Defeat and Division
France at War, 1939–1942
Author(s): Douglas Porch
Publication Date: 25-08-2022
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Defeat and Division launches a definitive new account of France in the Second World War. In this first volume, Douglas Porch dissects France's 1940 collapse, the dynamics of occupation, and the rise of Charles de Gaulle's Free France crusade, culminating in the November 1942 Allied invasion of French North Africa. He captures the full sweep of France's wartime experience in Europe, Africa, and beyond, from soldiers and POWs to civilians-in-arms, colonial subjects, and foreign refugees. He recounts France's struggles to reconstruct military power within the context of a global conflict, with its armed forces shattered into warring factions and the country under Axis occupation. Disagreements over the causes of the 1940 debacle and the subsequent requirement for the armistice mirrored long-standing fractures in politics, society, and the French military itself, as efforts to reconstitute French military power crumbled into Vichy collaboration, De Gaulle's exile resistance, Alsace-Moselle occupation struggles, and a scuffle for imperial supremacy.
- Places France's experience of World War II within its social, political, and strategic context
- Incorporates deep archival research with the latest French scholarship on the subject
- Essential reading both for specialists and aficionados of World War II and of modern France