The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Battle of France was won only because of Luftwaffe.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 746 times Debate No: 54084
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




Hey, WorldWar2Debator back again! My new debate is: the Battle of France, in my belief, was won only by the Germans' air superiority.

Anyone join!


I will assume that Pro has the burden of Proof of showing that the battle of France was won only because of the Luftwaffe.

I will start my arguments and rebuttals in the Second Round and write my final conclusions in the third round.
However, it is my firm belief that the Battle of France was actually won by Nazi Germany because of Nazi Germany's superior tactics of Blitzkrieg that overwhelmed the Allied Powers. Air power alone is insufficient to win any battle, and the key to smashing the enemies of Nazi Germany during the battle wasn't the Luftwaffe it was the Motorized Corps (aka the Panzerkorps, from 1941 onward) that won the battle of France.
Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, thank you for accepting.

Secondly, I would like to argue about a battle in Central France. As Guderian's tanks swung up North to trap British Expeditionary and French Armored Forces in Belgium, they were held up by a counter-attack. The French sent their superior in number and ability tanks against the Panzers. Guderian's tanks were being smashed, so Hitler ordered Goering to send the Luftwaffe's Stukas to bomb these French tanks. They were destroyed, simply because of the lack of French Air Corce, which was outnumbered one to three against German fighters. This German victory ensured the surrounding of French and British forces in Belgium, and the victory of the entire battle of France. All because the Stukas bombed those tanks.

Further resistance was useless, as British and French forces only had, at best, machine gunners and snipers, bullets that couldn't penetrate the German armor.

My only source is Apocalypse World War 2 Episode 2 Crushing Defeat.


My opponent I am going to have to call you out on the Causal oversimplification of your argument that because the Luftwaffe destroyed several French Tanks during a skirmish in the battle of France, the Luftwaffe ensured Nazi Germany's victory in France. There is however, little doubt there was some Close Air Support provided by the Luftwaffe, although much of it was focused on maintaining aerial supremacy over occupied lands, with just a mere 15% the Luftwaffe devoted to Close Air Support (Buckley, John (1998). Air Power in the Age of Total War. UCL Press. ISBN 1-85728-589-1.) Meaning that the Panzerkorps had to do the bulk of fighting before the main Wehrmacht could sweep in and finish off resistance.

The bulk of the Allied forces were deployed in the Low Countries (Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg) to the North of France to fight against the Nazis who entered Belgium and the Netherlands. The Allies were also completely taken by surprise when Nazi Germany entered France through the Ardennes bypassing the formidable Maginot line. In addition the entry of the Panzer Korps into France through the Ardennes also allowed the Wehrmacht (Main German Army not to be mistaken with the Waffen SS) to splice through allied supply lines essentially cutting off the the Allied forces in Belgium. In addition to the sudden loss of supplies necessary to maintain a campaign to repel the allied forces as well as a lack of a centralized base to coordinate a successful counterattack, the Allies were forced to make a hasty retreat before they were effectively encircled by the much faster Panzerkorps who had reached Amiens by May 20. Faced with annihilation or fighting another day the British Expeditionary Force sent to aid France had little choice but to make a desperate run for evacuation at Dunkirk.( (

Thus while air support did assist in Blitzkrieg it was by no means a key spear to victory, since that was reserved for the Panzerkorps.
Debate Round No. 2


The British Expeditionary Force and French Armoured Dvisions were clearly superior: you haven't countered my argument about the weaker and less Panzers against the better quality and outnumbering French Tanks.

The Ardennes tactic was used by Erich Von Manstein, and his tactic was unknown to the Allies. Had they simply watched the area, they could've stopped this trap, ordered a counter attack, and disallow German Victory in France. Germany was not yet close to it's peak in army strength: by May 1940, Germany had 40 army divisions: 25 were still in Poland. The French and British heavily outnumbered them. Thus, without air superiority and weight of numbers, Germany would've been crushed and the war would've ended possibly 1941. Vote Pro!


To my opponent, you have not stated in your previous contention about the specifics of why the German tanks were supposedly inferior to French Tanks. In addition you have also contradicted yourself by stating ": you haven't countered my argument about the weaker and less Panzers against the better quality andoutnumbering French Tanks", and "Thus, without air superiority and weight of numbers, Germany would've been crushed and the war would've ended possibly 1941." Furthermore Erich Von Manstein is the brainchild of the iconic Blitzkrieg tactic, used by Nazis in WWII and by other nations after WWII, and was inspired ironically by the theories of French General Charles De Gaulle.

Pro has also failed to address the contention of the Luftwaffe not being designed for Close air support

On the issue of the Panzerkorps defeating the more numerous and supposedly Superior tanks of the French lies in the organization of the Panzer divisions.

  • The German high command integrated highly mobile offensive units, with balanced numbers of well-trained artillery, infantry, engineers and tank formations into Panzerkorps or aka Panzer divisions.
  • The Panzer Korps relied on excellent communication systems which enabled them to break into a position and exploit it before the enemy could react. Panzer divisions could also carry out reconnaissance missions, advance to contact, defend and attack vital positions or weak spots in enemy lines. The ground seized by the Panzerkorps would then be held by infantry and artillery as forward points to coordinate further attacks on the enemy. While I must reluctantly concede that German tanks were not designed for tank-versus-tank combat, they could take enemy ground and then proceed to lure enemy tanks into the Panzer Division's anti-tank lines. This allowed the Panzerkorps to move onto the next stage of the offensive with minimal losses to their tanks. The Panzerkorps' logistics were self-contained, allowing for three to four days of back to back combat. The Panzer divisions were also supported by motorized infantry divisions that assisted in seizing enemy ground as well as provide ground support for the tanks.

It is however, true that inspite of popular beliefs that the Wehrmacht and the Panzerkorps outnumbered the allies, the German forces were outnumbered by Allied artillery and tanks. However the Panzerkorps and the Wehrmacht still possessed some critical advantages over its opponents. The newer German Panzers had a crew of five men; a Commander, gunner-aimer, loader, driver and mechanic. Having a trained individual for each task allowed each man to dedicate himself to his own mission allowing for a highly efficient combat team. The Germans also enjoyed an advantage through the doctrine of Auftragstaktik (Mission command tactics), where the military commander gives subordinate leaders a clearly defined goal (the mission), which the forces need to accomplish and a time frame within which the goal must be reached. The subordinate leaders then would then implement the order independently. The subordinate leader is given, to a large extent, the planning initiative and a freedom in execution guaranteeing a high-degree of flexibility at the Operational and Tactical levels of command. Mission-type Orders also free the higher leadership from tactical details.

In contrast the French tank crews had fewer members, with the commander double-tasked with loading the main gun, distracting him from his main duties in observation and tactical deployment which made for a far less efficient system.French tactical deployment and the use of mobile units operationally was also inferior to that of the Germans. Also tactically, French armor was spread thinly along French lines; French infantry divisions were usually supported by tank battalions of about 100 tanks, which prevented them from being a strong, independent operational force like the Panzerkorps. Making matters worse, only a handful of French tanks in each unit had radios installed, but even then the radios themselves were often unreliable hampering communication. French tanks were also very slow in speed compared to the Panzers (except for the French SOMUA S35), since they were designed as infantry support, enabling German tanks to offset their disadvantages by out-maneuvering the French on the battlefield. In 1940, French military theoreticians still considered tanks as infantry support ignoring the theories of Charles De Gaulle. Thus the allies were unable to react as quickly as the Panzerkorps.

However it should also be noted that despite a severe numerical disadvantage in the French air force, the Armee de l'Air, in comparison to the Luftwaffe, the Armee de l'Air performed far better than expected during the Battle of France, destroying 916 Luftwaffe aircraft in air to air combat during the Battle of France, ending with a kill ratio of 2.35:1 by the end of a battle with a majority of those kills from US imported Curtiss 75's.

Thus the Panzerkorps was the main force responsible for winning the battle of France, not the Luftwaffe. Therefore I urge the readers to vote for Con.


  • French, David. Raising Churchill's army: the British Army and the war against Germany, 1919–1945. Oxford University Press. 2001. ISBN 978-0-19-924630-4
  • Facon, Patrick. "Slowing Down Blitzkreig – A Curtiss Fighter Ace in the Battle of France." AIR FAN International, Publitek Ltd, March 1996, pp. 54–62, ISSN 1083-2548
  • Dear, Ian and Foot, M. The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. 2001. ISBN 0-19-860446-7
  • Corum, James. The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform. Modern War Studies. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1992. ISBN 0-7006-0541-X.

Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by bsh1 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con provides in depth and reliable citations; more so than does Pro. Con's fully rebuts all points and provides an alternate causality (blitzkrieg) sufficient to negate. Con also had numerous spelling/grammar errors in his undeveloped blurbs. Points go Con.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con argument was very weak and actually was more convincing for the pro side than pro arguments. Blitzkrieg is a strategy that inherently calls for overwhelming air superiority. If you don't have the Luftwaffe, you don't have blitzkrieg. Yes blitzkrieg is what beat french armies. And without that air force, they could never have done it.