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Saturday, 13 May 2017


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To fully understand the dilemma facing Churchill after the collapse of France, you also need to read.-
England's Last War Against France: Fighting Vichy 1940-42
by Colin Smith.
This is an absolutely brilliant book, which will make clear why we could never trust the French!

Britain's bloody shooting war with Vichy France is largely forgotten or ignored, despite going far beyond what happened at Oran.
After Churchill told the French that Britain would fight on alone, the French generals told their prime minister that 'In three weeks England would have her neck wrung like a chicken.' But their contempt for Britain didn't stop with words alone.
Pierre Laval the Vichy Prime Minister actually approached Hitler with the request that the French air force might join the Luftwaffe in bombing London.
Thankfully although he did ask the Vichy Government to declare war on Britain. Hitler declined the French air force.

France's prime objective seemed to be gaining favour with the winning side, even if it meant complete betrayal of her closest ally.

Scratch a Frenchman and you'll find a German.

Thank you, BobH (not to be confused with American Democrat Bob!), I have just read an old review of the book and it sounds fascinating - obscure but fascinating!

A little harsh, Henry!

Hope those help.


Perhaps a bit harsh. But not entirely unjustified, I think ...

Q. What's the difference between a Frenchman and a slice of toast?

A. You can make soldiers out of toast!


A note for context.

After the war was over and things counted up it seems that more French were killed by the allies than the Germans. A little off since those killed by allied bombers may not have had pro-axis sympathy's. But the amount of active Vichy French combatants was much larger then the Free French, until 1944 and it was obvious who would be running post war France.

WC could perhaps handled it better but his concern was real.

It is very interesting to compare Norway (population, a mere 3.5 million) and France, both nations being invaded and occupied by Nazi Germany.

Norway battled courageously with British help for two months before warfare came to an end in June 1940.
What was left of the Royal Norwegian Navy, instead of surrendering was ordered to sail for Britain to continue the war!

Worldwide, Norway also possessed a huge modern Merchant Navy, which sailed to join the allies war effort.

Despite their small size, Norway's contribution was marked by courage and fortitude throughout the war.

Speaking of the French ...

Syria, which was then under French control, was also the scene of bitter fighting in WW2 [1941]. A largely forgotten campaign against Vichy France.

For a thousand years, the French were our primary enemy. Then in 1905 we made a big mistake - we allied ourselves with them. It's all to do with cricket - we play it, they don't. Brexit will make it all plain.

It's cricket wot dunnit! Of course, BOE, why didn't I think of that?!

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