The third phase was the most lenient toward the suspected Nazi assistants, and it included the trials of Philippe Pétain, who was charged with treason in 1945, and the French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline, who supported the Axis forces and wrote anti-Semitic pamphlets during the war. In December 1940, Pétain dismissed his vice-premier, Pierre Laval, for his policy of close Franco-German collaboration. Petain's actions during World War II resulted in a conviction and death sentence for treason, which was commuted to life imprisonment by Charles de Gaulle. He also insisted on limited offensives in which massive amounts of artillery prepared the way for the infantry. Petain was appointed in his place. Though the French failed to break through German defensive lines, Pétain’s after-action report identified shortcomings in French methods and provided important ideas about future operations. Petain’s stoicism and calm determination soon began to filter through to the troops and confidence restored as living up to his own maxim that ‘firepower kills’ he emphasised the use of artillery subjecting the German positions to a constant and intensive barrage whilst restricting infantry assaults to specifically targeted weak points with limited objectives. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. In October 1940, Pétain's collaboration took an overt turn, when a photograph of … Between 1914 and 1940, Laval would hold dozen… After Charles de Gaulle commuted the sentence to life imprisonment, he was confined on the [Icirc]le d’Yeu, where he died on July 23, 1951, at the age of ninety-six. The misconception that the Vichy Regime was the … Indeed, the French SS Charlemagne Division was amongst the last troops defending Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin in April 1945. So when the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Concentration Camps in August 1941, French Officials were enthusiastic participants. By September 1939, France was once again at war with Germany. The rallying cry of the Revolution, Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite was now replaced with Travail, Familie, Patrie. His talents became most apparent when his Second Army played a large role in the September 1915 offensive in Champagne. His desire to ...read more, Henry Hudson made his first voyage west from England in 1607, when he was hired to find a shorter route to Asia from Europe through the Arctic Ocean. Other French leaders, including Foch, frequently criticized Pétain for his pessimism and caution, but he nevertheless established a particularly strong relationship with the American commander, General John J. Pershing. All rights reserved. A 58-year-old colonel at the start of battle in 1914, Pétain earned acclaim for stopping the Germans at the Battle of Verdun and assumed command of the French forces in 1917. Soon, Pétain assumed plenipotentiary powers as Head of State. Barring an opening statement when he questioned the validity of the Court to try him, he did nothing to defend himself and remained silent throughout the rest of the trial. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. France between the wars was hopelessly politically divided and Governments came and went with alarming alacrity, Left and Right clashed on the streets of Paris and other major cities, and there appeared to be no middle-way. He was to the French people the Saviour of Verdun who had prevented a humiliating and morale sapping defeat but to the French High Command he was an over-cautious and pessimistic man whose constant demands for more men and more munitions were made regardless of events elsewhere on the Western Front. France was divided into two zones: one under German military occupation and one left to the French in … © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Nonetheless, he slowly restored the French Army’s morale even if he now doubted their ability to fight and certainly to take the offensive. But despite his protestations and unwavering support for Reynaud the French Prime Minister was out-voted in Cabinet and forced to resign. Between the wars he was to hold a number of prominent posts including Inspector-General of the Army, Minister of War, and Minister of State. Despite his demotion Petain had a good war, and in 1919 he received his Marshal’s baton and such was his apparent popularity that he was persuaded, against his better judgement, to stand for the Presidency of the Third Republic, but he lost heavily. The French president himself has advanced the recognition of France’s complicity in the Holocaust – but his desire to honor Petain demonstrates the fragility of that process. In accordance with the Armistice terms France was divided into three zones, northern and western France including the Atlantic coast was to be occupied by the Germans whilst a small strip of land beside the Alps was allocated to the Italians to placate Mussolini. Pétain, a veteran of the first world war who took the helm of the collaborationist French state in his mid-80s, was tried by Charles de Gaulle's provisional postwar … As the war progressed, the Vichy Government sank deeper into collaboration with the German occupiers which finally took control of the totality of metropolitan France. Vichy France (July 1940–September 1944), France under the regime of Marshal Philippe Petain, from France’s defeat by Nazi Germany to its liberation by the Allies in World War II. The very idea of equality of man was dismissed as an absurdity – the Conservative Revolution was underway. He was a quiet child little given to play who grew into a reserved young man most remembered for his sustained periods of silence rather than any more obvious charms. Why did the Vichy regime collaborate with the Germans from 1940 to 1944? Those returning from leave often did so drunk, while many others did not return at all. Arrested upon his return he was tried for treason on 25 July 1945. Vichy provided limited protection to native French Jews, but it adopted repressive measures on its own from 1940 to 1942, including property confiscation, dismissals from government service, and exclusions from professions and higher education. He promised that if Pétain would sign the armistice, very soon afterward he would give France a permanent and just peace, that German troops would evacuate France, and in the New Order of Europe Germany would help France become a free and independent partner. Pétain and his entourage saw the defeat of France and the collapse of the Third Republic as a chance to wipe out the legacy of permissiveness and decadence represented by the left-wing Popular Front government of the 1930s and the French Revolution. Even the usually implacable French Premier Paul Reynaud felt obliged to contact his British counterpart Winston Churchill to tell him that all was lost and France beaten. A. What did Hitler promise Pétain? The “savior of Verdun” cannot escape blame for these actions. Anything he proposed was judged not on its merits but on his politics. Your report has been successfully sent. In January 1943, the Milice, a brutal Right-Wing Militia, was formed under the Command of the fascist Joseph Darnand, whom Petain was to appoint Secretary for the Maintenance of Public Order. As France fell before the German attack in May-June 1940 (see World War II), Pétain became premier a week before the capitulation. Indeed, the willingness of the French High Command to sacrifice the lives of their men in such a manner so soon after the trauma of Verdun astonished them especially when it was clear there would be no breakthrough. Henri Philippe Petain was born on 24 April 1856, in Cauchy-a-la-Tour in the Pas-de-Calais region of France, the son of a farmer from whom he inherited the traits of caution, stubbornness, and the stoical fatalism common to the French peasant. Ruling with German approval, Petain's government passed anti-Semitic laws, rounding up French, Spanish and Eastern European Jews for … Even so, the Vichy Government remained responsible for Civil Administration. In the meantime, Petain was recalled from his Ambassadorial post in Spain. Spurning the opportunity to take the initiative in the coldest winter for decades the poorly paid French soldiers froze in their trenches with nothing to do. Despite Pétain’s success and his concern for his soldiers, General Robert Nivelle was chosen to replace General Marshal Joseph Joffre as commander of French forces; he then brought France to the edge of disaster with his ruinous offensive in April 1917. At midnight on 15 June 1940, Baudouin asked the Spanish Ambassador to submit to Germany a request to cease hostilities at once and for Germany to make known its peace terms. Southern France was to remain nominally independent. Pétain had a significant influence over French forces in the interwar period, but his role has sometimes been exaggerated. Pétain — who was in his mid-80s when he took the top Vichy post — was tried and sentenced to death for collaboration after the war. On 22 June, France surrendered. Despite his wish to be buried among the fallen of Verdun, he remains buried on the small island off the coast of Brittany. For the remainder of the war, Pétain remained in command of French forces, though General Ferdinand Foch leaped over him to become supreme commander of Allied forces. The so-called Phoney War was taking its toll on French morale. Their time would come he told his men but for now they would hold what they had as he set about reorganising the defence; the one narrow road to Verdun from the town of Bar-le-Duc fifty miles away he kept open and in constant use as troops were rotated in and out of the front line every two weeks as the endless columns of trucks carrying ammunition, supplies, and the wounded to and from Verdun soon earned it the title the Voie Sacree, or Sacred Road. He died in prison at IIe d’Yeu on 23 July 1951, aged 95. His rousing speeches—which included a 1775 speech to the Virginia legislature in which he famously declared, ...read more, Leader of the Whig party and five times an unsuccessful presidential candidate, Henry Clay (1777-1852) played a central role on the stage of national politics for over forty years. The grim struggle for Verdun would continue for a further eight months and though Petain’s presence as Commander of the Second Army remained throughout the laurels of final victory would go to General Nivelle but any sense of triumphalism was muted for it had been bought at a terrible cost with due to the rotation system implemented by Petain more the three-quarters of the French Army passing through Verdun some 400,0000 of whom became casualties. So when the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Concentration Camps in August 1941, French Officials were enthusiastic participants. He held a series of top military posts in subsequent years, becoming chief of state after Germany’s invasion in 1940. In the terrible destruction of what the French soldiers called the “furnace,” he finally succeeded in halting the Germans. Subsequently naming himself the head of state in Vichy France, he headed a curious government that adopted “Work, Family, Country” as its slogan and sought a “National Revival.” In April 1942, at the age of eighty-five, he passed real power to Pierre Laval, who pursued an openly collaborationist policy with the Germans. He had long blamed the Third Republic for the corruption and moral decay that had blighted French society. He must have known that this would mean his being put on trial for his life but he remained adamant. The Vichy regime was the French government which succeeded the Third Republic from July 1940 to August 1944. Churchill was able to stiffen his resolve but the situation remained perilous indeed. They would occupy the front-line positions but they would not fight and those units marching towards the front were berated for doing so and bleated at like sheep. Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain endeared himself to the French nation during World War I. A 58-year-old colonel at the start of battle in 1914, Pétain … Though the French suffered huge losses, Pétain’s careful husbanding of his troops avoided even greater bloodshed. Prior to the outbreak of the war France had been a hotbed of fascist propaganda, and Far-Right organisations such as Action Francaise and the Croix de Feu had been prominent, active, and responsible for much of the violence on the streets. That he did not want to put the whole hand into it was proved by his dismissal of Laval, guilty of hav-ing pursued a policy of voluntary collaboration with excessive zeal and dangerous concessions. Petain, yes, collaborated with the Nazi, and the Vichy Regime did very awful and atrocious things. At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. Meanwhile, in Paris the Government was undecided what to do as preparations were made to evacuate the city. Beginning the war as an obscure fifty-eight-year-old colonel in command of an infantry brigade, he rose quickly in rank, assuming command of the Sixth Division in September 1914, the Thirty-third Corps in October, and the Second Army in June 1915. With little prompting from the Germans he had already passed a series of anti-Semitic laws. The ageing and increasingly truculent Marshal of France appeared to agree. Henri-Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) was a World War I French general who was later imprisoned for treason. It was not "collaborating." of 65 million- Nazis send in 30,000 troops to rule over France, French collaboration needed for Nazis to maintain control over France Peasants fearful of dem. At first the Government insisted that his tombstone should read “No Profession”, but they later relented and it was inscribed with “Marshal of France”. However, Darlan was going to adopt a tactic There was no enthusiasm for the battle to come and the elan of previous years had gone, a defensive mentality now dominated French strategic thinking best emphasised by their misplaced confidence in the Maginot Line – they would simply remain behind their fortifications and wait for the Germans to attack them. He was secretary of state under John Quincy Adams, Speaker of the House of Representatives longer ...read more, Born in Germany in 1923, Henry Kissinger escaped the Nazi regime to become a powerful and controversial U.S. statesman. Holland and Belgium were quickly overrun and the French Commander, General Gamelin, committed the bulk of his army to France’s northern frontier to meet what he believed would be the German’s main thrust. The Vichy regime also rounded up foreign Jews in the unoccupied zone and handed them over to the Germans. In October Pétain launched an attack on the fortress of La Malmaison in the Chemin des Dames, near where Nivelle’s offensive had failed, and successfully seized this dominating piece of terrain. He was a gifted orator and major figure in the American Revolution. By 15 May, the Germans had crossed the River Meuse and the French Army was in full-retreat. It was proclaimed by Marshal Philippe Pétain following the military defeat of France and the July 10 vote by the National Assembly to grant extraordinary powers to Pétain, who held the title of President of the Council. The Army High Command and Petain in particular, insisted that all was lost. On 11 November 1942, in response to the Allied invasion of North Africa the Germans occupied the whole of France this despite Petain ordering that French forces resist the Allies in all of France’s colonial possessions which they did with vigour before the Commander in North Africa, Admiral Darlan, who was assassinated not long after, ordered that they lay down their arms. n the meantime, General Erich von Falkenhayn, Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, had been busy devising a strategy to break the deadlock of the Western Front. Petain, by now 89 years of age, refused to co-operate any further. In 1876, he joined the French Army attending the St Cyr Military Academy where he controversially refused to adopt the accepted French military philosophy of elan, or the furious full-frontal assault, insisting instead that – ‘firepower kills.’ It was perhaps an indication of a difficult character for his career in the army was steady rather than spectacular and his rise through its ranks painfully slow; in the spring of 1914 at the age of 58 having at last made the rank of Colonel and with little prospect of further promotion he bought a house and decided to retire. The Catholic Church was raised in status and expected to take a more active role in society, all criticism of Nazi Germany was forbidden, and a massive campaign of propaganda was undertaken to persuade people of the benefits of the new/old France. Reynaud wanted to continue the fight even if this meant abandoning France altogether and doing so from their colonies overseas. The situation soon became desperate and Field-Marshal Haig called for urgent French support but Petain refused saying that he would instead withdraw the French Army to defend Paris; but to do so would have created a fatal gap in the Allied lines. In February 1916, Pétain became commander of French forces at Verdun. Frankly, it’s hard to not pity him. The French Army appeared on the point of a collective meltdown and action had to be taken and swiftly. In subsequent months, Pétain revived the French army by meting out a combination of rewards and punishments, including about fifty-five executions (not the hundreds that some critics have alleged). Pétain’s job was to get France out of the war and he did. He set about his task with vigour, the series of counter-attacks which had stalled the German advance but achieved little else at very great cost he ordered to cease and the French positions consolidated. Petain, a stubborn, phlegmatic, essentially humourless, reactionary set in his ways blamed the Third Republic for the moral decay of France and feared a Communist takeover. Instead, he insisted upon being allowed to return to France as a private citizen. In such a divisive and frenzied political atmosphere, only exacerbated by the World Economic Depression and mass unemployment, it proved impossible to adopt a coherent policy for national defence and despite being personally popular Petain was acknowledged as a man of the Right, and his political superiors were often not. M ost French people ‘did nothing’ because that was the safest course of action. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. While working as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit, Henry Ford (1863-1947) built his first gasoline-powered horseless carriage, the Quadricycle, in the shed behind his home. 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