The Fall of France
The Nazi Invasion of 1940Book - 2003
On 16 May 1940 an emergency meeting of the French High Command was called at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris. The Germans had broken through the French lines on the River Meuse at Sedan and other locations, only five days after launching their attack. Churchill, who had been contacted by PrimeMinister Reynaud the previous evening to be told that the French were beaten, had rushed to Paris. The mood on the French side was one of panic and despair: earlier in the day the French government had discussed the possibility of evacuating Paris. As the meeting proceeded, thick smoke rose from thegarden outside the window as officials feverishly burnt papers to prevent them falling into German hands. Churchill asked Gamelin, the French Commander in Chief, 'Where are your reserves?' 'There are none', replied Gamelin.This exciting new book by Julian Jackson, a leading historian of twentieth-century France, charts the breathtakingly rapid events that led to the defeat and surrender of one of the greatest bastions of the Western Allies, and thus to a dramatic new phase of the Second World War. Using eyewitnessaccounts, memoirs, and diaries to bring the story to life, Julian Jackson both recreates the intense atmosphere of the six weeks in May and June leading up to the Vichy regime, and unravels the historical evidence to produce a fresh answer to the perennial question of whether the fall of France wasinevitable.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2003
Characteristics: xvii, 274 p. : ill., maps