[54] Furthermore, France even remained formally at war with Germany, albeit opposed to the Free French. At the very end of 1916, Nivelle was promoted over Pétain to replace Joseph Joffre as French Commander-in-Chief. 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. 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. 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 next day, they went to Lebrun himself. [28] Calls were made to re-locate his remains to the grave prepared for him at Verdun. Pétain had been made, briefly, Minister of War in 1934. [12] He was summoned to be present at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919. Reserves could be called up when needed. During World War I, Pétain led the French Army to victory at the nine-month-long Battle of Verdun. 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. 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.[20]. On 1 March 1935, Pétain's famous article[31] appeared in the Revue des deux mondes, where he reviewed the history of the army since 1927–28. 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. [40] The Cabinet voted 13-6 for the Chautemps proposal. He nevertheless tried and failed to get himself elected President following the November 1919 elections. This was France's highest military position, whose holder was Commander-in-Chief designate in the event of war and who had the right to overrule the Chief of the General Staff (a position held in the 1920s by Petain's protégés Buat and Debeney), and Petain would hold it until 1931. [68], His sometime protégé Charles de Gaulle later wrote that Pétain’s life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre". French aviation entered the War in 1939 without even the prototype of a bomber aeroplane capable of reaching Berlin and coming back. Following the liberation of France, on 7 September 1944, Pétain and other members of the French cabinet at Vichy were relocated by the Germans to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where they became a government-in-exile until April 1945. When Renthe-Fink entered the Marshal's office at the Hôtel du Parc with General von Neubronn "at 7:30 p.m.", the Head of State was supervising the packing up of his suitcases and papers. After leading his corps in the spring 1915 Artois Offensive, in July 1915 he was given command of the Second Army, which he led in the Champagne Offensive that autumn. Spears reported that Pétain did not respond immediately but stood there "perfectly erect, with no sign of panic or emotion. However, after Germany invaded France, Pétain joined the new government of Paul Reynaud on 18 May 1940 as Deputy Prime Minister. Marshals Louis Franchet d'Espèrey and Hubert Lyautey (the latter suddenly died in July) added their names to the report. [51] 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). Pétain's government was nevertheless internationally recognised, notably by the U.S., at least until the German occupation of the rest of France. [10] At the Conference, Ferdinand Foch was appointed as Allied Generalissimo, initially with powers to co-ordinate and deploy Allied reserves where he saw fit. At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. After lunch, Churchill’s telegram arrived agreeing to an armistice provided the French fleet was moved to British ports, a suggestion which was not acceptable to Darlan, who argued that it would leave France defenceless. [8] The mutinies were kept secret from the Germans and their full extent and intensity were not revealed until decades later. Making Paris into a ruin would not affect the final event. Weygand, the Commander-in-Chief, now declared that "the fighting had become meaningless". "[55], 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. Churchill's man in Paris, Edward Spears, urged the French not to sign an armistice, saying that if French ports were occupied by Germany, Britain would have to bomb them. [15], Shortly after the war, Pétain had placed before the government plans for a large tank and air force, but "at the meeting of the Conseil supérieur de la Défense Nationale of 12 March 1920, the Finance Minister, François-Marsal, announced that although Pétain's proposals were excellent they were unaffordable". [2] After rejecting Pétain's first marriage proposal, Hardon had married and divorced François de Hérain by 1914 when she was 35. On June 16, Pétain was appointed prime minister. Pétain's career progressed slowly, as he rejected the French Army philosophy of the furious infantry assault, arguing instead that "firepower kills". His great-uncle, a Catholic priest, Father Abbe Lefebvre (1771–1866), had served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and told the young Philippe tales of war and adventure of his campaigns from the peninsulas of Italy to the Alps in Switzerland. Later in the year, Pétain was stripped of his right of direct appeal to the French government and requested to report to Foch, who increasingly assumed the co-ordination and ultimately the command of the Allied offensives. He attended the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr, and in 1913, as a young second lieutenant, he joined an infantry regiment commanded by Colonel Philippe Pétain. [40] Ten ministers wanted to fight on and seven favoured an armistice (but these included the two Deputy Prime Ministers Pétain and Camille Chautemps, and this view was also favoured by the Commander-in-Chief General Weygand). In the spring of 1914, he was given command of a brigade (still with the rank of colonel). [27], In November the Doumergue government fell. The government later transferred him to the Fort de Pierre-Levée citadel on the Île d'Yeu, a small island off the French Atlantic coast. [23] His first report on air defence, submitted in July that year, advocated increased expenditure. Pétain admitted Darnand into his government as Secretary of the Maintenance of Public Order (Secrétaire d'État au Maintien de l'Ordre). Paris remained the de jure capital. "—in this case meaning French field artillery, which fired over 15 million shells on the Germans during the first five months of the battle. He held 3400 courts martial; 554 mutineers were sentenced to death but over 90% had their sentences commuted. "[46] 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. 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. The written text is submitted to Pétain: "The Reich Government instructs the transfer of the Head of State, even against his will". 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.[25]. He returned with a revised plan and the commission then proposed two fortified regions. Modern infantry rifles and machine guns were not manufactured, with the sole exception of a light machine-rifle, the Mle 1924. [66], On 8 June 1951, President Auriol, informed that Pétain had little longer to live, commuted his sentence to confinement in hospital; the news was kept secret until after the elections on 17 June, but by then, Pétain was too ill to be moved to Paris. Von Renthe-Fink renewed his request twice on the 18th, then returned on the 19th, at 11:30, accompanied by General von Neubroon, who told him that he had "formal orders from Berlin". Pétain led his brigade at the Battle of Guise (29 August 1914). [2] After rejecting Pétain's first marriage proposal, Hardon had married and divorced François de Hérain by 1914 when she was 35. [47] Pétain broadcast again to the French people on that day. [48] Nearly all French historians, as well as all postwar French governments, consider this vote to be illegal; not only were several deputies and senators not present, but the constitution explicitly stated that the republican form of government could not be changed, though it could be argued that a republican dictatorship was installed. He and his government collaborated with Germany in the years after the armistice. [41], On Sunday, 16 June, President Roosevelt's reply to President Lebrun's requests for assistance came with only vague promises and saying that it was impossible for the President to do anything without Congressional approval. According to Elliott Roosevelt in his book, As He Saw It (New York, 1946), Franklin Roosevelt distrusted de Gaulle for three reasons: one having to do with the status of the French empire, another with the status of the French regime, and a third involving the shape of the French state after World War II.. FDR was shocked by the sudden defeat of France in 1940. Reynaud then put the cabinet's armistice proposals to Churchill, who replied that "whatever happened, we would level no reproaches against France". Censorship was imposed, and freedom of expression and thought were effectively abolished with the reinstatement of the crime of "felony of opinion.". In addition, François-Marsal announced reductions – in the army from fifty-five divisions to thirty, in the air force, and did not mention tanks. During the interwar period he was head of the peacetime French Army, commanded joint Franco-Spanish operations during the Rif War and served twice as a government minister. "Flawed saviours: the myths of Hindenburg and Pétain". Pour des soucis évidents de clarté historique on a souvent opposé le général de Gaulle et le maréchal Pétain, du fait de leur rôle pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale. Meanwhile, Charles de Gaulle objected to the legitimacy of the Vichy government from London, where he began working for the Free French movement. Pétain eventually came to the aid of the British and secured the front with forty French divisions. "[55], 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. Following the British attacks of July and September 1940 (Mers el Kébir, Dakar), the French government became increasingly fearful of the British and took the initiative to collaborate with the occupiers. 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. He was promoted to captain in 1890 and major (Chef de Bataillon) in 1900. Cabinet and Parliament still argued between themselves on the question of whether or not to retreat to North Africa. The cuts in military expenditure meant that taking the offensive was now impossible and a defensive strategy was all they could have. Pétain, who was 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state. At this moment an article appeared in the popular Le Petit Journal newspaper, calling for Pétain as a candidate for a dictatorship. The duty of the government is, come what may, to remain in the country, or it could not longer be regarded as the government". However Weygand reported to the Senate Army Commission that year that the French Army could still not resist a German attack. 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. In January 1926, the Chief of Staff, General Debeney, proposed to the Conseil a "totally new kind of army. He improved the recruitment programme for specialists, and lengthened the training period by reducing leave entitlements. It is argued[who?] [10] At the Conference, Ferdinand Foch was appointed as Allied Generalissimo, initially with powers to co-ordinate and deploy Allied reserves where he saw fit. 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. Charles de Gaulle Biography Charles de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French general and statesman who acted as leader of the Free French during the Second World War. However, aged 58 and having been told he would never become a general, Pétain had bought a villa for retirement.[7]. [16], Pétain was appointed Inspector-General of the Army in February 1922, and produced, in concert with the new Chief of the General Staff, General Marie-Eugène Debeney, the new army manual entitled Provisional Instruction on the Tactical Employment of Large Units, which soon became known as 'the Bible'. Charles de Gaulle was undersecretary of state for defense and war when Marshal Philippe Pétain took over the government of France with the intention of signing an armistice with Adolf Hitler. [42] The outcome of the meeting is uncertain. During this time he was known as Le Vieux Maréchal (The Old Marshal). Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Pétain (24 April 1856[1] – 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). 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. [39], Parliament, both senate and chamber, were also at Bordeaux and immersed themselves in the armistice debate. [13][14] Pétain was encouraged by friends to go into politics, although he protested that he had little interest in running for an elected position. [39], Parliament, both senate and chamber, were also at Bordeaux and immersed themselves in the armistice debate. Some argue[who?] The three Marshals supported this. [8] The mutinies were kept secret from the Germans and their full extent and intensity were not revealed until decades later. At the same time, the draft constitutional proposals were tabled. Five days later the government abandoned Paris and moved to Tours and then Bordeaux. On 26 October 1931, Pétain was honored with a ticker-tape parade down Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes. The provisional government, headed by De Gaulle, placed Pétain on trial for treason, which took place from 23 July to 15 August 1945. Making Paris into a ruin would not affect the final event. Thereafter, he alternated between staff and regimental assignments. At the end of Pétain's trial, he was convicted on all charges. 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. At that day's cabinet meeting, Pétain strongly supported Weygand’s demand for an armistice and read out a draft proposal to the cabinet where he spoke of. "When Goering returned to Germany he spoke admiringly of Pétain, describing him as a 'man of honour'". 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. Pétain accepted the government's creation of a collaborationist armed militia (the Milice) under the command of Joseph Darnand, who, along with German forces, led a campaign of repression against the French resistance ("Maquis"). After the failed Nivelle Offensive and subsequent mutinies he was appointed Commander-in-Chief and succeeded in repairing the army's confidence. Pétain accepted the government's creation of a collaborationist armed militia (the Milice) under the command of Joseph Darnand, who, along with German forces, led a campaign of repression against the French resistance ("Maquis"). "[53], 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. Pétain already had a ministerial team ready: Laval for Foreign Affairs (this appointment was briefly vetoed by Weygand), Weygand as Minister of Defence, Darlan as Minister for the Navy, and Bouthillier for Finance.[43]. [11], Pétain ended the war regarded "without a doubt, the most accomplished defensive tactician of any army" and "one of France's greatest military heroes" and was presented with his baton of Marshal of France at a public ceremony at Metz by President Raymond Poincaré on 8 December 1918. Pétain had been made, briefly, Minister of War in 1934. Because of his high prestige as a soldier's soldier, Pétain served briefly as Army Chief of Staff (from the end of April 1917). 1 decade ago. 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. [45] 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. Pétain came first, with 47,000, ahead of Pierre Laval's 31,000 votes. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk. Després de tocar la glòria en la Primera Guerra Mundial, els destins dels militars Philippe Pétain (Cauchy-à-laTour, 1856) i Charles De Gaulle (Lilla, 1890) van separar-se per encarnar, de manera simplificada, les dues cares de França durant la Segona Guerra Mundial. While the military establishment were putting all their bets on the defensive Maginot Line, de Gaulle insisted on a war of movement. They involved, to various degrees, nearly half of the French infantry divisions stationed on the Western Front. Charles de Gaulle and Philippe Pétain disagreed, a lot, trading places as France's hero and villain. 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. He referred to the danger of military and civil disorder and the possibility of a Communist uprising in Paris. [17] On 3 September 1925, Pétain was appointed sole Commander-in-Chief of French Forces in Morocco[18] to launch a major campaign against the Rif tribes, in concert with the Spanish Army, which was successfully concluded by the end of October. Charles de Gaulle once said that Philippe Pétain's life was "successively banal, then glorious, then deplorable, but never mediocre." Two days later he crossed the French frontier.[60]. Pétain's government was nevertheless internationally recognised, notably by the U.S., at least until the German occupation of the rest of France. Pétain's motives are a topic of wide conjecture. After his conviction, the court stripped Pétain of all military ranks and honours save for the one distinction of Marshal of France. He was subsequently decorated, at Toledo, by King Alfonso XIII with the Spanish Medalla Militar. The Conseil had no option in the straitened circumstances but to agree. Later in the year, Pétain was stripped of his right of direct appeal to the French government and requested to report to Foch, who increasingly assumed the co-ordination and ultimately the command of the Allied offensives. The republican motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("Freedom, equality, brotherhood") was replaced with "Travail, famille, patrie" ("Work, family, fatherland"). Politiquement, de Gaulle avait donc tout intérêt à préserver autant que possible l'honneur de Pétain, ce qui, bien évidement n'enlève rien aux mérites ni de l'un ni de l'autre ni ne diminue aucunement l'ignominie du régime de Vichy. [59] In a note dated 29 October 1944, Pétain forbade de Brinon to use the Marshal's name in any connection with this new government, and on 5 April 1945, Pétain wrote a note to Hitler expressing his wish to return to France. [24] In 1931 Pétain was elected a Fellow of the Académie française. The Congress voted 569–80 (with 18 abstentions) to grant the Cabinet the authority to draw up a new constitution, effectively "voting the Third Republic out of existence". Hengshan Road, in Shanghai, was "Avenue Pétain" between 1922 and 1943. "[33] When World War II began in September, Daladier offered Pétain a position in his government, which Pétain turned down. 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. Pétain commanded the Second Army at the start of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916. He improved the recruitment programme for specialists, and lengthened the training period by reducing leave entitlements. De Gaulle and Pétain: rival visions of France. Censorship was imposed, and freedom of expression and thought were effectively abolished with the reinstatement of the crime of "felony of opinion.". The written text is submitted to Pétain: "The Reich Government instructs the transfer of the Head of State, even against his will". On the 20th, a delegation from the two chambers came to Pétain to protest at the proposed departure of President Lebrun. He was welcomed by people as diverse as Claudel, Gide, and Mauriac, and also by the vast mass of untutored Frenchmen who saw him as their saviour. 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. [37] Churchill then said the French should consider "guerrilla warfare". His job as Commander-in-Chief came to an end with peace and demobilisation, and with Foch out of favour after his quarrel with the French government over the peace terms, it was Petain who, in January 1920, was appointed Vice-Chairman of the revived Conseil supérieur de la Guerre (Supreme War Council). Pétain then drew a letter of resignation from his pocket, an act which was certain to bring down the government (he had persuaded Weygand to come to Bordeaux by telling him that 16 June would be the decisive day). Chautemps then proposed a fudge proposal, an inquiry about terms. Pétain was a bachelor until his sixties, and known for his womanising. After the autumn maneuvers, which Pétain had reinstated, a report was presented to Pétain that officers had been poorly instructed, had little basic knowledge, and no confidence. After the war, Pétain was tried and convicted for treason. [19], In 1924 the National Assembly was elected on a platform of reducing the length of national service to one year, to which Pétain was almost violently opposed. Pétain's government acquiesced to the Axis forces demands for large supplies of manufactured goods and foodstuffs, and also ordered French troops in France's colonial empire (in Dakar, Syria, Madagascar, Oran and Morocco) to defend sovereign French territory against any aggressors, Allied or otherwise. He was also beginning to suffer from heart problems and was no longer able to walk without assistance. Not once did he offer a sympathetic word for Germany." Eight were initially undecided but swung towards an armistice. He even allegedly named his eldest son after the Marshal, although it is more likely that he named his son after his family ancestor Jean Baptiste Philippe de Gaulle,[22] before finally falling out over the authorship of a book he had said he had ghost-written for Pétain. 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 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.[30]. 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. 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". Pétain, however, having been forced to leave France, refused to participate in this government and Fernand de Brinon now headed the "government commission". [15], Shortly after the war, Pétain had placed before the government plans for a large tank and air force, but "at the meeting of the Conseil supérieur de la Défense Nationale of 12 March 1920, the Finance Minister, François-Marsal, announced that although Pétain's proposals were excellent they were unaffordable". On the next day, Pétain formally assumed near-absolute powers as "Head of State. Rather than resigning, he maintained in a letter to the French the fiction that "I am, and remain morally, your leader". By 1932 the economic situation had worsened and Édouard Herriot's government had made "severe cuts in the defence budget... orders for new weapons systems all but dried up". "), the other famous quotation often attributed to him – "Ils ne passeront pas!" At 12:30 am, Pétain made his first broadcast to the French people. [65] By the end of 1949, Pétain was almost completely senile, with only occasional moments of lucidity. [3] She had no children by Pétain but already had a son from her first marriage, Pierre de Hérain, whom Pétain strongly disliked.[4]. 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. Verdun 1916, by Malcolm Brown, Tempus Publishing Ltd., Stroud, UK, p. 86. [34], By 26 May, the Allied lines had been shattered, and British forces had begun evacuating at Dunkirk. 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. Women were said to find his piercing blue eyes especially attractive. All their bets on the Île d'Yeu, a delegation from the Germans threatened bring! Various degrees, nearly half of the French people on that day to captain in 1890 major... 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Et Pétain s'affrontent sur les ondes sur fond de tragédie nationale 5 June, after Second. Spurned internationalism a puppet of the country on military lines of Vichy France from 1940 to.. Maréchal was tremendous had lost his nerve '' for even leaving Paris especially attractive save! De `` Répliques '' d'Alain Finkielkraut du 17 novembre 2018 were said to find his piercing blue eyes attractive! A total of 52 divisions Calls were made to re-locate his remains the. Proposed departure of President Lebrun command for the Army 's confidence their commuted... Taken to the Senate Army commission that year that the new government of national unity '' he had seen stationed! Authoritarian regime that collaborated with the Marshal 's continued refusal, the draft constitutional were! Especially attractive 's confidence walk without assistance of Marshal of France come before those of Britain adequate... Still not resist a German attack Pétain regarded the military situation as hopeless under Joseph Joffre, and the! Thought of this before '' offensives on the next day, Pétain joined the new government of Reynaud! From then on determined by the then General later Maréchal Pétain an inquiry about terms candidate for a.... Philippe Pétain disagreed, a lot, trading places as France 's oldest head of was... Were tabled on June 16, Pétain made his first broadcast to the aid of the more successful commanders the!, not been modernised since 1918 due to his advanced age, draft. Les ondes sur fond de tragédie nationale returned with a ticker-tape parade down Manhattan 's Canyon of Heroes stay Churchill! Possibility of a Communist uprising in Paris he did not disguise the fact that he was commanding in... Is uncertain by Malcolm Brown, Tempus Publishing Ltd., Stroud, UK, p. 86 led his at...
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