Allied contigency plans

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.
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Allied contigency plans

Post by Freiritter » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:41 pm

Was there ever any contigency plans by the British or the French to counter any resurgence of German hostility? Also, what was the combat potential of the Reichswehr in case of this occuring?

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Post by sid guttridge » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:03 am

Hi Freiritter,

The French had a plan to occupy the Saarland with three divisions and a cavalry brigade, but this became redundant when the Saarland voted to rejoin Germany in 1935.

During the 1930s the French had a series of plans (Plan C, Plan D and Plan E) to re-enter the Rhineland.

Plan D, which came into force in 1932, slightly before Hitler came to power, was for the reoccupation of the Rhineland if Germany tried to remilitarise the Rhineland Demilitarised Zone. It was not implemented when Hitler actually did remilitarise the Rhineland on 7 March 1936.

Plan D was superceded by Plan E. This had similar objectives but required much larger forces to counter the growth of the German Army. It was still in force at the outbreak of war.

The only part of these plans ever to be implemented was the brief Sarre (Saar) offensive of September 1939. This cost the French about 1,000 casualties and never even reached the Siegfried Line. It was a token gesture to fulfil a French commitment to Poland to attack in its support. The five or so miles gained had no tactical value and was later evacuated.

The evolving French military situation in the 1930s is very poorly covered, even in French. If anyone has any good French book titles on the subject I would be delighted to learn details.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Post by sid guttridge » Tue Feb 03, 2004 9:06 am

P.S.

The Reichswehr totalled 100,000 men and was organised in seven infantry and three cavalry divisions. It was forbidden military aircraft, tanks and heavy artillery.

Sid.

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Post by Freiritter » Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:52 pm

Alright, but, was it possible for the Reichswehr to repulse a Franco-British reoccupation of the Rhineland. But, since the Western Allies ( Not counting the U.S., ) had a marked superiority in artillery, armor and aircraft and that the Reichswehr would've been in a very bad spot. An aside, did the Reichswehr have any plans to counter any French/British hostilities? Unlikely as it was, due to the strong pacifist sentiments of the time.

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:17 am

Hi Freiritter,

In practical terms, the Reichswehr not only couldn't have repulsed a French assualt on the Rhineland, but it could probably not have held the Poles or Czechoslovaks either.

The Versailles Treaty allowed the Reichswehr seven infantry division and three cavalry divisions, with limited weaponry and no armour or air support. It was allowed no conscription and so could build up no reserves. It was also not allowed to build fortifications. Finally, it was not allowed any troops in the Rhineland, and so could not offer resistance there anyway.

The French Army was organised in 20 active infantry divisions. They could duplicate to produce another 20 infantry divisions of recently trained conscripts and triplicate to produce a further 20 divisions of older reservists within a fortnight. There were in addition various cavalry divisions and colonial divisions. If fully mobilised the French could field about 90 divisions, with armoured and air support. The biggest group of French active divisions were in north-eastern France and could enter the Rhineland as fast as the Reichswehr.

However good the Reichswehr's manpower was qualtatively, sheer weight of numbers would almost certainly have quickly ground it down.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Post by PaulJ » Wed Apr 28, 2004 7:06 pm

Let's not forget that the French actually did occupy the Ruhr and a number of German coal mines.

Quick, when was that? I'm stepping out of my area and can't recall the details off the top of my head.

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Post by Dackel Staffel » Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:27 pm

Hi,

It was in 1923. France and Belgium had occupied the Ruhr area because Germany didn't paid its "war reparations".It was the time when the german currency was worth nearly nothing. Just an example, the frenchs had executed a german called Leo Schlageter. His name will be given to a jagdgeschwader : the JG 26.

So long.
All we need it's a Dackel in each pocket

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:35 am

sid guttridge wrote:Hi Freiritter,

In practical terms, the Reichswehr not only couldn't have repulsed a French assualt on the Rhineland, but it could probably not have held the Poles or Czechoslovaks either.

The Versailles Treaty allowed the Reichswehr seven infantry division and three cavalry divisions, with limited weaponry and no armour or air support. It was allowed no conscription and so could build up no reserves. It was also not allowed to build fortifications. Finally, it was not allowed any troops in the Rhineland, and so could not offer resistance there anyway.

The French Army was organised in 20 active infantry divisions. They could duplicate to produce another 20 infantry divisions of recently trained conscripts and triplicate to produce a further 20 divisions of older reservists within a fortnight. There were in addition various cavalry divisions and colonial divisions. If fully mobilised the French could field about 90 divisions, with armoured and air support. The biggest group of French active divisions were in north-eastern France and could enter the Rhineland as fast as the Reichswehr.

However good the Reichswehr's manpower was qualtatively, sheer weight of numbers would almost certainly have quickly ground it down.

Cheers,

Sid.
remember that every Reichswehr soldier was trained as an NCO, so if before Hitler came to power there was war, the government would definetly break the Versailles treaty, and would therefore have a good army, with 100000 NCOs and officers. Could hold of the French for quite a while, and that time could be used to build even more divisions. possible victory for Germany, if it bleeds the Allied Armies dry. just my 2 cents... :D

helmut

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Post by sid guttridge » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:09 am

Hi HvM.,

See my posts above.

There was no practical possibility of the Reichswehr ever holding the French. It was far too small and under equipped. It also had very few reserves of armed men for quick expansion. It was only in 1936-37 that the renamed Wehrmacht began to become competitive with the French. See Hitler's remarks about how lucky he was that the French did not react when he remilitarised the Rhineland in March 1936.

Cheers,

Sid.

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:56 am

sid guttridge wrote:Hi HvM.,

See my posts above.

There was no practical possibility of the Reichswehr ever holding the French. It was far too small and under equipped. It also had very few reserves of armed men for quick expansion. It was only in 1936-37 that the renamed Wehrmacht began to become competitive with the French. See Hitler's remarks about how lucky he was that the French did not react when he remilitarised the Rhineland in March 1936.

Cheers,

Sid.
hi, you might be right about the Reichwehr being too small, but Germany could find tons of enthusiastic patriotic youngsters who would join some kind of militia or Freikorps (Germany could reuse the Freikorps), with tens of thousands of men forimg a human barrier in the Rhineland, with the Reichswehr being used as a fire brigade in critical points. just my 2 cents.... :D

helmut

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:23 am

Hi HvM,

You can imagine the massacre if that had occurred.

In 1914 the Germans had enlisted an entire corps of undertrained student volunteers and threw them against the very heavily outnumbered British Army at Ypres. They were slaughtered. This was known as the "Kindermord". What you propose would almost certainly have similar consequences.

The bottom line is that there few infantry weapons for anyone beyond the Reichswehr and almost no heavy weapons to support them. What is more, the Reichwehr itself was not equipped to modern standards of the time. No medium or heavy artillery, no tanks, no aircraft..............

Cheers,

Sid.

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:32 am

sid guttridge wrote:Hi HvM,

You can imagine the massacre if that had occurred.

In 1914 the Germans had enlisted an entire corps of undertrained student volunteers and threw them against the very heavily outnumbered British Army at Ypres. They were slaughtered. This was known as the "Kindermord". What you propose would almost certainly have similar consequences.

The bottom line is that there few infantry weapons for anyone beyond the Reichswehr and almost no heavy weapons to support them. What is more, the Reichwehr itself was not equipped to modern standards of the time. No medium or heavy artillery, no tanks, no aircraft..............

Cheers,

Sid.
hi, they would not attack in large offensives for the reasons said above by you, but instead would defend, and they would be very brave probably, like those 1914 students who charged into death defiantly singing "Deutschland uber alles", at the Battle of Langemarck. No doubt that this bravery would be encourage to be copied in event of this war. just my 2 cents... :D

helmut

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Post by sid guttridge » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:59 am

Hi HvM,

Their fate would almost inevitably be identical if they tried to oppose a formal invasion. If you are after a heroic gesture, then by all means throw untrained, under equipped youths in front of artillery, tanks and aircraft. For myself, I have no time for expending useful lives in futile gestures.

As I mentioned before, the key opinion here is Hitler's. Even he admitted that if his bluff had been called during the remilitarisation of the Rhineland in March 1936 he was finished. At that time the new German Army already had about three times as many divisions as the Reichswehr had had.

Cheers,

Sid.

Torquez

Post by Torquez » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:49 am

like those 1914 students who charged into death defiantly singing "Deutschland uber alles", at the Battle of Langemarck.
Are those the same who later runed away from Poles in 1919 in Poznań ?

Helmut Von Moltke

Post by Helmut Von Moltke » Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:55 am

Torquez wrote:
like those 1914 students who charged into death defiantly singing "Deutschland uber alles", at the Battle of Langemarck.
Are those the same who later runed away from Poles in 1919 in Poznań ?
hi, I don't really know about Freikorps combat against Poles in 1919, but considering what these youngsters, if they survived, had been through the horros of the trenches, I wouldn't say so. :[]

helmut

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