‘A (very) large military camp’
The militarization of postwar France
in Mobilizing nature
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Decolonization gave the French Cold War-era militarized environments a particular twist. Through a focus on militarized environments this chapter sketches out some of its environmental dimensions. France's humiliating and rapid defeat in 1940 underscored the need for military reform in the postwar era. As it battled against civilian opposition in metropolitan France, the army engaged in bloody and morale-sapping wars against decolonization as the Fourth Republic struggled to hold onto France's colonies. Forged within the context of Cold War geopolitics, Gaullist foreign policy and the development of ever more powerful weaponry prompted the military to seek new and larger territories. Alongside strengthening France's conventional forces, Gaullist foreign policy placed the possession of a nuclear strike force as a central pillar of French national security and a technological guarantee of French autonomy.

Mobilizing nature

The environmental history of war and militarization in Modern France

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