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why did pétain collaborate

Following his return, on 30 October, he broadcast to the Nation informing them of his meeting with Hitler and declaring “I enter today into the way of collaboration,” words that continue to haunt France to this day for they were sincerely meant as the Vichy Regime did nothing to impede the Germans at any point. The Reader’s Companion to Military History. Now many on the Far-Right believed they had carte-blanche to impose their views on the population as a whole. He had long blamed the Third Republic for the corruption and moral decay that had blighted French society. At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. Petain was later to complain of their excesses but he did nothing to curtail them. 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. 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. Instead, he insisted upon being allowed to return to France as a private citizen. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/henri-philippe-petain. Pétain had a significant influence over French forces in the interwar period, but his role has sometimes been exaggerated. German losses were barely any less and attacked on the Somme and by the Russians in the East by the battles conclusion it was not the French Army that was being bled white. Ruling with German approval, Petain's government passed anti-Semitic laws, rounding up French, Spanish and Eastern European Jews for … Henri-Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) was a World War I French general who was later imprisoned for treason. Petain quickly set about trying to restore morale, he visited every Division in revolt, addressed the soldiers directly avoiding the committees where possible, drank their cheap wine, listened to their complaints and told them that there would be no further meaningless waste of life. Liberal values and secularism were disavowed in favour of an authoritarian Catholic social hierarchy. It was mutiny, Officer’s orders were ignored and some were even shot at and many taken prisoner. Gov.- support Petain, deeply rooted anti-Semitism, makes majority of country willing to collaborate w/the Nazis- in hard times look to authoritarian leader for guidance On 22 June 1942, Laval declared that he was "hoping for the victory of Germany". Did the regime collaborate with Nazis out of self-preservation, or did it have its own agenda? Petain's acceptance of the "principle" of collaboration meant that he had put a finger into the machine. Reynaud wanted to continue the fight even if this meant abandoning France altogether and doing so from their colonies overseas. He was a strong proponent of the defensive Maginot Line along France’s north-eastern frontier with Germany, and advocated a neutral and isolationist French foreign policy. 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. On 15 August, he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Why did the Vichy regime collaborate with the Germans from 1940 to 1944? Despite Haig’s protestations however, Petain refused to budge. Philippe Pétain, in full Henri-Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, (born April 24, 1856, Cauchy-à-la-Tour, France—died July 23, 1951, Île d’Yeu), French general who was a national hero for his victory at the Battle of Verdun in World War I but was discredited as chief of state of the French government at Vichy in World War II. Petain, by now 89 years of age, refused to co-operate any further. 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. He offered to grant full British citizenship to all Frenchmen and absorb both countries into one if only they would continue to fight. By September 1939, France was once again at war with Germany. He held a series of top military posts in subsequent years, becoming chief of state after Germany’s invasion in 1940. 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. 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. Charles de Gaulle, the Head of the Provisional Government, and still formally a member of Petain’s Staff, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment on the grounds of his advanced old age and previous services to France. 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. In return for total collaboration, Pétain's puppet government was allowed to police the so-called "free zone" while the Germans remained in the occupied north. Why Did Macron Say France Should 'Offer Homage' to Nazi Collaborator Petain? In the meantime, Petain was recalled from his Ambassadorial post in Spain. Those returning from leave often did so drunk, while many others did not return at all. Although it was not their intention to do so it appeared the Germans were on the verge of capturing Verdun and achieving a great victory. The French Army appeared on the point of a collective meltdown and action had to be taken and swiftly. His portrayal in three of ...read more, King Henry VIII (1491-1547) ruled England for 36 years, presiding over sweeping changes that brought his nation into the Protestant Reformation. At first the Government insisted that his tombstone should read “No Profession”, but they later relented and it was inscribed with “Marshal of France”. It was not "collaborating." 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. Your report has been successfully sent. All Rights Reserved. Absolutely -- but he was not explicitly calling for collaboration at that point. Between 1914 and 1940, Laval would hold dozen… Required fields are marked, The Bloody Arena: A Short History of the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. The German assault eventually petered out and Foch was to order a series of brilliantly executed counter-attacks, in which Petain played his part, that were to lead to the general advance that would bring the war to its conclusion. Despite his wish to be buried among the fallen of Verdun, he remains buried on the small island off the coast of Brittany. His request that he be buried at the site of his greatest triumph Verdun was denied, however. 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. ITALY STOLE U.S. ELECTION – Here’s why they did it… A top lawyer from the Italian Supreme Court reveals how a large defense software company, Leonardo SpA, stole the United States presidential election, using advanced military grade software, and satellites. 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). 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. The Camp itself was administered by French Officials and guarded by French soldiers. Though Pétain later claimed that he had been playing a “double game,” the harshest evidence of his having accepted German influence is his government’s anti-Jewish measures. France was divided into two zones: one under German military occupation and one left to the French in … 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. July 2016; Authors: ... Pétain as he was portrayed in a similar light to Hitler and Mussolini as being a man who had . Severely wounded in the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), he recovered in time to lead Union troops in 1862’s Peninsula ...read more, One of the most renowned kings in English history, Henry V (1387-1422) led two successful invasions of France, cheering his outnumbered troops to victory at the 1415 Battle of Agincourt and eventually securing full control of the French throne. Churchill was able to stiffen his resolve but the situation remained perilous indeed. Later, during the mid-1930s, he served as minister of war for a brief period. Yet in July 1945, he was sentenced to death for betraying the country he had spent his life in the service of, and he would forever become associated with the word – collaborator. 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 had been senile for a number of years. So when the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Concentration Camps in August 1941, French Officials were enthusiastic participants. General Nivelle was sacked and replaced by the only man the troops might be willing to trust – Philippe Petain. The Vichy Government also provided the Germans with a steady stream of forced labour, and as many as 50,000 Frenchmen were to join the SS. Nevertheless, he played an important part in the design and placement of the Maginot line; he himself chose the best sites for its major fortresses. Many of these Jews were incarcerated in the most appalling conditions in the Velodrome at Drancy that was used as a transit camp. His success and his careful methods convinced French soldiers that he would not needlessly waste their lives. (The noria system was named after a device used to raise water from a well, which consisted of a revolving chain of buckets that filled at the bottom of the well and emptied at the top.) 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. 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 … Pétain meeting Hitler in October 1940. This period began on June 26, 1944, with approximately 120,000 people sentenced to various punishments. On 14 June, Paris was occupied. As the dust settled in Europe, collaborators were hung, sent running naked down the streets or imprisoned, while the resistance set out to define post-war Europe. Tried in France after the war, Pétain was found guilty and condemned to death. 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. 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. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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. Petain did little to rein them in, if indeed he ever wanted to. A 58-year-old colonel at the start of battle in 1914, Pétain … image caption Petain (L) accepted a Nazi collaboration deal with Hitler in October 1940 Previously only researchers and journalists could see some archives, with special permission. 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. 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. Despite the increasingly frantic efforts to stem the German tide by the end of May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force was being evacuated from the beaches at Dunkirk. France was in danger of being split in two and the armies in the north in danger of being cut-off and surrounded. On 10 May 1940, the German Army launched its Blitzkrieg on the Low Countries. From the start, he distinguished himself by his meticulous attention to detail, his careful preparation, and his reliance on artillery. With much of the army in mutiny, Pétain replaced Nivelle in May. Soldiers Committees were formed and representatives elected from among the ranks. Those Civil Servants who were known to harbour Republican sympathies were dismissed from their posts and their replacements made to swear an oath of allegiance to the new regime. As national security advisor ...read more, William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), America’s ninth president, served just one month in office before dying of pneumonia. After twice being turned back by ice, Hudson embarked on a third voyage–this time on behalf of the Dutch East India Company–in ...read more, Patrick Henry was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the first governor of Virginia. Henri-Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) was a World War I French general who was later imprisoned for treason. 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. In October 1940, Pétain's collaboration took an overt turn, when a photograph of … 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. 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. He demanded he be replaced even vowing to place himself under the direct command of any replacement. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Haig went above Petain’s head to the politicians accusing him of being a defeatist who in a panic was undermining the Allied war effort and making the prospect of a German victory more likely. All rights reserved. Robert Nivelle was brash, outspoken, and confident that despite the exhaustion of the French Army following the prolonged struggle at Verdun his planned assault on the German held Chemin des Dames Ridge would succeed where all others had failed. The “savior of Verdun” cannot escape blame for these actions. Disinclined to engage in the high-flown rhetoric of patriotism and sacrifice to exhort every last effort from his troops so favoured by others (for example the phrase ‘They Shall not Pass’ with which he is so closely associated was in fact coined by his successor Robert Nivelle who had no such qualms) he was viewed by those under his command as a soldier’s soldier, someone who cared for his men, shared their hardships, and would not squander their lives. By 1914, Laval had entered politics as an elected extreme left-wing deputy from Aubervilliers. He had no vision for success, no plan for victory and some suggested displayed an unwillingness to fight, so with the situation stabilised at Verdun by the end of April he had been replaced. Placed upon the Reserve List his retirement proved short-lived and upon the outbreak of war with Germany he was recalled to the colours where following a purge of the higher-echelons of the French Army by its Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre the promotion he had so long yearned for at last materialised and by early 1916 he was General of the Second Army stationed near the fortress town of Verdun – he proved to be a competent and respected if cautious and unimaginative commander. Meanwhile, in Paris the Government was undecided what to do as preparations were made to evacuate the city. Nonetheless, he slowly restored the French Army’s morale even if he now doubted their ability to fight and certainly to take the offensive. 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. 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. Your email address will not be published. With little prompting from the Germans he had already passed a series of anti-Semitic laws. Q. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. 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. Nine years later, he was elected mayor of Aubervilliers and did not relinquish that role until shortly before his arrest in 1944 by the Nazis. Edited by Robert Cowley and Geoffrey Parker. 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. With the whole of France now occupied any pretence towards independence came to an end. 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.

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