Following the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany having lost its colonies and vast territories in Europe, raw materials were sorely lacking.
Of the 30 materials necessary for the manufacture of weapons, the Reich possessed only seven in sufficient quantity, while nickel, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum, chromium, beryllium, platinum and bauxite were completely lacking.
There was also a monthly shortage of 600,000 tons of steel, which in December 1939 led General of the Infantry Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, Chief of the Logistics Section of the Wehrmacht General Staff, to write a memorandum specifying that No attack on the Franco-Belgian fortified front would have the slightest chance of success before the spring of 1942.
Here is what Mr. Tooze writes on this delicate subject: “The production of ammunition for the infantry plummeted. The manufacture of mortar bombs ceased altogether in the spring of 1939. The production of artillery shells continued but without copper guide strips.
And ammunition production was not the only one affected.
The shortage of structural steel was such by the end of 1939 that 300 infantry battalions had no proper barracks or garages. The German army had taken on such dimensions that it could no longer be accommodated except under tents. In July 1939, the cuts even affected the army’s weapons programs.
Original plans for 1939 – 1940 called for the production of 61,000 Model 34 machine guns, the new light machine gun that was to give infantry squadrons their basic firepower. After the reduction of the army’s steel quota, this target was reduced to only 13,000.
Similarly, targets for the 10.5 cm light field howitzer, the centerpiece of the German artillery, were reduced from 840 to 460. Production of the classic 98K infantry carbine was to cease completely from in the fall of 1939.
Perhaps most spectacular in the light of subsequent events was the tank program which planned to produce 1200 main battle tanks between October 1939 and October 1940 and which was then cut in half. A total of 34 of the 105 wartime divisions would be severely under-equipped. Of the replacement units responsible for training new recruits, only 10% had weapons. (-)
The Wehrmacht’s ammunition stocks only covered 14 days of intense fighting. The Luftwaffe was similarly affected.
In contrast to the expansive visions of 1938, 1939 was a year of reversal. (-) The 1939-1940 targets were gradually reduced, as was the range of aircraft included in the plans. (-) From January 1939, Plan 10 reduced the target to 8,299. Developed in July 1939, Plan 12 further reduced it by 20% for all aircraft other than the JU 88. In order to preserve the latter program , Plan 12 envisioned the accelerated phase-out of older designs like the JU 87 Stuka. »
And this catastrophic situation at the beginning of 1939 was to deteriorate further: “Instead of an ‘ideal’ maximum of 375 million cartridges of infantry ammunition per month, the allocation of raw materials, starting in July 1939, would allow production of less than 37 million. Instead of 650,000 3.7 cm anti-tank rounds per month, German industry would produce only 39,000. Instead of 450,000 shells per month for light howitzers, 56,300.
The graph (-) which was presented to Hitler in July 1939 shows that if the production of armament had reached a maximum peak of 80 in March 1939, it had fallen back to 15 in July and that there would be no possibility to increase it in view of the current state of the supply of raw materials and in view of the finances of the State.
Germany therefore produced practically no more weapons from July 1939 and would no longer have the means to produce them for a very long time. She is bankrupt. And Hitler knows it perfectly. (-)
Between September 1939 and January 1940, after a first recovery from the trough reached in the summer of 1939, German ammunition production stagnated. The situation in the Luftwaffe sectors, where the severe cuts of the summer of 1939 soon showed their full effect, was even worse. »
End quote (Tooze The Wages of Destruction Pages 304, 305, 314, 341)
According to Colonel Goutard: “To this was added in the aeronautical industry a complete ignorance of the most elementary rules of national production, writes Colonel Werner Baumbach. One could have imagined that under a controlled production regime, each company was specialized: Messerschmitt building fighters, Junkers heavy bombers, Heinkel medium bombers, etc. However, each manufacturer made it a point of honor to appear in all the compartments! Messerschmitt built both fighters, “giant” transport planes, reconnaissance aircraft, bombers, gliders etc….
At Junkers, the dispersion was even scarier! The effort was spread over multiple models: 17 types and three variants for 1939! And Goutard concludes: If errors were made in the French production, they were largely compensated by the errors of the German production! »
End of quote (Colonel Goutard The war of lost opportunities page 63)
So the question is: How could this legend of the superiority of the German army have endured for so long?
The official nonsense based on the statements of the generals responsible for the defeat
To find out, let’s turn to the artisans of the fable, those who founded official history by writing the score from which historians had to tune their pens.
I am quoting here General Georges, No. 2 in the French army, in charge of the North-East front in May 1940, but also, as we will see, the main architect of the betrayal.
In his preface to the book of “Memories” of General Roton, his chief of staff, he states: “I have said it and confirm it: Germany had in 1940 a large superiority in armored division and an even more overwhelming superiority in aviation (hunting and above all bombardment). In order to respond to this, it would have been necessary to have the same means available. But we were poor in armored formations, poorer still in aviation. Moreover, the absence of reserve armored equipment, the performance of our manufactures, insufficient from the start and gradually reduced as the invasion progressed, deprived us of essential spare parts due to wear and tear. quickly from our own armored formations. So that, each day, their power was decreasing, while the Germans, well provided with replacement material, could maintain in battle their ten “Panzers”, constantly replenished. »
End of quote (Preface from General Georges to General Roton Crucial Years page XI)
So much for the authorized version, which postulates the weakness of the French armament, with regard to the “Kolossale” German power, going so far as to claim that the German equipment was constantly renewed, whereas the French could not replenish theirs. . Which, according to the records we know of and the most recent studies, is the exact opposite of the truth!!
However, how can we imagine that General Georges, commander-in-chief on the North-East Front, or Roton his chief of staff, did not know perfectly the exact count of their troops and their weapons, just like that of their adversary?
Real figures yet accessible from 1956
To answer General Georges, Colonel Goutard went up to the battlements: “But what do we know about this enemy army? One of the most curious characteristics of the memoirs of our generals and of the reports of official or conformist historians is the ignorance in which they leave us of the real situation, material and moral, of the German army in 1939 and 1940. As it has conquered us, they present it to us as a formidable and irresistible instrument. »
End of quote (Goutard The war of lost opportunities page 12)
Then he gives us in 1956 a state of the French armament, very comparable to that which we finally admitted, confirming to us that the French army had largely caught up:
“The “four-year plan” and its addenda were to make it possible to create two armored divisions and a third light mechanical division, to increase the number of motorized divisions to 10 and the number of independent tank battalions to 54. (-) However, the following quantities left production before the end of May 1940:
Heavy tanks B: 387 For a program of 396.
Medium tanks D: 260 (not included in the 1936 program).
Light tanks (R, H, or FCM): 2791 For 2430 planned.
Canon of 25: 6000 Made according to the direction of the manufactures,
4558 according to Gamelin.
6200 according to program management
Canon de 47: 1280 initial program of 612, increased in 1937 to 2160.
Mortars of 81: 5000 for a program of 4800.
Mortars of 60: 5000 according to General Gamelin.
6200 according to the manufacturing department
For an initial program of 4000, increased in 1939 to 6000.
Caterpillar: 4300 according to General Gamelin.
6000 according to the manufacturing department
For a program of 5000.
End of quote (Goutard, The War of Lost Opportunities pages 48, 49 and 50)
Figures to which may be added 3,500 Citroën-Kégresse half-tracked vehicles, 2,500 wheeled Laffly tractors, 500 Lorraine infantry tankettes. That’s a total of more than 12,500 specialized vehicles.
Thus, as Colonel Alerme, despite being a collaborationist and declared supporter of the Marshal, confirms: “The combatants of 14-18 had ended the war with means that outweighed those of their adversaries. However, in the fall of 1939, our army still possessed these means, perfected, modernized, for a large part, also multiplied. The corps of troops, the arsenals, the magazines and the depots had an armament which amounted to more than four hundred billions. (-) It cannot be claimed that we were poorly armed”.
End of quote (Colonel Alerme The military causes of our defeat)
This rearmament effort had been carried out by the socialist government under the presidency of Édouard Daladier who, with the help of his Minister of Armaments Raoul Dautry, organized and rationalized production by nationalizing certain companies, by building up large stocks of materials strategic raw materials, by modernizing tools and decentralizing production sites outside foreseeable combat zones. This allowed a rapid doubling of production capacity.
As for the comparative quality of these materials
Concerning the tanks, let us take again the demonstrations of Mrs. Frieser and Lormier.
In their respective presentations we note without surprise that the German specialist will find more qualities in the French tanks, in particular in terms of shielding and armament, in order to question the supremacy of the Panzers, while Mr. Lormier will estimate the German armored , faster and more lively in manoeuvre, less fuel-hungry, in order to highlight the courage and quality of the French crews.
These are the normal reflexes of authors. There is nothing surprising or open to criticism in this way of dealing with the subject because, in the end, these historians are honest and perfectly in agreement in recognizing that the Somua and the French B and B1 tanks were superior to the best German tanks, that only the 75mm guns of the Panzer IVs had a chance of penetrating their armour, while the French 47mm gun could pierce all those of the Panzers.
Remember that the Panzer IV, the most powerful German tank, had 30 mm armor, while that of the French B tank was 60 mm and that of the British infantry tank Matilda, was 80 mm.
Which situates the problem, because if the 400 French Somua tanks equipped with a sloped armor of approximately 50 mm in cast iron of high quality and specially profiled to make ricochet the shells were, according to Mr. Lormier “considered as the best armored vehicle of this beginning of world war, (-) perfect compromise between firepower, speed, autonomy and protection. It outperforms its German opponents in many ways,” and while the B1 heavy tanks were practically invulnerable, they will bizarrely run out of fuel in the middle of the fighting when, by some extraordinary measure, we manage to get them to line up.
This we will see in detail, when studying the various acts of the battle.
In the meantime, let’s see what the German tanks were really worth: The Panzer 1, originally a training vehicle, was only armed with two machine guns. The Panzer 2, armed with a weak 20 mm cannon, was clearly insufficient even against the Allied armored cars.
These two light models represented almost two thirds of the Panzers during the Battle of France.
In the range of medium and heavy tanks, the Panzer III and the two Czech models were only equipped with a weak 37 mm gun, and although many models had been transformed and armed with a long gun, the Panzer IV, yet considered to be at the cutting edge of German technology, in its original version only carried a short 75mm gun and therefore had very limited accuracy and range.
According to Dominique Lormier, it was only effective against the French D2, Somua S35 and B1bis tanks, but had to approach as close as possible to the enemy tanks to have a chance of hitting them and even at this distance, had only little hope of piercing the armor of Allied heavy tanks.
General Halder, speaking of his Panzers, judges them thus:
– Pz I: only good against a weak and demoralized enemy.
– Pz II: slightly better, not good against tanks.
– Pz III: good against enemy tanks. The effect of his weapons is weak. Same remark against enemy infantry.
– Pz IV: good against enemy tanks. Good effect of his weapons also against enemy infantry. »
In conclusion, the great mass of the German light tanks Type: Pz I and II, were completely ineffective against the allied tanks and even against their armored cars, more strongly armored and more mobile.
Thus, to estimate the forces in presence, it is enough to regulate the problem of the number of tanks P 1 and P2 put in line.
For example, Mr. van den Bergh, counted 2389. Then added 429 Pz III, 296 Pz IV and 391 Czech tanks, and there the figures correspond to those of Frieser or Wikipedia.
And that is the main thing, since these 1,116 heavy and medium Panzers will be the only ones capable of combat against the 735 French heavy and medium tanks of the Somua and B1 type, and the 1,400 Renault R 35 and R 39 tanks.
Or a balance of power more than double for the allies!
We can therefore estimate, as all historians have agreed today, that the fight was rarely unequal because of the quality, or the quantity of the material.
I am therefore in a position to cite here some figures given by Mr. Karl Heintz Frieser (The Myth of the Blitzkrieg: pages 51 to 53 and 59 to 64) around which there finally seems to be a consensus, since they are used both by the English and the Germans: (Jacobsen, Fall Gelb- page 258 – 259; Umbreit: The Battle for hegemony » page 279), and even the Canadians like Benoit Lemay, or the Frenchman Dominique Lormier, who almost manage to agree on the essentials.
Regarding the number of divisions:
For the Germans: 135 divisions, including 42 very poorly equipped and trained reserve divisions. Note that at the start of the campaign only 93 divisions took part in the assault.
For the French: 104 divisions, including 11 reserve divisions.
For the British: 13 divisions, three of which were not complete, but to which should be added two other divisions, including the first armored, which will be brought to the front during the battle.
To these Franco-British divisions must also be added 22 Belgian and 10 Dutch divisions.
That is to say on May 10, 1940, a total of 135 German divisions, against 151 allied divisions.
For the Germans: 7,378 guns
For the French: 10,700
For the British: 1,280
For Belgians: 1,338
For the Dutch: 656
That is a total of 7,378 German guns against 14,000 for the allies.
For the Germans: 2,439 tanks
For the French: 3,250 tanks out of a total of 4,111 without counting the 250 stationed in the colonies.
For the British: 310 tanks on May 10, to which must be added the 330 tanks of the first armored division which will land by the end of May. That is a total of 640 tanks
For the Belgians: 270 tanks
For the Dutch: about 40 tanks
That is a total of 2,439 German tanks against the 4,204 Allied tanks.
In reality, if the Allied tanks were destroyed en masse, it was essentially: Either because they were not supplied with gasoline, or because they were hit by German bombers, in particular the Stukas.
And the question arises: Why did the Panzers not have to suffer the same attacks? Bringing an unambiguous answer: Simply because the French planes were not there.
While in reality, again, there were more of them…
According to the official version, the German supremacy in the air was due to a lack of aircraft on the Allied side, as well as the obsolescence of the equipment and the inexperience of the pilots.
So let’s first consider the total number of aircraft each country had, then those that will actually be engaged during the battle:
For Germany: 3,864 combat aircraft in total.
Of these: 2,756 only ready to intervene.
But of this figure we must remove those who were in line in Norway, so there are 2,589 planes left for the French front.
For France: 3,562 combat aircraft in total (2,402 fighter aircraft and 1,160 bombers) to which must be added 1,464 reconnaissance aircraft, therefore a total of 5,026 aircraft.
Among these: 879 only ready to intervene on the North-East front.
For Great Britain: 1150 combat aircraft in total
Among these: 384 stationed on the French front. Other responders as needed from UK bases.
For the Belgians: 140 combat aircraft in total.
Among them: 118 ready to intervene
For the Dutch: 82 combat aircraft in total.
Among these: 72 ready to intervene.
That is a total of 2,589 German planes engaged on the front, against only 1,455 Allied planes.
These are technically comparable aircraft.
Here we see that the advertised German supremacy is in effect in the air on May 10, but considering the figures for the total forces available, the Allies had far more aircraft at their disposal. In particular more than 5,000 for France. And of course, we will wonder where they went…
Excerpts from Volume No. 1 of the Great Lie of the 20th Century Series: French Military Treason. – 80 years of state lies.
 Werner Baumbach: Zu spät! Richard Pflaum Verlag, Munich. At the end of the war, Colonel Baumbach commanded all of the German bombing aviation.
 See volumes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Le Forum des historiens en colère - Tous droits réservés