Shingshan wrote:During the chaos that followed the fall of France 1n940, it was two French scientists from the Radium Institute with the help of a few military that took all the French heavy water back back to England.
I hardly doubt this. So now who gave the order? Actually the order of mission was sign by Jean Bichelonne who was a civil servant and future of Pétain, after the cabinet had deliberated the issue in Pétain's and Weygand's presence.
Shingshan wrote:It’s the kind of history that would give a good script for a film, instead of the usual super heroes stuff.
Like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNzU1hTNZgg
Shingshan wrote:I think the question isn’t if Petain would deliver the heavy water to the nazis, the thing is he wouldn’t had a choice, the only thing Vichy could do was to destroy it before the Nazis could reach it. Would they do it ? Well we will never know.
What we however do know is that Pétain never delivered the fleet to the Nazis. Laval and Darlan wished military collaboration, that is for sure but Pétain, never. Neither did Weygand.
Shingshan wrote:Well things are more complicated than that. Yes after French defeat he believed that the defeat was a result of democratic goverments, so he became a fascist of the "classical" kind, Family, Religion etc etc.
So since when is Religion Fascist? Since when is Family Fascist? Do you have a problem with your family?
Ask Gabriele Adinolfi who is a present-day Fascist if Vichy was a Fascist project, he would say no. Just like he claims that the Christian religion is not Fascist because "internationalist".
Some people around Pétain were heavily influenced by the Church's social doctrine (Auphan & Weygand) which is ideologically uncounterable. I very much believe in it as well. So did De Gaulle actually. But Pétain did not fully implement the Church Social Doctrine. He was not a devoted Christian, while there were a lot of secularist in the government (Laval, Pucheu, Déat & Doriot among others) who would veto this. By the way, most of these secularists were left
-wingers AND some of the biggest collaborationists of them all.
Vichy never reconsidered the separation between Church & state and hardly gave any subsidies to Catholic schools. Even if they created the first social insurances, it's the provisional government of General De Gaulle that created the Welfare State.
Oh by the way, Pétain was granted a mission to write a new Constitution for France and that Constitution which was scheduled to be published in July 1944 was ... democratic!
The French defeat can be explained by multiple factors but yeah the previous democratic government had their responsabilities. Just like all the US carmakers and oil company which made the Wehrmacht what it is (see Sutton's "Wall Street & the Rise of Hitler"), the incompetence of some military officers (like Gamelin) and the British cowardice (here I'm refering to Lord Gort whom Weygand needed to sandwiched the German Troops during the Battle of Sedan but he walked away).
Shingshan wrote:I wouldn't go so far as saying that Churchill trusted Petain, not after the British bombed the French squad in Mers-el-Kebir, he didn't trust De Gaulle that's for sure.
Mers-el-Kebir just shows how much of a little man, Churchill was. I no longer have any kind of respect for him. Killing his own allies. His aim was to capitalise on the situation to take over the French colonial Empire.
It was Pétain's honour not to wage war on Britain after that. He would then send three emissars to Britain to keep contact with Churchill and even De Gaulle.
In spring 1941, Colonel Groussard went to London and Churchill said something like that (I only have the quote in French, hard to translate it back, so these were not Churchill's exact words):
“Tell those who sent you here that I understand the painful situation that is yours. In this unfortunate bleeding France – divided into two parts - , I know that your bosses’ task is almost superhuman. I approve of their effort to protect France and the French as much as they can but I’m asking them not to forget that the allied keep fighting. I ask them to keep faith in the future. I also wouldn’t tell the Germans “I hate you” if I were to govern your country because you always have to avoid the worst. […] Tell Vichy that I deeply respect the person of Field Marshal Pétain. I have never believed that this man could have wished a German victory.
I can accept being attacked in your press, England being vilified if it can be used to beguile the enemy.”