I had a standard battle against France: 5 infantry, 4 mech, 1 artillery, and 6 tanks (I also took Normandy with 2 infantry and 2 artillery). I then had some of the worst rolls I’ve ever had in the game, only getting 6 hits in 3 rounds of combat and France knocked off everything I had but 2 tanks, so I retreated. Later on I had Italy take France just so France couldn’t stack 6 infantry on the next turn. What can Germany do with such a meager amount of income on the first turn?
Note: I used the calculator and it turns out I had a 99.3% chance of winning that battle, and the defender had a 0.6% chance of winning. France still had two artillery, an infantry, two tanks, and a fighter left.
When I put this into the A&A Odds Calculator it returns a 93-94% chance for Germany to win this. And http://dskelly.com/misc/aa/index.php?page=aasim&noborder=1 estimates it at slightly below 93%. So, like others said, that’s just taking too much risk. Add those troops you sent to Normandy to the battle and your chance of losing it will be minimal.
And besides the chances of winning the battle in the first place, there’s another sound reason for throwing all available land forces at France round 1: by bringing overwhelming odds, you’ll minimize your losses. Even if you had won in France, the losses incurred would likely have been bigger than the benefit of gaining Normandy (if there is such a benefit in the first place - there’s a viable strategy based on leaving Normandy to the French).
I’m also surprised that, given the large number of French survivors, Italy was able to take France at all. Didn’t the UK send a few fighters to reinforce France?
Finally, after such a disastrous G1, I would probably congratulate my opponent and propose to start a new game, except maybe if everything else went very well for compensation and consolation.