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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2023
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Book description

Vichy's Double Bind advances a significant new interpretation of French collaboration during the Second World War. Arguing that the path to collaboration involved not merely Nazi Germany but Fascist Italy, it suggests that the Vichy French government was caught in a double bind. On the one hand, many of the threats to France's territory, colonial empire and power came from Rome as well as Berlin. On the other, Vichy was caught between the irreconcilable yet inescapable positions of the two Axis governments. Unable to resolve the conflict, Vichy sought to play the two Axis powers against each other. By exploring French dealings with Italy at diplomatic, military and local levels in France and its colonial empire, this book reveals the multi-dimensional and multi-directional nature of Vichy's policy. It therefore challenges many enduring conceptions of collaboration with reference to Franco-German relations and offers a fresh perspective on debates about Vichy France and collaboration with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.


‘The book is providing an intriguing thesis on a still obscure topic of the Second World War, by underlining the fractious triangular relationship between Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the French collaborationist regime of Vichy. By showing the French willingness to play the Axis countries against each other, it nuances our diplomatic perspective of the Vichy regime in those fateful years.’

Emanuele Sica - author of Mussolini's Army in the French Riviera

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