Vichy France

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by TriciaF, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I saw in here: Philippe Pétain - Wikipedia

    That during French army WW1 mutinies Petain "Pétain restored morale by talking to the men, promising no more suicidal attacks, providing rest for exhausted units, home furloughs, and moderate discipline. He held 3400 court martials; 554 mutineers were sentenced to death but over 90% had their sentences commuted.[5] The mutinies were kept secret from the Germans and their full extent and intensity were not revealed until decades later."

    And also, after his own trial after WW2:

    "At the end of Pétain's trial, he was convicted on all charges. The jury sentenced him to death by a one-vote majority. Due to his advanced age, the Court asked that the sentence not be carried out. De Gaulle, who was President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic at the end of the war, commuted the sentence to life imprisonment due to Pétain's age and his military contributions in World War I. After his conviction, the Court stripped Pétain of all military ranks and honours save for the one distinction of Marshal of France.

    Fearing riots at the announcement of the sentence, De Gaulle ordered that Pétain be immediately transported on the former's private aircraft to Fort du Portalet in the Pyrenees,[58] where he remained from 15 August to 16 November 1945. The government later transferred him to the Fort de Pierre-Levée citadel on the Île d'Yeu, a small island off the French Atlantic coast."

    I was also quite surprised by some of the info in the section on his "Imprisonment and death" - such as for example: "As early as June 1946 U.S. President Harry Truman interceded in vain for his release, even offering to provide political asylum in the U.S"

    The Nazi's were not noted for being forgiving to their enemies, or for releasing many of their opponents, e.g. due to their infirmity or age: Aktion T4 - Wikipedia

    Aktion 14f13 (1941–44), a Nazi extermination operation that killed prisoners who were sick, elderly, or deemed no longer fit for work"

    Although some civilian's could be "released" due to their age: P. G. Wodehouse - Wikipedia
    "thus released from internment a few months before his sixtieth birthday—the age at which civilian internees were released by the Nazis"

    I wonder if an "honourable option" was ever considered as a "option" for Petain, i.e. such as occurred in Japanese society: Seppuku - Wikipedia

    Or Rommel: Erwin Rommel - Wikipedia

    "However, Hitler knew that having Rommel branded and executed as a traitor would severely damage morale on the home front. He thus decided to offer Rommel the chance to take his own life"

  2. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    One thing of note,Petain when he died, was to be interred as "of no profession" inscribed on his tombstone.There was a change of policy and the inscription was replaced with "Marshal of France"
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Don't Forget and Don't Forgive
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I think it's perfectly possible to celebrate Petain's WW1 achievements while utterly condemning his later craven-ness.
    I did think Robert Paxton's book on Vichy was rather good, if a bit dense at times. What it does underline is just how complex this all was. Murky. (Not really read anything more recent specifically on Vichy, though. And lordy, didn't he (Paxton) trigger a fuss! Maybe the response to his book helps to illuminate how the French held a hero, & WW2 national dignity, in a certain way.)
    Nonetheless - a disgraceful survival, or what? Oblivion?

    Who'd want to be any politician forced to Parlez with occupying Nazis... If Petain had been executed postwar & post Vichy, the hero of Verdun; there's your complicated future political focus right there.
    Napoleon was exiled for good reason. Petain allowed to wither for similar.
    Dave55 and SDP like this.
  5. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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