Paperback ✓ L'étrange Défaite MOBI º

L'étrange Défaite ❮Ebook❯ ➥ L'étrange Défaite ➦ Author Marc Bloch – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Ces pages seront elles jamais publi es Je ne sais Il est probable, en tout cas, que, de longtemps, elles ne pourront tre connues, sinon sous le manteau, en dehors de mon entourage imm diat Je me suis Ces pages seront elles jamais publi es Je ne sais Il est probable, en tout cas, que, de longtemps, elles ne pourront tre connues, sinon sous le manteau, en dehors de mon entourage imm diat Je me suis cependant d cid les crire L effort sera rude combien il me semblerait plus commode de c der aux conseils de la fatigue et du d couragement Mais un t moignage ne vaut que fix dans sa premi re fra cheur et je ne puis me persuader que celui ci doive tre tout fait inutile Un jour viendra, t t ou tard, j en ai la ferme esp rance, o la France verra de nouveau s panouir, sur son vieux sol b ni d j de tant de moissons, la libert de pens e et de jugement Alors les dossiers cach s s ouvriront les brumes, qu autour du plus atroce effondrement de notre histoire commencent, d s maintenant, accumuler tant t l ignorance et tant t la mauvaise foi, se l veront peu peu et, peut tre les chercheurs occup s les percer trouveront ils quelque profit feuilleter, s ils le savent d couvrir, ce proc s verbal de l an.


10 thoughts on “L'étrange Défaite

  1. Alex Marshall Alex Marshall says:

    This is a hell of a book A brief account of hell, written from hell, by a man who as we know with hindsight was bound for hell on earth at the hands of the Gestapo It takes a peculiar sort of courage to write the eye witness history not only of a defeat, but of the comprehensive collapse of the country one loves, at the hands of an enemy one hates and despises from the depths of one s soul I wonder if Strange Defeat is required reading in the army staff colleges of the world not so much ma This is a hell of a book A brief account of hell, written from hell, by a man who as we know with hindsight was bound for hell on earth at the hands of the Gestapo It takes a peculiar sort of courage to write the eye witness history not only of a defeat, but of the comprehensive collapse of the country one loves, at the hands of an enemy one hates and despises from the depths of one s soul I wonder if Strange Defeat is required reading in the army staff colleges of the world not so much maybe for the specifics, but for the passion behind the dry, rather scholarly words and the deeper questions about the webs that connect one s country, its causes, its civilians and the soldiers who are supposed to defend them Among the malaises he identifies, I don t think he mentions anti semitism It wd be beneath his dignity but the reader should be in no doubt


  2. Nils Nils says:

    Marc Bloch s present history account of the Fall of France in the Spring of 1940 is rightly considered an essential account of the events above all, it is a devastating critique of the conservatism of the military establishment and the failures of the military bureaucracy to create a machine made for war rather than pettifogging paper pushing and internal bureaucratic competition This is his first order diagnosis of why the French military was so utterly unprepared for the war of movement th Marc Bloch s present history account of the Fall of France in the Spring of 1940 is rightly considered an essential account of the events above all, it is a devastating critique of the conservatism of the military establishment and the failures of the military bureaucracy to create a machine made for war rather than pettifogging paper pushing and internal bureaucratic competition This is his first order diagnosis of why the French military was so utterly unprepared for the war of movement that unfolded in the May 1940, despite having seen the adequate warnings of what it could look like in Poland in September 1939 No one escapes his wrath not the general staff, not the field commanders, not the industrialists, not the proletarians, not the intellectuals, not the newspapers, not the English Among the many possible and traditional villains of French political life, all come in for condemnation save, curiously, the Church which he never mentions.What really struck me was the last chapter where Bloch essentially indicts the Communists for creating the national divisions which underlay the production of what he calls, without flinching, national cowardice He says that basically the Communists created a culture which he nastily refers to as petty bourgeois of always wanting to achieve the extra marginal dollar on behalf of their constituents, rather than realizing that there were certain values eg resisting Hitler that wereimportant than carrying on the national class struggle The critique of the system offered by the left, in other words, collapsed the values of the center, thus allowing theruthless and cynical parties of the right to take over The parallels to the way that the US New Left critiqued vital center liberalism in the 60s 70s, thus clearing the space for the Reaganite rightist counterrevolution to win the field is hard not to notice Against one particular school of politics noterrible charge can be brought than this that once a man has been formed by it, he may forget everything it taught him, including much that was fine, much that was noble, save only this the denial of his country Ouch


  3. Matthew Dambro Matthew Dambro says:

    I am simply overwhelmed I read Bloch as a medieval historian back in graduate school I knew 40 years ago that he had a first rate mind He created the Annales school of history almost single handedly What I failed to grasp then was that he was also a Mahatma, great souled one He was a good man in addition to being a great historian.


  4. Bettie Bettie says:

    t has become the must read book during the pandemic in France Not Camus s The Plague but Marc Bloch s Strange Defeat, a scholarly dissection about the fall of France in 1940 t has become the must read book during the pandemic in France Not Camus s The Plague but Marc Bloch s Strange Defeat, a scholarly dissection about the fall of France in 1940


  5. Laura Laura says:

    This is a short book and is an extraordinary read particularly in these times The analysis in its third section could equally apply to events from 2016 onwards I can not recommend it highly enough.


  6. Luke Crawford Luke Crawford says:

    Man, this book is hard to beat On prose quality and emotional resonance alone, it s the best book on world war two that I ve read and I ve read quite a number of books on the subject I mean, being written by a resistance fighter while the war was active, obviously it s a lot less scientific than other examinations of the war, but Bloch can write For that matter, a lot of his values really resonate today I feel neither pride nor shame in my origins I am, I hope, a sufficiently good h Man, this book is hard to beat On prose quality and emotional resonance alone, it s the best book on world war two that I ve read and I ve read quite a number of books on the subject I mean, being written by a resistance fighter while the war was active, obviously it s a lot less scientific than other examinations of the war, but Bloch can write For that matter, a lot of his values really resonate today I feel neither pride nor shame in my origins I am, I hope, a sufficiently good historian to know that racial qualities are a myth, and that the whole notion of Race is an absurdity which becomes particularly flagrant when attempts are made to apply it, as in this particular case of the Jews, to a group of co religionists originally brought together from every comer of the Mediterranean, Turco Khazar, and Slav world What, probably,than anything else marks the true leader is the power to clench his teeth and hang on, the ability to impart to others a confidence that he feels himself This he can do only if he does feel it Never, until the very last moment, must he despair of his own genius Above all, he must be willing to accept for the men under him, no less than for himself, sacrifices which may be productive of good, rather than a shameful yielding which must remain for ever useless I was writing the other day, about how leadership requires a degree of nietzschean self deception that I m not really capable of, or at the very least that I m not able to do well and still feel okay about myself I think such a level of self deception may conflict with looking at problems logically I ve prided myself on being willing to do things even though I accept that I will probably fail, and while this is fine for an Engineer, it is death to a leader I dunno, though, some of his rants against the far left Those on our side of the barricades seem to strike awful close to home with the recent elections But what is really remarkable is that these extremist lovers of the human race showed no surprise at all when, on the road that led to capitulation, they found themselves walking arm in arm with the born enemies of their class, the sworn foes of their ideals As a matter of fact, odd though such an alliance may seem, its intellectual basis is to be found in conditions long antecedent to a supervening political hostility That was the thing that was really striking to me about the last political election I mean, first that so many people thought that things were bad, economically, but second that so many people on the left refused to support a moderate candidate, leading us to the current situation


  7. Nat Nat says:

    A shattering assessment of why the French were so easily defeated in 1940, written in the bleak moment immediately after the capitulation We find ourselves today in this appalling situation that the fate of France no longer depends on the French, Since that moment when the weapons which we held with too indeterminate a grasp fell from our hands, the future of our country and of our civilization has become the stake in a struggle of which we, for the most part, are only the rather humiliated sp A shattering assessment of why the French were so easily defeated in 1940, written in the bleak moment immediately after the capitulation We find ourselves today in this appalling situation that the fate of France no longer depends on the French, Since that moment when the weapons which we held with too indeterminate a grasp fell from our hands, the future of our country and of our civilization has become the stake in a struggle of which we, for the most part, are only the rather humiliated spectators p.174 It s full of further unflinching judgments like this one Our soldiers were defeated and, to some extent, let themselves be too easily defeated, principally because their minds functioned far too sluggishly p.48 The book could also be used as a primer in management, because it catalogues failures in the French military administration that lead to the sluggishness that the Germans successfully exploit on the battlefield One of the failures of the military bureaucracy reminded me of the super French Place that Sends You Mad chapter in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix Dragged from one s bed in the middle of the night by a telegram which might read, for instance, Measure 81 to come into force immediately , one would rush to the code card which was always kept handy, only to find that Measure 81 involved the implementation of all clauses contained in Measure 49 with the exception of such of them as might have been already set in motion by the application of Measure 93 should the latter happen to have come into force earlier than its numerical place in the series seemed to warrant, and that, in any case, the two first paragraphs of Measure 57 must also be acted upon p.62


  8. Jared Jared says:

    The ruling idea of the Germans in the conduct of this war was speed Faced by the undisputed evidence of Germany s new tactics, we ignored, or wholly failed to understand the quickened rhythm of the times WHAT IS THIS BOOK the work of a very distinguished scholar, a professor of the Sorbonne, who was later to be one of the leaders in the movement of resistance and to be put to death for his part in it Marc Bloch wrote this book, as he says himself, in a white heat of rage The book The ruling idea of the Germans in the conduct of this war was speed Faced by the undisputed evidence of Germany s new tactics, we ignored, or wholly failed to understand the quickened rhythm of the times WHAT IS THIS BOOK the work of a very distinguished scholar, a professor of the Sorbonne, who was later to be one of the leaders in the movement of resistance and to be put to death for his part in it Marc Bloch wrote this book, as he says himself, in a white heat of rage The book explains why France was so ill prepared prior to WWII.FIGHT ANOTHER DAY But now that all show of resistance had melted away, there was obviously no point in carrying on with my duties Or, perhaps, I should put it this way that it wasandclearly borne in on me that the only manner in which I could continue to serve my country and my family was by escaping before the trap should finally be sprung.WHO IS TO BLAME NOTES BELOW FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE MILITARY THE HIGH COMMAND Whatever the deep seated causes of the disaster may have been, the immediate occasion as I shall attempt to explain later was the utter incompetence of the High Command.STAFF PERSONNEL AND LINE PERSONNEL One simple and obvious remedy for this state of affairs would have been to establish a system which would have made it possible for small groups of officers to serve, turn and turn about, in the front line and at H.Q But senior generals dislike having the personnel of their staffs changed too often led to an almost complete divorce between the outlook of the regimental and the staff officer.MILITARY INCAPABLE OF THINKING ABOUT NEW WAR CONCEPTS Our leaders, or those who acted for them, were incapable of thinking in terms of a new war In other words, the German triumph was, essentially, a triumph of intellect and it is that which makes it so peculiarly serious Early mistakes become tragic only when the men in charge are incapable of putting them right All these officers had remained, though not always to the same extent, dominated by their memories of the last war.TEMPO TOO SLOW From the beginning to the end of the war, the metronome at headquarters was always set at too slow a beat.DISTANCES MATTER LESS NOW Since the beginning of the twentieth century the whole idea of distance has changed This alteration in spatial values came about in littlethan a single generation The truth of the matter was that the Germans advanced a great deal faster than they should have done according to the old rules of the game.UNABLE TO ADMIT Our own rate of progress was too slow and our minds were too inelastic for us ever to admit the possibility that the enemy might move with the speed which he actually achieved.UNEXPECTEDLY POWERFUL WEAPONS Not only were the German tanks a great dealnumerous than Intelligence had led us to suppose some of them were quite unexpectedly powerful.ENEMY IN PLACES WHERE NOT EXPECTED Analysed, the words mean nothan this Because the Germans turned up where we didn t expect them and where we had never been told we ought to expect them The Germans took no account of roads They were everywhere.ENEMY MADE CHANGES ON THE FLY They relied on action and on improvisation We, on the other hand, believed in doing nothing and in behaving as we always had behaved.ENEMY HAD SPECIAL GEAR Naturally enough, this high speed type of warfare demands a certain specialized equipment The Germans saw to it that such equipment was available we, on the other hand, did not, or only in insufficient quantities If we were short of tanks, aeroplanes, and tractors, it was mainly because we had put our not inexhaustible supplies of money and labour into concreteBecause we had been taught to put our whole trust in the Maginot LineENEMY HAD WEAPONS THAT COULD NOT BE EASILY COUNTERED the deplorable immunity thus enjoyed by the enemy bombers, played no small part in lowering the morale of the troops.OPSEC WAS NOT CONSIDERED Besides, a few minutes spent in nosing round our offices, which were plastered with maps showing the location of all munition dumps, fuel depots, and rail heads in the Army area, would have given much precious information to any spyACTION DOES NOT EQUAL PROGRESS When we were suddenly called upon to act swiftly, our leaders,often than not, mistook feverish activity for quick decision They spent their days in rushing from office to office, producing mountains of paper, and never giving themselves a chance to think things out quietly Unhurried planning alone could have saved us by living in a continual rush they produced in their own minds an illusion of activity Staff circles have always, even in time of peace, been over fond of living in a perpetual atmosphere of fuss They should have established, well in advance, a proper time table of work Soldiers have always held up as a fine example old Joffre s habit of, no matter what the circumstances, having a good night s sleep.ENEMY USED PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE The story goes that Hitler, before drawing up his final plans for the campaign, summoned a number of psychologists to his headquarters and asked their advice the air offensive, conducted with such dash by the Germans, does seem to prove that they had gone very deeply into the whole question of nerves and the best way of breaking them.COMBAT TROOPS EQUALLY TO BLAME But it would not be fair to confine these criticisms to the High Command Generally speaking, the combatant troops were nosuccessful than the staff in adjusting their movements or their tactical appreciations to the speed at which the Germans moved.POOR COMMUNICATIONS One of them was the wholly inadequate organization of our communications.INTEL NEEDED IMPROVEMENT Improved organization and a keener sense of fact would have been a great advantage An Intelligence Service ought to act as a kind of agency operating in the interests of the various formations which are in effect its customers As to the dissemination of information, it was a standing joke at most headquarters that, as soon as Intelligence found out anything, it proceeded to put it down on paper, mark the document in red ink Top Secret , and then shut it away from all those likely to be interested in its contents,LEADERS WHO IMPOSED NEEDLESS RIGIDITY I am prepared even to admit that men must be broken in , but only if that process takes into account their quality of human beings as every true leader has always been ready to recognize.INCOMPETENCE Glaring cases of incompetence had been notorious But this clown of a colonel was allowed to stay on, It was certainly not his fault that he had been maintained in a post that had put too great a strain on his modest capabilities Nor was he the only one in like case Those bred up in army ways had, in the course of years spent in the bureaucratic machine, grown used to a certain amount of incompetence which rarely, if ever, ended tragically.PROMOTION SYSTEM REQUIRED REFORM once the question of rank comes into the picture, it follows as a matter of discipline that active command shall go to the senior soldier Now, the movement from one grade to another is controlled by rules, or at least by usages., which make it muchdifficult for an officer to be promoted than merely to be given a new appointment Had this system been, in operation during the last war, it is extremely improbable that we should ever have seen a young lieutenant colonel of 1914, called Debeney, leading the First Army in 1918 to the victories of Montdidier and Saint Quentin, or Colonel P tain the P tain of our youth flaming through the hierarchy like a prairie fire, until he reached the topmost pinnacle of allat the head of all the soldiers of France PROFESSIONAL MILITARY EDUCATION INADEQUATE What, however, it all comes back to, I am convinced, is that the system of education in which senior officers were trained was wholly wrong But no matter how much the things taught may have changed, the method of teaching them was the same, and that is what really matters they had got into the habit of expecting that everything would happen as the manuals said it would When the Germans refused to play the game according to Staff College rules, they found themselves as much at seaThey thought that everything was lost, and, therefore, acquiesced in the loss.RIVALRY IN THE RANKS There is an old army saying about the mutual feelings of any two officers who happen to be travelling together up the ladder of promotion If they are Lieutenants, they are friends if Captains, comrades if Majors, colleagues if Colonels, rivals if Generals, enemies RIDING SOMEONE S COAT TAILS crowd of hangers on inevitably surrounding each boss with a complexity of flattery and intrigue,TOO MANY CHIEFS, NOT ENOUGH INDIANS where the number of senior officers is too large, responsibility becomes so diluted that it is never felt as an urgent personal preoccupation by any one of them.ORG CHARTS AND STOVEPIPES There should never be any branches in a Headquarters Staff He meant by this that any such subdivision, though perhaps inevitable, was always fraught with danger For each part or branch is almost bound to slip into the fallacy of substituting itself for the whole, The fact remains, however, that a system of watertight compartments is universal in the higher reaches of the Army Nowhere have I found them less penetrable than at the very top A CASE STUDY IN WHY IT IS OFTEN HARD TO GET THINGS DONE As soon as I know what they want done, I will take the necessary steps The whole problem resolved itself into knowing whether, in the event of a German breach of neutrality, the High Command meant us or the enemy to reach this particular locality first It would, I suppose, in any case have beennatural for me to go direct to the senior officer in charge of operations, or to one of his representatives But it is scarcely fitting for one of the uninitiated to knock at the door of the sanctuary I was passed on from office to office Each party to it seemed to be purely concerned with passing the buck As things turned out, I never heard another word about the affair All the same, I felt uncomfortable about not sending some sort of answer It was not only that the point he had raised was of considerable importance Unbroken silence on our part would have betrayed to this foreigner the shilly shallying state of mind of the French High Command It was bad enough to know it ourselves I sent the following message Don t fill your tanks In doing this, I committed a terrible breach of discipline In the event, however, I did not feel any high degree of guilt The storm burst, and, as was only to be expected, the Germans beat us to it.MOUNDS OF PAPERWORK TO GET ANYTHING DONE For the flabbiness , which was so evident in the High Command had its origin chiefly in habits of living contracted during the years of peace The paper mania, too, had a good deal to do with it.DON T ROCK THE BOAT Add to this the terror of making a nuisance of oneself , the mania for handling all such matters with kid gloves, which becomes second nature with men who are ching for promotion the fear of annoying those who are powerful to day or who may become powerful to morrow That is the way in which an officer seeks to assure his future By making oneself party to a reprimand, one runs the risk of compromising one s chances.POOR COORDINATION WITH ALLIES Numerous must have been the bridges though how numerous I do not know which the British blew up to cover their retreat, without bothering to find out whether, by their action, they might not be cutting ours We considered that they were acting without the slightest consideration for us, A clearer demarcation of the zones for which each army was responsible would probably have prevented a number of tiresome incidents from ever having developed at all But I am convinced that the breakdown of morale would have been far less total, and would have had consequences a great deal less grave, had our contact with our Allies been, in the first place,firmly established What, in a word, was needed was that we should have an officer of First Army permanently attached to British G.H.Q A genuine alliance is something that has to be worked at all the time It is not enough to have it set down on paper It must draw the breath of life from a multiplicity of daily contacts which, taken together, knit the two parties solidly into a single whole That truth had been too long forgotten at First Army H.Q., and we suffered terribly as a result of our negligence.NO TASK IS TOO SMALL ALL ARE IMPORTANT the showiness of a job has nothing whatever to do with its importance, or that those engaged in what seem to be very humble tasks are often just as deserving of recognitionTHE BEST SOLDIER It is a popular fallacy among officers that the man of hot temper, the adventurer or the hooligan, makes the best soldier That is far from being the truth.HISTORY IS INSTRUCTIVE successive civilizations show certain repetitive patterns, and that these resemble one another in their general lines, The traces left by past events never move in a straight line, but in a curve that can be extended into the future FACTOIDS What is a batman A batman or an orderly is a soldier or airman assigned to a commissioned officer as a personal servant I m batman Future War Not Back to the Future War on the Rocks article by LtGen Dana, USMC, from 6 March 2019 uses the quote at the top from the book Strange Defeat


  9. Chris Buckham Chris Buckham says:

    Title Strange DefeatAuthor Marc BlochISBN 978 8 087 83083 3Publisher Important BooksYear 2013SoftcoverPages 133Photographs maps 0Between July and August 1940, Captain Marc Bloch, a fuel services officer in the French Army, drafted his testament of the cause of the French defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht Bloch had seen active service in the trenches during the First World War and was a historian professor during the interwar years His service in the Second World War was undert Title Strange DefeatAuthor Marc BlochISBN 978 8 087 83083 3Publisher Important BooksYear 2013SoftcoverPages 133Photographs maps 0Between July and August 1940, Captain Marc Bloch, a fuel services officer in the French Army, drafted his testament of the cause of the French defeat at the hands of the German Wehrmacht Bloch had seen active service in the trenches during the First World War and was a historian professor during the interwar years His service in the Second World War was undertaken at both operational and Army level HQ s where he was privy to the workings of the highest level of French Army command With ample military experience and the eye of a professional historian, he was able to to discern much in the confusion that he witnessed around him His book is a poignant and insightful analysis of why the French Army and, by extension, the French Government and people were so thoroughly and soundly beaten when all of the potential existed for French victory He addresses multiple aspects of the French armed forces and French society for, as he points out, there was no one issue but a combination thereof, that brought the house of cards down He readily acknowledges that he did not have ready access to the behind the scenes machinations of decision making but he did have a keen eye and a myriad of experience that gives his analysis validity and credibility.He is both relentless and balanced in his exposure of the flaws that plagued the French leadership and HQ he spares no level of command, but it is evident that his purpose is not to discredit on a personal level but to reveal on a professional level His observations cross the spectrum of what today would be called the J Staff some of histelling observations follow 1 Communication A lack of common operating picture within the HQ s and a failure to pass information to the levels where it was needed in a timely manner Also a tendency to hoard information 2 Administration vs Operations Administration trumped operational decision making An emphasis on process as opposed to results 3 Hubris An assumption of superiority and a failure to emphasize continuous learning A failure to appreciate the changes that technology had brought to the battlefield and a reliance upon the way it has always been done.4 Education A failure to adapt and to take advantage of the opportunities to adjust and develop doctrine before the conflict started the Germans used blitzkrieg techniques in Poland but the French ignored the lessons to be learned despite an 8 month gap between Poland and France.5 Command An inability of the commanders to adjust to the dynamic environment of modern operations as a result of experience, training and paradigm shortfalls Bloch quotes a corps commander to Gen Blanchard commander of the 1st Army Do what you want Mon General but do something stated in Bloch s presence.6 National Expectations institutions A rise amongst the population of a level of expectation for self as opposed to national service exacerbated by both government and media playing off political and economic fault lines resulting in stagnation and a psychological softening of the population A diminishment of critical thinking within scientific and centres of higher education These represent a few of the myriad of observations raised by Bloch Unlike historians writing on the collapse of France in the past tense, Bloch s work is based on experience and having lived the drama His comments are based upon his personal experiences and views Bloch s work is a challenge to France to take a hard, unvarnished look at its performance in the war Unfortunately, many of his views are prevalent in the military s and societies of today including a tendency to emphasize a success without recognizing where significant weaknesses existed His narrative lacks perhaps some of the finishing of a modern author s work but his points are clear and devastating our modern institutions and commands ignore his lessons at their peril.www.themilitaryreviewer.blogspot.com


  10. Bill Finnegan Bill Finnegan says:

    Years ago I read somewhere that it is beneficial to read books in topical clusters, i.e., that are somehow connected to one another I just completed my World War 2 cluster with Strange Defeat , Marc Bloch s analysis of why it was so easy for Nazi Germany to conqueror France Block was an eminent French historian who served in the First World War volunteered for the second despite being a middle aged grandfather and was executed by the Nazis in 1944 for his work with the resistance He wrote Years ago I read somewhere that it is beneficial to read books in topical clusters, i.e., that are somehow connected to one another I just completed my World War 2 cluster with Strange Defeat , Marc Bloch s analysis of why it was so easy for Nazi Germany to conqueror France Block was an eminent French historian who served in the First World War volunteered for the second despite being a middle aged grandfather and was executed by the Nazis in 1944 for his work with the resistance He wrote the book when he returned to his University teaching post soon after France surrendered I think it s an important book, a must read for history buffs But I expect the average reader will not be interested in the subject matter and everyone will struggle a bit with Bloch s writing style or the English translation thereof Some of his explanations for France s collapse may or may not offer lessons for us today Here are the main ones that I recall The French government was dysfunctional defense funds were miss spent on construction of a defensive wall i.e., the Maginot line which the Nazis circumvented instead of on tanks and planes the French Army was commanded by old men and younger officers trained by them who thought the new War would be exactly like the last one and adopted their strategy and tactics accordingly, ignoring the blitzkrieg tactics and capabilities Germany displayed in its invasion of Poland the horrendous experience of the last war 1, 357,800 Frenchmen killed, 4, 803,000 wounded , many left with permanent disabilities bred pacifism and dilution of patriotism which in turn led to widespread sentiment that surrender and occupation were better than war although in fairness the pacifists were at that point uniformed as to just how profoundly evil Nazism and its intentions were the timidity of the nation at large in the wake of Germany s blanket bombing of Polish cities business interest worried about damage to the economy and citizens about loss of civilian life and this influenced the government to declare that all cities and towns of 20,000 or were would be open , i.e., undefended , so the Nazi s would have no need to bomb them He relates how cadets of Samur were being killed on the Loire while Nazis cut their escape route over bridges in Nantes that were off limits to and undefended by French Army


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