French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians

Martin S. Alexander

in How Fighting Ends

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693627
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741258 | DOI:
French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians

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French surrender in 1940 is typically written as a misleading narrative of wholesale collapse. This chapter re-assesses the surrenders in a variety of sites, scales and contexts: by disorientated army stragglers, by field units, by decisions of commanding generals, city councils and military governors, and by the national political leadership. At all levels, leadership proved decisive. The closer defeat came, though many soldiers actually showed better combat effectiveness, the more the civilians wanted a ceasefire. French surrender is a case of how fighting can end without ending the war for which the fight had been joined.

Keywords: capitulation; ceasefire; civilians; collapse; combat effectiveness; generals; leadership; stragglers; surrender; troops

Chapter.  12265 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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