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 » 1 week 2 days 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 » 1 week 18 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French mobilization suffered from an inherently out of date system, which greatly affected their ability to swiftly deploy their forces on the field.[4] The French command still believed in the tactics of World War I,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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Depth Charge
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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Depth Charge » 5 days 2 hours ago (Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:15 am)

August 31, evening: Himmler stages "false flag" provocation on Polish-German border.


Of course, Gleiwitz was not a 'false flag'. Border crossing and firing on government buildings, other than Gleiwitz, by Polish commandos, has been confirmed. America and England have invaded other countries for less.

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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Sannhet » 4 days 19 hours ago (Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:09 pm)

Depth Charge wrote:
August 31, evening: Himmler stages "false flag" provocation on Polish-German border.


Of course, Gleiwitz was not a 'false flag'. Border crossing and firing on government buildings, other than Gleiwitz, by Polish commandos, has been confirmed. America and England have invaded other countries for less.

CODOH-Forum thread on the Gleiwitz Incident: viewtopic.php?t=7282

Carlos Porter says:
The "Gleiwitz radio station" was NEVER MENTIONED AT ANY TIME IN 1939. The claim, therefore, is that for six years, nobody knew what the whole war was about, until 1945, when somebody named "Alfred Naujocks" signed an "affidavit" at Nuremberg, and disappeared forever! He never appeared as a witness for cross-examination. It is obvious that this tale was invented to obfuscate or conceal the real causes of the war. Why fake a trivial incident if you're never going to mention it when you go to war? This is a typical example of Nuremberg "evidence".

I see no contradiction between Himmler (or whoever) staging an incident, amid real incidents, to help the path to war.

One way or another, the French mobilization for the Saar Offensive began several days before that, if the above timeline is accurate, which demands an explanation. Who was committed to war and when?

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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Depth Charge » 4 days 15 hours ago (Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:23 pm)

French preparations for war began well before even August 1939. British too. Their military buildup began years earlier for one express purpose. Poland was the naive fall guy, a role they seem keen to flirt with again as of late.

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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Sannhet » 4 days 10 hours ago (Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:25 pm)

Depth Charge wrote:French preparations for war began well before even August 1939. British too.

It might be pointed out, 'German too," and "Soviet too." The only major player not preparing years before August 1939 may be the USA.

It seems like what you are getting at in this thread may be a smaller-scale French version of the Suvorov thesis (claimed by top NS officials themselves, of course, at the postwar trials) that the Soviet Union was preparing a Communist Liberation campaign that was preempted by Barbarossa in June 1941.

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Re: The Saar offensive (1939)

Postby Kingfisher » 16 hours 24 minutes ago (Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:14 pm)

It is not strange that France should have started mobilisation for an invasion of Germany in the final week of 1939, as a German attack on Poland began to appear inevitable, and no doubt the Poles were counting on such a move; they could hardly have thought they could hold off Germany on their own and France and Britain had given them a guarantee, that we now see to have been worthless.

What is puzzling is that this invasion was called off, given that most of the German army and air force were tied up on the Eastern front. These possibilities come to mind:
1. Uncertainty as to whether they had the strength in depth to follow through and to defeat Germany.
2. Uncertainty as to what final outcome they wanted or could reasonably hope to achieve assuming military success.
3. Hope that a phoney war stalemate would provoke regime change in Germany.
4. Did they have advance intelligence of the Soviet invasion of Poland and fear having to confront Germany and the Soviet Union combined?
5: Doubts about Poland's ability to tie down enough forces for long enough in the East.

Whatever their motivation, did they really believe they could fight Germany more successfully alone on a single front than in combination with Poland in a two front war?


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