• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

H.Appleby

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"Où est la masse de manoeuvre?"
 

Henry v. Keiper

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I've just now read this from the beginning, and now that I've come to this moment, I'm excited to see what happens! While the German invasion definitely was no cake walk, here's hoping that they can be stopped at the border of France.
 

Bullfilter

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Comments up to 16 March 1940 (can’t keep pace with the update speed) :)
PM Daladier gave orders to General Gamelin for proceeding acccording to the military plans. PM immediately telephoned Belgian PM. However, Belgian PM still resists French deployment until Germans fire first.
Following OTL pretty much to now.

Germans invade the Netherlands. Belgium is still neutral and resisting French entry into its soil. General Olry stopped his march towards Luxemburg.
Darn, they’re goners now.

Grave news arrived in the evening, Italians are preparing to declare war on France and Britain. Lots of troop movements along the Italian border are observed.
Damn Fascist stab in the back.

1st Army Group of Gamelin began to march towards Belgium.
Not sure if it’s worth it.

Italians launched offensives across the border. 3rd Army is heavily outnumbered.
Dangerous - a thin border force here can be fatal.

Our defenses along the Tunisian borders are being overwhelmed.
So much for that bold offensive plan!

French Army decided to withdraw from the Netherlands as German thrust in the Ardennes region carries the risk of threatening French rear.
Again, much eerie familiarity here.

Situation in the Italian front is somewhat stabilized. Italians are about to break our positions at two locations but reinforcements from 6th and 8th Armies have already arrived.
This could get nasty - even if you can hold, that’s troops you need in the north.

Will progressively catch up with the rest. Don’t feel you need to respond to these points in detail. I was just grabbing snippets as I went as they struck me as interesting. ;) Good job with this.
 

makif130289

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Belgium lost to the hun but not for want of French valour and élan. Now you are fighting on home soil remember men of France, not one step back (oops wrong front :p)!
Yeah but bad thing is that there is no natural defense until Seine.

The Battle of Belgium is over.

It is now time to reap the whirlwind of Versailles. It does not look good - those equipment losses are ugly and the Luftwaffe can overwhelm the French airforce given half a chance.
Their airforce is really devastating. I could have kept my positions in Belgium much longer if only i could have stopped their dive bombers. I need breathing time but there is none.

"Où est la masse de manoeuvre?"
“Aucune!” :)

I've just now read this from the beginning, and now that I've come to this moment, I'm excited to see what happens! While the German invasion definitely was no cake walk, here's hoping that they can be stopped at the border of France.


Comments up to 16 March 1940 (can’t keep pace with the update speed) :)Following OTL pretty much to now.

Darn, they’re goners now.

Damn Fascist stab in the back.

Not sure if it’s worth it.

Dangerous - a thin border force here can be fatal.

So much for that bold offensive plan!

Again, much eerie familiarity here.

This could get nasty - even if you can hold, that’s troops you need in the north.

Will progressively catch up with the rest. Don’t feel you need to respond to these points in detail. I was just grabbing snippets as I went as they struck me as interesting. ;) Good job with this.
Things develop real fast and i take notes while i am playing, so these are essentially my inner voice at these exact moments :)

I was busy at work today. I will play a little bit today and will try to make an at least one update.
 

makif130289

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PART XIX : BATTLE OF FRANCE


Churchill briefing King George VI on the Battle of France



April 9, 1940

Desperate for more reinforcements, The HQ decided to deploy three more undertrained divisions to the field.



April 10, 1940


The front is finally quiet, even if it is for several hours. Newly deployed three infantry divisions are being rushed to the front by General Gamelin.



Battle of Nice is developing against our favor. Light infantry divisions from Marseille and Toulon are called to the front to check Italian offensive.



April 11, 1940


The Intelligence compiled estimated manpower losses for France, Germany and Italy. According to the report, one month of fight costed Germans around 140k men. France lost total of 70k men to stop German and Italian offensives.



Germans are testing our defenses in Lille. The city was already evacuated by the civilians.



Current strength of 2nd Army Group which is responsible for the defense of Northwestern France, is 26 infantry divisions. 2nd Army Group is supported by 1st Mechanized Army ( 3 motorized, 3 light armor divisions) and 2nd Mechanized Army ( 5 motorized, 3 light armor, 1 armor divisions)



April 12, 1940


Germans are trying to create a hole in the front to the south of Lille. Battle of Lille intensifies with the arrival of more German troops.



Luftwaffe is yet to start air operations in the French airspace. So far, our undisturbed bombers are helping our troops greatly.



April 13, 1940


Situation as of April 13. General de Gaulle sent a motorized and a light armor divisions behind frontline to secure withdrawal routes in the case of German breakthrough.



General Georges is trying to hold in the South with his 3rd Army Group. 3rd Army Group consists of 24 divisions; 14 infantry, 4 mountain and 6 light infantry divisions.



Light infantry divisions responsible for coastal defenses are rushed to the front due to lack of sufficient full infantry divisions to cover Italian front. Light infantry divisions don't have any artillery support.



April 14, 1940


Effect of our bombers is especially visible in the Battle of Western Metz.



April 15, 1940


The situation in Nice is stabilized but Italians threaten two breakthroughs in the northern sector of the front.



April 16, 1940


Italians arrived near our defensive positions in Tunisia.



In Eastern Libya, The British Army is making a slow progress.



April 17, 1940


The situation in the south of Lille is becoming critical, despite our heavy aeiral support.



April 19, 1940

Italian Armies are trying to advance under heavy bombardment of Royal Air Force. The British air support is crucial in checking Italian offensives.



April 21, 1940


The situation in the south of Lille becomes critical. Germans could overrun French defenses anytime soon. In the headquarters, there are very heated debates over what to do if Germans breach a hole in the south of Lille. General Weygand recommends setting up a new defensive position withdrawing from Lille and Dunkerque. General Gamelin doesn't want to withdraw from Lille and wants to hold the front together as it is, even if it becomes stretched in the northern sector. PM Daladier is in favor of General Gamelin's plan because he believes that leaving French cities into German hands without a fight would be viewed as a weakness by the French nation.



April 22, 1940

Italians retook air superiority in the Southern France and send hundreds of dive bombers to support their invasion.



April 23, 1940


Chinese government surrendered to the Empire of Japan. Japanese installed a puppet regime led by Wang Jingwei in China.



April 24, 1940


Germans breached a hole to the south of Lille. General de Tassigny launched an immediate counter-offensive to drive the Germans back.



April 25, 1940


de Tassigny's offensive was brought to an halt with the arrival of fresh German panzer formations.



Lutfwaffe started air operations in the French airspace. Air battles rage to obtain air superiority.




General Georges is still holding Italian Armies at bay.



April 26, 1940


Paris ordered 7th Army in Tunisia to withdraw to mainland France. Italians outnumber 7th Army greatly and putting any meaningful resistance is deemed futile by the HQ.



French Army is bravely defending the city of Lille. German troops are opened fire from every building in the city.



Knocked out German panzer in the streets of Lille :



The military intelligence compiled a new report showing casualties since the beginning of Battle of France. According to the report, Germans were inflicted 67k and Italians 50k casualties in the last two weeks while French Army lost 67k men.



With German troops only a couple of hundreds of kilometres away from Paris, fateful battles all along the front are being fought.
 

stnylan

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These developments are not good.
 

Cromwell

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Things are getting a little tight. Do you think it might have been prudent to relocate the 7th army earlier? I hope Paris will be defended with the same vigour that Lille's garrison is displaying. A repreat of the Franco-Prusssian war is unthinkable! Never say die!
 

Bullfilter

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OK, all caught up again. It remains a wild ride! Some thoughts along the way (matching the diary style you are using, which is pretty much the way I do my AARs as well :)):
7th Army in Tunisia is under heavy pressure. General Juin decided to form a newer defensive line in the north.
Their situation looks perilous: a question, do you rely on the AI for detailed divisional placing, or do you micro each division, or some divisions, yourself?

April 1, 1940

Alarming news reached to Paris. Our frontlines in Belgium are crumbling. General Gamelin informed PM Daladier that they may have to retreat from Belgium to form a new defensive line on France.
More parallel to OTL. Oh for an extended Maginot Line!

General de Gaulle's 1st Mechanized Army is defeated and is in full retreat towards Sedan.
Damn - that may have torn it.

Germans entered Kortrjik. Rear of French-Belgian forces in Brussels is in danger. General Gamelin ordered a general retreat towards France to prevent encirclement.
Best to do it now than suffer being cut off and pocketed.

Leopold III announced Belgian capitulation. Battle of Belgium ends. Battle of France begins.
Alas. There may be a slight pause in tempo, but the Germans will keep squeezing once they are organised. They will take higher casualties in the offence without encirclements, but that may not be enough to save the day in the end. For the battle, if not the war.

Desperate for more reinforcements, The HQ decided to deploy three more undertrained divisions to the field.
Necessary, but shows how difficult things are getting.

Paris ordered 7th Army in Tunisia to withdraw to mainland France. Italians outnumber 7th Army greatly and putting any meaningful resistance is deemed futile by the HQ.
Sad but necessary. Hope the Italian Navy doesn’t intercept them on the way back.

With China falling and France in peril, the evil tide is rising around the world. Vive le France!
 

makif130289

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These developments are not good.
Certainly not :)

Things are getting a little tight. Do you think it might have been prudent to relocate the 7th army earlier? I hope Paris will be defended with the same vigour that Lille's garrison is displaying. A repreat of the Franco-Prusssian war is unthinkable! Never say die!
Yeah, thought about that. My plan was to tie as many as Italian troops there, to put up a stiff resistance and to hold on until the British overrun them in the Eastern Libya, and then finally to collect spoils around Tripoli. This actually worked ( AI brought quite a number of divisions ) and the British Army was advancing, but unfortunately, TOO SLOWLY. I hoped for Italian collapse in the east but didn't happen so far. Now i will use 3 divisions of 7th Army to reinforce Italian fron along the border.

OK, all caught up again. It remains a wild ride! Some thoughts along the way (matching the diary style you are using, which is pretty much the way I do my AARs as well :)):
Their situation looks perilous: a question, do you rely on the AI for detailed divisional placing, or do you micro each division, or some divisions, yourself?

More parallel to OTL. Oh for an extended Maginot Line!

Damn - that may have torn it.

Best to do it now than suffer being cut off and pocketed.

Alas. There may be a slight pause in tempo, but the Germans will keep squeezing once they are organised. They will take higher casualties in the offence without encirclements, but that may not be enough to save the day in the end. For the battle, if not the war.

Necessary, but shows how difficult things are getting.

Sad but necessary. Hope the Italian Navy doesn’t intercept them on the way back.

With China falling and France in peril, the evil tide is rising around the world. Vive le France!
I give command of pure infantry armies to AI ( other than minor touches here and there). For defensive battles, i use "fallback line" instead of "front line". "Front line" casues lots of exhaustive unintended attacks if you are constantly being pushed back. So, i use "fall back" line in the main sector against Germans but "front line" in the Maginot Line or Italian Front where things are more balanced.

As for motorized-mechanized-armor divisions, i group them in seperate "mechanized army" formations and directly control them. I use them to create breakthroughs, to launch counter-offensives, to fill the gaps in the front and to reinforce critical defensive positions.

I am guarding the Western Mediterranean with 1st Battle Fleet under Darlan. I expect no problems during journey back to home, but who knows.
 

Bullfilter

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I give command of pure infantry armies to AI ( other than minor touches here and there). For defensive battles, i use "fallback line" instead of "front line". "Front line" casues lots of exhaustive unintended attacks if you are constantly being pushed back. So, i use "fall back" line in the main sector against Germans but "front line" in the Maginot Line or Italian Front where things are more balanced.

As for motorized-mechanized-armor divisions, i group them in seperate "mechanized army" formations and directly control them. I use them to create breakthroughs, to launch counter-offensives, to fill the gaps in the front and to reinforce critical defensive positions.
Thanks, that's really helpful! I'm far more familiar with HOI3 than 4, but am gradually learning it. That is very practical advice, especially when playing a larger power where micro-managing can be laborious (and make it too hard for the poor AI, which usually needs all the help it can get in most games).
 

Henry v. Keiper

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At the very least, a delaying battle on the ground can buy time until German attentions are brought elsewhere in Europe, right?
 

makif130289

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PART XX : BATTLE OF FRANCE II


April 27, 1940

PM Daladier phoned British PM Churchill and demanded rifles, artillery guns and trucks for the French Army.



Churchill replied that British Army is also short on trucks and artillery pieces but promised to send infantry rifles as soon as possible.



As expected, Germans launched a flanking offensive to the south of Lille. Threat of enemy splitting our forces into two is looming.



Italians are attacking Corsica. Admiral Darlan is moving to the Tyrrhenian Sea to help the garrison on the island.




April 28, 1940

General Gamelin is finally convinced to set up a new defensive perimeter behind Somme river. It is assumed by the HQ that delay of few days could cause the loss of entire forces near the Channel. Troops in Lille still continue to resist. The aim is to wear down the Germans as much as possible in a bloody urban warfare.



Italian front is stable, despite enemy aerial support.



The British Army is advancing in Italian Libya. French HQ hopes that collapse of Italians in the Eastern Libya will also result in the recapture of French Tunisia.



April 30, 1940

Lille was overwhelmed with the enemy attacking from three sides. French Army is now retreating from the city.



May 2, 1940


General Juin's 7th Army arrived at Marseille. He was ordered to regroup at Paris.



Air battles over Northern France is very costly for French Air Force. French and British pilots report that new German Fw 190 fighters are much better than their planes.

French fighter losses : 62
German fighter losses : 27



Morane-Saulnier began manufacturing slightly improved version of M.S.406 fighter plane. New version carries a better gun at the cost of a little bit agility.



Germans launched offensives all across the Maginot Line. Our troops are heavily outnumbered but still putting up a very stiff resistance.



May 3, 1940


Germans are trying to rip apart new defensive line currently being formed by General Gamelin. With the fall of Lille, panic peaks in Paris.



May 5, 1940

Germans are pushing through with heavy support from Stuka bombers.



May 6, 1940

General Gamelin rearranged the defensive line a little bit to the south after Germans wedged a gap in the previous line. French Army is quickly drifting towards a point where a further withdrawal will mean a total collapse of the front. Further withdrawal near Sedan would mean flanking of Maginot Line.

Despair takes over in the French Government. PM Daladier asked General Gamelin if French Army will be able to stop German offensive. General Gamelin replied that "In the current intensity, enemy seems unstoppable. But they are losing huge amount of men and equipment. We have to hope that their offensive will lose its steam. After that, we can reorganize and launch some counter-offensives."



May 8, 1940

As expected, Germans are forcing through Sedan. General de Gaulle is currently holding his ground.



May 9, 1940

Germans are continuously pushing through. The hope that German assault slowing down is getting dimmer and dimmer.



May 10, 1940

It seems that General Georges' 3rd Army Group achieved to contain Italian offensive.



May 11, 1940

Somme river presents very good natural defense for the northern tip of General Gamelin's defensive line.



The British Army entered Tobruk and is pressing towards the West.



With the participation of Italian fighters, Germans obtained air supremacy over Northern France. Enemy bombers are decimating French divisions.

French fighter losses : 128
German fighter losses : 43



May 12, 1940

United States offered us to lend-lease 11 P-40 fighters per month. Considering that French MS.406 (A) production is 38 units per month, this corresponds to roughly 30 percent of French production.

PM Daladier thanked President Roosevelt and happily accepted US proposal.



May 14, 1940

French Army retreated from Sedan. As of May 14, The front seems a little bit stabilized. German offensives against Maginot Line were defeated and no dangerous German breakthroughs in the North developed in the past two days.



Loss of equipment is, however, becoming critical. Shortage of rifles, artillery guns, trucks and fighter planes are increasing with each day. Delivery of 2900 British rifles is expected to happen two weeks later.



German casualties since the beginning of Western Offensive reached to 300k men. Italians lost another 300k men in the Alpine offensives and in the Battles of Eastern Libya. French losses are around 120k men in total.

 

stnylan

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The casualty ratio isn't bad - but the equipment situation is looking increasingly dire.

Eleven fighters a month - is not going to be all that useful though beggars can't be choosers.
 

Cromwell

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Those rifles and mustangs will be very welcome. Of course divisions and airwings would be a bigger help.

It's a shame the Germans lost so few men taking the Netherlands, even little Denmark put up stiffer resistance.

Axis casualties are far higher already than they were historically for the battle of France (according to my very quick bit of reading online) so you have already improved on France's performance in our timeline at least.

Who knows, maybe there will be a miricale on the Seine. :cool:
 

makif130289

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PART XXI : BATTLE OF PARIS


May 15, 1940

French Government ordered 9 light infantry divisions responsible for coastal defenses of mainland France to to take defensive positions along the Seine River and Paris. French HQ evaluates that both Italy and Germany don't pose a risk of naval landings and thus decided to use light infantry divisions to bolster the defenses of Paris.



Intelligence reports that Italians are pulling most of their troops from the Alpine Front. It is considered that Italians are gathering forces to match British offense in the Eastern Libya.

General Georges informed Paris that he could launch successful counter-attacks to reclaim captured territories. The HQ refused his offer due to worrying shortages of rifles and artillery guns. Instead, The HQ evaluates shifting 6-infantry divisions to the Northern Front. General Gamelin, commander in-chief of the French Army, decided to wait for few days more to see if Italian withdrawal is genuine.




General Gamelin's 2nd Army Group currently consists of 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th Armies. These four armies include 30 infantry divisions and 3 light infantry divisions, amounting to 320k men. 1st and 2nd Mechanized Armies are still in the same strength, albeit having severe shortage of trucks.

9 light infantry divisions of mainland garrison army will also go under direct command of General Gamelin, after they set up defensive positions around the Seine.



May 17, 1940


Germans are yet creating another hole near Reims with the heavy support of dive bombers. With Paris dangerously close to the fronline, French Government decided to relocate to Bordeaux.

Having been sure of Italian withdrawal, General Gamelin ordered 6 divisions from 6th Army in Italian Front to join 2nd Army Group.



May 18, 1940

General Gamelin decided to leave Reims and to set up a new defensive perimeter behind the Seine.



May 19, 1940


Italians are trying to stop British offensive in Libya.



Italian forces entered Tunisia and Algeria unopposed.



May 20, 1940

Air battles as May 20.

French fighter losses : 210
German fighter losses : 74



May 21, 1940

Germans are very close to Paris. 6 divisions from Italian Front are reorganized as 9th Army and joined 2nd Army Group of General Gamelin.




General Gamelin informed PM Daladier that Paris soon will become a battlefield and government shold decide what to do with the city. PM Daladier convened war cabinet in his new office in Bordeaux and consulted with them. The PM declared his intention to defend Paris at all costs, even if it causes huge amount of destruction. The cabinet voted in favor of PM Daladier's proposal. Paris will be defended to the last.

Meanwhile, French officials are burning all official papers in Paris. Civilians are already fleeing the city.

May 22, 1940

German thrust to the east of Paris becomes very dangerous. A gap in the frontline was opened. General Gamelin, Weygand and Georges flew to Bordeaux in the night to attend a parliament session. General Gamelin told that he will try to contain German offensive behind the Seine but if Germans manage to break French lines there too, then the collapse of the front will be inevitable. General Gamelin stressed that in such a situation, political leadership should find a way to end hostilities.



May 23, 1940

General Gamelin's final line of defense across the Seine :



French Carrier Joffre was commissioned in the midst of Battle of France. The Carrier is operational but short of fighter planes.



May 24, 1940

Germans are trying to cross the Seine. Battle of Paris begins.

PM Daladier phoned British PM Churchill today. Daladier told Churchill that French Army reached to the last line of defense and may collapse if Germans cross the Seine. PM Daladier told Churchill that he wants to continue the fight but pro-armistice party is gaining an upper hand and he may soon find himself resigning.



May 26, 1940

Germans are forcing the Seine in the further east, after failing in the first effort two days ago.

In the north, French Army is in full withdrawal towards the Seine, leaving Dieppe, Amiens, Rouen and Le Havre to Germans.





May 28, 1940

French Army is trying to hold the last line of defense. Battle of Paris continues with heavy enemy losses.



May 30, 1940

Dangerous gap is developing to the west of Metz. British PM Churchill flew to Bordeaux to meet with PM Daladier. British PM found French morale very low. PM Daladier informed Churchill that France may soon find itself incapable of carrying on the fight.



June 1, 1940

Germans created a dangerous bulge near Metz. French Army in the Maginot Line may be flanked in the Germans are not stopped.



June 2, 1940

Battle of Paris continues.



June 4, 1940

French Army launched a counter-offensive to recapture German foothold across the Seine river.



June 5, 1940

French resistance in Paris is crumbling under heavy air bombardment. de Tassigny's counter-offensive in the east is not going well either.


 

stnylan

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The grim news just keeps on coming.
 

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It would be nice if the British Empire would stop commiting troops to pushing on an open door in North Africa and send a couple of corps to save the main front of the war!
 

Bullfilter

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Ah, the bold plans for counter-offensives in Benelux and Africa are burning to ashes, along with the rest of the Government files in Paris. :( Looks like plans for Free France and the fate of the French Fleet are now the big question. If the rivers and flank of the Maginot Line cannot be held, then all is lost.
 

makif130289

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PART XXII : ARMISTICE OF COMPIEGNE


Wehrmacht in Paris
June 6, 1940

The situation in Paris is grim. PM Daladier phoned Churchill;

"We have been defeated... we are beaten; we have lost the battle.... Paris is falling into the enemy hands"




June 7, 1940

Wehrmacht reached Troyes. A French division surrendered to Germans in the city. General Gamelin phoned PM Daladier and told him that further fighting is meaningless.



June 8, 1940

Paris has fallen. PM Daladier resigned after pro-armistice party led by Marshal Petain gained an upper hand in the government. President Lebrun appointed Marshal Petain to form a new cabinet.



German Army entering into Paris :



June 15, 1940

New government led by Marshal Petain entered into secret negotiations with German Reich to sign an armistice.

June 20, 1940

Today, French delegation led by General Huntziger signed an armistice with Germany near Compiegne. Germans prepared the same railway car where German armistice was signed in 1918 as a place of second armistice to take revenge.



According to the terms of the armistice;

- German Army will occupy all French coastline across the Channel and the Atlantic until the conclusion of the war with Britain. ( which is expected to happed by the French government soon )

- France will cover the expenses of German occupation forces.

- France will retain its navy and colonial possessions.



General Huntziger signing the armistice :



June 21, 1940


Just a day before the signing of the armistice, General de Gaulle got on a British plane and flew to London. General de Gaulle met with PM Churchill and decided to go on the fight.
 

makif130289

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The grim news just keeps on coming.
It would be nice if the British Empire would stop commiting troops to pushing on an open door in North Africa and send a couple of corps to save the main front of the war!
Certainly. That bad thing is that only faction leader can request expeditionary forces in HOI IV. If i had 20 or so British divisions, everything could have been different.

Ah, the bold plans for counter-offensives in Benelux and Africa are burning to ashes, along with the rest of the Government files in Paris. :( Looks like plans for Free France and the fate of the French Fleet are now the big question. If the rivers and flank of the Maginot Line cannot be held, then all is lost.
Yeah. If this was my second French game, i could have performed much better. Still i think i put up a strong resistance, it took around 3,5 months for Germans to take Paris. And the only reason i was overrun was because of devastating air superiority of Luftwaffe.

My army was still intact and i could have fought for another month or so but i decided to take the historical course. Let's see how this evolves.

Remember to check the latest update :) I posted it right after you posted your comment.