Berghahn Books Logo

berghahn New York · Oxford

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
The French Defeat of 1940: Reassessments

View Table of Contents

See Related
History Journals

Email Newsletters

Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.

Click here to select your preferences

The French Defeat of 1940


Edited by Joel Blatt

384 pages, 12 illus.

ISBN  978-1-57181-109-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 1997)

ISBN  978-1-57181-226-1 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (January 2001)

eISBN 978-0-85745-717-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


"This stimulating and valuable collection ... does a superb job of demonstrating the intricacies of this acutely troubling problem."  · H-Diplo

"This excellent volume of essays ... the editor and publisher are to be congratulated on a valuable and handsome volume."  · The Journal of Military History

"... makes available a rich offering of the latest research on the defeat of 1940."  · The International History Review


Why France, the major European continental victor in 1918, suffered total defeat in six weeks at the hands of the vanquished power of 1918 only two decades later remains moot. Why the stunning reversal of fortunes? In this volume thirteen prominent scholars reexamine the French debacle of 1940 in interwar perspectives, utilizing fresh analysis, original approaches, and new sources. Although the tenor of the volume is critical, the contributors also suggest that French preparations for war knew successes as well as failures, that French defeat was not inevitable, and that the Battle of France might have turned out differently if different choices had been made and other paths been followed.

Joel Blatt teaches at the University of Connecticut at Stamford.

Area: France Germany


Joel Blatt

Joel Blatt

Chapter 1. Strategy and Scapegoatism: Reflections on the French National Catastrophe, 1940
Nicole Jordan

Chapter 2. Marc Bloch and the drôle de guerre: Prelude to the "Strange Defeat"
Carole Fink

Chapter 3. Martyr's Vengenance: Memory, Trauma, and Fear of War in France, 1918-1940
Omer Bartov

Chapter 4. Domestic Politics and the Fall of France in 1940
William I. Irvine

Chapter 5. Edouard Daladier: The Conduct of the War and the Beginnigns of Defeat
Elisabeth du Réau

Chapter 6. The Missed Opportunity: French Refugee Policy in Wartime, 1939-1940
Vicki Caron

Chapter 7. Prelude to Defeat: Franco-Soviet Relations, 1919-1939
Michael Jabara Carley

Chapter 8. France and the Illusion of American SUpport, 1919-1940
William R. Keylor

Chapter 9. In the Eye of the Beholder: The Cultural Representation of France and Germany by The New York Times, 1939-1940
Robert J. Young

Chapter 10. Reflections on France, Britain and the Winter War Prodrome, 1939-1940
John C. Cairns

Chapter 11. "Fighting to the Last Frenchman"? Reflections on the BEF Development to France and the Strains in the Franco-British Alliance, 1939-1940
Martin S. ALexander

Chapter 12. French Defeat in 1940 and its Reversal in 1944-1945: The Deuxième Division Blindée
Philip Farwell Bankwitz

Chapter 13. The Trauma of 1940: A Disaster and its Traces
Stanley Hoffmann


Back to Top