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.
– 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
Visit World View Foundations at: www.wvfoundations.org[audio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/american-nationalist-network/2013/06/22/world-view-conversations-special-broadcast-1.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.
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.
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
NOTE: I mentioned this article during the broadcast:
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.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/dunkirk_spinning_01.shtml