Britain and France

Victor Rothwell

in War Aims in the Second World War

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780748615025
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651283 | DOI:
Britain and France

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This chapter deals primarily with British war aims towards the country with which it went to war in 1939 – Germany. It discusses British and American aims towards France, and of the war aims of France itself in the various forms that that country took between 1939 and 1945 (independent state, Vichy regime, and Free French movement). The chapter also considers British aims in relation to the Soviet Union. While Germans could not be killed in cold blood, as the Nazis were doing to others on a vast scale, it was deemed desirable that German war casualties should be very high, thus reducing the country’s military manpower capacity. Although there were serious tensions before the military catastrophe of the spring of 1940 in British relations with France, there was also a sense of a community of interests between two great powers, in the sense that they wished only to retain what they already had.

Keywords: British war aims; Germany; France; Vichy regime; Free French movement; United States

Chapter.  14448 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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