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The Republic in Danger: General Maurice Gamelin and the Politics of French…

by Martin S. Alexander

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"This is the first full-length study in English of the political and strategic influence of one of France's most controversial military leaders, General Maurice Gamelin (1872-1958)." "Gamelin was reviled by many of his contemporaries and denigrated by two generations of historians as 'the man who lost the Battle of France' in 1940. Here Gamelin is reappraised in the context of the unstable civil-military relations and national decline during 1935-1940 when he had major responsibility for French security. The author bases his account on hitherto inaccessible primary sources in France and Belgium, as well as on public and private archives in Britain and the USA. The evidence reviewed, including Gamelin's private headquarters' diary, provides the basis for a revision of the earlier hostile portraits of the general. The author argues that less attention should be paid to the campaign in France in 1940 by which time Gamelin's role was that of an inter-allied coordinator and senior adviser to the Franco-British Supreme War Council. Rather, he suggests that great credit is due to Gamelin for his success in holding together the pre-war civil-military consensus, and for rearming France by 1939."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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"This is the first full-length study in English of the political and strategic influence of one of France's most controversial military leaders, General Maurice Gamelin (1872-1958)." "Gamelin was reviled by many of his contemporaries and denigrated by two generations of historians as 'the man who lost the Battle of France' in 1940. Here Gamelin is reappraised in the context of the unstable civil-military relations and national decline during 1935-1940 when he had major responsibility for French security. The author bases his account on hitherto inaccessible primary sources in France and Belgium, as well as on public and private archives in Britain and the USA. The evidence reviewed, including Gamelin's private headquarters' diary, provides the basis for a revision of the earlier hostile portraits of the general. The author argues that less attention should be paid to the campaign in France in 1940 by which time Gamelin's role was that of an inter-allied coordinator and senior adviser to the Franco-British Supreme War Council. Rather, he suggests that great credit is due to Gamelin for his success in holding together the pre-war civil-military consensus, and for rearming France by 1939."--BOOK JACKET.

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