By Philip Nord
in its place, he unearths that the 3rd Republic used to be no worse ready and its army failings no much less dramatic than these of the USA and different Allies within the early years of the battle. What used to be designated in France was once the betrayal through army and political elites who deserted the Republic and supported the reprehensible Vichy takeover. Why then have historians and politicians ever when you consider that interpreted the defeat as a judgment at the country as an entire? Why has the point of interest been at the failings of the 3rd Republic and never on elite betrayal? the writer examines those questions in a desirable conclusion.
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Extra info for France 1940 : defending the republic
France by itself had almost as many tanks as the Wehrmacht, but France was not by itself: it was reinforced by a British ally with a tank force of its own, however modest in size. As for airpower, the Luftwaffe outstripped France’s air force by a wide, albeit shrinking, margin, but not the combined air fleets of France and Britain together. Numbers, of course, do not tell the whole story. French tanks were impressive war engines, but they had design flaws, and a lot would depend on how they were used.
The necessary arms were in production but not ready for use, and America’s enemies were conscious of how things stood. The United States, according to Japanese estimates, had almost three times more warship tonnage under construction than Japan did in 1941, and the conclusion that followed from this was a simple one: the US was unready now, but it would not be unready for much longer.
The British and French militaries entered into staff talks in January 1939. Britain added Holland and Switzerland to the list of continental countries it was pledged to defend. And soon there was discussion of expanding Britain’s continental commitment in the event of war from a meager two divisions to an army several times that size. It’s not that Chamberlain had given up on hopes of appeasing Hitler but that British public opinion had begun to harden against the Nazis, creating pressure on British policy-makers to get tougher.