British strategy if Germany pulls a Bismarck

Admiral Beez

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In 1871, Germany conquered France, signed a treaty, and then with the exception of small bits of French territory mainly Alsace-Lorraine the Germans left. This was Bismarck’s brilliance, crush the enemy, then withdraw so that you needn’t cover the expense of occupation.

Let‘s do the same in 1939-40. Germany defeats France in June 1940. But instead of setting up a Vichy puppet regime, Germany signs a peace agreement with France, and entirely withdraws from French territory. In the Treaty, in exchange for a full German withdraw from French pre-Sept 1939 territory, France agrees not to fight the Germans and to remain neutral with respects to any of Germany’s enemies, namely the British Empire. Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are not so lucky and remain under German occupation. In Italy, having just invaded southern France, Mussolini is not informed of Germany’s plan, with Hitler advising Paris that how France dealt with Italy was their concern. In short order the French soundly defeat and oust the Italians from France, leaving a humiliated Mussolini to entreat with the French. Germany now reaches out to Britain for an armistice, meanwhile Italy is now in no condition to commence new offensives in North Africa. What does Britain do now?
 

Shortround6

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The British carry on fighting Germany, while keeping a sharp on the French.
Germany has to keep large army watching France so they can't do much about attacking Russia at the moment.
British clear North Africa. The Italian fleet is toast.
British have transit through the med.
British have a much easier time of dealing with the U-boats in 1941.
No Focke Wulf Condors harassing British shipping or spotting for U-boats (they have to fly from Norway).

Doesn't look good for Germany.
Britain out produces Germany in 1940-41.
British take back the BEF with equipment.
Germany doesn't get to loot France or stock up on British left overs.
 

Admiral Beez

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Admiral Beez

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No stockpiles of Gnome-Rhone engines for various Luftwaffe aircraft plus no captured aircraft for Finland or Bulgaria, either.
Germany might gladly buy them from France, at a good price. Along with some French aircraft.

My idea behind this thread is that Germany can eliminate France as a enemy along with the threat of a western front, plus Italy and Mussolini has been humiliated and thus not likely to cause trouble for Germany in the MTO or North Africa, and the British public may question their newly elected PM why are we fighting the Germans now, especially if Germany publicly announces a unilateral armistice with Britain, recalling the U-Boats and bombers. This is all in the goal of focusing on Hitler’s plans for Russia. With France come to terms with Germany, there will be those with influence in Britain (and Washington) who wonder if this is still their fight.
 
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Shortround6

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So so much wrong with this.

Hitler has proven he can't be trusted.
Germany has no money to buy French War material.
That was the reason for the Invasion, steal stuff.
The Germans only have about 50 U- boats.
The French Aircraft for the Allies are a sprinkling of cheese on the Whole meal.
Germany got several thousand cannon, and ammo,.
Several thousand tanks, even if used for tractors.
Thousand of trucks, motor vehicles.
And Germany cannot trust an armed France not to attack in 1941 when Germany Attacks Russia So Germany needs to keep many Divisions (even 2nd rate) in west.

What Happens in the Trasitition?
End of June and July. If Germany goes back to Belgian border British Air Defense just got Easier.
 

buffnut453

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Well, if German forces don't occupy France, then there's no Battle of Britain because the Luftwaffe won't have the range to hit the UK from bases in Germany.

As others have noted with the U-boats, ANY Kriegsmarine operations in the Channel/North Sea become far more risky as the RAF will, by default, have air supremacy and the RN can operate almost without constraint.

The only way this would change is if France ends up siding with Germany against Perfidious Albion.
 

Admiral Beez

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Well, if German forces don't occupy France, then there's no Battle of Britain because the Luftwaffe won't have the range to hit the UK from bases in Germany. As others have noted with the U-boats, ANY Kriegsmarine operations in the Channel/North Sea become far more risky as the RAF will, by default, have air supremacy and the RN can operate almost without constraint.
The Germans still have Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands to operate from, but no matter the range, my guess is these Germans don't bomb British cities nor torpedo British trade anyway. Germany must soon move on the USSR, since if Berlin is paying for rather than stealing French agricultural and industrial resources to feed Germany's forces and people, it will soon run out of money, especially in the RN conducts a blockade of French and German-owned ports so that there's no trade. I wonder what the Italians are up to.
 

GrauGeist

Generalfeldmarschall zur Luftschiff Abteilung
If the Germans have struck a treaty with France and are more interested in turning on Soviet Russia, why would Great Britain want to risk a war with Germany?

Especially if Germany has not lost valuable men and material trying to bail Mussolini out in North Africa or the Battle of Britain - this means Germany has considerable assets on the continent.
Which also means the Soviet Union is going to take a seriously hard beating.
 

Shortround6

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From the Italian Front.
Italy is getting most of it's oil and coal from Germany.
If Germany stabs Italy in back will Germany continue to supply oil and coal?
What happens if Great Britain supplies Italy with oil and coal?
In 1940 nobody knew how poorly the Italian Navy would do in combat.
Italy was one of the big 5.
Germany was a bath tub navy and almost 50% of it had been sunk or crippled by the end of Norway.
If Italy opts out of the war (or Britain bribes it) Britain can concentrate more of it's forces between Great Britain and the North Sea (Just give Churchill a whack every time he mentions a Baltic adventure)
Italy and Austria duked it out for 3 years in WW I. Adolf will not be happy to have non neutral Italy bordering Austria.
Does Mussolini get kicked out in 1940 or 1941 and new Italian government forms?

Italy cannot sit back and sulk if Germany does not provide coal and oil. The economy, such as it was, would be ruined.
 

swampyankee

Chief Master Sergeant
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Jun 25, 2013
In 1871, Germany conquered France, signed a treaty, and then with the exception of small bits of French territory mainly Alsace-Lorraine the Germans left. This was Bismarck’s brilliance, crush the enemy, then withdraw so that you needn’t cover the expense of occupation.

Let‘s do the same in 1939-40. Germany defeats France in June 1940. But instead of setting up a Vichy puppet regime, Germany signs a peace agreement with France, and entirely withdraws from French territory. In the Treaty, in exchange for a full German withdraw from French pre-Sept 1939 territory, France agrees not to fight the Germans and to remain neutral with respects to any of Germany’s enemies, namely the British Empire. Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are not so lucky and remain under German occupation. In Italy, having just invaded southern France, Mussolini is not informed of Germany’s plan, with Hitler advising Paris that how France dealt with Italy was their concern. In short order the French soundly defeat and oust the Italians from France, leaving a humiliated Mussolini to entreat with the French. Germany now reaches out to Britain for an armistice, meanwhile Italy is now in no condition to commence new offensives in North Africa. What does Britain do now?
Germany got quite a bit of material, including food, conscripted labor, and horses from France. If they actually had to pay for that, Germany would need to steal more gold.
 

Admiral Beez

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Germany got quite a bit of material, including food, conscripted labor, and horses from France. If they actually had to pay for that, Germany would need to steal more gold.
Germany is definitely in a pickle money-wise. They've got Norway, but that was always a bad move, since the Norwegians would have preferred to have remained neutral and traded with everyone, like the Swedes. Best to move up Barbarossa.
 

BarnOwlLover

Airman 1st Class
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Nov 3, 2022
So so much wrong with this.

Hitler has proven he can't be trusted.
Germany has no money to buy French War material.
That was the reason for the Invasion, steal stuff.
The Germans only have about 50 U- boats.
The French Aircraft for the Allies are a sprinkling of cheese on the Whole meal.
Germany got several thousand cannon, and ammo,.
Several thousand tanks, even if used for tractors.
Thousand of trucks, motor vehicles.
And Germany cannot trust an armed France not to attack in 1941 when Germany Attacks Russia So Germany needs to keep many Divisions (even 2nd rate) in west.

What Happens in the Trasitition?
End of June and July. If Germany goes back to Belgian border British Air Defense just got Easier.
I think this speaks to why the Axis forces committed their actions. Why did Japan invade Manchuria and get involved with China during the Second Sino-Japanese War? Why did Italy invade and annex Ethiopia? Why did Germany re-occupy the Rhine Valley pretty much as soon as the Versailles Treaty expired, annex Austria, the Sudetenland, and the rest of Czechoslovakia before invading Poland?

The whole concept of "living space", namely access to raw materials and manufacturing facilities, without having to buy them, be it by hook or crook or not. Germany, Italy and Japan were pretty limited in a lot of areas of their economies, especially on a war footing, due to lack of materials and facilities to build war machines. The obvious hope was that going to war or the threat of it would allow them to obtain those resources, considering that many countries were loath to trade with the Axis powers by 1939.

Granted, the concept of building an empire, spreading their control and ideology and such were also obvious factors, but that doesn't mean much without being able to expand their war machine.
 

Shortround6

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Best to move up Barbarossa.
Might take waiting until 1942, maybe 1943, if you have to build everything your self rather than steal it.

The Germans equipped about 4 infantry divisions using Czech equipment before Poland (rifles, machine guns, artillery, etc.) forget the well known tanks. Most of those factories continued making weapons for quite some time.

Germans captured thousands of artillery pieces in France, some stayed for the Atlantic wall, some were scraped but how many years of production did that save German ?
 

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