Radio Show – A Commemoration Of The Fall Of France, 1940

On June 22, 2013 yours truly, J4G,  joined Rodney Martin in a Special Broadcast of ‘World View Conversations’ to commemorate the Fall of France, and its surrender at Compiègne in the same Railway Car which Germany had been forced to sign the Armistice in World War I.  The German Campaign against France was the first demonstration of modern rapid warfare- rapid success with minimal casualties.

Topics Included: 

– Dunkirk- Fact vs. Fiction

– The German surrender Terms of German Occupation vs. Allied terms imposed on Germany after the war.

– Adolf Hitler’s Last Appeal to Reason, a peace offer to Britain after the French surrender

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Download the free mp3

My analysis of the Battle of France:

It must be stated from the start that France had declared war on Germany, not the other way around! The French leadership had refused Hitler’s peace offer after Poland was defeated. Following the British and French declaration of war against Germany, not much actually happened for about 7 months and there was a period known as the “Phoney War” until the Spring of 1940 and the Battle of Narvik, followed closely by the Battle of France, and the landing of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

The French, along with their British allies now planned to attack Germany from the West, and to do this, they themselves would have to go through Holland and Belgium which had declared themselves neutral. Thus, they would become aggressors entering those countries illegally or enter into negotiations with them. If those countries gave permission, then they were no longer neutral and were open to German attack. The German side, through their intelligence gathering, were quite aware of this plot and of negotiations between the neutral governments with the Brits and French, to which the Germans were not invited. They also observed the Belgians re-deploying their troops away from their western and southern frontiers towards the east, along the German border. France, (because of the German Siegfried line) and anticipating a potential German invasion, was also concentrating troops near the Belgian border. These were all signs indicating imminent aggression, against which Germany was legally within her rights to react, in her own defence. Thus, out of a military necessity German troops circumvented the Maginot Line, passing through Belgium and the Netherlands to invade France, as well as, to engage the British forces.

Maginot Line

France’s strategic military planning, after suffering very heavy losses during trench warfare in World War I became mainly defensive in nature. They built a long, massive and impenetrable, concrete and steel subterranean defensive bunker and tunnel system called the Maginot Line, stretching from the Swiss border in the south, northward to Luxembourg  along Germany’s south-western frontier, and lighter lines of defence westward along the Belgian border towards the English Channel, at the Straight of Dover. It was quite a controversial strategy, and a very expensive one, which quickly proved ineffective. It is generally considered one of the greatest failures in military history, and became a metaphor for something confidently relied upon, but proves ineffective in the end.

File:Hochwald historic photo.jpg

The fortifications did not extend through the Ardennes Forest (“impenetrable” and “impassable”) or along the border with Belgium because the countries had signed an alliance in 1920, by which the French army would operate in Belgium if the German forces invaded. When Belgium abrogated the treaty in 1936 and declared neutrality, the Maginot Line was quickly extended along the Franco-Belgian border, but not to the standard of the rest of the Line. There was a final flurry of construction in 1939-40 with general improvements all along the Line. The final Line was strongest around the industrial regions of Metz, Lauter and Alsace, while other areas were, in comparison, only weakly guarded.

The Battle of France, also known as the “Fall of France”, began on 10 May 1940. The German invasion plan (Operation “Sichelschnitt”) was designed to circumvent the Line. A decoy force was set up opposite the Line, while a second Army Group cut through the Low Countries of Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as through the Ardennes Forest which lay north of the main French defences. Thus, the German forces were able to avoid assaulting the Maginot Line directly. The French High Command, however, had anticipated that the Germans would attempt a flank approach in order to bypass the line, and therefore, they moved the bulk of their troops northward to the Belgian border, and so it was no cake walk.

The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, “Fall Gelb” (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes to cut off and surround the French and British units that had advanced into Belgium. Within five days, the highly mobile and well organized German forces were well into France, and continued their advance until May 24th when they arrived near Dunkirk, pushing the British and adjacent French forces back into the sea. The British government was forced to evacuate their own troops, as well as several French divisions at Dunkirk in “Operation Dynamo” who had been providing cover during extremely intense fighting, on the beaches, in the water and in the air. The Brits abandoned vehicles, weapons and vast amounts of munitions. They were vanquished and the survivors in utter disarray, desperately fleeing the battle field.

By this time in early June, the German forces had cut the Maginot Line off from the rest of France and the French government began making overtures for an armistice. The Line was still intact and manned with a number of commanders who wanted to hold out. The Italian had also joined the battle, but their advance had been largely contained.

After the withdrawal of the BEF, Germany launched a second operation, “Fall Rot” (Case Red), which was commenced on June 5th. While the depleted French forces put up initial stiff resistance, German air superiority and armoured mobility overwhelmed the remaining French forces. German armoured divisions, aided by close aerial support, had successfully outflanked the Maginot Line and pushed deep into France with German forces arriving in a virtually undefended Paris on June 14th, 1940.

The French leadership conceded defeat after just 6 weeks and Maxime Weygand signed the surrender and the army was ordered into captivity. This caused a chaotic period of flight for French government members and it effectively ended organized French military resistance. Finally, on June 18th, German commanders met with officials of the new French government who sought an honourable armistice with Germany, and received it. Marshal Philippe Pétain who had earlier been named the Premiere of France was one of those who had sought an armistice, and he then became the head of the new government.

On 22 June, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, which resulted in a division of France, whereby Germany occupied the North and West, while southern France or “Vichy-France” led by Marshal Pétain would remain autonomous. The Germans would also keep nearly two million French soldiers as prisoners in Germany. Italy would control a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast.

After France and the BEF were defeated, Hitler once again offered peace to Britain and for the final time on 19.7.1940

Watch my film to hear what Hitler had to say in his own words about this great victory and watch some of the German newsreel footage (90 minute speech in English)  followed by 30 minutes of extra footage from the Battle of Norway, and the Battle of Dunkirk. as well as here what the British POWs said about their captivity and treatment by the Germans:

Hitler’s Victory A Final Appeal For Peace and Sanity, July 19th, 1940

Hitler's Victory - A Final Appeal for Peace and Sanity, July 19th, 1940


NOTE: I mentioned this article during the broadcast:

Spinning Dunkirk

By Professor Duncan Anderson
BBC: Last updated 2011-02-17

Welcoming the troops back home

Could it have been government news management that conjured the Dunkirk ‘miracle’ from the disaster of the Fall of France? 


A very British story

The following day many newspapers carried stories about the small ships at Dunkirk, not just pleasure steamers but river cruisers, which had never been beyond the estuary of the Thames. Hundreds of such craft had indeed been co-opted, and had sailed across the Channel, but most had naval reserve crews, and had been used for ferrying men from the beaches to the destroyers.

The newspapers were not interested in the reality. Even The Times devoted an editorial to civilians, including women who, by donning trousers and tucking their hair under caps had passed themselves off as men, had sailed their own river craft over to Dunkirk, and brought soldiers back all the way to England. The story of the small boats was soon enshrined in British popular consciousness, an example of a people coming to the rescue of their army.

The ‘spin’ given to the evacuation of the British army was almost too successful, setting off a wave of euphoria throughout Britain. It was a very British story – the gallant loser escaping from disaster at the very last moment – and one that the public liked to be told.

“… they much preferred the myth to the reality, and they were not prepared to listen to anyone who sought to puncture their belief …”

Increasingly concerned at the air of unreality that seemed to permeate Britain, on 4 June Churchill addressed the House of Commons in terms that spelt out clearly the truly desperate nature of Britain’s situation. He reminded his countrymen that wars were not won by evacuations, and that ‘what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster‘.

But the British people didn’t really believe him; they much preferred the myth to the reality, and they were not prepared to listen to anyone who sought to puncture their belief, not even Churchill himself. They were a difficult people to feed on lies, but they were perfectly happy to lie to themselves, particularly when that lie held the key to their survival as a nation.


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9 Responses to Radio Show – A Commemoration Of The Fall Of France, 1940

  1. toinennakemys says:

    Heinz Guderian wrote in his memories that the British and the French Troops could have been rounded and destroyed already before the coast and Dunkirk. He says that if he could have had free hands, he would have done this. That is a different issue from Dunkirk. He also always insisted that the troops should have been destroyed at Dunkirk. That would not have been so simple as You and many others always have told. Maybe he is wrong about the first case. But you and nobody else have ever spoke about the possibility of destroying the troops already before the coast. You are always speaking about Dunkirk and how riskable operation the attack would have been there.

    Could it be true, that the traitors stopped Guderian and saved the British and the French troops before the coast in purpose? And could it have been possible to capture the British troops before the coast? That could have broken the moral of the british nation and their non-jewish leaders.
    (Corrected version)

    • Did you listen to the show? Did you watch film or read the speech of Hitler? If you listened to it or read it, he said everything went according to plan (his plan) and he could not have been happier with the result. He was also not a blood thirsty war criminal like the allied leaders. Why is Hitler’s word not good enough for you and others? Guderian was a great soldier but also somewhat of a renegade. When he said those things many years later, he was an armchair quarterback. He did not know what Hitler knew and nor was he in Hitler’s shoes, and did not have Hitler’s responsibility. Nor would he have to answer for it. Just like many other Generals who thought they knew better than Hitler. Did you listen to Deanna Spingola’s detailed presentation yet?

      Deanna Spingola discusses The Truth and Lies about the Battle at Dunkirk and dispels various persistent rumours and bits of disinformation regarding that fateful episode of World War II.

      And by the way, Military Historian / Author V.K. Clark also concurs with the above assessment.

      • toinennakemys says:

        I have listened two shows from V. K. Clark and Spingola where they discuss u.a. about Dunkirk. In one of the shows V. K. Clark says that the generals were conservative and they quarreled with Guderian. Maybe Hitler listened too much marschall Rundstedt. That is possible. She also said that Rundstedt was later in company with the traitors. Maybe stopping Guderian was the act of a traitor and not just a conservative? There are questions and the whole thing is very complicated also according her opinion too.

      • Why is it that when Hitler himself said that he planned and commanded the entire war in the west, and with great enthusiasm he announced how pleased (totally ecstatic) he is with the outcome, and how proud he is of absolutely everyone, naming all of their names, and that he had promoted virtually everyone of rank who participated, people don;t believe him? How is it that when he stated that he entirely destroyed the Brits at Dunkirk to his own satisfaction, with minimal losses of men, munitions and assets, they don’t believe him? And when the German newsreel footage also verifies this, people still search for cause to do doubt it?

        You say “the generals were conservative” …YES!! …and Hitler was always conservative, doing only what was needful and using only the resources necessary to get the job done (as the German were not “armed to the teeth”). I spoke about that in this radio show! Hitler spoke at length about it in the victory speech too.

        Heinz Guderian, for all his skill, determination and heroism in battle, it seems was not a real ‘team player’ and somewhat of a glory-seeking renegade. That can be just as bad as being a traitor (unless you have fully earned the trust are given free reign to act as necessary on the frontlines). Guderian said “Deeds are more important than words. The goddess of battle will crown only the most daring with laurels.” When Hitler began planning an invasion (premptive strike) of Russia, Guderian was outraged! He openly questioned the Hitler’s plans, but then acquiesced (presumably when he was apprised of the situation). And he defied Hitler several times thereafter too and was later forcibly retired. He may well have been one of those traitors and plotters. He was arrested by the allies after the war and spent several years in prison, mainly writing his memoirs, but was not tried as a war criminal, and released in 1948, while many others were tried and hanged.

        A British friend of mine says:

        “My Grand Father Tommy McFarlane was one of those British Soldiers who was evacuated from Durkirk. He told us, the Germans out fought and out classed the British and French forces, even though the British and French outnumbered and had more firepower than the Germans. He witnessed a scene of total panic, where the British were abandoning their arms and fleeing. All discipline lost. Dunkirk was a huge military defeat for the Warmongering Zionist stooge Churchill.”

        Winston Churchill himself said:

        “what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster”

        Obviously, Hitler kicked their asses!

      • toinennakemys says:

        Guderian suffered heavy losses in the East. They had to change the tactic before Moscow. He was wrong about the Barbarossa and he believed in one huge attack towards Moscow. I don’t know very much about the campaings. Many authors however have said that the Battle of the France was not like the War in the East and that could be won by a few big operations. The Guderian’s attack was one of the most decisive. But The Soviet Union could not be defeated by one or two big attacks.

        Hitler was revolutionary with his Blitzkrieg. He had some generals with him planering the operations. Manstein u.a.

        Almost every general was a traitor in Wehrmacht because almost everyone of the knew abut the traitors. Guderian knew about them but he was not one of them. I think he did his best to win the war in the battlefield and in the office. But he did not denonced others.

        He can be dishonest after the war. That is true.

  2. Markus says:

    Very good discussion.

    “Germany’s occupation of Denmark”. What about Britain’s occupation of Denmark during WW2? Noone ever speaks of the British occupation of the Danish Faroe Islands.

    I have one specific question for Rodney. I recall him saying that the Czechs were ok with Germany making Böhmen and Mähren a German protectorate, when the Sudetenland was legally annexed by Germany. Rodney even said, the Czechs demanded protection by the German Wehrmacht. What is the source for that, please? (Rodney didn’t say that in this discussion, but elsewhere)

    Regarding Elsaß-Lothringen. While Germans were not deported in mass to the 4 Allied occupation sectors for Germans in Germany, the French political stance was to make the Germans there French. Most Elsässer and Lothringer people do not speak German anymore today, or only as a second language. A “soft-genocide”.

  3. James says:

    Awesome interview with Rodney Wayne! hopefully you do more in the future 🙂

    I was wondering if you have the German translation for this Hitler Quote? – “My intention was never to wage war, but to build a new social state with the highest level of culture. Each year of war keeps me from this work.”

    Is this right? – “Meine Absicht war nie Krieg zu führen, sondern um eine neue soziale Staat mit der höchsten Ebene der Kultur zu bauen. Jedes Jahr des Krieges hält mich von dieser Arbeit. “

    • Thanks for your comment. In the June 19th, 1940 speech which I referred to, he said:

      “…meine Absicht war es nicht, Kriege zu führen, sondern einen neuen Sozialstaat von höchster Kultur aufzubauen. Jedes Jahr dieses Krieges raubt mich dieser Arbeit.”

      He repeated that statement in some later speeches too.

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