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makif130289

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FRENCH THIRD REPUBLIC



Hello folks. I decided to make a French AAR. My game options are :

- 1.9.1 Patch. All DLCs are active. Historical focuses.
- Expert AI Mod. ( AI attrition reduction is active, no additional difficulty as i had lost in my last game as Soviet union against Germany in Hard )
- Expert AI 1956 Technology expansion.
- State Transfer Tool and Player-Led Peace Conferences ( To prevent any weird borders )
- Allied Construction and Border Avoidance Tool

The course will be historical. My plan is to try to hold Germans in 1940. If i fail, then to continue the struggle in exile. As i am not a pro player, this is highly likely. Expert AI is brutal in using air power and efficient division templates.

I will also avoid min-maxing strategies. I will build my navy too. My plan is to play through Cold War and WWIII. We will see how far i can go.

Feel free to comment. You know, your comments are what keep AARs alive.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

THIRD REPUBLIC

PART I : THE BEGINNING
PART II : REMILITARIZATION OF THE RHINELAND
PART III : THE POPULAR FRONT
PART IV : SPANISH CIVIL WAR
PART V : THE NAVY MEETING
PART VI : MARCO POLO BRIDGE INCIDENT
PART VII : ANSCHLUSS
PART VIII : MUNICH AGREEMENT
PART IX : THE ARMY MEETING
PART X : END OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA
PART XI : INVASION OF ALBANIA
PART XII : DECLARATION OF WAR
PART XIII : INVASION OF POLAND
PART XIV : INVASION OF DENMARK
PART XV : ITALY JOINS THE AXIS
PART XVI : DUTCH CAPITULATION
PART XVII : BATTLE OF BELGIUM
PART XVIII : BELGIAN CAPITULATION
PART XIX : BATTLE OF FRANCE
PART XX : BATTLE OF FRANCE II
PART XXI : BATTLE OF PARIS
PART XXII : ARMISTICE OF COMPIEGNE

FREE FRANCE

PART XXIII : APPEAL TO THE FRENCH NATION
PART XXIV : INVASION OF NORWAY
PART XXV : INVASION OF YUGOSLAVIA
PART XXVI : SICILIAN DISASTER
PART XXVII : GREEK CAPITULATION

 
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Will follow
 

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Interested to see how this goes. I love the challenge of trying to save France from the dreaded Boche! Hope you get to the Cold and Third World Wars.
 

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PART I : THE BEGINNING
January 1936

Cabinet meeting was held in the office of Prime Minister Pierre Laval. Ministers of Economy, Interior, National Defense and Foreign Affairs have given detailed figures about the current state of affairs in France and abroad.

Economy Figures, 1936 :



State of the Army, the Navy and the Airforce :











French Army is big and powerful but it needs a serious modernization effort. The Navy is probably the fourth strongest in the world. Airforce is relatively small and consists mostly of older planes.

Minister of Interior gave a short brief in the internal matters of French politics. French people are deeply divided. Political violence and strikes are everywhere. Fascists and Communists are united in destabilizing the French society.



Head of Intelligence then proceeded to give some production figures about Italy and Germany.

German Economy Estimates :



Italian Economy Estimates :



According to the figures presented by the Intelligence, German and Italian war production is at least 2 to 3 times of that of French one. PM Laval decided to set up a permanent intelligence agency to gather more reliable information on these matters.

Foreign Minister then continued to give some details about Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Italians has just started a big offensive in Ethiopia and are expected to reach Addis Abeba in a few months.



With French and British embargoes on Italy due to Ethiopian invasion, Stresa front seems totally collapsed. Mussolini gave some fierce speeches against France and the United Kingdom and we should expect him to get closer to the German Fuhrer.

PM Laval with Italian Dictator Mussolini and British PM MacDonald in Stresa, in 1935 :



 
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Things always start off fairly grim for France.
 

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PART II : REMILITARIZATION OF THE RHINELAND
January 28, 1936

Today, Italian Dictator announced withdrawal of Italy from London Naval Treaty. This development is expected to escalate naval arms race again. Laval government issued a strong protest and decided to coordinate the proper response to Italian decision.



February 2, 1936

Only few days after the Italian declaration, Japanese government also declared unilateral withdrawal from London Naval Treaty. It seems that Italy and Japanese Empire coordinated their decision. London Naval Treaty collapses with the withdrawal of two irredentist powers from the Treaty.



February 22, 1936

French Government decided to disband six cavalry divisions the Army had. The cavalry is now considered as obsolete by the French officers. The equipment of these divisions will be transferred to other divisions.



February 24, 1936

Upon the orders of PM Laval, budget and manpower of French Intelligence organization is dramatically increased. The Intelligence is expected to gather valuable information across the German Reich.



March 6, 1936

In a shocking move, 3.000 German troops entered the demilitarized Rhineland today. Germany openly violated both Versailles and Locarno Treaties.

Foreign Minister immediately flew to London to consult with the British. The British government, it appears, is in no position to challenge Germany militarily over Rhineland. London urged Laval Government restraint.

An extraordinary cabinet meeting is held in Paris with the participation of military leaders as well. General Gamelin told the cabinet that France cannot win a war against Germay alone. PM Laval then spoke and told the Cabine that he doesn't want to mobilize the Army a week before the elections. He wants to leave the issue to the new government.

The Laval Government decided to tie French commitment to the British support. This effectively removed any chance of military intervention.



German troops entering the Rhineland :


 
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PART III : THE POPULAR FRONT
March 12, 1936

Amidst the Rhineland Crisis, General Elections were held in France. The Popular Front, composed of various left-wing parties, won a victory by a significant margin. Leader of Socialist Party, Leon Blum is tasked with forming a new government.

PM Blum promised to introduce new labor laws to handle spontaneous strikes, and an economic program to revive small and medium-sized businesses. Major nationalization program for the arms industries are also expected.



Blum's cabinet also included, for the first time in the French politics, Communists. Their inclusion in the cabinet will surely increase their reach within French society.



March 22, 1936

Today, Italian troops entered Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie flees to London.



Italian Dictator awarding medals to the widows of Italian soldiers who lost their lives in Ethiopia.


March 26, 1936

French Intelligence placed an agent named Rene Joyouse in the Berlin Embassy. He was informed as a worker in the Embassy to the Germans. His real mission is to gather intelligence from Berlin using his contacts.



French Embassy in Berlin :



May 1, 1936

PM Blum was briefed on the productive capabilities of the German Reich. According to the report, German arms production is approximately three times that of France. The government decided to expand arm factories to catch up with German capacity.

German Production Capacity :



French Production Capacity :



German Bf109 fighters in production :



May 20, 1936

In a hugely unpopular move, French Government was forced to devalue the Franc with regards to gold. Constant melting of gold reserves of French Central Bank left no other option.



June 9, 1936

Morane-Saulnier developed a new fighter plane that will be backbone of our airforce. The government ordered the mass production of the plane to replace old WWI-era planes in our arsenal. For now, modest resources are allocated with future plans to expand production dramatically.



M.S. 406 Fighter :



June 24, 1936

Major branches of French Intelligence Agency were established. New Cypher school is also being opened in Paris in order to decipher German radio messages.



July 15, 1936

Hotchkiss developed a 25 mm anti-tank gun at the request of French Army. The Army wants infantry to have a weapon that can penetrate into the modern tanks.



French soldiers exercising with the new anti-tank gun :



July 20, 1936

French codebreakers began to work on deciphering German radio messages. However, without further funding, it is expected to take a very long time to get results.

 
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PART IV : SPANISH CIVIL WAR

July 25, 1936

An agreement was signed between Employer Unions, Trade Unions and the French Government at the Hotel Matignon. The agreement ended general strikes by introducing very strong pro-worker laws. Paid vacations, 40-hour work week and collective barganing are among the most important achievements of Trade Unions. Althought great for the working class, new labor laws are expected to negatively impact our manufacturing sector.





Newspaper headline following the signing of the Matignon Agrement : ( "Victory on Poverty")



August 22, 1936

French Intelligence started a covert operation to infiltrate Reich Ministry of the Economics. The aim is to collect more accurate information on German war production and on the German economy as a whole.



September 27, 1936

Fascist generals attempted a coup in Spain few days ago. They failed to take control of the capital and many other key cities. In several cities, the Spanish Government distributed weapons to the people and they helped them defeating the rebels. However, the Government failed to suppress the coup as well and full-blown civil war is at the gate.

More radical elements in the French Government have already started a propaganda to have the government send military help to our Republican brothers.



October 2, 1936

Blum Government banned all Fascist Unions as they are the root reason of political violence in France.



November 13, 1936

Spain is drifted into a bloody civil war. Fighting continues everywhere. Italy and Germany sent so-called "volunteers" to Spain in order to help the Fascists. News of Soviet "volunteers" arriving in Madrid are also making headline.

PM Leon Blum, pressured heavily from his own coalition members, decided to take a non-interventionist stance in Spain, together with United Kingdom. Prime Minister is afraid of carrying the civil war inside France.



Italian "volunteers" in Spain :



November 16, 1936

Needs of French Army have been neglected for so long. Some WWI-era equipment like Stokes mortars and Chauchat machine guns are only now becoming widely available for our divisions.



Chauchat machine gun and Stokes mortar :





December 5, 1936

French Intelligence successfully infiltrated Reich Ministry of Economics by buying several employees working there. We are now obtaining much more reliable figures on the German production capacity.



December 16, 1936

Popular Front Government led by Leon Blum enacted a series of nationalization programs. Arms industries and several shipyards are nationalized.




January 27, 1937

Developments in Spain is certainly not going in favor of the Republican Government. Fascists managed to rout Republican holdout in the Northwestern Asturias region. The rumors of upcoming Madrid offensive is on the air.

PM Leon Blum is still heavily under fire from his own coalition parties.



March 31, 1937

Prime Minister Leon Blum announced today that the Republican Government in Spain is now allowed to buy arms from France. PM Blum finally submitted to the more radical elements in his coalition but this will surely anger more centrist parts.



Furthermore, PM announced a new rearmament program to modernize French Army.



 

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PART V : THE NAVY MEETING

April 25, 1937

Spanish Government requested further help from French Government. PM Blum declined Spanish request despite heavy protests from Communists.



June 1, 1937

Anarchist militants exchanged fires with Republican forces in Barcelona few days ago. They quickly captured government buildings throughout Catalonia. Republican Government declared Anarchist Unions as traitors and secret collaborators of Franco's Fascists.



Anarchist militias in Barcelona :



June 5, 1937

Naval Ministry organized a meeting on the current state of French Navy with the participation of both the Cabinet members and the Navy Admirals.

Navy Minister Campinchi began by showing the overall picture of the Navy.



The Navy has 1 aircraft carrier, Bearn, which is capable of carrying 36 planes.

French Aircraft Carrier Bearn :





The Navy has 3 Bretagne-Class Battleships and 2 Courbet-Class Battleships.

French Battleship Provence ( Bretagne-Class ) :





French Battleship Paris ( Courbet-Class ) :





The Navy has 7 Heavy cruisers, of which 6 are Suffren-Class, 1 is Algerie-Class.

French Heavy Cruiser Dupleix ( Suffren-Class ) :





The Navy has 7 Light Cruisers and 56 destroyers of various classes. The Navy also possesses 70 submarines.

Navy Minister then proceeded to two capitals ships currently being built in our shipyards. New Richelieu-Class Battleship and Dunkerque-Class Battlecruiser. Richelieu-Class was developed in response to new Italian Battleships of Littorio-Class which were recently laid down.

The Navy Minister requested further investments from the government in order to complete the two ships more quickly.







The Navy command then took the turn and talked about the command structure of the Navy. The Navy consists of three surface fleets and a seperate submarine command. Three surface fleets are two Battle Fleets commanded by Admiral Darlan and one Carrier Fleet commanded by Admiral Esteva.

Admiral Darlan's 1st and 2nd Battle Fleets include all 5 battleships of the Navy and 4 of 7 heavy cruisers. Both Fleets are based in the Mediterranean. The French Naval strategy is to leave small German Navy to the Royal Navy and to use French Navy to deter Italians in the Mediterranean.



Admiral Esteva's 1st Carrier Fleet is based in Dunkirk and include the only aircraft carrier and 1 heavy cruiser.



Finally Head of the Intelligence Agency commented on the resources devoted by Germany and Italy on the construction of new capital ships. According to the data, both powers still don't invest in the naval rearmament heavily.



 
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PART VI : MARCO POLO BRIDGE INCIDENT

June 9, 1937

The Government officially started naval shipyard expansion program. The aim is to increase French shipyard capacity by 40 percent.



July 8, 1937

French economy is certainly not in a good shape. However, one thing is good : French economy is self-sufficient in terms of raw materials. French colonies all across the globe provide all the necessary raw materials upon which a strong industry can be built.

Rubber and tungsten from Indochina and Chromium from New Caledonoia all flow to the port of Toulon in the Mediterranean. It is thus very important for the French Navy to protect merchant shipments in that sea.



Natural rubber was reported in the colony of Madagascar as well. Colonial administration compiled a report to set up plantations and to commence production.

French is exporting excess rubber to Germany and Soviet Union at the moment. Blum Government calculated that further rubber production could be profitable for the Republic and approved the investments in Madagascar.





July 19, 1937

Alarming news reached from the China this morning. Imperial Japanese Army and Chinese Army clashed on the Marco Polo Bridge near the city of Beijing. The event seems to get out of control with Japanese sending thousands of reinforcements and launching a full-scale offensive.

Both British and French governments agree that the Allied powers lack necessary leverage on Japan to force a ceasefire. French Embassies in China and Japan are instructed to send continuos reports about the further developments.



Japanese soldiers advancing towards the frontline :



July 22, 1937

News are grim in Spain. Franco's fascists entered Madrid today. According to the intelligence report submitted to the Blum government, the Republicans will lose the war within a year if nothing dramatic happens on their side.



Fascists entering Madrid :



August 18, 1937

French government continues to expand military production in order to close the gap with German Reich.



August 20, 1937

Ministry of Economics prepared a report showing export-import balance of the French Republic. France currently exports steel to Czechoslovakia and Latvia. Rubber is exported to Soviet Union and Germany. Only oil is imported from the United States.





September 11, 1937

Japan landed divisions in the city of Qingdao and started to apply pressure from the south.



September 18, 1937

French government is heavily investing in the intelligence branch.



September 22, 1937

Today Mussolini declared Italian ambitions along the Adriatic coast and threatened to use force if necessary. Italian aggression carries the risk of dragging France into a war as French government guaranteed the independence of Yugoslavia in 1927 Treaty of Friendship.



November 2, 1937

Republicans continue to lose ground in Spain.



November 11, 1937

The Navy introduced the design of new Joffre-Class aircraft carrier. Compared to Bearn-Class, the ship has more plane capacity, slightly better engine and better air protection. The government decided to build the ship.



January 8, 1938

With Republian defeat is becoming more and more certain, Blum government decided to ban arm purchases from Republican Spain. French government realized that France will have to live with Franco regime in Spain.



January 15, 1938

Japanese are slowly making progress in the Northern China. Fight in China turned into a full-scale war without any declaration of war from both sides.



Februrary 1, 1938

For the first time in many years, French Government decided to expand the Army by 8 new infantry divisions. News of ever increasing size of Wehrmacht is in daily circulation.



Februrary 9, 1938

Germany and Italy signed military alliance agreement named as Pact of Steel. The pact obliged both sides to help each other militarily in the event of a war. This means that France will have to face Germany and Italy together in a possible future war.

Foreign Ministry of France assessed that Italian guarantee of Austrian independence must be null and void by now and Germany should be expected to press for Austrian annexation very soon.



Italian Foreign Minister Count Ciano and German Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop signing the Pact while Hitler sits between them :

 
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PART VII : ANSCHLUSS

March 5, 1938

French scientists developed a new technique to detect enemy aircrafts and ships using radio signals. Prototype of the device is named as "RADAR" and could be deployed on the field if necessary funds are allocated.



March 7, 1938

Franco's troops entered Barcelona, crushing the anarchist militas defending the city. General Franco held a massive parade in the city following its capture.



Franco's victory parade in Barcelona :


March 16, 1938

Blum government decided to take steps to centralize aviation industry and thus to better coordinate plane production.



April 7, 1938

Japanese forces are steadily gaining ground in China. French embassy in Nanjing informed that panic is everywhere in the capital with Japanese forces only hundred kms away.



April 18, 1938

News from Moscow embassy reached that huge number of Red Army officers and some leading party members are being detained. Early assumption is



April 20, 1938

German troops began crossing the border of Austria this morning. Austrian troops show no resistance at all. On the contrary, Austrians are greeting German soldiers with flowers.



April 22, 1938

German Chancellor Hitler announced Anschluss, the peaceful integration of Austria into Germany. PM Leon Blum talked with his British counterpart Neville Chamberlein. Both men agreed upon the unwillingness of French and British public to go to war over Austria, especially after Austrians greeteed German troops with joy.

German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler in a parade in Vienna :



French cabinet convened with the agenda of Austrian annexation. French intelligence estimates that annexation of Austria expanded civilian economy of German Reich by 30 percent and increased their military production capacity by 15 percent.

Intelligence report about the status of German Economy after Anschluss :



Status of French economy for comparison :



PM Blum then requested information about the current strength of Wehrmacht. Head of Intelligence talked about the lack of reliable figures and was only able to give very rough estimation of the number of German divisions.



The cabinet tasked the intelligence with obtaining reliable contacts within the ranks of Wehrmact so that current strength of Wehrmacht could be better predicted.



Lastly, the intelligence provided an up-to-date report on the status of Italian Navy. According to the report, Italians have only 2 active battleships, against 5 battleships of ours, under command of Admiral Darlan. It is estimated that two new battleships will be commissioned by Italian Navy in the next two years.



May 5, 1938

Republican forces are slowly being pushed against their provisional capital in Murcia. Lots of Republican refugees are arriving in France everyday.



Franco's soldiers in a machine gun position :



May 7, 1938

French Intelligence captured a German agent named Hanna Rall. She will be interrogated to learn the exact nature of her objectives.




 
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PART VIII : MUNICH AGREEMENT
May 20, 1938

Following heavy criticism from his coalition members due to his inaction in Spanish Civil War, PM Leon Blum finally resigned. Eduard Daladier, who was already in his cabinet as Minister of National Defense, formed a new cabinet and became new prime minister of French Republic.

The first task of PM Daladier is to increase unity among French people in the time of ever increasing danger from Germany and Italy.



June 8, 1938

Japanese warplanes attacked and sunk US Gunboat Panay anchored in Yangtze river. Japanese claimed that the attack was unintentional and forwarded an official apology to Washington.



USS Panay sinking :




June 10, 1938

General Franco officially declared the end of Spanish Civil War.



Thousands of Spanish refugees marching in France :



July 2, 1938

Today, Hitler gave a speech asserting that Germany could no longer tolerate suppression of 3 million Sudeten Germans. He said, Sudeten Germans have every right to live under the banner of their homeland.

The new crisis is on the horizon. France and Czechoslovakia signed a military alliance pact in 1924 and France is obliged to help Czechoslovakia if she is attacked by Germany.



August 18, 1938

French Government decided to send a military attache to Republic of China. This will help us obtaining military experince fromt the field. Chinese will also benefit from our technical expertise. Japanese are expected to protest our move but it can be endured.



August 22, 1938

Hitler demanded return of Sudetenland to Germany within two weeks or Germany will use force. PM Daladier ordered mobilization of the French Army.

French reservists are gathering in Paris :



August 25, 1938


British PM Neville Chamberlein and French PM Eduard Daladier met to discuss Sudeten Crisis. Chamberlein insisted on France renouncing its military alliance with Czechoslovakia to avoid a general war. Daladier resister British pressure as this would place France in a very disgraceful place.

PM Daladier with Neville Chamberlein :



August 28, 1938

Chamberlein flew Bonn to discuss Sudeten Crisis with Hitler. Hitler presented an ultimatum demanding return of Sudetenland to Germany along with Hungarian and Polish claims on Czechslovak lands being realized.

Hitler greets Chamberlein :



August 29, 1938


Czech leaders rejected German ultimatum. War seems inevitable. PM Daladier convened the cabinet and all military leaders in an urgent meeting. PM Daladier asked General Gamelin how prepared the Army is for the war. General Gamelin replied that the Army is still far from being prepared for a long war and still needs at least a year. General advised to PM to avoid a war if possible. Minister of Economics then began to speak and supported General Gamelin with economic figures and claimed that going to war now would mean economic collapse for France.

August 30, 1938

Italian Dictator Mussolini offered to hold a four-power conference in Munich to settle the issue of Sudetenland. Czech Government was not offered a seat in the conference. French government decided to attend the conference to avoid the war.

September 1, 1938


Munich Conference was held. French PM Daladier and British PM Chamberlein gave in to German demands and agreed to the return of Sudetenland to Germany. France betrayed her alliance with Czechoslovakia but avoided a war, for now.



Chamberlein, Daladier, Hitler, Mussolini and Ciano in Munich :



September 2, 1938


PM Daladier returned to Paris. While expecting a hostile crowd, PM Daladier was surprised by the cheering people.

PM Daladier greeted by the people upon returning from Munich :


September 4, 1938


French Intelligence made contacts with anti-Nazi officers in the Wehrmacht. Now, it is possible to get much more accurate intel about Wehrmacht.



September 5, 1938


A meeting was organized by the Intelligence Agency to share latest intel on the German Army strength. PM Daladier personally attended the meeting as he is now sure that war with Germany is inevitable after Munich fiasco.

Interrogation of captured German agent in Paris and latest intel from anti-Nazi officers within Wehrmacht provided much more accurate figures.

Germany has total of 75 divisions fielded. 64 of those are infantry, 5 mountain, 1 motorized and 3 panzer divisions. Total number of the Wehrmacht personnel is around 830k.




Compared to French Army, total number of divisios are roughly same. French Army consists of 72 divisions. 55 of this are infantry divisions. 23 of our infantry divisions are light infantry divisions without any artillery or engineer companies.

Total number of French Army is around 600k. The discrepancy between our numbers and Wehrmacht should be caused by our light infantry divisions which are only 6-battalion strong.



PM Daladier made the closing remarks in the meeting, talking about the upcoming war with Germany. He demanded another meeting within next month about the command structure and military plans of the Army. He also requested the preparation of new army expansion program.

September 8, 1938


Hungary renounced Treaty of Trianon following Munich Agreement. Post-war status-quo in the Eastern Europe is collapsing quickly.

 

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The world is looking a very dangerous place right now for France.
 

dek55

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I really like your AAR, especually those little details with screenshots on economy, production, world coverage... Keep going.
 

makif130289

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The world is looking a very dangerous place right now for France.
Yes. German production is becoming scary each day. Also, my production efficiency is really low. What i am fearing most is possible loss of air superiority. Without it, it will be very hard to keep Wehrmacht at bay.


I really like your AAR, especually those little details with screenshots on economy, production, world coverage... Keep going.
Thank you for your compliment :) Things will be much more active real soon.
 

makif130289

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PART IX : THE ARMY MEETING
September 24, 1938

French economy is recovering fast. Exports have risen dramatically enabling us to invest even more in the exapnsion of military industries. French steel especially, is highly valued export product.



The intelligence prepared a post-Sudetenland comparative report on the industrial capacities of Germany and France.



German war production is exactly twice as big as that of France. France is recovering fast but still unable to close the gap. It seems that German warplane production increases at an accelerated rate, with more than 40 percent of their capacity invested in plane production.

October 6, 1938

Small arms modernization continues in the French Army. Older Chauchat machine guns are being replaced by Hotchkiss Mle 1914 machine guns. Stoke mortars are also being replaced by locally designed Brandt Mle 1935 mortars.



Motchkiss Mle 1914 machine gun :



French soldiers practicing with a Brandt Mle 1935 mortar.



October 10, 1938

A meeting was held in the Ministry of National Defense, as demanded by the PM Daladier. General Gamelin started by explaining theatres of operations and respective order of battles for the Army.

THEATRE OF OPERATIONS AND OOBs

Main operational areas are divided into five; Maginot Line, Belgium, the Alps and Tunisia.

- Defense of the highly fortified Maginot Line is assigned to 1st Army Group under General Weygand. He commands 1st and 2nd Armies, 1st Army under General Giraud, 2nd Army under General Billotte. Both Armies consists of 6 infantry divisions.



- Italian border is guarded by 3rd Army under General Freydenberg. He has 4 mountain divisions and 2 infantry divisions.



- Italian side of Tunisia is guarded by 7th Army under General Juin. He has 4 infantry divisions currently under his command.



- Benelux region of operations falls under personal command of General Gamelin. General commands 2nd Army Group which has 4th, 5th and 6th Armies under its command. 4th Army is commanded by General de Tassigny, 5th Army is commanded by General Huntziger and 6th Army is commanded by General Olry. All three armies consist of 6 infantry divisions.



- Other than these frontline armies, 1st and 2nd Mechanized Armies consisting of motorized and light armor divisions are kept in reserves. 1st Mechanized Army is commanded by General de Gaulle and 2nd Mechanized Army is commanded by General Leclerc. 1st Mechanized Army has 3 light armor and 4 motorized divisions while 2nd Mechanized Army has 3 light armor and 3 motorized divisions.



DIVISION STRUCTURES

General Gamelin then went on to talk about division structures of the Army.

Division Templates of the French Army :



General Gamelin outlined the Army's plans in the division structures;

Infantry Division :

- To replace artillery company with artillery battlalion as soon as possible.
- Cavalry recon company for each division.
- 25 mm anti-tank gun company for each division.

Motorized Division :

- To add artillery company for each division.

Mountain Division :

- To reduce division size 12 battalions to 9 battalions and then to increase total number of divisions.
- Engineer company for each division.
- Cavalry recon company for each division.
- Artillery and 25 mm anti-tank gun company for each division.

Light Armor Division :

- Add one more armor battalion, making it 5 battalion per division.
- Add motorized artillery battalion.

ARMY EXPANSION PROGRAM

General Gamelin talked about 1939 expansion program of the Army. Main plan is to add 3 more infantry divisions for each army, making all of them 9 divisions strong. This means 21 extra divisions to field. Very ambitious plan for both the Army and the French military industries.


GENERAL STRATEGY

General Gamelin finally proceeded to the Army's general strategy in the case of war with Italy and Germany.

Maginot Line :

+ 1st Army Group under General Weygand will defend the fortifications. If the German Armies are forced into a two-front war, offensive opportunities will be evaluated.

+ After French preparations are complete and British Expeditionary Force arrives, Big offensive will be launched into the heart of German Reich.

Benelux Region :

+ 2nd Army Group will be positioned along Belgium and Luxemburg border. In the case of German aggression towards these countries, 2nd Army Group will quickly pour into these countries and form a defensive front line.

- 1st and 2nd Mechanized Armies will quickly react to face any German armoured incursions.

Italian Border :

+ 3rd Army will hold the Italians in the mountains.

Tunisia :

+ 7th Army will invade Libya from Tunisia, coordinating with British Forces in Egypt. After the collapse of Italian Libya, preparations will be made to land at Sicily.

PM Daladier thanked General Gamelin and requested the same strategy meetings to be arranged for the Airforce and the Navy in the following months.

October 17, 1938


British Government once again returned to the policy of Continental Commitment and tied her security with that of France. French and British Governments renewed their military alliance in the face of increasing German aggression.

For the first time since the Great War, French and British generals will begin conducting mutual staff meetings.



October 20, 1938


Daladier Government is taking extra steps to increase productivity in the French economy.



October 25, 1938


Japanese are near the capital city of Nanjing for several weeks but were unable to capture the city so far. French embassy there was already evacuated.



December 21, 1938


The government approved the sale of 25 old Bloch MB.200 bombers to Yugoslavia for a good price.



Bloch MB.200 Bomber :



January 12, 1939

French Army changed artillery company to artillery battalion for each infantry division as planned. This means 36 pieces of artillery for each division, instead of 12 pieces before.



January 29, 1939

Warlord of Shanxi, Yan Xishan surrendered its army to the Japanese forces.

 

stnylan

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Ultiumately one cannot worry about the Far East right now - there are graver matters to attend to right at home.
 

Bullfilter

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+ After French preparations are complete and British Expeditionary Force arrives, Big offensive will be launched into the heart of German Reich.
A bold plan! Let’s hope it works.

+ 7th Army will invade Libya from Tunisia, coordinating with British Forces in Egypt. After the collapse of Italian Libya, preparations will be made to land at Sicily.
A good plan too - hope the continent can hold to allow it to happen.

French and British Governments renewed their military alliance in the face of increasing German aggression.
Excellent.

I found the walk-through of army reorganisation and expansion plans very useful.
 

makif130289

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PART X : END OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA
February 5, 1939

New medium tank AMC 35, developed by Renault, is approved for mass production.



AMC 35 tank is expected to replace FCM 36 tank which was under production for the last 2.5 years. 70 percent of the tanks deployed in the 1st and 2nd Mechanized Armies are of FCM 36 model. AMC 35 has stronger armor and much more powerful main armament compared to FCM 36.



The government ordered diversion of all tank production to new AMC 35 model. Small volume of FCM 36 production will still continue though, mostly to replenish deployed units.

FMC 36 amd AMC 35 tanks :




February 15, 1939

Chinese capital Nanjing fell into the Japanese hands. News of unspeakable atrocities by the Japanese Army are spreading.



Japanese Victory March in Nanjing :


February 17, 1939

The Navy introduced new class of destroyers today. The new class has better engine and improved air protection and depth charges. Hydrophone station was integrated to the destroyer for better submarine detection. Another innovation is the mechanical fire control computer which enables more efficient and simultaneous use of all guns.



February 19, 1939

Battlecruiser Dunkerque was commissioned today in an official ceremony.



Fast Battlecruiser Dunkerque :



The Navy decided not to attach Dunkerque to Admiral Darlan's 1st and 2nd Battle Fleets in the Med. Dunkerque will be held as reserve and will be possibly used in a fast raider formation in the future.

The Navy decided to use shipyards that became available after Dunkerque, for building couple of 1939-Class destroyers.



March 25, 1939

Czechoslovakia became a federal republic consisting of Bohemia-Moravia, Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine following Munich Agreement. Jozef Tizo, who was elected Prime Minister of Slovak Autonomous Region was deposed several days ago by the Czech troops.

Our agents in Berlin reported that Jozef Tizo appeared in Berlin today and met with German dictator.

Jozef Tizo with Hitler :



April 1, 1939

Jozef Tizo, apparently under German instructions, declared Slovak independence today. Mobilization of both German and Czech troops are reported. German state press is also reporting that Slovaks request help from German Reich against Czech intimidation.

French Cabinet held a meeting over German ambitions. PM Daladier told that France should be prepared to resist Germany in the case of invasion of Czechoslovakia. He also shared that the British Government advised Czech President Emil Hacha to meet with Hitler.

April 3, 1939

Czechoslovakian President Hacha arrived at Berlin and met with Hitler.

German Dictator with Emil Hacha :



April 4, 1939

Czechoslovak President apparently gave in to German ultimatum under threats of imminent invasion. President Hacha's message was broadcasted in Radio Prague :

“After a long conversation with the Reichschancellor,and after considering the situation, I have decided to place forthwith the fate of the Czech nation and state, with full confidence, into the hands of the Führer of the German nation.”

German troops are reported to be entering into Czechoslovakia without any resistance. French Government consulted with the British Government on the issue. According to the both governments, the Allied Powers don't have any obligation to help Czechoslovakia as its government

April 5, 1939

Germans completed their invasion of Bohemia and Moravia. Slovakia is declared an independent nation under protection of Germany.

Hitler appeared in Prague Castle and declared Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Emil Hacha is said to continue as President of the Protectorate while Hitler is expected to appoint a Reich Protector.



Hitler at Prague Castle :


 
Last edited:

stnylan

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Will you do a recap of what you have available when the war starts?