1938/1939, USA, England, France - Would Have? Could Have? Should Have?

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What is wrong with the German Army West and French Army September 1939 OOB and mobilisation information? To really upset the German plans France had to mobilise as soon as Germany did and have lots of bridging gear to threaten to cross the Rhine, going through the Saar was hitting the best defences in poor terrain for the attacker on a constricted front.

The Saar area of the border (Rhine to Luxembourg) is around 90 miles, modern maps show only one main road crossing the border and not a lot of secondary ones, the terrain having something to do with that. Centuries of warfare tends to end up with defensible borders. The French attacks drove north essentially straightening out the border. The main road goes North East from Saarbrucken through Kaiserslautern, roughly following that means 110 miles to Mannheim. No one is going to try and cross the Rhine where it is the border or violate Luxembourg.

"Assuming that all the active units were immediately thrown into battle without absorbing their mobilisation cadres, that pits the equivalent of 15 1/3 French infantry divisions and perhaps the equivalent of two or three mechanized and cavalry divisions, against 26 German divisions in prepared fortifications."
"At the point of contact in the Saarland the French forces totalled 12 divisions under two separate army commands; the German, ten divisions, plus a division-size frontier command. "

The French did not start to mobilise until 2 September and their plans assumed an attack on France, so the defences were to be fully manned first, also remember in WWI the French took a very large slice of their total casualties in the first months of the war, due to their doctrine of attack the enemy. In 1939 the French were thinking late WWI, haul up your large artillery park, blast your way through the front line, stop, repeat elsewhere.

Look at the resources the allies used in the Saar in 1944/45 and the progress made, the Germans had taken parts from the west wall to use as coastal defences.

Germany and the Second World War / edited by the Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Research Institute for Military History). Oxford : Clarendon Press ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1990-2003 Description: v. <1-6 > : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Another OOB, Volume V, in terms of divsions and waves, from a diagram, Southern third of Netherlands border (Military District VI), 1 third, 5 fourth, Belgium/Luxembourg (part of MD XII) 3 first, 3 second, 3 third, Saar (part of MD XII) 5 first, 5 second, 1 third plus 4 more third wave around the Rhine, Rhine border (France/Switzerland) (MD V) 4 first, 1 second, 2 third, 2 fourth wave. MD IX, other side of Rhine to MD XII, 1 second, 1 third and 2 fourth wave.

So MD XII had 8 first, 8 second, 8 third wave divisions, with 4 more divisions available from MD IX. There were some 97,500 frontier troops in the west.

Against Poland, 10 divisions in Prussia, 12 in Northern Germany, 30 in Southern Germany, 1 in Bohemia/Moravia, 6 in Slovakia, there were another 2 divisions in Northern Germany, 2 in Bohemia/Moravia and nominally 3 Slovakian divisions.

The Luftwaffe had left most of KG51, KG53, KG54 and KG55 in the west, plus around 10 gruppen of fighters.

5 September the Germans cross the Vistula, the frontier fighting is largely over and have been German victories.

6 September the orders are for the Poles to retreat to the Vistula and San rivers, that night the Polish government and high command leave Warsaw.

On the 7th of September OKH began preparing plans to transfer divisions west. Saar offensive begins, 11 divisions, discovering things like the extensive minefields that had been laid.

8 September the Germans begin the fight for Radom, 60 miles south of Warsaw

9 September 4th Panzer division attacks Warsaw.

11 September upper Silesia is in German hands

Luftwaffe redeployments started on 11 September with most of LG 1, Fliegerdivision 1 began moving on 20 September, by 24 September the Luftwaffe in Poland was down to the Lehr division, 15 gruppen and some reconnaissance units, effectively Luftflotte 4. When the invasion was launched the Luftwaffe in the east had 42 gruppen. So over half the force of 2,100 aircraft had been redeployed.

12 September the battle of the river Burza begins.

15 September Warsaw is surrounded and most of the Polish army is now in the east of Poland, territory promised to Stalin.

17 September the Polish government and high command cross into Romania, the Red Army advances into Poland.

19 September the Red Army meets the Heer at Brest-Litovsk.

Poland deployed to try and defend most of Poland, going against a plan to use rives etc, and defend a smaller heartland.

The Germans rated the troops in the west as having around 26 divisions worth of power for the entire front when the allies stopped in September 1944
I don't disagree that bringing in the USSR would likely do nothing to help Poland, indeed it might accelerate Russia's aggression against Poland. I can fully understand why Poland refused to allow Soviet troops on its territory.

Right, it would simply be swapping one occupying power for another.

And you give me grief for not listening to your point of view...sheesh! :) Your "fact of history" entirely depends on conflating the territorial definition of a nation with the political definition of a nation. Alas, that's not a correct alignment.

The European governments in exile during WW2 all considered themselves as independent, legal, and free governments of their respective nations. This was particularly the case for the Polish government which never surrendered either to Nazi Germany or the USSR. The Polish government in exile organized the Polish Armed Forces in the west, and coordinated the Polish Underground State and the Home Army. Same for the Free French who saw themselves as the legal government of France, as opposed either to the German-occupied zone or the Vichy territory. Even Czechoslovakia had a government in exile under former President Beneš as the legitimate government of the First Czechoslovak Republic.

Sure, but the had very little, if any, power to affect events in the occupied country. They had no say in the laws, the policing, the internal economy, and so on. That's because possession is 9/10ths of the law, and with possession the Russians were able to impose a multi-decade occupation, which means that from 1939 to 1989 Poland was not independent. I suppose it's okay that for six years the government-in-exile was considered an independent Poland ... but from where I sit, Poland got occupied. A political nation without land is but a figment.

I hope this explains the key distinction I am making, which is not represented in your assertion.

It does. I simply think you give it too much weight.

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