Vichy Franceresearch paper due and don't know how to start it? How about like this?
Early in 1940, Adolf Hitler explained to Mussolini his plan for a conquered France. The most important thing, he said, was to prevent the French fleet and colonial empire from continuing to fight alongside the British. He also doubted that the French people would accept German administration. He did believe that they would accept German dictates unconsciously if those directions seemed to come from a French government ostensibly free to make its own decisions. Thus was born the idea of Vichy France.
When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, the government under Petain quickly surrendered, hoping to avoid a repeat of the catastrophic bloodshed on 1914. Rather than attempting to control the entire country, the Nazis allowed Petain to form a puppet state in the southern half of France. This government was headquartered in the resort town of Vichy, thus giving the rump state its name.
Vichy France was little more than a mouthpiece for the Nazis, with Petain leading the way in collaborating with the Germans.
- Petain himself saw this bargain with the devil as a means of saving France.
- His fellow countrymen, notably Charles de Gaulle, saw him as the ultimate traitor.
- The French government, under Petain, had withdrawn to Bordeaux and sued for peace.
Chaos reigned throughout France: her armed forces disintegrated, and the public clamored for negotiation. The announcement of peace talks was greeted without surprise and the following Armistice was a relief to many. French people rallied around Petain and accepted without question the correctness of his decision.
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