Occupation and its discontents
in Henri-Georges Clouzot
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This chapter illustrates the military defeat and subsequent occupation of France in 1940 by the Germans. The chapter explores the devastation, the chaos routed by the invading German forces and the loss of life of the French armies in May and June. The government had abandoned the capital and took refuge in Bordeaux. The signing of the armistice left the Germans in control of two-thirds of the country and they were fully able to exploit its economic resources. The parliamentary democracy of the Third Republic was abolished and replaced by a puppet regime with direct control of only the remaining third of the country. Based in the spa town of Vichy and headed by the aged Marshal Pétain, the new French state embarked on a policy of collaboration with the Germans, a relationship which in reality amounted to subservience rather than partnership.


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