The Fall of France in the Second World War

History and Memory

  • Richard Carswell

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Richard Carswell
    Pages 1-17
  3. Richard Carswell
    Pages 19-47
  4. Richard Carswell
    Pages 49-68
  5. Richard Carswell
    Pages 69-121
  6. Richard Carswell
    Pages 123-159
  7. Richard Carswell
    Pages 161-207
  8. Richard Carswell
    Pages 209-258
  9. Richard Carswell
    Pages 259-267
  10. Richard Carswell
    Pages 269-275
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 277-283

About this book


This book examines how the fall of France in the Second World War has been recorded by historians and remembered within society. It argues that explanations of the fall have usually revolved around the four main themes of decadence, failure, constraint and contingency. It shows that the dominant explanation claimed for many years that the fall was the inevitable consequence of a society grown rotten in the inter-war period.  This view has been largely replaced among academic historians by a consensus which distinguishes between the military defeat and the political demise of the Third Republic. It emphasizes the contingent factors that led to the military defeat. At the same time it seeks to understand the constraints within which France’s policy-makers were required to act and the reasons for their policy-making failures in economics, defence and diplomacy.


Battle of France World War Two Anglo-French relations Memory studies National myths

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard Carswell
    • 1
  1. 1.RichmondUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-03954-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-03955-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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