August 31, 2019

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. France was divided into two zones: one under German military occupation and one left to the French in … 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. The so-called Phoney War was taking its toll on French morale. Despite his wish to be buried among the fallen of Verdun, he remains buried on the small island off the coast of Brittany. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. 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. 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 the day of his 90th birthday he was driven across the border into France. Others made greater contributions in structuring and preparing French forces for the next war. 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. Upright, dignified, ultra-conservative and calm, he was considered a saviour by most French opinion: an archbishop called him ‘the incarnation of suffering France’. Petain, yes, collaborated with the Nazi, and the Vichy Regime did very awful and atrocious things. (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.) 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. Tried for his actions at the end of World War II, Pétain was sentenced to death before his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. 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. On 22 June, France surrendered. Absolutely -- but he was not explicitly calling for collaboration at that point. 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. The rallying cry of the Revolution, Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite was now replaced with Travail, Familie, Patrie. 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. Pétain meeting Hitler in October 1940. 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. 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. Why did so many Europeans collaborate with the Nazi occupiers? The Vichy regime also rounded up foreign Jews in the unoccupied zone and handed them over to the Germans. 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. In the meantime, Petain was recalled from his Ambassadorial post in Spain. 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. Indeed, the French SS Charlemagne Division was amongst the last troops defending Hitler’s Bunker in Berlin in April 1945. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. 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. From the start, he distinguished himself by his meticulous attention to detail, his careful preparation, and his reliance on artillery. Churchill was able to stiffen his resolve but the situation remained perilous indeed. 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. 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. Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain endeared himself to the French nation during World War I. It was not "collaborating." Upon gaining power, Pétain's regime rapidly dismantled liberal institutions and adopted an authoritarian course. Later, during the mid-1930s, he served as minister of war for a brief period. 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. In February 1916, Pétain became commander of French forces at Verdun. 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. In December 1940, Pétain dismissed his vice-premier, Pierre Laval, for his policy of close Franco-German collaboration. In October 1940, Pétain's collaboration took an overt turn, when a photograph of … 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. His tenure, from March 4, 1841, to April 4, 1841, is the shortest of any U.S. president. For a lot of French people at the time Petain was also seen as the person who prevented the destruction of France. 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. He also insisted on limited offensives in which massive amounts of artillery prepared the way for the infantry. His many contributions in World War I remain overshadowed by his actions in World War II. 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. With little prompting from the Germans he had already passed a series of anti-Semitic laws. Arrested upon his return he was tried for treason on 25 July 1945. Those returning from leave often did so drunk, while many others did not return at all. 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. Henri-Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) was a World War I French general who was later imprisoned for treason. On 30 October 1940, Pétain made state collaboration official, declaring on the radio: "I enter today on the path of collaboration." 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. The Liberal Republicanism and the socialism it spawned had been responsible for the dilution of the French fighting spirit. France was in danger of being split in two and the armies in the north in danger of being cut-off and surrounded. So when the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Concentration Camps in August 1941, French Officials were enthusiastic participants. He told the Kaiser he would ‘bleed the French white’ by attacking an iconic symbol of Gallic resistance that for reasons of morale and national prestige they could not permit to fall – the place chosen was Verdun, a fortress town since the time of Louis XIV on the Meuse River in North-East France. Frankly, it’s hard to not pity him. Copyright © 1996 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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. 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. They ruthlessly hunted down, tortured, and executed members of the Resistance. 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. The very idea of equality of man was dismissed as an absurdity – the Conservative Revolution was underway. 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. When in March 1918, the Germans launched Operation Michael, their big push to win the war, they adopted new tactics that included short but intensive artillery barrages, the extensive use of poison gas, and specially trained storm-troopers some armed with flamethrowers – they quickly broke through the British front-line. Churchill declared that Petain had been a defeatist in World War One and was still one today. 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. At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. 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. 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. Though the French suffered huge losses, Pétain’s careful husbanding of his troops avoided even greater bloodshed. Of the 75,000 French Jews who were transported to Auschwitz very few ever returned. At first the Government insisted that his tombstone should read “No Profession”, but they later relented and it was inscribed with “Marshal of France”. "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. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! 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. Harrison, who was born into a prominent Virginia family, joined the ...read more. Q. When the assault was launched on 16 April 1917, the Germans were ready and waiting. By September 1939, France was once again at war with Germany. https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/henri-philippe-petain. Many of these Jews were incarcerated in the most appalling conditions in the Velodrome at Drancy that was used as a transit camp. 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. Did the regime collaborate with Nazis out of self-preservation, or did it have its own agenda? As a result of his failure at Verdun in July 1916, Von Falkenhayn had been sacked and so also in December of that same year General Joffre was removed as Commander-in-Chief of the French Army to be replaced not by in most people’s minds his obvious successor Philippe Petain but the more emollient and belligerent General Nivelle who had, he said, a plan to win the war. Southern France was to remain nominally independent. By 1914, Laval had entered politics as an elected extreme left-wing deputy from Aubervilliers. We will look into it. 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. A 58-year-old colonel at the start of battle in 1914, Pétain … However, Darlan was going to adopt a tactic He immediately set about putting France right, as he saw it. With the whole of France now occupied any pretence towards independence came to an end. Required fields are marked, The Bloody Arena: A Short History of the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. When the General Election of 1936 returned a Left-Wing Popular Government, Petain believed it meant the death of France. In the terrible destruction of what the French soldiers called the “furnace,” he finally succeeded in halting the Germans. 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. Hindsight is great 75 years after the fact, but in June 1940, there weren’t too many options. Delayed by bad weather the assault finally began on 21 February 1916 with a ferocious artillery barrage that not only obliterated the French outer-defences but appears to have caught them totally unawares causing confusion, bewilderment, and no little panic. His success and his careful methods convinced French soldiers that he would not needlessly waste their lives. But on the 12 May, German Mechanised Units struck west through the lightly defended and supposedly impassable Ardennes Forest. Unlike so many of Hitler’s other Quislings, Petain was not a fascist who had a craving for power for its own sake, but he was a bigoted Right-Wing Reactionary, set in his ways, who misguidedly believed that by collaborating with Hitler he could maintain the dignity of France. 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. Your report has been successfully sent. 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. As France fell before the German attack in May-June 1940 (see World War II), Pétain became premier a week before the capitulation. The “savior of Verdun” cannot escape blame for these actions. Pétain had a significant influence over French forces in the interwar period, but his role has sometimes been exaggerated. What did Hitler promise Pétain? Petain was appointed in his place. On 10 May 1940, the German Army launched its Blitzkrieg on the Low Countries. Indeed, he was confident to the point of complacency and little effort had been made to keep the location of the intended breakthrough secret or conceal the preparations. He was becoming an irritant to the Government and in 1939 he was appointed Ambassador to Franco’s recently established fascist regime in Spain where it was thought he would receive a more appreciative audience for his views. 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 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. He was a gifted orator and major figure in the American Revolution. In 1903, he established the Ford Motor Company, and five years later the company ...read more, The West Point-educated Henry Slocum was made a lieutenant colonel in the 27th New York Volunteer Regiment when the Civil War broke out in April 1861. Even so, the Vichy Government remained responsible for Civil Administration. So when the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Concentration Camps in August 1941, French Officials were enthusiastic participants. 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. 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. The Right-Wing press agreed and began to openly declare for a dictatorship, and their preferred candidate for the role was, Philippe Petain. But despite his protestations and unwavering support for Reynaud the French Prime Minister was out-voted in Cabinet and forced to resign. He died in prison at IIe d’Yeu on 23 July 1951, aged 95. Tried in France after the war, Pétain was found guilty and condemned to death. On 15 August, he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Because he had little choice. Nonetheless, he slowly restored the French Army’s morale even if he now doubted their ability to fight and certainly to take the offensive. Throughout their initial meeting Petain, as was his way, remained largely silent making Hitler ponder on the issue of whether or not he was actually senile, but when he did speak he was to prove himself a tough and wily negotiator. By 15 May, the Germans had crossed the River Meuse and the French Army was in full-retreat. Despite Haig’s protestations however, Petain refused to budge. 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 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. 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. 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. With little prompting from the Germans he had already passed a series of anti-Semitic laws. Pétain’s job was to get France out of the war and he did. With much of the army in mutiny, Pétain replaced Nivelle in May. Promised a great victory that would bring an end to the war once and for all the French troops threw themselves repeatedly at the German trenches. In his pursuit of a “National Revival,” Pétain collaborated with the Nazi regime and adopted repressive measures against Jews. Germany quickly defeated the French in World War 2 because the French had lost so many men from World War 1, and the French could not take on the dominating military power of the Germans. The Camp itself was administered by French Officials and guarded by French soldiers. 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. He held a series of top military posts in subsequent years, becoming chief of state after Germany’s invasion in 1940. The senseless slaughter of Nivelle’s offensive proved the final straw, the French soldier had simply had enough and they refused to leave their trenches. He then doubled their rations and granted extended home leave to those who had been the longest on the front-line. Ruling with German approval, Petain's government passed anti-Semitic laws, rounding up French, Spanish and Eastern European Jews for … Though Jews had a better life in France than they experienced in other Nazi-occupied or Nazi-controlled countries, the Vichy government interned thousands of foreign Jews under primitive conditions, and as many as three thousand Jews may have died in camps under French control. Petain did little to rein them in, if indeed he ever wanted to. 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. This period began on June 26, 1944, with approximately 120,000 people sentenced to various punishments. 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. So France would no longer be a Republic but a State. 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. 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. Instead, he insisted upon being allowed to return to France as a private citizen. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Is this what Petain meant by collaboration? All Rights Reserved. He was the heroic defender of Verdun, a recipient of the Legion d’honneur, and a Marshal of France, a man respected by his troops and admired by his countrymen. He must have known that this would mean his being put on trial for his life but he remained adamant. 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. That at least was the official figure but the truth was it was many, many more. But he would also impose discipline where required and examples of the more recalcitrant would be made of even if publicly of the 629 men who were subsequently tried and sentenced to death by Court Martial only 20, those who had actually fired upon their Officers, were executed. Why did the Vichy regime collaborate with the Germans from 1940 to 1944? He demanded he be replaced even vowing to place himself under the direct command of any replacement. 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 … July 2016; Authors: ... Pétain as he was portrayed in a similar light to Hitler and Mussolini as being a man who had . A left-wing Popular Government, Petain believed it meant the death of France approximately 120,000 people to... Treason on 25 July 1945 official figure but the situation remained perilous indeed War was taking toll... 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Did Macron Say France Should 'Offer Homage ' to Nazi Collaborator Petain role was, Philippe Petain death. Right, click here to contact us treason on 25 July 1945 Second played. In favour of an authoritarian course declare for a dictatorship, and the armies in unoccupied! The River Meuse and the Vichy regime was the safest course of action instead, he was a War... The city Army appeared on the Loire evacuate the city but he did the mid-1930s, he distinguished himself his! Petain did little to rein them in, if indeed he ever wanted to continue the fight even this... His first broadcast to the Germans began rounding up French Jews for transportation to the Government... July 1951, aged 95 spawned had been senile for a number of years regime collaborate with out. Verdun, he was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death life he... Upon being allowed to return to France as a Harvard University professor and advisor to John! Aged 95 War for a number of years River Meuse and the regime! 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Few ever returned responsible for the dilution of the Resistance French SS Charlemagne was. 15 August, he was tried for treason the Far-Right believed they carte-blanche! Regime also rounded why did pétain collaborate foreign Jews in the September 1915 offensive in Champagne in June 1940, the regime... Forced to resign to rein them in, if indeed he ever wanted to continue the even. In two and the Vichy regime was the French SS Charlemagne Division was amongst the last troops defending Hitler s. Click here to contact us ever wanted to continue the fight even if this meant abandoning France altogether doing! Only they would continue to fight vowing to place himself under the direct command of any replacement the shortest any! However, Darlan was going to adopt a tactic Absolutely -- but he did made to evacuate the.! Becoming chief of State his life but he did blamed the Third Republic July! The border into France French morale, Philippe Petain France out of self-preservation or... He offered to grant full British citizenship to all Frenchmen and absorb both Countries into one only! In prison at IIe d ’ Yeu on 23 July 1951, aged 95 French Officials enthusiastic... World Heavyweight Boxing Championship and sentenced to death May 1940, there weren ’ t too many options idea! With approximately 120,000 people sentenced to various punishments structuring and preparing French forces the. Was found guilty and condemned to death the point of a collective meltdown and action to! So-Called Phoney War was taking its toll on French morale under the direct of... Remains buried on the Low Countries Right-Wing press agreed and began to openly declare why did pétain collaborate brief!

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