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Oct. 26, 2019

The Phoney War with Cameron Zinsou

The Phoney War with Cameron Zinsou

Dr. Cameron Zinsou talks about the tense waiting period known as 'The Phoney War.' Zinsou argues that despite no large-scale military engagements occuring a whole lot happened. French society had to reorganize for total war and that the political, social and military changes presaged the occupation.


Today I’m going to talk about France during the Inter-War period from 1919-1939 and the Phoney War. The Phoney War was a period of time during World War II from October 1939, after the conclusion of France’s Saar offensive until May 1940 and the beginning of the Battle of France.  Its name comes from the perceived lack of military activity between Germany and the Allies, as the two sides stared at one another. In fact, if one looks away from direct military action and looks at the interior of France, there was a flurry of military activity. Not only that, but emphasizing the military aspects of the Phoney War and looking at how it impacted civilians illuminates a lot about French military policy and how it intersected with civilian life.  This matters because we tend to think of the social changes that occurred in France happened mostly during Germany’s occupation of the country from 1940-1944.  While the most drastic changes in French society occurred during this time, the stories we associate with the German occupation, billeting, the exploitation of material resources, and lack of food, all began under French directives during the Phoney War. In this, I depart from historians who claim that Vichy France, the official French government during the occupation, represented a break from previous French life.  Instead, I adopt a more nuanced approach following historians like Jonathan Fenby, who argue that France since the Revolution is a duality between pioneering human rights and progressive legislation and its more conservative and legacy ties to monarchy and religion. Ultimately, we cannot understand the extent of civilian conditions in France during the occupation unless we look at the precursor that enabled German occupation in the first place, the laws, conditions, and rules that reigned over the last days of the Third Republic.  When Germany came, they largely kept the same regulations concerning requisitions that the French had implemented during the Inter-War era. I illustrate plights of civilians during the Phoney War by looking at some instances of civilian/soldier interactions in Montélimar, the city I am studying for my dissertation. Let’s dig in!


To understand how French appeared to be so passive during the Phoney War, and how much it required civilians, we must first look to the end of World War I and the severe human costs of the conflict.

World War 1 caused great suffering in France.  France suffered severe human and economic damage during the war. The human losses included 1.3 million men killed, or 10.5 percent of the available Frenchmen, compared to 9.8 percent for Germany and 5.1 percent for Great Britain. In addition, 1.1 million veteran men were severely wounded and often incapacitated. Many hundreds of thousands of civilians had died in the Spanish flu, which struck as the war was ending. The population was further weakened by missing births, amounting to about 1.4 million while the menfolk were at war.

In monetary terms, economist Alfred Sauvy estimated a loss of 55 billion francs (in 1913 value), or 15 months worth of national income that could never be restored. The harsh German occupation had wrecked special havoc on 13,000 square miles in northeastern France. In addition to the smashed up battlefields, the region’s railways, bridges, mines, factories, commercial offices and private housing were all massively affected. Germans pillaged the factories and farms, removing machines and tools as well as 840,000 head of cattle, 400,000 horses 900,000 sheep and 330,000 hogs.

The government promised to make it good again, committing 20 billion francs. The plan was to have Germany repay everything by reparations. Repairs and rebuilding were quickly and highly successful.

Convinced that a more effective national mobilization was the key to success in a future war against Germany, French leaders began as early as 1920 to formulate a national defense law—a blueprint for total war.  Unlike past military laws, which addressed the problem of national defense by regulating the size, composition, and equipment of hte army and of the navy, this loi sur l’organisation de la nation pour le temps de guerre would put all of the national resources at the command of the nation.  Its particular objectives were to specify the wartime powers of the French government and to codify its relationship with the military commanders, to insure the mobilization of human and material resources, and to allocate responsibility for different elements of the national defense effort among civilian and military agencies.


“The First Bill” (1927)- A call for a national mobilization or organization law came from Army Chief of Staff General Edmond Buat as early as 1920, and the government showed itself to be thinking in similar terms by revising the constitution of the old Conseil Superieur de la Defense Nationale (CSDN) in November 1921 to create an agency competent to deal with the integration of military and civil aspects of national defense planning.


The French parliament put forth a bill that would make all French citizens responsible for the defense of the country. Three objections to this emerged: 1. That the conscription of women was wrong in principle, 2. That conscription might serve the government as a means against organized labor, and that, by diluting the distinction between soldiers and civilians, conscription might deprive the latter of the protections granted noncombatants under international law.


If the conscription of women touched French souls, seizure of private property was a scarcely less heartfelt issue, and the debate on the tenth article was marked both by violent rhetoric and by reluctance to discuss unpalatable measures. The question was whether the government should acquire the assets needed for war by negotiation (accord amiable) between state and property owner or by requisition through government fiat.  The study committee of the CSDN had rejected requisition as likely to require expensive indemnities and to prove harmful to economic efficiency.  In the opinion of the commission, “personal interest is one of the important motors of economic activity.” Nothing spurred production better than profit, and the trick was to find a level of profit that stimulated production without arousing scandal.  In spite of public revulsion against war profiteers, the CSDN’s text reflected a belief in the efficacy of financial incentives and asserted that the government would acquire resources “primarily by agreement, with strict limits on the owner’s profits (benefices), and secondarily, in the absence of a satisfactory agreement, by requisition.


Similar senatorial reluctance to reify the sacrifices implied in the rhetoric of total war revealed itself in the discussion of industrial mobilization, especially in dismay at the chamber’s prohibition of wartime profits.  As one senator noted, “one must allow industry and agriculture their customary patterns of work, and those include making money.” Agreeing that normal, though not scandalous, levels of profit were a necessary stimulus for economic production, the Senate army committee altered the Chamber’s text to discourage the requisition of private property and to reward with “primes those proprietaors who negotiated accords amiables with the government.  Primes were exactly the benefices specifically rejected by the Chamber, but, insisted Klotz, the word seemed less objectionable.

There was an impasse between the amount property owners should make from the government for requisition.


“The 1935-1938 effort” – For six years after its initial failure, the national mobilization bill lay forgotten.  This was the period of the disarmament talks, and discussion of a national defense bill threatened to undermine French efforts in Geneva.


In comparison to such immediate issues (the Depression), as the defense of the franc, social conflict in a depressed economy, France’s declining position in an increasingly technological world economy, and the domestic political strife symbolized in the bloody riots of 6 Feb 1934, a disarmed Germany did not seem terribly important. Eventually, in light of Germany’s aggressive posturing and maneuvers throughout the 1930s, the French government came to consensus.


The sixty-eight articles of the new Loi sur l’organisation de la nation pour le temps de guerre called upon the government to make peacetime preparations for the mobilization of the population and the resources of France to meet the exigencies of war. It delineated hte responsibilities of hte various civil and military authorities and imposed a national service obligation upon all male residents of France over eighteen years old.  The state was empowered to negotiate with private citizens for wartime use of property, and resources not secured by peacetime negotiation were subject to requisition with the payment of an indemnity…The specifically military aspects of national security planning—including the employment of armed forces, the creation and execution of armaments programs, and the industrial mobilization—were the responsibility of the Comite Permanent de la Defense National. At the outbreak of hostilities, these military concerns shifted to a new Comite de Guerre chaired by the PResident of the Republic….Finally, a substantial portion of the law, eight of the sixty-eight articles, dealt with measures to protect the population of France from aerial bombardment.


This cautious set of arrangements was little to show for almost two decades of work. ..wartime and peacetime authority remained as separate as the three armed services.  Those parts of the law that government agencies did not like were simply ignored. In January 1939, for example, the minister of commerce promulgated a public regulation promising compensation to property owners for the wartime use of their property that was strictly incompatible with the law of 11 July 1938. Noting the problme in a letter to DAladier, the Secretariat Generald du Conseil Superieure de la Defense Nationale (SGCSDN) argued that the state could not refuse to offer profit unless it was willing to guarantee against loss.  If it protected against loss, however, companies would have no incentive to make an effort, and their failures would drain the treasury. Although the secretariat could not repuediate the law of 11 July, it declined to enforce it.


The need for mobilization planning did not stop at the national level; department prefects and town mayors had to turn the abstractions of the wartime organization law into concrete action.  Concerned that the partial mobilization during hte Sudetenland crisis of Sept 1938 had revealed many of the mayors of France to be utterly ignorant of their national defense responsibilities, the secretariat of the CSDN called for the urgent development of clear and simple plans for use at the local level.


While its proponents urged thorough implementation of the law of 11 July 1938, others argued that the law itself thwarted national defense. For example, some armaments orders had not been place by the services because of the difficulty of predicting the elusive “just return on capital” allowed by the law.  IN other cases, the armed services were unable to make contracts attractive enough to get the desired reuslts for fear of offering illegal rates of profit.  Paul-Boncour believed, moreover, that the law’s strict ban on war profits deterred businessmen from investing in plants likely to be requisitioned.  The framers of the law had intended that patriotism and the prospect of government contracts alike would steer industry towards military production, but such stimuli promised results only to a government willing actively to employ them.  In the event, small firms proved unwilling to accept government contracts at the rate of profit allowed by the law, and the French government proved equally unwilling to exploit its statutory authority to requisition factories.


The weakness of the law of 11 July 1938 can be seen from the fact that many important national defense measures were taken without invoking it.  For example, the most serious interwar challenge to private property, the nationalization of defense plants under the law of 11 August 1936, occurred while the national mobilization law was still mired in the legislation process.


Thus, on the individual level, much energy was shifted from preparing for war to seeking ways to be excused from it, and senior officers and government officials were deluged with requests for special treatment. In Montélimar, the Feytel family had one of their own, Rene, called up during mobilization. Through a series of letters from the family to Rene, they spoke of the possibilities of getting him leave to come home and work on the family farm.


44S3 – 8  Oct 1939, Rene to Aimee

He tells her if you cannot get me on leave for agriculture permission then I can get a telegram saying you were sick.  But first you have to go to the doctor so he tells you so, that’s what the regulations are.  All the married men wrote and sent their wives a telegram.


44S5 – 9 Oct 1939, Marius Feytel to Rene

They attempted to get permission for Rene to go on leave as a farmer, but the mayor and prefect could do nothing.  Mr. Garcon is the one who controls the choices.  If they can, they will find another way or get some volunteers.  Since Fernand left they haven’t heard from him.  Today it was hot.  I forgot to tell you that for your agricultural permission Mr. Ollivier cannot help it. It is only a commission appointed by the Chamber of Agriculture to make the mobilized lands work. He is obliged to take the men whom the army will give him, and who will be priced at Montélimar. There are already some who snatch sugar beets.



Training grounds, tanks, guns, and ammunition are obvious military necessities, but other shortages also impeded training. Lack of gasoline was a perpetual hindrance to maneuvers, as was the dearth of vehicles. Possessing only about 30,000 trucks, the French Army would in the event of war demand 300,000 more—as well as cars, tractors, and motorcycles—form civilian sources. Although necessary for an army that could neither purchase nor maintain the huge number of vehicles required for war, this system based on wartime requisition was unsuitable for peacetime activities. The lack of horses often reduced the amount of artillery that could be employed in exercises, and the Renault FT tanks could not be employed properly without the trucks required to move them. Some soldiers couldn’t properly eat their food so they had cold food…In a worse manifestation of French logistical weaknesses, horses went without fodder for the duration of exercises, and lack of prevision in this area may explain why so many requisitioned horses died of starvation during the war.


The reliance on requisitioned vehicles created problems that went beyond their unavailability for peacetime training, for the civilian economy provided few reasonable facismiles of specialized military vehicles like communications trucks. Moreover, civilian firms sometimes protected their more valuable transportation assets by purchasing second-hand vehicles solely to be foisted off on the army, a practice that may help to explain why 40,000 vehicles required repair within a few months of requisition…(one) officer’s offering this observation, who describes the entire requisitions process as scandalous, admits that soldiers could be blamed for choosing the worst vehicles in order to appease civilians…units had to contend with a variety of makes and models which made maintaining all of them difficult…some 30,000 vehicles designated for wartime requisition never materialized.


Soldiers who might have been training or building fortifications received regular leave, or, if leave was not granted them, took it anyway. Men not on leave wasted their time playing cards, drinking, and writing letters.  None of these hindrances to preparing French troops for combat—not the skeletal units, the brevity of the effective training year, the army’s material deficiencies, the burdens of administration, or the shortcuts taken in training exercises—was unknown to French officers, whose own reports provide much of the evidence for these very problems  But the complaints were fewer than the situation warranted and were increasingly offset by analyses that softened specific technical criticisms with vague but comforting claims about the high morale of French troops.


The point is not that French soldiers ought to have been better trained but that a close look at the circumstances in which training took place reveals a “tyranny of the mundane”—the sheer organizational and physical impediments to doing what the army acknowledged it had to do.  Undoubtedly the French Army, like every such organization, had some men for whom the slavery imposed by skeleton units, material deficiencies, and administrative burdens seemed a liberation from the demands of real soldiering.  For those men, however, who chafed at the physical frictions that blocked efforts to train for war, there were no good choices.


French Military Policy


Another important aspect of French military policy during the Interwar years concerned, French doctrine and how not just to prepare for the next war, but to fight it as well. There were several issues regarding how to best achieve this.


Conseil supérieur de la guerre (CSG, Supreme War Council) was the main body that decided French military policy. By 1922, two schools of thought had emerged, one led by General Edmond Buat that advocated the building of continuous fortifications along the frontier for a relatively static defense and one supported by Marshal Ferdinand Foch and Marshal Philippe Pétain, which wanted fortified regions to be built as centers of resistance for offensive action. Armies would maneuver around the centers until the most favorable time and conditions for attack. By the end of 1922, majority opinion in the CSG favored a system that could be used offensively and defensively.


The defenses were first proposed by Marshal Joseph Joffre. He was opposed by modernists such as Paul Reynaud and Charles de Gaulle, who favored investment in armor and aircraft. It was André Maginot who finally convinced the government to invest in the project. Maginot was another veteran of World War I; he became the French Minister of Veteran Affairs and then Minister of War (1928–1932).


The requirements for the fortifications were natural cover, sites nearby for observation posts, the minimum of dead ground, a maximum arc of fire, ground suitable for anti-tank obstacles and infantry positions and ground on which paved roads could be built, to eliminate wheel marks. Maisons Fortes were to be built near the frontier as permanently garrisoned works, whose men would alert the army, blow bridges and erect roadblocks, for which materials were dumped. Interval Troops of infantry, gunners, engineers and mechanized light cavalry with field artillery, could maneuver between the fortifications, advancing to defend casemate approaches and relieve outposts or retiring to protect fortress entrances, the troops provided continuity, depth and mobility to the static defenses.  The Maginot line was truly a masterpiece of military engineering.   


The Ardennes was considered to be easily defended and in 1927, the Guillaumat Commission concluded that the few narrow serpentine roads, through wooded hills could be blocked easily with felled trees, minefields and roadblocks.


On the French declaration of war on 3 September 1939, French military strategy had been settled, taking in analysis of geography, resources and manpower. The French army would defend on the right and advance into Belgium on the left, to fight forward of the French frontier. As a neutral, the Belgian state was reluctant to co-operate openly with France but did communicate information about Belgian defenses. By May 1940, there had been an exchange of the general nature of French and Belgian defense plans but little co-ordination, especially against a possible German offensive west through Luxembourg and the east of Belgium. The French expected Germany to breach Belgian neutrality first, providing a pretext for French intervention or the Belgians to request support when an invasion was imminent. Most of the French mobile forces were assembled along the Belgian border, ready to make a quick move forward and take up defensive positions before the Germans arrived.


By late 1939, the Belgians had improved the defenses along the Albert Canal and increased the readiness of the army, Gamelin and his generals began to consider the possibility of advancing further than the Escaut. By November, GQG had decided that a defense along the Dyle Line was feasible, despite the doubts of General Alphonse Georges, commander of the North-Eastern Front about reaching the Dyle before the Germans. The British had been lukewarm about an advance into Belgium but Gamelin talked them round and on 9 November, the Dyle Plan was adopted. On 17 November, a session of the Supreme War Council deciding that it was essential to occupy the Dyle Line and Gamelin issued a directive that day detailing a line from Givet to Namur, the Gembloux Gap, Wavre, Louvain and Antwerp. For the next four months, the Dutch and Belgian armies labored over their defenses, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF, General Lord Gort) expanded, while the French army received more equipment and training.


So it’s not that the Allies didn’t have a plan to advance.  Their advance was contingent on the opening moves of the Germans, and they would react to it. This lack of initiative naturally put the Allies in a defensive mindset, in order to bleed German forces and create conditions that would preserve French lives, lives that were so horrendously spent during the First World War.



Effects on civilians


We have briefly seen how soldiers would request leave from their units. How did civilians fare in case of war and what happened during these months?


France instituted a policy of evacuating civilians from near the German borde3r in the event of war. 14 – French preferred to empty their cities.


Civilian evacuations began in late August 1939, just before WW2.  French and German border populations were removed from their homes to make room for troop movements, limit exposure to enemy fire, and avoid occupation. Preemptive evacuations continued throughout the war, although from the summer of 1943, population transfers in the wake of air raids became more important than those occurring in advance.


For civilians not evacuated, the troubles of war manifested themselves in many other ways.  The theme of requisitions, shortages, and billeting were rampant through the war. In order to illustrate the troubles civilians faced in the context of these French policies, I want to look at the mobilization of soldiers at the beginning of the war, and throughout the Phoney War until the Battle of France.


In Montélimar, city officials used census data to identify businesses, shops, farms, stables, and homes suitable for the quartering of soldiers and animals.  With that list in hand, a coordinating officer from a military unit would then inform the commander of the barracks (Commandant d’Armes) in Montélimar, Captain (later Lieutenant Colonel) Piollet.  The commander would then contact the mayor, informing him of the requirements.  Their requests could be diverse, as each unit required different materials necessary for their proper function.  The military could utilize public buildings like theaters and stadiums for the storage of equipment, vehicles, and weapons.  At other times the situation could unfold more chaotically.  Occasionally the leader of a unit would present demands without prior notification to Captain Piollet or Tardieu.  The latter two then had to scramble to find appropriate lodging for the soldiers.


Several incidents illustrate both the problems of mobilization and the considerable economic difficulties many civilians and businesses of Montélimar faced.  Soldiers of the 3d Battalion of the 146th Infantry Regiment, for example, stayed at Saint-Agnès School, but it soon proved insufficient for their needs.  Members from the unit looked for a building they could fashion into an office, hospital, and living quarters.  After “multiple unsuccessful searches in many locations,” they identified a knitting factory called Dore & Sons (Dore & Fils) 600 meters away from the school on the east side of Montélimar, owned by a certain Mr. Borne.  They informed him that his building was “the only one available that met all the required conditions for use.”[1]  They gave Borne notification that he had forty-eight hours to vacate the premises.  The unit moved into this location even though the company held the building in reserve to transfer their machines from another location to the one in Montélimar to make clothes for the military.[2]   Several days later the battalion requisitioned a nearby garage suitable to house its vehicles.[3]  The immediate needs of units stationed in Montélimar always superseded military contracts given to civilians.


The soldiers belonged to the 482nd Regiment Pionniers Infanterie Coloniaux (RPIC), a unit belonging to the 9th French Army.  The French Army formed Pioneer units during the summer of 1939 in growing anticipation of conflict with Germany.  They were composed of old classes of French army units, often poorly equipped, whose primary function was the creation of fieldworks The unit’s first elements arrived in Montélimar on September 7 when forty soldiers settled on the property of Richard Raoux in the Quartier de Villeneuve, east of downtown.[4]  From the beginning of September to mid-November, 626 soldiers and thirty-five horses arrived in Montélimar from this unit, most of them belonging to its 3rd battalion.[5]  The soldiers began departing on November 18 and had entirely vacated the city by November 23.  During their stay, most of the soldiers resided in about a dozen properties in the northeast part of Montélimar, along Quartier de Beausseret.  Mrs. Veuve Nicolas, owner of Chateau de Milan, tallied an extensive list of damages to her building.  Soldiers of the unit broke twenty windows, two windowed doors, destroyed a thirty meter by fifteen meter mural, four locks, and either broke or stole twenty electric lamps around the premises.  In summarizing the list of damages, the officer who made the list noted that there were at least 350 men in Chateau de Milan, exceeding the buildings authorized capacity of 270 men.[6]  The army requisitioned an additional room in Nicolas’s personal home for one non-commissioned officer.[7]  So while the exact number of soldiers staying in Chateau de Milan is unknown, an estimate ranging from 300-350 would put the lodging over capacity. The total cost in damages to Chateau de Milan amounted to an estimated 2,310 francs.  This was an occupation typical of the time period.


From October 25 to November 22, 1939, soldiers designated as Syrian reinforcements (renfort de Syrie) billeted in Montélimar on Route d’Espeluche, located in the southern part of the city.[8]  Piollet forwarded Tardieu the damages caused by the detachment of Syrian reinforcements.[9]  Some of the soldiers also stayed in grounds owned by the city’s equestrian society, where the soldiers quartered their horses. Mr. Didio, likely a representative of the equestrian society, placed a claim to Tardieu.  Didio went to the officer in command to ask that everything be restored to the condition in which the soldiers found the property when they arrived.  Didio had noticed that some equipment belonging to the society had disappeared.  He asked the unknown officer what he planned to do about the disappearance of the materials.  The officer responded that he intended to leave on time and that he had no time to answer such questions.  Didio also noted that some 600 meters of canvas (used to surround the track on race days), 400 meters of rope, and numerous small tools were missing from the grounds.[10]  Tardieu wrote to Piollet the next day, emphasizing the seriousness of the offense caused by the officer.  Tardieu criticized Piollet, telling him that if the officer did not have time to take the claims of the property owners in the area, then Piollet himself should have installed measures by which where the owners could make such claims.  We have no record of Piollet’s response.  After the 3/482’s departure, Piollet wrote to Tardieu, informing him that civilians must maintain all earthworks the unit had built during its stay.[11] In January, the estimated total of damages from all the Syrian reinforcements totaled 7,343 francs.[12]


By the end of 1939 and into 1940, both Tardieu and Montiliens were feeling the strain of the Army’s demands.  Tardieu wrote to Piollet on December 9, informing him that “I am having great difficult in housing the high number of officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who have been passing through the city since mobilization.  I’ve come to ask you as a favor to me if you could keep all NCOs on military premises.”[13]  There was no indication whether or not Piollet heeded Tardieu’s request.  The mayor also pushed the Army to pay indemnities to Montiliens.  He wrote the military commandant in Valence in February explaining that he was, “beset by complaints from Montiliens complaining about the delay of payments made…I’ve been sending in reports since November…these criticisms [from civilians] seem justified.”[14]  The Commandant replied two weeks later, stating that he had settled twenty-six different claims, and that the delay came because of mismatching reports submitted to the military authorities in Valence.  Tardieu’s office was also swamped with back-ordered damage reports from civilians all over the department.[15] While these examples only cover Montélimar, there are indications that French soldiers caused damage across wide swaths of the area during mobilization. Smaller contingents of soldiers passed through Montélimar from February through May 1940.


French policy turned cities into places of requisition and billeting during mobilization, and made practically all civilian possessions available for confiscation.  Transient soldiers made accountability difficult, and the constant influx of soldiers exacerbated issues over time.  The large movement of French soldiers through the country created nationwide problems similar to those of Montélimar during this time, and civilian claims to damages and concerns quickly became backlogged as administrators struggled to keep up with all the reports.  The apparatus for housing soldiers in Montélimar would later make the entrance of Italian and later German soldiers proceed more smoothly, as civilians already had the experience of housing soldiers on their property, forfeiting their possessions, and interacting with soldiers whom they did not know.  It would make the process of future accommodation easier to digest.  Later analysis of the German occupation of France cannot be wholly understood unless we look to the mobilization of the French Army during the Phony War and the ways in which civilians had to accommodate their presence.

[1]Memo, Piollet, September 20, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[2] Dore to Borne, September 4, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.  Part of the letter reads, “Now that we are in a time of war, we must be prepared for the worst if our region is evacuated, as it was partially done in 1914.  Our establishments work for the National Defense (Notice of Order of the Ministry of War…), and it is for this reason that until then we have kept our workshops and the house in Montélimar completely free. I beg you, therefore, to see the mayor of Montélimar to see if you can keep the workshop on Gery Road available. In the case of evacuation, all our machines working here for the war would be transferred to our Montélimar workshop, and I will personally occupy the house.”

[3] Piollet to Tardieu, September 27, 1939, AMM , 5H, Box 18.

[4] Order, “Cantonnement des Troupes,” October 26, 1939, Archives Municipal de Montélimar (AMM), Serie 5H “Affaires Militaire,” Box 18. Montélimar, Drome, France.  All translations are done by the author.

[5] Report, “3d Battalion, 482nd Regiment de Pionniers Coloniaux, Etat des Cantonnements,” November 19, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[6] Report, “Etat des Degats commis au Chateau Milan,“ November 19, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[7] Order, “Cantonnement des Troupes,” November 16, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.  This form was backdated to September 7, probably for bureaucratic reasons.

[8] Memo, “Etat des Reclamations des Proprietaires ayant Cantonne le Renfort su la Route d’Espeluche,” AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[9] Piollet to Tardieu, January 4, 1940, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[10] Didio to Tardieu, November 22, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[11] Piollet to Tardieu, November 22, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[12] Tardieu to Military Intendant of Valence, January 10, 1940, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[13] Tardieu to Piollet, December 9, 1939, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[14] Tardieu to Commandant l’Intendant a Valence, February 22, 1940, AMM, 5H, Box 18.

[15] Commandant l’Intendant a Valence to Tardieu, March 4, 1940, AMM, 5H, Box 18.



Podcast Sources – The Phoney War – Cameron Zinsou


Alary, Eric, Benedicte Vergez-Chaignon, and Gilles Gauvin.  Les Français au quotidien.  Paris: Perrin, 2009.

Burrin, Philippe.  France under the Germans: Collaboration and Compromise.  Trans. Janet Lloyd.  New York: The New Press, 1996.

Diamond, Hanna. Fleeing Hitler: France 1940.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Doughty, Robert A.  The Seeds of Disaster: The Development of French Army Doctrine, 1919-1939.  Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 1985.

Frieser, Karl-Heinz. The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2005.

Gildea, Robert.  Marianne in Chains: Daily Life in the Heart of France during the German Occupation.  New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2002.

Jackson, Julian. The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Kiesling, Eugenia C.  Arming against Hitler: The Limits of Military Planning.  Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1996.

Nord, Philip.  France’s New Deal: From the Thirties to the Postwar Era.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010.

Risser, Nicole Dombrowski.  France under Fire: German Invasion, Civilian Flight and Family survival during World War II.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Torrie, Julia S.  “For Their own Good”: Civilian Evacuations in Germany and France, 1939-1945.  New York: Berghahn Books, 2010.

Selections from Montélimar come from le Archive Municipal de Montélimar, Montélimar, la Drôme, France.