10th July 1940 - Pétain grabs power

Nov 2010
1,326
Bordeaux
Nolan's "Dunkirk" was on the telly last night, and I stumbled on it which led to a re-watching.
...
"Dunkirk" really isn't bad. It's just not focusing on the French.
Ok, I might give it another try then, just for the sake of optimised objectivity ;)

And although I agree that an Eastwood-type two-film approach would suit the event perfectly, I doubt the French version would get much hype beyond a few history buffs! My guess would be that almost nobody would be interested, the general public has been used to not caring for too long.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,094
Its trash and a French version would just as bad.
Well, from a point of view of the highest standards of historical accuracy, completeness and veracity – I think ı would have to broadly agree. But then it wouldn't be the movies...

For the movies, and specifically the truncated treatment of the French in the pocket, it's still no that bad. There's far worse – like "Darkest Hour".
 
Apr 2014
291
Liverpool, England
I don't know what date the Dunkirk film is supposed to represent, but at the outset of the evacuation (26 May) more than half of the perimeter was held by the BEF. While this was whittled down, especially when troops were withdrawn from the Belgian half of the pocket, there was still a British presence on the perimeter until the night of 31 May/1 June.
 
Mar 2015
1,486
Yorkshire
It's good to have such positive, enthusiastic, nuanced contributions on this thread! :lol:
Just repeating what my 101 year old father said. Machine gunner 4th Cheshires, rear guard along with Anti-tank unit, and armoured cars at Waterloo (bombed), then each of the river lines Sense (Hal), Dendre (Papingnies), Escaut then formed the Dunkirk perimeter at La Panne but sent forward due to collapsing South West front to Wormhoudt - Liebstandardte Adolph Hitler (had the honour to shoot up Sep Deitrich's car and two tanks sent to rescue whilst Sep and Max Wunsche hid in a pig swill conduit) BTW 4th Cheshires lost half the battalion in covering the retreat.Then walked 18 miles back to Dunkirk, losing two comrades on the way, took 4 hours crossing no-mans land with a battle going on overhead, arrived Dunkirk one of the last two days, the Mole was completely shot up and in danger of falling into the abyss. With one other British soldier squeezed on to a French Destroyer, dropped off at Cherbourg (ie direct - 4000 to 5000 specialist french soldiers went this way) - very grateful to the French Navy, joined a huge base where the 52nd Lowland Scottish Division was being formed (dire need of machine gunners). France collapsed before went to front and departed Cherbourg on small boat with 5 others, landing at Portsmouth.

He says its trash and I agree with him.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,816
Europix
Ok, I might give it another try then, just for the sake of optimised objectivity ;)

And although I agree that an Eastwood-type two-film approach would suit the event perfectly, I doubt the French version would get much hype beyond a few history buffs! My guess would be that almost nobody would be interested, the general public has been used to not caring for too long.
Well, we can always try to get Clint Eastwood and Luc Besson to co-produce it, can't we?
 
Apr 2014
291
Liverpool, England
To go back to the original topic, I have just been looking through the Documents on German Foreign Policy published in 1956 from captured archives. On 3 June 1940, the German ambassador in Spain, Stohrer, sent a message to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. A Spanish official, known only by the code-name ‘Wilhelm’, had sent him a report by a representative in Paris who had had a long conversation with Marshal Pétain. For what it’s worth, “the latter had said that a coup d’état would be necessary if he wanted to seize power in France, but this was a serious matter in France. The President of the Republic was merely a “servant of the political parties” who would do nothing if he [Pétain] demanded of him the transfer of his powers. They must therefore wait.”
 
Nov 2010
1,326
Bordeaux
To go back to the original topic, I have just been looking through the Documents on German Foreign Policy published in 1956 from captured archives. On 3 June 1940, the German ambassador in Spain, Stohrer, sent a message to the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. A Spanish official, known only by the code-name ‘Wilhelm’, had sent him a report by a representative in Paris who had had a long conversation with Marshal Pétain. For what it’s worth, “the latter had said that a coup d’état would be necessary if he wanted to seize power in France, but this was a serious matter in France. The President of the Republic was merely a “servant of the political parties” who would do nothing if he [Pétain] demanded of him the transfer of his powers. They must therefore wait.”
Indeed, as mentioned before Pétain was an ambitious man. Nothing happened by mere accident.
 
Dec 2011
1,386
Belgium
Frog33inUK,

I contributed yet on a French forum about this question in three different threads. Threads where Gaullists and Pétainists fought each other in such a way that the thread had to be closed for endless arguments, many times biased, which were repeated again and again.

Two preliminary questions, and I think you can answer them as I know you are so knowledgeable about that period in France.

1. Did this afternoon some research as I read this:
My question as a Belgian not knowing that much of the French voting system of the Third Republic.
The "Assemblée nationale" with the "Chambres et Sénat" together had they voting rights to adapt the Constitution?

2. I contributed on several fora how Hitler came socalled legally at his two thirds. Was that also the case in the French assembly? And in case yes, could the forbidden Conmunist voters and the ministers on their way to Northern France with the Massilia have made the difference for the two thirds?
The story of the Massilia with English subtitles:

Kind regards, Paul.
Addendum, about the story of the Massilia documentary, especially for you, deaf tuner and peccavi.

I chose this youtube because there were English subtitles in the documentary. With the postscriptum that is a bit jingoist, I did some research about the source and found only a certain "Schreck". The original that I saw on the French "Antenne Deux" I think in 2011, was "Juin 1940. Le piège du Massilia" (June 1940. The trap of the Massilia) by Virginia Linhart.

But it is identical to the one I showed with the English subtitles.

Kind regards, Paul.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,960
San Antonio, Tx
Exactly. The were the disgruntled losers of history so far. Without France's defeat and military collapse there were no prospects for them to not just get their hands on the rudder of state, but to actually start unravelling the secular republicanism of the last century or so.

The problem with WWII from a French perspective is that it wasn't just a confrontation with the Axis powers, but ended up as an internal French struggle over what kind of France there should be for the future. (It's where the less rational aspects of the US preference for Vichy over the Free French, and at least some of the latterday American anti-de.-Gaulle sentiments, looks seriously problematic.)
To this day, I have never understood the US “support” of Vichy France, anemic as it was. Maybe it’s root cause was Roosevelt’s dislike for DeGaulle. I feel for DeGaulle because he was left in such an ambiguous position by the fall of France; his prickly personality didn’t exactly help either. Churchill - a life long admirer of the French - supported the difficult DeGaulle in the face of Roosevelt’s dislike and prevailed in spite of Roosevelt’s antagonism. When the DeGaulle's Free French Army entered Paris, it did so looking very much like an American Army since virtually all its equipment and arms were American.

Whatever else we may think of DeGaulle, he saved the national honor of France