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When France fell

ISBN: 9780674293885
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Origin: US
Release Date: March, 2024

Book Details

The “most shocking single event” of World War II, according to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, was not the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but the fall of France in the spring of 1940. The Nazi invasion of France destabilized Washington’s strategic assumptions, resulting in hasty and desperate decision-making. Michael Neiberg offers a dramatic history of America’s bewildering response-policies that placed the United States in league with fascism and nearly ruined its alliance with Britain. FDR and his advisors naively believed they could woo Vichy France’s decorated wartime leader, Marshal Philippe Petain, and prevent the country from becoming a formal German ally. The British, convinced that the Vichy government was fully subservient to Nazi Germany, chose to back Charles de Gaulle and actively financed and supported the Resistance. After the war, America’s decision to work with the Vichy regime cast a pall over US-French relations that lasted for decades.