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Exiles in the British Isles 1940–44
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It is widely assumed that the French in the British Isles during the Second World War were fully fledged supporters of General de Gaulle, and that, across the channel at least, the French were a ‘nation of resisters’. This study reveals that most exiles were on British soil by chance rather than by design, and that many were not sure whether to stay. Overlooked by historians, who have concentrated on the ‘Free French’ of de Gaulle, these were the ‘Forgotten French’: refugees swept off the beaches of Dunkirk; servicemen held in camps after the Franco-German armistice; Vichy consular officials left to cater for their compatriots; and a sizeable colonist community based mainly in London. Drawing on little-known archival sources, this study examines the hopes and fears of those communities who were bitterly divided among themselves, some being attracted to Pétain as much as to de Gaulle.

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Martin Thomas

Between 1940 and 1945 the French empire divided against itself. To be more precise, the administrative, military and settler elites that ran French imperial affairs became adversaries in the contest between Vichy loyalism and Free French republicanism. Although no colony remained openly committed to the discredited Vichy regime by 1944, vestiges of reactionary ‘Pétainism

in The French empire at war 1940–45
Open Access (free)
Communities, circumstances and choices
Nicholas Atkin

-in-chief, and Marshal Pétain, who had been appointed deputy prime minister on 18 May in a desperate attempt to shore up morale. On 16 June, two days after the Germans occupied Paris, the government reached Bordeaux where a dispirited Reynaud resigned and recommended Pétain as his successor. The next day, this ancient soldier, some eighty-four years of age and best known for his victory at Verdun in 1916, announced to a stunned nation that he was in the process of negotiating an armistice. Signed on 23 June, the terms of this agreement divided France into two principal zones

in The forgotten French
Christopher Lloyd

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. Far from acting as a protective buffer against German depredations and restoring national unity and morale, their ostensible objectives, Pétain’s government and its agencies in

in Henri-Georges Clouzot
Authoritarianism, agency, and everyday life
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Wartime physical culture in France encompasses two complementary phenomena: a massive State investment in national regeneration, best exemplified by the creation of a sports bureaucracy (the Commissariat général à l'éducation générale et aux sports) and a concomitant rise in participation among ordinary people who during the wartime joined local sporting associations in greater numbers than ever before. Why did popular participation in sports explode during the wartime and how much did the Government’s programmes succeed in using the popularity of athletics to promote their conservative ideology?

This book sets out to explore the interplay between these two circumstances. The first two chapters examine the French State’s role in the development of sports during the interwar period through to the Occupation. The second half of the book centres on popular participation in sports. Chapter 3 deals with physical education in State schools while chapter 4 investigates how the largest professional clubs survived the Vichy State’s attempt to deprofessionalise sports. Chapter 5 looks at a dozen local sporting associations to better understand how ordinary French people used their clubs to overcome the hardships imposed by the Germans and the Vichy Government. Each of these chapters emphasises the power of everyday French men and women to frustrate the Government’s physical cultural agenda. A final chapter provides a finale to the book, examining what happened to sports after the Liberation of France, and how sporting organisations reshaped their institutional memory of the wartime through the lens of collaboration and resistance.

Dolto, psychoanalysis and Catholicism from Occupation to Liberation
Richard Bates

armies fast approaching, the government left for Bordeaux. That day she wrote to her friend and sometime lover Hubert Jausion expressing residual confidence in final victory – but on the eleventh she decided to leave. 25 She headed by car to Brittany, where she stayed with a friend, and visited her mother who had also left and was staying at Le Croisic, on the coast west of Nantes. On 17 June, Marshal Philippe Pétain, having been installed as Prime Minister, announced his intention to seek an armistice. That day, two of

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Veterans in inter-war France

The most up-to-date and comprehensive English-language study of its kind, From victory to Vichy explores the political mobilisation of the two largest French veterans’ associations during the interwar years, the Union fédérale (UF) and the Union nationale des combattants (UNC). Drawing on extensive research into the associations’ organisation, policies and tactics, this study argues that French veterans were more of a threat to democracy than previous scholarship has allowed. As France descended into crisis, the UF and the UNC sought to extend their influence into the non-veteran milieu through public demonstrations, propaganda campaigns and the foundation of auxiliary groups. Despite shifting policies and independent initiatives, by the end of the 1930s the UF and the UNC had come together in a campaign for authoritarian political reform, leaving them perfectly placed to become the ‘eyes and ears’ of Marshal Pétain’s Vichy regime.

Martin Thomas

no repetition of the heroic battle of the Marne in September 1914. This time neither generals nor poilus could stop the onslaught. To Weygand and Pétain the idea of continuing the struggle from Africa seemed ridiculous. German might was irresistible and, as Weygand quipped, ‘L’empire? Mais c’est l’enfantillage.’ 3 Though an elusive concept, there is no doubt that

in The French empire at war 1940–45
Martin Thomas

was deliberately excluded from direct blockade for fear of the likely Japanese reaction. In short, where applied with vigour, the British blockade was a real threat to the Vichy empire. As Pétain admitted in October, the revitalisation of economic activity within loyal African colonies largely depended upon how much maritime tonnage could get through the blockade on a monthly

in The French empire at war 1940–45
Abstract only
Martin Thomas

provisions. To enthusiastic Gaullists the conversion of AEF in August 1940 only confirmed the timidity of their Vichy rivals in Africa, a simplistic assessment which took little account of either local conditions or the positive allure of Pétain’s call for loyalty in defeat. Less than a year later, in mid-July 1941, Gaullist forces replaced their Vichy rivals in Syria and Lebanon. But here one confronts the

in The French empire at war 1940–45