since they spent all their money on the line, they didn't have enough tanks and planes  to actually fight.

And the command and control problems.

The whole fact it was built facing the wrong way doesn't make much difference.


No, the Maginot Line was meant to *deflect* an invasion. Away from the vital industrial regions of Champagne and Briey, and into the plains and fortresses of Belgium.

The thinking was, this made a war of maneuver more advantageous to France, because they had interior lines and Germany would have long supply lines on hostile soil. It also gave defensive depth and made it easier to get Britain involved.

And Germany did in fact go around as intended. If it weren't for the fact that Weygand and Gamelin were determined to re fight Verdun on a grand scale, they easily had the men and materiel to bottle up Guderian in the Ardennes.

The French failure was one of poor leadership and strategic arrogance. Their unit level leadership was stellar, and their troops fought well.

It also didn't help that the Third Republic was a hot mess, to the point of being France's single largest strategic liability all on its own.
 
2014-07-02 10:45:59 PM  
In other news, I've broken my rule of not playing "freemium" games again. World of Tanks is free on iOS, and not paying money hasn't been a hindrance so far.

/getting nasty with the Marder II
 
2014-07-02 10:48:06 PM  

UNC_Samurai: cretinbob: whistleridge: cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?

Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.

The Maginot linne was meant to slow, not repel , an invasion and give the French time to muster. Since they spent all their money on the line, they didn't have enough tanks and planes  to actually fight.

And the command and control problems.

The whole fact it was built facing the wrong way doesn't make much difference.

They had plenty of tanks - a full thousand more than the Germans - and would have had enough to win a war of maneuver IF they'd employed a modern armor doctrine.

/the Char outclassed the Pz III in one-on-one engagements, and the Somua was a better fast tank than the Pz IIs.


This. Germany had crap tanks, but used better tactics and had WAY better command and control systems than the French (who were set up to fight WWI using WWII technology with WWI command and control systems and WWI generals).
 
2014-07-02 10:48:24 PM  

Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.


yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.
 
2014-07-02 11:13:32 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


So it didn't work, basically.

Or rather, tactically, it worked great.

Strategically, it sucked balls.
 
2014-07-02 11:21:44 PM  

Gyrfalcon: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

So it didn't work, basically.

Or rather, tactically, it worked great.

Strategically, it sucked balls.


Tactically AND strategically, it worked precisely as designed. It moved the center of gravity of the German advance away from France, to the northwest and Belgium.

What failed both tactically and strategically was the army designed to catch that deflection.

What you're saying is something akin to blaming the kicker for a kickoff that is returned for a touchdown; he did his job, he started the play with a solid kick. The points were scored because of blown coverage, not a bad kick.
 
2014-07-02 11:24:31 PM  
a wall of ice

they should have built a wall of ice fortified with celibate frenchmen
 
2014-07-03 12:27:58 AM  

whistleridge: Gyrfalcon: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

So it didn't work, basically.

Or rather, tactically, it worked great.

Strategically, it sucked balls.

Tactically AND strategically, it worked precisely as designed. It moved the center of gravity of the German advance away from France, to the northwest and Belgium.

What failed both tactically and strategically was the army designed to catch that deflection.

What you're saying is something akin to blaming the kicker for a kickoff that is returned for a touchdown; he did his job, he started the play with a solid kick. The points were scored because of blown coverage, not a bad kick.


No, I'd be blaming the coach for that return, since the kicker did his job; the coach was supposed to ensure that the defensive line could stop the running back when he came up the sidelines and not assume he was going to go straight up the center of the field.
 
2014-07-03 01:52:12 AM  
How did Hitler invade Poland?

The Germans marched in backwards and the Poles thought they were leaving!

static.lockerz.com

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the Wiener Schnitzel. Don't forget to tip the delicate balance of power.
 
2014-07-03 02:46:02 AM  
WTF did I just read?

If the west (in this case the P5+1) spend too much time concentrating on blocking Iran's covert attempts to make an atom bomb the Iranians might just attempt to buy one covertly?

Uh-huh... and now what?

We are to liken the west's attempts at a soft power settlement with Iran over the nuke issue to the allies supposed over-emphasis on the Maginot Line back then because the Iranians might just buy a bomb which would be exactly like the Nazi marching through Belgium?

Well, okay then. That sort of works as an analogy I guess. Kind of clumsy.

Mostly what I got out of that article "Iran must not get the nuclear bomb EVAR" because unspecified reasons.
 
2014-07-03 03:45:27 AM  

grimlock1972: Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.

yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.


Isn't that the whole problem with any military command structure for the past thousand years? Generals training and equipping their armies to fight the previous generations war all over again?
 
2014-07-03 04:00:27 AM  

Smoking GNU: grimlock1972: Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.

yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.

Isn't that the whole problem with any military command structure for the past thousand years? Generals training and equipping their armies to fight the previous generations war all over again?


Then there's our current problem, which is we've been fighting insurgencies and guerrilla armies since 1964 and STILL haven't figured out that you just can't fight them like you would a conventional army.
 
2014-07-03 05:06:47 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Smoking GNU: grimlock1972: Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.

yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.

Isn't that the whole problem with any military command structure for the past thousand years? Generals training and equipping their armies to fight the previous generations war all over again?

Then there's our current problem, which is we've been fighting insurgencies and guerrilla armies since 1964 and STILL haven't figured out that you just can't fight them like you would a conventional army.


I think the whole "Red Scare" is to blame for that, imo. Russians had a huge conventional army, and the US armed forces apparently needed to be ready to counter it at a moments notice, so you COULDN'T adapt to fight against guerrilla armies as you'd be caught off guard when the red menace marched into Berlin..... again.

Or something.
 
2014-07-03 05:57:50 AM  

Smoking GNU: Gyrfalcon: Smoking GNU: grimlock1972: Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.

yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.

Isn't that the whole problem with any military command structure for the past thousand years? Generals training and equipping their armies to fight the previous generations war all over again?

Then there's our current problem, which is we've been fighting insurgencies and guerrilla armies since 1964 and STILL haven't figured out that you just can't fight them like you would a conventional army.

I think the whole "Red Scare" is to blame for that, imo. Russians had a huge conventional army, and the US armed forces apparently needed to be ready to counter it at a moments notice, so you COULDN'T adapt to fight against guerrilla armies as you'd be caught off guard when the red menace marched into Berlin..... again.

Or something.


And, as it turns out, Group Soviet Force Germany wasn't the offensive mailed fist we assumed; the West feared a massive armored column blasting its way through the Fulda Gap as the first stage of an invasion of western Europe.  In the ~25 years since the Cold War sputtered to a halt, we've figured out that GFSG wasn't necessarily built for that offensive.  The Soviets were just as afraid of a NATO preemptive strike as we were of a Warsaw Pact offensive.
 
2014-07-03 06:12:23 AM  

Smoking GNU: I think the whole "Red Scare" is to blame for that, imo. Russians had a huge conventional army, and the US armed forces apparently needed to be ready to counter it at a moments notice, so you COULDN'T adapt to fight against guerrilla armies as you'd be caught off guard when the red menace marched into Berlin..... again.

Or something.


More or less. Manpower isn't unlimited, making and then purchasing equipment and supplies isn't unlimited. You have to allocate resources to meet what you think that the current threat is first and then if you have anything left over you go and get ready for what you think that the next threat might be. Sometimes the switch is fairly easy but sometimes it can take up to a decade. For example building a new ship type from scratch falls into the "Nearly a decade" category and often the run up in decision making can literally take decades if the technology is expected to be developed but it's not ready yet.
 
2014-07-03 09:09:30 AM  

Rhino_man: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

I... actually, I have nothing more to add. That's the single most succinct summary of the Maginot Line's history that I've ever seen.

Good jorb.


FTFY
 
2014-07-03 11:14:08 AM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


I thought the French actually had superior tanks in superior numbers. It was, as you also said, the command and control failure. Was I misinformed about the tanks?
 
2014-07-03 12:03:58 PM  

SkittlesAreYum: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

I thought the French actually had superior tanks in superior numbers. It was, as you also said, the command and control failure. Was I misinformed about the tanks?


It depends on how you define 'superior'. Armor? Guns? Speed?

French tanks were bigger and better gunned, but lacked radios. To communicate and coordinate, they had to pop the hatch and yell. German tanks were lighter and had smaller gun, but they also had radios.

So which would you rather have: a tank that shiat for shot outmatches any single tank that the other guy has? Or a group of marginally weaker tanks that can be used in concert to surround and overwhelm the bigger guy?
 
2014-07-03 12:28:02 PM  

whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.


Didn't the original plan call for it to be built to the sea and the depression put a damper on that kind of spending?
 
2014-07-03 12:32:16 PM  

Rhino_man: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

I... actually, I have nothing more to add. That's the single most succinct summary of the Maginot Line's history that I've ever seen.

Good job.


eeeeh... I wasn't gonna say it, but the Char B was arguably the best tank at that point. In addition, the French conscription term was, iirc, only a year. So JUST when the soldier had become relatively useful, their term was over and they went home. A large percent of the French army was too green.

Finally, I do think the Allies catch too much flak. Rommel was smart enough to know that everyone was pretty timid so he was willing to take grotesque risks that wouldn't work two years later. Had the Allies taken the same risks Rommel had, the Germans would have been in serious trouble.

/MacArthur's invasion of Inchon was that kind of risk
 
2014-07-03 12:34:05 PM  

UNC_Samurai: cretinbob: whistleridge: cretinbob: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

lolwut?

Rarely have a username and a comment been more serendipitously aligned.

The Maginot linne was meant to slow, not repel , an invasion and give the French time to muster. Since they spent all their money on the line, they didn't have enough tanks and planes  to actually fight.

And the command and control problems.

The whole fact it was built facing the wrong way doesn't make much difference.

They had plenty of tanks - a full thousand more than the Germans - and would have had enough to win a war of maneuver IF they'd employed a modern armor doctrine.

/the Char outclassed the Pz III in one-on-one engagements, and the Somua was a better fast tank than the Pz IIs.


And the Pz IV's short-75 wasn't terribly useful in tank-on-tank engagements except maybe in cities.
 
2014-07-03 12:46:36 PM  

SkittlesAreYum: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

I thought the French actually had superior tanks in superior numbers. It was, as you also said, the command and control failure. Was I misinformed about the tanks?


No. The Char-B, and especially the Char-B1bis, were better tanks in general. The Germans even used a lot of them.
 
2014-07-03 01:42:36 PM  

Smoking GNU: grimlock1972: Sid_6.7: whistleridge: The thing everyone always forgets about the Maginot Line was, it worked. The Germans never did try to take it on. They acknowledged that it was too strong for them to force their way through, even with superior air power.

The Allied defeat in 1940 was a product of the French failure to adequately develop their command and control structure to the standards required by mobile warfare, along with insufficient numbers and quality of tanks and modern fighters. The Maginot Line was predicated on the idea that a strongly fortified frontier would free up 10+ corps for use in the more mobile operations expected in Flanders; it was Part 1 of a two part equation. That Part 2 failed miserably is an entirely different issue.

I'm just saying.

More or less this.

yup The French commanders had their minds stuck in World War I and that doomed them.

Isn't that the whole problem with any military command structure for the past thousand years? Generals training and equipping their armies to fight the previous generations war all over again?


True enough for the most senior officers, the more junior ones are usually more up to date with their thinking.
 
2014-07-03 02:45:52 PM  
There have been some really impressive analyses of the French military failures here and an astounding lack of "cheese-eatin' surrender-monkeys." Fark, I am almost disappoint.

I essentially agree but suggest that all of those lacking elements - the command and control, a modern armor doctrine, French generals who thought that horse-mounted cavalry was "the pride and glory of France!" etc. - were as nothing in the face of the fact that the Third Republic was utterly riven by factionalism, defeatism, it's-not-our-problemism, highly-placed individuals and groups of outright fascists along with the odd traitor or two. Crap, they were still fighting over the freaking Dreyfuss Affair! And French anti-Semitism was (and is) pernicious.

In short, the worst of their failures were political, not military, or maybe it's more accurate to say that the military failures were caused by a kind of political paralysis that left them in a state of self-imposed helplessness as the Nazis re-armed in secret, re-took the Ruhr, took Austria, took Czechoslovakia, took Poland.

/Hey US gov't
//there might be a lesson here
 
2014-07-03 02:54:28 PM  

Space Banana Physicist: There have been some really impressive analyses of the French military failures here and an astounding lack of "cheese-eatin' surrender-monkeys." Fark, I am almost disappoint.


I was on my lunch break.
 
2014-07-03 03:00:36 PM  

Cheese eating surrender monkey: Space Banana Physicist: There have been some really impressive analyses of the French military failures here and an astounding lack of "cheese-eatin' surrender-monkeys." Fark, I am almost disappoint.

I was on my lunch break.


I laughed out loud. For real.
 
2014-07-03 03:14:24 PM  
The guy who surrendered France to the Nazis was a powerful general in WWI--chief of staff for the French Army.

He might have had better insight into fighting the Germans again more than most people. You could have asked 1.3 million of the Frenchmen who served under him in WWI but, to quote Charles Barkley, "they dead".
 
2014-07-03 05:34:20 PM  

vygramul: No. The Char-B, and especially the Char-B1bis, were better tanks in general. The Germans even used a lot of them.


Define your terms. 'Better' is entirely subjective. I think you are confusing it with 'more technologically advanced', which often correlates with, but is not actually, 'better'.

The Char had superior arms and armor, but that's it. It was slower, it burned fuel like no one's business, the radio was Morse code only, and the suspension was so complex that it was almost impossible to repair. In a one-on-one fight, it could in fact defeat any of the German tanks, but that was irrelevant. The Germans avoided head to head conflict in favor of rapid flanking actions and attacks to the rear. The Char was so heavy it couldn't catch them, and it was too much tank for the French generals to know what to do with.

Or to put it another way: which would you rather have: a group of Panzers that shoot lighter rounds, but allow you to communicate verbally without having to stop and pop the top? Or a Char that can kill anything that stands still, but that you have to get out of to actually talk and coordinate attacks with?

There's a reason the German pretty much used it as mobile artillery after 1940, you know. It simply wasn't that good as a tank, even with the 75mm gun.
 
2014-07-03 06:34:23 PM  
A couple of things:

1) the French won the Battle of Gembloux, May 14-15,1940, which was the largest tank battle of WWII until Kursk.  Too bad for the French, the victory was against Army Group B,

2) the French lost because there was no strategic reserve to counter the breakout across the Meuse.  To know why, you have to understand the Gamelin's Breda Variant to the Allies agreed plan to defend at the Dyle River in Belgium.

Further info:

Gembloux - The Battle of Gembloux,14-15 May 1940: The "Blitzkrieg" Checked, Jeffrey A Gunsburg, The Journal of Military History 64 (January 2000)  97-140

Breda Variant -  Repercussions of the Breda Variant, Don W. Alexander, French Historical Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3, p. 459
 
2014-07-04 01:45:49 AM  

whistleridge: vygramul: No. The Char-B, and especially the Char-B1bis, were better tanks in general. The Germans even used a lot of them.

Define your terms. 'Better' is entirely subjective. I think you are confusing it with 'more technologically advanced', which often correlates with, but is not actually, 'better'.

The Char had superior arms and armor, but that's it. It was slower, it burned fuel like no one's business, the radio was Morse code only, and the suspension was so complex that it was almost impossible to repair. In a one-on-one fight, it could in fact defeat any of the German tanks, but that was irrelevant. The Germans avoided head to head conflict in favor of rapid flanking actions and attacks to the rear. The Char was so heavy it couldn't catch them, and it was too much tank for the French generals to know what to do with.

Or to put it another way: which would you rather have: a group of Panzers that shoot lighter rounds, but allow you to communicate verbally without having to stop and pop the top? Or a Char that can kill anything that stands still, but that you have to get out of to actually talk and coordinate attacks with?

There's a reason the German pretty much used it as mobile artillery after 1940, you know. It simply wasn't that good as a tank, even with the 75mm gun.


The Char was substantially slower on roads, but overland a 1mph difference is like watching zombies race. And the PZ-III's lighter rounds had trouble penetrating. There's light and there's useless. (The Ausf F 50mm gun was an excellent gun for the PZ-III). It's not the short-75 that made the Char any good. If that was enough, the PZ-IV would have been the king of '40. No, it's the Char-B's 47mm gun that was the thing that gave it its punch.

The Char had other disadvantages, like not being rolled homogenous steel armor. But given German armor reliability and similar finickiness of maintenance makes the differences minimal. The war also lasted 6 weeks - that's not enough for any reliability issues to really impact either side.

When you have an irrelevant difference in overland speed and a short enough war for reliability to have minimal importance, all you're pretty much left with is comparing armor and penetration.

And the Char-B had a nice Villers-Bocage Wittman of its own under its belt - only the Pz-IIIs the lone Char took on weren't all uncrewed and having tea but waiting in ambush. The Char left smouldering wrecks in its wake and it returned with 140 dents from Panzer fire.

Again - reliability is really critical - but not NEARLY so much in a six-week war against someone with their own reliability issues.
 
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