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Weekly Discussion 9/23-27/19

1940 French Campaign WWII

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Alternate History: America in the French Campaign of 1940

According to historian Victor Davis Hanson, if the US had held an alliance with France and Britain in the interwar period and mobilized after the declaration of war on the Allies by Germany, the French Campaign could have looked very different. He cites the US’s ability to deploy 2 million soldiers in less than 2 years of being in WWI. Do you think that this could have altered the course of the 1940 Campaign and how do you think it would have turned out?

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Britain offered support to the French empire, in fact, Churchill proposed a union of Britain and France so that they might unite their forces. The reason that France lost the war was because they had too much faith in the Maginot Line that the Germans went right around. Marechal Petain refused Churchill's proposal because he was too afraid of seeing Paris destroyed. I believe the outcome would have been much the same if America had also offered support. The Armistice is what alllowed Germans to conquer France, I highly doubt Germany would have conquered France had they actually attempted to defend(1) it. Also it must be noted that the Germans possessed superior mechanized unit compared to units produced by the weak and poorly funded French tank program.

(1) I do understand that a lot of valiant men died, and it is not a discredit to them when I say this. But it must be acknowledged that military from other regions e.g, French, British, and (potentially American) forces, could have been mobilized more efficiently to back up the hemmorhage of manpower on the front. Petain actively did not choose this route.