France during World War II: From Defeat to Liberation by Thomas Rodney Christofferson (main author), Michael Scott

By Thomas Rodney Christofferson (main author), Michael Scott Christofferson (auxiliary author)

During this concise, sincerely written ebook, Thomas and Michael Christofferson supply a balanced creation to each point of the French adventure in the course of international struggle II.Synthesizing a variety of scholarship, the authors combine political, diplomatic, army, social, cultural, and monetary historical past during this portrait of a state and a humans at battle. here's a chronicle of the battles and campaigns that stained French soil with blood. the following, additionally, is the total ancient context of the war-its origins, realities, and aftermath-in French society. The authors pay specific cognizance to the most important disasters of institutional France-especially the officer corps, political elites, and the Catholic Church. in addition they assessthe debatable heritage of the Vichy regime and the German career, in conscientiously crafted money owed of resistance and collaboration, Vichy's nationwide Revolution, and the destiny of France's Jews.Accessible to either scholars and common readers, France in the course of global conflict II develops a whole knowing of the actors, occasions, concerns, and controversies of a turbulent period.

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Sample text

France’s plan in the event of a German attack on neutral Belgium was to speed motorized troops into Belgium to take up advanced positions and hopefully thereby avoid fighting on French soil. While committed to mechanization, the military did not believe that a decisive breakthrough of enemy lines by motorized troops could be achieved. Consequently, France’s seven motorized infantry divisions were to use their mobility solely to advance rapidly into Belgium where they would fight like conventional infantry.

15867$ $CH2 05-12-06 13:43:05 PS PAGE 37 38 | f ra nc e d ur in g w or ld wa r i i ‘‘obvious objective was to cut all the roots that bound France to its republican and revolutionary past. ’’ Given constitutional powers by the legislature, Petain proceeded on July 11 to abrogate the founding laws of the Third Republic and give himself complete power over all aspects of government from the legislature to the executive, with one exception, the ability to declare war, for which he had to obtain the approval of parliament.

Possibly as many as 8 million French took to the highways in June, fleeing the Germans, hoping to avoid the war. Chaos ensued. The New York Times correspondent, P. J. Philip, spent forty-eight hours traveling by car between Paris and Tours, a distance of 150 miles. When he arrived in the new capital he discovered a government that was spread along about 100 miles of the Loire River. He noted that the minister of the interior, Georges Mandel, could communicate with his subordinates in the field only via radio broadcasts at designated times of the day.

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