Why are jump points never heavily defended?

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Primate said:
I was under the impression that both the spitfire and hurricane were gravity fed and not fuel injected ( unless I am mixing up two different things ).

No, you're right. British pilots were at a distinct disadvantage in combat with the 109s because of the lack of fuel injection - they'd have to roll over and dive in order to get things working right again.


French Tactics

While no one can argue that the defeat of France and the Low Countries in six weeks was a spectacular victory for Germany and an equally spectacular defeat for the Allies, Allied tactics, especially in the later half of the battle were not WWI style.

After the French General Gamelin was relieved of command, General Weygand replaced him and began formulating the correct strategy for dealing with the German invasion.
1. Allied forces north and south of the German Panzer corridors should make converging attacks against them, 2. A defensive line running across northern France and joining the Maginot line was to be held in a "checkerboard" pattern with "hedgehogs" (strongly defended natural positions with a concentration of anti-tank weapons and infantry and to continue fighting if bypassed).

The first plan is the correct response to any armoured breakthrough but the means were lacking. The British lacked sufficient armour, having only one division in their whole army, to give it sufficient weight. The French, except in two notable occassions, were unable to mass sufficient armour to give their attack any momentuem, and in one occassion, their armour failed to exploit their local success.

The second plan is also correct to counter armoured forces with mostly infantry. The problem is for it to work with a decent rate of success depends on the quality of the defending infantry. Unfortnately for the French their units were of mixed morale and elan. Another serious impediement was their material weakness and the fact that the French had no reserves and no method of rapidly pulling troops from the Maginot Line to the Weygand Line to give it defensive depth.

The Allied command wasn't blind to the advances since WWII. What they had failed to realize was to how greatly the Germans had modernized their warfighting capacity and incorporated new tactics into their doctrine. Only the Panzer formations (Panzergrenadier formations not being created till later) had the ability to move any more rapidly than the infantry. For the most part both armies in France in 1940 were largely roadbound infantry moving over the same country and roads as they had in 1914.