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5 - “The Supreme Battle”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2024

Douglas Porch
Affiliation:
Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
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Summary

While the French longed for Liberation, they also feared its destructive and divisive potential. Given diminutive conventional French forces, de Gaulle counted on popular resistance to symbolize the participation of the French people in their own liberation. However, the fear that a “national insurrection” would cause great slaughter, and benefit the communists, caused planners to define down the concept. The STO crisis and emergence of the maquis phenomenon seemed to offer political opportunities to various players. However, the réduits maquisards played at best a marginal role in the Liberation, while their destruction offered another “black legend” of betrayal by the Gaullists and the Allies, one promoted by the PCF. The liberation of Paris served as one of the Second World War’s iconic moments, both as a milestone in the rollback of Nazi power and as a consecration of France’s republican resurrection. De Gaulle’s GPRF moved rapidly to assume the levers of national power, forcing a resistance that had consecrated, democratized, and legitimized him to step back into the ranks. De Gaulle’s acclamation removed any lingering reservations, even in Washington, that he was the legitimate leader of France. The levée was finished, the emergency over, and former FFI would henceforth fight the Germans “amalgamated” as soldiers in the regular army, not serve the political ambitions of resistance leaders and communists facilitated by the interface services.

Type
Chapter
Information
Resistance and Liberation
France at War, 1942-1945
, pp. 309 - 369
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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  • “The Supreme Battle”
  • Douglas Porch, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
  • Book: Resistance and Liberation
  • Online publication: 05 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009161152.006
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  • “The Supreme Battle”
  • Douglas Porch, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
  • Book: Resistance and Liberation
  • Online publication: 05 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009161152.006
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • “The Supreme Battle”
  • Douglas Porch, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
  • Book: Resistance and Liberation
  • Online publication: 05 January 2024
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009161152.006
Available formats
×