MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 10/21/2017 10:07:40 AM
 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
AuthorMessage
BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3313

French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/26/2017 6:13:42 AM
 A contemporary look at the French defense challenges in 1936, written by a French general. (Article is in English). His assessment of German activity and intent was accurate.

[Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/26/2017 9:04:17 PM

Quote:
Having recovered her lost provinces in 1918, and already possessing a sufficient colonial domain, France has no further territorial ambitions either in Europe or abroad.


Oh how easy it is to forget the Saar (that plebiscite shocked the French) or the Rhineland or the Levant or French Cameroun or French Togoland.

In the 1920s and 1930s, the French expanded their control beyond the three coastal departments over the inland tribes occupying well over half the land of Algeria. They also transferred the Saoura valley and Tindouf from the Protectorate of Morocco to Algeria considered an integrated part of France.

Without going beyond the first paragraph, I have reasons to be leery of the paper.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/26/2017 9:34:30 PM

Quote:
In 1935, France had to maintain an overseas army (armée d'outre-mer) of 210,000 effectives in North Africa, Syria and the colonies; at home she had only 320,000 men under arms.


The US Army, in contrast, in 1935, had a maximum authorized strength of 2,000 commissioned officers and 125,000 enlisted men, plus about 7,000 Philippine Scouts. The US Army was well under authorized strength. Germany was limited to 100,000.

It isn't all that clear why France needed such a large force. The French Foreign Legion grew after World War 1, recruiting large numbers of German and Russia veterans for the deserts of Africa.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/26/2017 10:20:42 PM
I am appreciating this article, published as it was a month before the remilitarization of the Rhineland and about a year after German began serious rearmament.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3313

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/27/2017 1:27:01 AM
Without going beyond the first paragraph, I have reasons to be leery of the paper.

Mike,

 No doubt. It is a document written at the time of the events described, by a French general. I would be surprised were the author to take anything but an approach supporting France and its foreign and military policies of the time.

 It is interesting in that it is a French view written in English. Much French writing about the Second World War has never been translated into English and is consequently largely unknown in the Anglophone world.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/27/2017 6:19:55 PM
Yes, it is interesting. Of course it is a US journal it is published in.

I have tried to learn more about General René Tournès. For somebody who wrote a number of lengthy works, I have found little about his bio.

His maximum rank was Général de brigade.

There was a commandant of the 3rd Bataillon de Chasseurs d'Pied at Verdun in 1916. He is the author of an infantry tactics study in 1907. He wrote works in 1920, 1922, 1925, 1931, and 1936. In 1925 he is listed as a colonel and in 1931 and 1936 as a general. All these were lengthy books. And he wrote the article in Foreign Affairs Magazine in 1936.

Much of the article reminds me of articles about the rapid growth of Russian and Chinese militaries particularly in the lack of precision and assumptions made. However, Germany was arming quickly (as were both France and the UK) in 1936. He mentions 1500 front line German aircraft but France had 2000 and the RAF 1500 then.

Watching the rapid military growth in Germany, where the 7 infantry divisions each became corps and their 21 infantry regiments became 21 divisions at this time.

He does make a very interesting drop in conscripts because of the 5 years of lower birthrates--something all countries in Europe had because of WW1. I have long argued that WW2 began as countries in Europe were coming out of this decline. It was interesting to see it used in 1936 as a problem France faced. I did find it interesting to France falling below 240,000 1-year conscripts but falling fast would be to go to 110,000 a year of 2-year conscripts. That seems like the wrong way to solve the problem, especially wth his estimate of a peace time German Army of 700,000. While it would allow transit of the five year drop by maintain 220,000 conscripts it would substantially reduce the available reserves in the future.

What he didn't mention was that 11 years of about 240,000 conscript meant France had first line reserve of over 2 million. Germany, which had been limited to 4000 officers and 96,000 enlisted with terms of 12 years, meant virtually no first line reserves. Versailles had forbidden Germany from that. France would have had a lot more 2nd line reserves. Both countries would have a considerable number of 3rd line reserves potentially available most of whom would be WW1 veterans.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3313

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/28/2017 2:37:05 PM
 Not sure about the numbers, but I think it worth mentioning that much German military leadership potential was kept 'on reserve' ... in the ranks of police units that had more in common with infantry units than with everyday enforcement of the law. Of course, as one of the victors of the first war, France had no need to resort to such subterfuge ... until the armistice of 1940. Perhaps predictably, when the Soviets began the organization of East German military forces after 1945, the first ones out of the chute were paramilitary police units in the manner of the Weimar-era "police" units that kept military leaders within easy "mobilization reach" of the state authorities.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Markus Becker
Westphalia, Germany
top 60
E-3 Private First Class


Posts: 44

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 6/30/2017 7:19:14 AM

Quote:
What he didn't mention was that 11 years of about 240,000 conscript meant France had first line reserve of over 2 million. Germany, which had been limited to 4000 officers and 96,000 enlisted with terms of 12 years, meant virtually no first line reserves.


So the 320k soldiers were just the ones in active service at the time. Another advantage of the French were their stocks of WW1 arms, once again something Germany didn't have, leaving it outnumbered and outgunned.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3313

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 7/6/2017 2:35:48 PM

Quote:
I have tried to learn more about General René Tournès. For somebody who wrote a number of lengthy works, I have found little about his bio.

His maximum rank was Général de brigade.

There was a commandant of the 3rd Bataillon de Chasseurs d'Pied at Verdun in 1916. He is the author of an infantry tactics study in 1907. He wrote works in 1920, 1922, 1925, 1931, and 1936. In 1925 he is listed as a colonel and in 1931 and 1936 as a general. All these were lengthy books. And he wrote the article in Foreign Affairs Magazine in 1936.


--Mike Johnson


Mike,

 Was told the following on a French forum re: service of General Tournès. Though in French, it is fairly easy to understand.


Quote:
Le Général TOURNES, René, né le 06 février 1876 à Châteaudun, date de rentrée en service 28-10-1893, officier d'infanterie origine Ecole de Saint-Cyr, breveté, Officier de la Légion d'Honneur au 28-12-1924. Sous-Lieutenant 01-10-1896, Lieutenant 01-10-1898, Capitaine 25-09-1909, Chef de bataillon 05-05-1915, Lieutenant-Colonel 19-04-1918, Colonel 25-12-1923, Général de Brigade 17-03-1930.


Il passe en 2ème section le 01-12-1930.


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 492

Re: French Army in 1936
Posted on: 7/6/2017 5:44:46 PM
Thank you.

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
 Forum Ads from Google