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The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French Defence, 1933-1940

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Overview

This is the first full-length reappraisal in English of the role of France's chief of defense forces, General Maurice Gamelin (1872-1958). Reviled by many of his contemporaries and by two generations of historians as "the man who lost the Battle of France" in 1940, Gamelin is here presented as a man seeking to provide France with security and armed readiness in the face of the aggression and expansionism of Hitler's Third Reich. The reader sees him playing the decisive part in overcoming civil-military friction in the prewar years so that France was able to choose the path of resistance to Germany in September 1939.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This carefully nuanced, scrupulously researched study is written for advanced scholars of modern France." History

"Alexander's mastery of the sources--especially the archival materials--is impressive and his judgements carry considerable authority. ... The author skillfully details the complex and daunting political. diplomatic, and economic obstacles facing both France and Gamelin." American Historical Review

"...this book must be praised as one which should be part of the library of any serious student of twentieth-century France." European Studies Journal

"The Republic in Danger deserves a place in the select list of outstanding studies of military politics in the Third Republic." Times Literary Supplement

"This is a valuable contribution to the scholarship of inter-war France. For starters, it is more than just lucidly written; there is a verve which makes for enjoyable reading. Second, this is a work that owes as much to several national archives--most notably those of France--as it does to the full range of secondary literature. Third, as befits a work that has emerged from years of research, there is much new information." The International History Review

"...the author has produced an impressively researched and well-written book." Canadian Journal of History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521372343
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/7/1993
  • Pages: 587
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The making of a republican general; 2. Gamelin and the rebirth of German power; 3. First responses: defence versus d├ętente in the Laval era; 4. The Popular Front, the army and politics; 5. The road to rearmament: Gamelin, Daladier and Popular Front defence policy; 6. Gamelin and air support of the army; 7. Gamelin, the Maginot Line and Belgium; 8. Gamelin, Yugoslavia and the eastern alliances: assets or embarrassments?; 9. Men or material? Gamelin and British support for France; 10. Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Soviet Union: from appeasement to war; 11. Gamelin and the fall of Poland; 12. The Twilight War: military stagnation and political conflict; Conclusion; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
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