June 22, 2005

Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey Day

Och! I warrned 'em about the Ardennes. But they did'na listen ta Willie!

On this day in 1940, the French and German High Commands signed an armistice in the Forest of Compiègne in the same railcar as was used for the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Here is the text. It is an exercise in abject humiliation.

Right up until the end, Churchill tried like billy-o to keep the French in the fight. He and his allies in the French government envisioned a number of strategic options after the defeat of the main French armies: a massive guerilla campaign, the movement of the French Government and what organized military was left to North Africa or some other part of the French Empire, the movement of the French Fleet to British ports or the Western Hemisphere. But the collective will of the French Government snapped long before the Germans got to Paris. Here is a succinct rundown of the Battle of France, May 10 - June 22, 1940.

My current reading: Churchill's Their Finest Hour. He wasn't talking about the French.

UPDATE: Oh, what the hell. We got yer French Jokes right here.

Posted by Robert at June 22, 2005 01:38 PM

If mmemory serves, the British were not impressed with German promises not to use the French surface fleet against the United Kingdom. The Royal Navy showed up one morning in the summer of 1940 outside the naval base at Oran in North Africa and gave the French a choice--join them or be destroyed. The French admiral chose poorly and his ships were destroyed at their moorings.

Posted by: LMC at June 22, 2005 04:18 PM
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