Saar Offensive


Saar Offensive

The Saar Offensive was a French operation into the Saarland on the German 1.Armee defence sector in the early stages of World War II. The purpose of the attack was to assist Poland, which was then under attack. However, the assault was stopped and the French forces withdrew.

According to the Franco-Polish military convention, the French Army was to start preparations for the major offensive three days after mobilisation started. The French forces were to effectively gain control over the area between the French border and the German lines and were to probe the German defences. On the 15th day of the mobilisation (that is on September 16), the French Army was to start a full scale assault on Germany. The pre-emptive mobilisation was started in France on August 26 and on September 1 full mobilisation was declared.

A French offensive in the Rhine river valley area ("Saar Offensive") started on September 7, four days after France declared war on Germany. Then, the Wehrmacht was occupied in the attack on Poland, and the French soldiers enjoyed a decisive numerical advantage along the border with Germany. However, the French did not take any action that was able to assist the Poles. Eleven French divisions advanced along a 32 km line near Saarbrücken against weak German opposition. The French Army had advanced to a depth of 8 kilometres and captured about 20 villages evacuated by the German army, without any resistance. However, the half-hearted offensive was halted after France seized the Warndt Forest, three square miles of heavily-mined German territory.

The attack did not result in any diversion of German troops. The all-out assault was to be carried out by roughly 40 divisions, including one armoured division, three mechanized divisions, 78 artillery regiments and 40 tank battalions. On September 12, the Anglo-French Supreme War Council gathered for the first time at Abbeville in France. It was decided that all offensive actions were to be halted immediately. By then the French divisions had advanced approximately eight kilometres into Germany on a 24 kilometre-long strip of the frontier in the Saarland area. Maurice Gamelin ordered his troops to stop "not closer than 1 kilometre" from the German positions along the Siegfried Line. Poland was not notified of this decision. Instead, Gamelin informed marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły that half of his divisions were in contact with the enemy, and that French advances had forced the Wehrmacht to withdraw at least six divisions from Poland. The following day the commander of the French Military Mission to Poland General Louis Faury informed the Polish chief of staff, general Wacław Stachiewicz, that the planned major offensive on the western front had to be postponed from September 17 to September 20. At the same time, French divisions were ordered to retreat to their barracks along the Maginot Line. The Phoney War had begun.

ee also

* Phoney War
* Western betrayal


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dillingen/Saar — Wappen Deutschlandkarte …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Phoney War — The Phoney War Date 3 September 1939 – 10 May 1940 Location Maginot Line, Siegfried Line Result …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of France — Part of the Western Front of the Second World War Clockwise from top left: German …   Wikipedia

  • Military history of France during World War II — History of France …   Wikipedia

  • Sitzkrieg — Europa 1939/40 während und nach dem Polenfeldzug. Trotz der britisch französischen Kriegserklärung vom 3. September 1939 folgten an der Westfront keine Kampfhandlungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Operation Paula — Battle of France Part of the Western Front of World War II …   Wikipedia

  • Western betrayal — or Yalta betrayal are popular terms in many Central European countries, especially in Poland and the Czech Republic which refers to the foreign policy of several Western countries which violated allied pacts and agreements during the period from… …   Wikipedia

  • European Theatre of World War II — here)The European Theatre of Operations (ETO) was an area of heavy fighting across Europe, during World War II, from Nazi Germany s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 until the end of the war with the German unconditional surrender on May 8 …   Wikipedia

  • Louis Faury — Major General Louis Faury (1874 1947) was a French military commander. He was made General Officer commanding 3rd Division in 1936. In 1939, he lead the French mission to assist Poland, also known as the Saar Offensive. He retired from French… …   Wikipedia

  • List of World War II topics (S) — # S 1 Uranium Committee # S 50 # S mine # S Phone # S. A. Ayer # S. J. Warmington # S.L.A. Marshall # S.S. Doomtrooper # S.S. Pink Star # S?awomir Maciej Bittner # S?kichi Takagi # S?saku Suzuki # Søren Kam # Søren Petersen # S1 Scout Car # SA… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.