Nicholas Atkin
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This concluding chapter ties together the loose threads of the preceding discussions. The study has demonstrated that we can no longer speak of the French community in Britain in the singular. Aside from the Gaullist forces, there were several other communities—the ‘forgotten French’. Exile in Britain was not a particularly happy episode for either the ‘forgotten French’ or the British. As Ministry of Information officials had forecast in 1939, while the two nationalities maybe shared the same fundamental values, the differences in temperament and outlook were profound, and these were vividly exposed by the peculiar circumstances of wartime, especially the anomalous position of the Vichy government, which was alone in Hitler's Europe in that it retained a sizeable measure of autonomy. Throughout history, the French have generally made unhappy exiles, and the events of 1940–44 only highlighted their inability to adapt.

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The forgotten French

Exiles in the British Isles 1940–44


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