The Saar offensive (1939)

All aspects including lead-in to hostilities and results.

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Depth Charge
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The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Depth Charge » 3 days 16 hours ago (Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:07 am)

I would like to discuss and unearth as much detail as possible about the French 'Saar Offensive' in September 1939. This was a planned invasion of Germany, months before the German invasion of France.

It appears that this has been airbrushed from conventional western history and if mentioned at all, is covered with sophism, with words such as 'offensive' (an appeal to a description of the tactical, rather than strategical). But this operation was comprised of 40+ divisions. To compare, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 with 2 divisions.

This does not include probable supplementary forces such as Polish formations to the west (18+ divisions) and the creeping British Expeditionary Force (10+ divisions?).

The French crossed the German border with 30 out of their 40 divisions and entered a quagmire of minefields and mission creep. This was an invasion, by anyone's standards. And I wouldn't even call it a cancellation, rather a temporary retreat.

With that it mind, the German response is completely logical by today's 'western standards', i.e. regime change in a hostile state...

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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Sannhet » 2 days 10 hours ago (Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:27 pm)

From Wikipedia:
The pre-emptive mobilization was started in France on 26 August and on 1 September, full mobilization was declared.

French mobilization suffered from an inherently out of date system, which greatly affected their ability to swiftly deploy their forces on the field.[4] The French command still believed in the tactics of World War I, which relied heavily on stationary artillery
Timeline, from tidbits from Wiki:

August 1939: Talks over Danzig break down between Germany and Poland
August 26: France mobilizes to invade Saarland (!)
August 31, evening: Himmler stages "false flag" provocation on Polish-German border.
September 1, pre-dawn: German assault on Poland begins.
September 1: France fully mobilizes to invade Saarland.
September 3: France declares war on Germany.
September 7: "Eleven French divisions, part of the Second Army Group, advance along a 32 km (20 mi) line near Saarbrücken, against weak German opposition." In the next days the French advance eight kilometers and "capture about 12 towns and villages."
September 8: First German armored unit reaches outskirts of Warsaw.
September 12: "[T]he Anglo French Supreme War Council gather[s] for the first time at Abbeville in France. It [is] decided that all offensive actions were to be halted immediately."
September 13: German forces begin assault on Lvov, Poland.
September 17: Soviet Union invades eastern Poland.
September 19: German forces have full control over western Poland; Warsaw is encircled; the Polish government has fled and ordered the Polish Army remnants to break contact and flee to Romania (around 15% of pre-war Polish Army troop strength, 150,000 men, escape Poland and fight on with France and Britain)
September 21: "General Maurice Gamelin order[s] French units to return to their starting positions on the Maginot Line."

There is something odd with this timeline, in that France mobilized to invade Saarland six days before the invasion of Poland... :? There are various possible way to interpret this...

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