By Ian Ousby
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Publish 12 months note: First released in 1998
France was once gradual and a little bit ineffectual in organizing resistance circulation. In profession Ian Ousby demanding situations the parable that France used to be liberated " by means of the complete of France." the writer explores the Nazi profession of France with exceptional element and eyewitness money owed that diversity from recognized figures like Simone de Beauvoir, Charles de Gaulle, Andre Gide, Jean-Paul Sartre and Gertrude Stein to boring electorate, forgotten heroes and traitors.
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Additional info for Occupation: The Ordeal of France 1940-1944
Hindsight makes it abundandy clear that the Maginot Line was a foolish misdirection of energy when it was conceived, a dangerous distraction of time and money when it was built, and a pitiful irrelevance when the German invasion did come in I940. Most glaringly, it concentrated on the Rhineland and left France's 40o-kilometre border with Belgium unfortified. In justification the French could point to the fact that Belgium was an ally when the Line was started: one does not put up fortified walls between oneself and the neighbour one has sworn to protect.
The largest of the forts strung along the course of the Line held a garrison of I,2oo troops in buildings divided in two so that each could fire on the other should it fall into enemy hands. One visitor to the Mont des Welsches outside Metz found 'a great mound of insu lating wooded earth whose bald head was studded with bombproof Prologue turde-neck gun-turrets' - in other words, a sight strongly reminiscent of Douaumont and the other Verdun forts. In an age already half in love with Wellsian visions of the shape of things to come, most visi tors concentrated their admiration on the futuristic arrangements which reached six or seven storeys below ground.
But Paul Reynaud, who had succeeded Daladier as Prime Minister shortly before the invasion, delved further into the past. He replaced Gamelin with the 78-year-old General Maxime Weygand, commend ing him largely on the grounds that he had been Foch's right-hand man, literally by Foch's side at the V ictory Parade of I9I9· A Catholic right-winger with little enthusiasm for the war, Weygand brought neither a change in tactics nor a change in spirit. His first declaration 23 The Fall of France and the Path of Collaboration on taking over was to tell Reynaud that, far from being able to promise victory, he could not offer even the hope of victory.
Occupation: The Ordeal of France 1940-1944 by Ian Ousby