CNE503 wrote:That's why I compared what can be compared: to the German 29 divisions and whatever the Germans could mustered with their WWI veterans and depleted military stocks and armaments, the French could bring on the battlefield on a one-month-timeframe around 80 divisions with full support (not adding Czech, Polish and Belgian contributions, if any).
I don't see the relevance of this :the comparison of French and German available divisions is overlooking the different missions of both forces : the mission of the WM would be a defensive one,while the French strategy would be an offensive one :chase away the Germans AND remain in Germany :the occupation of the German territories west of the Rhine AND establish garrisons east of the Rhine;this would be the minimum,probably the French would need to go to Berlin and occupy the whole of Germany .(Besides:80 divisions is to high,much to high :the fortress divisions of the ML would be unable to play a role in an offensive) .
There is an interesting comparison with the 2nd Iraq war :the US forces who invaded Iraq were limited to 250000 (if I am not wrong) .Why ? Not because of the strength of the opponent (Iraq) ,but because more was not possible :Rumsfeld said : 250000 men,and you have to do with it .The result was that these 250000 were sufficient to defeat the Iraqi army,but insufficient to occupy and pacify the country .
It was the same for France in 1936:maybe/probably they were strong enough to expel the Germans (although it is questionable,given the small forces who were available for the Saar offensive in 1939) but it was out of the question for France to occupy and pacify the whole of Germany .The occupation of the Ruhr had served as an exemple :when Germany failed to fulfil its obligations from Versailles, France sent 150000 men (not 80 divisions) to occupy the Ruhr (not the whole of Germany),and when Germany promised to behave,the French were going home ,where there was a financial debacle and where government lost the elections .
The same would happen in 1936.France was condemned to cooperate with Germany .