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Old 27th November 2020, 12:59 PM   #93
HansMustermann
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Eh, sort of. France was also a democracy, you know? You can't just start a war whenever the guy at the top woke up in an angry mood.

And the French were seriously against that war. Even in '39, there were MASSIVE protests against the war and the mobilization, with "Why die for Danzig?" being pretty much the battle cry. (And again, I'm not saying that the French were cowards, but in France too pretty much nobody was willing to fight for the *********** that was half of Versailles.) And they had massive morale problems with that mobilization.

Try that in '36, and you'd pretty much get booted out of power over night.

Even more importantly, you seem to underestimate how big the problems of the FRENCH army were in '36.

The LEAST of problems being that they were right in the middle of those years without recruits. You start with people being in trenches instead of boning the missus in 1914, add 18 years to that, and yeah, that's about when you notice a dramatic dip in the number of recruitable people.

The bigger problem was that their doctrines were a (marginally) even bigger mess than in 1940. The effectiveness of an army isn't measured just in the number of people and guns, you know? Honestly, you'd have even more problems getting word up the ranks and back to get an artillery strike in time, the tanks were even less having any idea how to operate together with the infantry, etc.

The EVEN BIGGER problem was that France was having an even worst case of distrusting their own army in '36 than in '40. No, seriously. They probably would have trusted the Germans more than their own army. There was this... paranoia that the officer corps is a bunch of reactionaries and monarchists who are just itching to coup the republic. And as such, the number of officers had to be kept to a minimum, as was the duration of time that impressionable young men were exposed to those dangerous officers and their ideas.

Pretty much any request to professionalize the army a bit, or even have enough officers to actually train those recruits worth anything, or just have longer conscription so recruits had some time to be trained enough so they can train the next batch themselves, were causing whole $#!& storms in the parliament. Hell, even something like when later De Gaulle wrote a paper arguing for a more professional and well trained tank corps, an idiot politician waved it around in parliament as PROOF -- PROOF, I tell you! -- that the army officers want to have a sort of a praetorian guard to topple the government with.

So yeah, in the middle of THAT political climate, you want them to start a mobilization? And go to war with THAT army where most recruits hardly got enough training (among other reasons, again, for lack of enough officers and NCOs to train them) to even know which end to point at the enemy?

You're... seriously optimistic if you place much trust in that.

And for that matter, well, now you know why the British didn't put all that much trust in it either.
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