Marshal Petain & The Orleans
Regime, Part Four by Raymond Speer
says: what if Marshall Petain continued the fight from Orleans? muses
Raymond Speer. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
|Drang Nach Osten
||The Year 1941
On January 22nd,there
was a formal surrender of the Libyan port of Tobruk by its Italian garrison.
The victors, Giraud's mostly native Army of Algeria and some recently
arrived Australians by way of Egypt, had beseiged the city for two days.
Italian Field Marshal Rodolfo Graziani is falling back on Tripoli, Italy's
last possession in Libya, since the Italians also lost Benghazi to Alexander
Wavell. Within a month, two German divisions are expected to be off loaded
at Tripoli (one armored, one motorized) under the command of Erwin Rommel.
Meanwhile the front lines curling around Orleans have gone static over the
Christmas Season of 1940. British and French military intelligence confirm
that the Germans have been raiding their resources in France and seem to
have abandoned expectations of a collapse of French resistance.
A popular poster shows teenaged Joan of Arc looking with admiration towards
Marshal Petain. The caption is ORLEANS RESISTS but wags say the picture
shows the luck of an old man.
Far to the East, in a forest project for East Prussian oaks, Adolf Hitler
has spent most of his time recently anticipating War on his East Front.
Hitler and his generals surveyed the new set up of divisions, tanks and
warplanes that the Reds were amassing.
"In Kursk, Zhukov has assembled an attack in a hundred and fifty divisions
that is to go west and into Romania, aimed at our Ploestii oil.
Simultaneusly, we believe that the Russians will roll north of the
swamplands and onto the Polish plains."
"How big do you suppose their Northern offensive to be?" asked Adolf
"They will strip bare all their resources back to Moscow," said the briefer.
"We suppose a minimum of sixty divisions and with seventy divisions in
reserve around Bryansk."
"And their parachute capacity?"
"Mein Fuhrer, the Soviets are organizing a corps of parachutists and
training them in Kharkov and further east so we cannot observe them that
closely. The obvious use for those men is an airborne surprise landing the
first day directly on Ploesti.."
Hitller peered at Poland and Galacia. "We must not lose Ploesti. The loss of
that oil will bring our motorized divisions and Luftwaffe to a halt."
There was a round table discussion as to when Stalin might decide to set his
offensive. The earliest date would be in mid-March 1941 with the optimum day
being in May 1941. "They could lauch their attack as late as the fall."
"We might face diversionary attacks from the South, from the Yugoslavs and
the Greeks. Both of those petty nations and Bulgaria have been arrogant
ever since Italy embaressed itself by threatening them just before the
Italians lost their Libyan colony."
Hitler grimly nodded at his briefer. Hitler then turned to his right had
side and asked Foreign Minister Ribbentrop what news he had from Pierre
" Laval says that Petain would want to take Libya from Italy so that France
holds all of North Africa except Egypt. Syria, of course, remains a French
possession. Moreover, Italy all the way to Milan should be ceded to France
at least for ten or twenty years."
Hitler waved his hand. "What will they do for us?"
"Laval says that Petain will order the arrest of Marshal Charles de Gaulle
and his insiders. All of France must be evacuated immediately by us and we
will pay France an indemnty of a hundred billion gold francs."
"And what of Poland?" Hitler asked.
"Laval says that the size of Poland and the nature of its government can be
decided by further negotiation."
"Interesting, perhaps tempting," said Hitler.
says this is my fourth installment in my Marshal Petain & The Orleans
Other Contemporary Stories
Raymond Speer, Guest Historian of
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