The Principles of War Podcast
Battle of FrancePodcast

65 – Battle of France 1940

This Battle of France 1940 podcast episode starts a new major series for the Principles of War.

The German Army’s tanks were outnumbered 1.7:1 and most of their tanks were inferior to the French and British armour, and yet the French were defeated extremely quickly. How was this possible?  What were the preconditions that enabled it and how was the German plan developed?

The Battle of France has a series of lessons for modern military professionals:

  • The conduct of the manouvrist approach
  • Readiness, especially strategic and the development of the Territorial Army
  • The psyschological impact of armour and it’s shock action at an operational level
  • Coalition warfighting
  • The development of docrine during a period of significant technoligical advancement (air and armour)
  • Mission Command in the German Army, especially Heinz Guderian’s application of aufstragstaktik
  • Centre of Gravity analysis

We will delve into the development of the Manstein Plan and the reward that Manstein received for conceiving of the plan that delivered the “absolute miracle” of defeating France in 46 days, a task that Germany had been unable to achieve in 4 years of war in  World War 1.

We will use the lens of the 10 Principles of War to unravel the myths and mysteries of the Battle of France and delve into the lessons for the tactical, operational and strategic learnt and how they apply to todays environment.

Thank you to the British Army’s Lessons Exploitation Centre for the assistance with getting the resources for this podcast series.

The Battle of France 1940 podcast series will look at all of these lessons and more, so stay tuned for more episodes as they come out.

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Battle of Stonne
The Battle of Stonne – one of the fiercest battles of the whole of the France Campaign, with the village changing hands 17 times between the French and Germans.

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