Addressing the Conseil on the 23rd, Pétain claimed that it would be fruitless to look for assistance to Britain in the event of a German attack. A Certain idea of France The life of Charles de Gaulle, Julian Jackson, p. 58. During a cabinet meeting that day, Reynaud argued that before asking for an armistice, France would have to get Britain's permission to be relieved from their accord of March 1940 not to sign a separate cease-fire. Pétain, of course, disapproved of the whole thing, pointing out that North Africa still had to be defended and in itself required a substantial standing army. The French heavy machine gun was still the Hotchkiss M1914, a capable weapon but decidedly obsolete compared to the new automatic weapons of German infantry. The third offensive, "Blücher", in May 1918, saw major German advances on the Aisne, as the French Army commander (Humbert) ignored Pétain's instructions to defend in depth and instead allowed his men to be hit by the initial massive German bombardment.  By the end of 1949, Pétain was almost completely senile, with only occasional moments of lucidity. No reply ever came. After the failed Nivelle Offensive and subsequent mutinies he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and succeeded in repairing the army's confidence. Pétain said he was not departing. To this, Churchill subsequently reported, Pétain replied quietly and with dignity that he had in those days a strategic reserve of sixty divisions; now, there were none, and the British ought to be providing divisions to aid France. Making Paris into a ruin would not affect the final event. At the opening of the Battle of Verdun in 1916, Pétain is said to have been fetched during the night from a Paris hotel by a staff officer who knew that he could be found with Eugénie Hardon. On 1 July, the government, finding Clermont too cramped, moved to Vichy, at Baudouin's suggestion, the empty hotels there being more suitable for the government ministries.  During this period, he repeatedly called for a lengthening of the term of compulsory military service for conscripts from two to three years, to no avail. Pétain responded by again petitioning the government for further funds for the army. On the 20th, a delegation from the two chambers came to Pétain to protest at the proposed departure of President Lebrun. Eight were initially undecided but swung towards an armistice. However, on his birthday almost three weeks later, he was taken to the Swiss border. His journey from military obscurity, to hero of France during World War I, to collaborationist dictator during World War II, led his successor Charles de Gaulle to write that Pétain’s life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre". Like Pétain, he said he would never leave France. Pétain's career progressed slowly, as he rejected the French Army philosophy of the furious infantry assault, arguing instead that "firepower kills". Neither Pétain nor his successive deputies, Laval, Pierre-Étienne Flandin, or Admiral François Darlan, gave significant resistance to requests by the Germans to indirectly aid the Axis Powers. One of his advisors commented that he had more power than any French leader since Louis XIV.  Furthermore, France even remained formally at war with Germany, albeit opposed to the Free French. In December 1940, Pétain dismissed his vice-premier, Pierre Laval, for his policy of close Franco-German collaboration. This sort of individual was not to appealing to "Our Marshal", who found them rather crude and unsophisticated, notwithstanding his own fairly modest rural origins. Neither Pétain nor his successive deputies, Laval, Pierre-Étienne Flandin, or Admiral François Darlan, gave significant resistance to requests by the Germans to indirectly aid the Axis Powers. 200,000 readers responded to the paper's poll. The year 1918 saw major German offensives on the Western Front. 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. A similar offer was later made by the Spanish dictator General Franco. They involved, to various degrees, nearly half of the French infantry divisions stationed on the Western Front. Although Pétain did say "On les aura!" In a speech broadcast on the Normandy landings' D-day, he appealed to the nation: You are not in the war. "[note 2], Pétain was reactionary by temperament and education, and quickly began blaming the Third Republic and its endemic corruption for the French defeat. Pétain, however, having been forced to leave France, refused to participate in this government and Fernand de Brinon now headed the "government commission". He improved the recruitment programme for specialists, and lengthened the training period by reducing leave entitlements.  Churchill then said the French should consider "guerrilla warfare". Several ministers were still opposed to an armistice, and Weygand immediately lashed out at them for even leaving Paris. Marshal of France Phillipe Petain and Pierre Laval discuss the dismantling of the Third Republic, July, 1940. Pétain was displeased at de Gaulle’s appointment. At cabinet on 15 June, Reynaud urged that France follow the Dutch example, that the Army should lay down its arms so that the fight could be continued from abroad. An official announcement yester day said their "misunderstanding" had been "dissipated" at a train coach conference Friday. A new Cabinet with Pétain as head of government was formed, with Henry du Moulin de Labarthète as the Cabinet Secretary. Duration 00:00:44 Date Event: 1943 January Production: 1943 January Locale France.  She had no children by Pétain but already had a son from her first marriage, Pierre de Hérain, whom Pétain strongly disliked.. On 12 June, after a second session of the conference, the cabinet met and Weygand again called for an armistice.  Pétain was encouraged by friends to go into politics, although he protested that he had little interest in running for an elected position. When de Gaulle protested that Pétain himself had been promoted to brigadier-general and division commander at the Battle of the Marne in 1914, he replied that there was "no comparison" with the present situation. A well-tested French semiautomatic rifle, the MAS 1938–39, was ready for adoption but it never reached the production stage until after World War II as the MAS 49. or "firepower kills! On 3 May Pétain, was interviewed in Le Journal where he launched an attack on the Franco-Soviet Pact, on Communism in general (France had the largest communist party in Western Europe), and on those who allowed Communists intellectual responsibility. Still, the handshake he offered to Hitler caused much uproar in London, and probably influenced Britain's decision to lend the Free French naval support for their operations at Gabon. You must not take part in the fighting. Nevertheless, "Our Marshal" relied on politicians - principally Laval - to ensure that the Vichy government of political eccentrics and extremists, not to mention bureaucrats with a marked variety of profiles ranging form extreme Right wingers to conservative civil servants anxious only to preserve as much of the power of the Vichy régime as possible. Vast crowds cheered him in front of the Hôtel de Ville and in the streets.. Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. The presidents of both Chambers spoke and declared that constitutional reform was necessary. Pétain restored morale by talking to the men, promising no more suicidal attacks, providing rest for exhausted units, home furloughs, and moderate discipline. However, aged 58 and having been told he would never become a general, Pétain had bought a villa for retirement.. This article appeared just five days before Adolf Hitler's announcement of Germany's new air force and a week before the announcement that Germany was increasing its army to 36 divisions. As a result, the relationship between Pétain and Laval was somewhat "in and out" for the period of the Vichy régime. Pétain later remarked to Reynaud about this statement: "your ally now threatens us". But Laval's successors were unacceptable to the Germans and Laval was restored. Colonel de Villelume subsequently stated before a parliamentary commission of inquiry in 1951 that Reynaud, as Premier of France, said to Pétain on that day that they must seek an armistice. Pétain however remained popular and engaged in a series of visits around France as late as 1944, when he arrived in Paris on 28 April in what Nazi propaganda newsreels described as a "historic" moment for the city. On 26 April 1936, the general election results showed 5.5 million votes for the Popular Front parties against 4.5 million for the Right on an 84% turnout. " General de Gaulle, no longer in the Cabinet, had arrived in London on the 17th and made a call for resistance from there, on the 18th, with no legal authority whatsoever from his government, a call that was heeded by comparatively few. It is impossible for the government to abandon French soil without emigrating, without deserting. In August 1944, Pétain made an attempt to distance himself from the crimes of the militia by writing Darnand a letter of reprimand for the organisation's "excesses". He then became Commander-in-Chief of the entire French army, replacing General Nivelle, whose Chemin des Dames offensive failed in April 1917, thereby provoking widespread mutinies in the French Army. Though Pétain publicly stated that he had no desire to become "a Caesar," by January 1941, Pétain held virtually all governing power in France; nearly all legislative, executive, and judicial powers were either ‘’de jure’’ or ‘’de facto’’ in his hands.  Although Le Petit Journal was conservative, Pétain's high reputation was bipartisan; socialist Léon Blum called him "the most human of our military commanders".  He issued new constitutional acts which abolished the presidency, indefinitely adjourned parliament, and also gave him full power to appoint and fire ministers and civil service members, pass laws through the Council of Ministers and designate a successor (he chose Laval). By the time of the last German offensives, Gneisenau and the Second Battle of the Marne, Pétain was able to defend in depth and launch counter offensives, with the new French tanks and the assistance of the Americans. Some argue[who?] Censorship was imposed, and freedom of expression and thought were effectively abolished with the reinstatement of the crime of "felony of opinion.". Very dark shots of Petain, Laval and Papal Nuncio Valerio Valeri. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk. "the need to stay in France, to prepare a national revival, and to share the sufferings of our people. 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. "When Goering returned to Germany he spoke admiringly of Pétain, describing him as a 'man of honour'". *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. During the Phoney War, Laval was cautiously ambivalent towards the conflict. , His sometime protégé Charles de Gaulle later wrote that Pétain’s life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre". It soon collapsed and the marshal returned to France to be tried for treason.  His first report on air defence, submitted in July that year, advocated increased expenditure. Film Title The Nazi Plan. [Above: Pierre Laval and Carl Oberg in Paris] [Above: Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval] [Above: Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval] [Above: Adolf Hitler, Laval, Ciano, Goering, and others. Reynaud brought into his War Cabinet as Undersecretary for War the newly promoted Brigadier-General de Gaulle, whose 4th Armoured Division had launched one of the few French counterattacks the previous month.  During this time he was known as Le Vieux Maréchal (The Old Marshal). Reynaud then put the cabinet's armistice proposals to Churchill, who replied that "whatever happened, we would level no reproaches against France". Le complot Laval-Petain [Le complot Laval-Petain] on Amazon.com. French aviation entered the War in 1939 without even the prototype of a bomber aeroplane capable of reaching Berlin and coming back. Women were said to find his piercing blue eyes especially attractive. " When World War II began in September, Daladier offered Pétain a position in his government, which Pétain turned down. On 22 June, France signed an armistice at Compiègne with Germany that gave Germany control over the north and west of the country, including Paris and all of the Atlantic coastline, but left the rest, around two-fifths of France's prewar territory, unoccupied. Cabinet and Parliament still argued between themselves on the question of whether or not to retreat to North Africa. On 29 June, the French Government moved to Clermont-Ferrand where the first discussions of constitutional changes were mooted, with Pierre Laval having personal discussions with President Lebrun, who had, in the event, not departed France. As colonel, he commanded the 33rd Infantry Regiment at Arras from 1911; the young lieutenant Charles de Gaulle, who served under him, later wrote that his "first colonel, Pétain, taught (him) the Art of Command". Pétain championed a rural, Catholic France that spurned internationalism. dbpedia-owl:activeYearsEndDate 1932-02-20 (xsd:date); 1936-01-24 (xsd:date); 1940-12-13 (xsd:date); 1944-08-20 (xsd:date); dbpedia-owl:activeYearsStartDate 1931-01-27 (xsd:date); 1935-06-07 (xsd:date); 1940-07-11 (xsd:date); 1942-04-18 (xsd:date) Reynaud and five ministers thought these proposals acceptable. The next day, 20 August 1944, Pétain was taken against his will by the German army to Belfort and then, on 8 September, to Sigmaringen in southwestern Germany, where dignitaries of his regime had taken refuge. Language French. Haig recorded that Pétain had "a terrible look. After coming under increasing pressure from Otto Abetz, the German ambassador, Henri-Philippe Petain agreed on 18th April 1942 to recall Laval as head of the French government. that while Pétain supported the massive use of tanks he saw them mostly as infantry support, leading to the fragmentation of the French tank force into many types of unequal value spread out between mechanised cavalry (such as the SOMUA S35) and infantry support (mostly the Renault R35 tanks and the Char B1 bis). His regime soon took on clear authoritarian—and in some cases, fascist—characteristics. He would not forget that the Radical leader, Édouard Daladier, even voted against the whole package, on the grounds that the Army was still too large.. Library shots Petain taking oath of Prefect at Vichy, after the German occupation of 1942. Laval became Minister of Colonies in the new right-wing government of Gaston Doumergue. However, when Hitler met Pétain at Montoire in October 1940 to discuss the French government's role in the new European Order, the Marshal "listened to Hitler in silence. By coincidence, on the evening of 14 June in Bordeaux, de Gaulle dined in the same restaurant as Pétain; he came over to shake his hand in silence, and they never met again. As to French artillery it had, basically, not been modernised since 1918. After World War I Pétain married his former girlfriend, Eugénie Hardon (1877–1962), "a particularly beautiful woman", on 14 September 1920; they remained married until the end of Pétain's life.  Weygand said that he was in favor of saving the French army and that he "wished to avoid internal troubles and above all anarchy". "I will fight in front of Paris, in Paris, and behind Paris". Laval Guides Nazi Vichy Policy; Petain Shelved, Reports Say Oil Lack Stopped Fleet Escape to Allies, Say French Captains General Seeks to End Honolulu Rat Problem that Pétain, as France's most senior soldier after Foch's death, should bear some responsibility for the poor state of French weaponry preparation before World War II. On 5 June, following the fall of Dunkirk, there was a Cabinet reshuffle. Yet his short period of total responsibility could not reverse 15 years of inactivity and constant cutbacks. Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), generally known as Philippe Pétain (/peɪˈtæ̃/, French: [filip petɛ̃]), Marshal Pétain (Maréchal Pétain) and sometimes, The Old Marshal (Le Vieux Maréchal), was a French general officer who attained the position of Marshal of France at the end of World War I, during which he became known as The Lion of Verdun (Le Lion de Verdun). The republican motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("Freedom, equality, brotherhood") was replaced with "Travail, famille, patrie" ("Work, family, fatherland").  Pétain broadcast again to the French people on that day. It is argued[who?]  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. Laval and Petain. Pétain was sympathetic. On 18 June, Édouard Herriot (who would later be a prosecution witness at Pétain's trial) and Jeanneney, the presidents of the two Chambers of Parliament, as well as Lebrun said they wanted to go. At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. ", The new government immediately used its new powers to order harsh measures, including the dismissal of republican civil servants, the installation of exceptional jurisdictions, the proclamation of antisemitic laws, and the imprisonment of opponents and foreign refugees. The provisional government, headed by de Gaulle, placed Pétain on trial for treason, which took place from 23 July to 15 August 1945. When the German Army occupied France in 1940 Laval used his media empire to support Henry-Philippe Petain and the Vichy government. Captain Charles de Gaulle continued to be a protégé of Pétain throughout these years. that he was commanding armies in battle, or that naked women were dancing around his room. With the imminent Fall of France in June 1940 in World War II, Pétain was appointed President of the Ministerial Council by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, and the Cabinet resolved to sign armistice agreements with Germany and Italy. But he recognised, after the new Army Organisation Law of 1927, that the tide was flowing against him. Von der Goltz, Anna, and Robert Gildea. He was told, in addition, by Maurice Gamelin, that if the plebiscite in the Territory of the Saar Basin went for Germany it would be a serious military error for the French Army to intervene.  He was originally sentenced to death, but due to his age and World War I service his sentence was commuted to life in prison. Among a vast number of books and articles about Pétain, the most complete and documented biographies are: French general officer and leader of Vichy France. Pétain also adopted an increasingly autocratic - indeed monarchical - style as ruler of the "État Francaise", and tended to resent interference from the activities of underlings such as prime ministers. , That afternoon the British Government offered joint nationality for Frenchmen and Britons in a Franco-British Union. (These groups had contacts with some conservative politicians, among whom were Laval and Marshal Philippe Pétain.) In 1938 Pétain encouraged and assisted the writer André Maurois in gaining election to the Académie française – an election which was highly contested, in part due to Maurois' Jewish origin. Pétain, who was 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state. , Over the following years Pétain's lawyers and many foreign governments and dignitaries, including Queen Mary and the Duke of Windsor, appealed to successive French governments for Pétain's release, but given the unstable state of Fourth Republic politics, no government was willing to risk unpopularity by releasing him. Other causes were pacificism, stimulated by the Russian Revolution and the trade-union movement, and disappointment at the nonarrival of American troops. Pierre Laval lost his cabinet posts of vice premier and foreign minister, were expected today to be resumed soon as a result of the reconciliation of Laval and French Chief of State Marshal Philippe Petain. The chief witness on the second day of Marshal Petain's trial was Paul Reynaud, the former premier of France. MCU Petain gets out of car and shakes hands with von Ribbentrop. Pétain's government was nevertheless internationally recognised, notably by the U.S., at least until the German occupation of the rest of France. He was on record as saying in March 1940 that although the war could have been avoided by diplomatic means, it was now up to the government to prosecute it with the utmost vigour. He died in 1951. In the event, only 26 deputies and 1 senator headed for Africa, amongst them those with Jewish backgrounds, Georges Mandel, Pierre Mendès France, and the former Popular Front Education Minister, Jean Zay.  Due to his advanced age, the court asked that the sentence not be carried out. Here he met Hermann Göring and the two men reminisced about their experiences in the Great War. Check out Laval-Pétain by Patrice Mestral on Amazon Music. The War Ministry was hamstrung between the wars and proved unequal to the tasks before them. The three Marshals supported this. Pétain did not get involved in non-military issues when in the Cabinet, and unlike other military leaders he did not have a reputation as an extreme Catholic or a monarchist.. Gilbert and Bernard find multiple causes: The immediate cause was the extreme optimism and subsequent disappointment at the Nivelle offensive in the spring of 1917. During the battle, he was promoted to Commander of Army Group Centre, which contained a total of 52 divisions. A 58-year-old colonel at the start of battle in 1914, Pétain … On 1 March 1935, Pétain's famous article appeared in the Revue des deux mondes, where he reviewed the history of the army since 1927–28. ", On 11 November 1942, German forces invaded the unoccupied zone of Southern France in response to the Allies' Operation Torch landings in North Africa and Admiral François Darlan's agreement to support the Allies. During this time and the Normandy landings in 1944, Laval was in a struggle against ultra-collaborationist ministers. He did not disguise the fact that he considered the situation catastrophic. Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre (army war college) in Paris. Only 20 infantry divisions would be maintained on a standing basis". The written text is submitted to Pétain: "The Reich Government instructs the transfer of the Head of State, even against his will". Pétain admitted Darnand into his government as Secretary of the Maintenance of Public Order (Secrétaire d'État au Maintien de l'Ordre). He added that the new France would be "a social hierarchy... rejecting the false idea of the natural equality of men. 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. Bentley B. Gilbert and Paul P. Bernard, "The French Army Mutinies of 1917". Between 1878 and 1899, he served in various garrisons with different battalions of the Chasseurs à pied, the elite light infantry of the French Army. In addition, with the restrictions imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty there seemed no urgency for vast expenditure until the advent of Hitler. ". LAVAL CHOSEN VICE-PREMIER AS PETAIN FORMS CABINET. This week in the War, 9–15 December 1940: Laval dismissed Édouard Daladier's new government retaliated against Weygand by reducing the number of officers and cutting military pensions and pay, arguing that such measures, apart from financial stringency, were in the spirit of the Geneva Disarmament Conference.. Churchill returned to France on the 13th for another conference at Tours. Pétain was born in Cauchy-à-la-Tour (in the Pas-de-Calais département in Northern France) in 1856. He criticised the reservist system in France, and her lack of adequate air power and armour. 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