I haven’t had the pleasure of playing Europe 1940 yet, but I have no contempt for the French during the conflict. I would say there were significant reasons to the Third Republic’s ultimate downfall, one of the which was overall poor Allied strategy, which including the misusing of tank divisions and worst of all, not mounting a meaningful offensive into Germany in the opening days of the war.
As for the Soviet Union, which like the French, I have no contempt for, there were many reasons for its initial failure, the purges are one, whilst devastating they alone were not the cause of Soviet ineffectiveness. The main cause was Stalin himself, who was planning an offensive war sometime in 1942, after he thought Hitler would crush England. He made no preparations for defense, thinking that the Germans would never again fight on two fronts as they did over twenty years ago. Obviously, he was wrong. The man went as far to dismiss intelligence reports, which while varied in dates of attacks, came in like a torrent, from multiple sources.
The second was the nature of Red Army’s training and discipline coupled with the strategical and logistical support were in shambles during the first opening weeks on the Eastern Front.