WHAT IF QUESTION? Allied advance on Berlin


Every time i get to the topic of the German invasion of France 1940; I always wonder “what if” or “why” to this:

Instead of retreating from Northern France/Belgium only to get surrounded at Dunkirk, WHY don’t the allies slice through Germany and head straight to Berlin? I know they would be leaving all of France unprotected, but they ultimately end up losing France anyway. Maybe upon seeing the allies going on the attack, the Germans retreat to save Berlin. The writing’s on the wall for the French as soon as they committed to defending a repeat of the Schliefen Plan, so what else do they have to lose? I would like to know what community thinks.


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The Allied forces in northern France and Belgium who are north of the breakthrough at Sedan were also attacked by German Forces, an entire army group dedicated to taking the Netherlands and drawing the Allied troops into Belgium. If you watch the two most recent videos of Second World War you see Indy lay out in detail the success the Germans had in the Netherlands and Belgium, compelling Allied forces to deploy as per their pre-war plan. Everything appeared to be going as expected.

Doubtful that the Allied forces in Belgium and northern France would make any headway against the Germans before the forces that punched through the Ardennes had outflanked them and were surrounding them from behind. And to be frank, “what else do they have to lose?”, hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers and equipment in a futile attempt to smash through an entire German army group whilst your supplies and reserves are cut by enemy forces who are now turning North to crush you between themselves and their fellow soldiers in Belgium. Any such attempt would be a massive waste of men’s lives.


The allies were already stretching their logistical chain close to its breaking point by moving the majority of their armoured and motorized forces on short notice as far as the Dyle Canal, so turning that pell-mell advance into an actual offensive against significant opposition an order of magnitude further east was not a viable plan. While the British army was largely motorized, the logistical support was still based on the idea of limited advances with organized pauses for resupply and re-organization, not Liddell-Hart or Manstein-Guderian-Rommel style sweeping attacks.