Marshal Petain & The Orleans
Regime, Part Two by Raymond Speer
says: what if Marshall Petain continued the fight from Orleans? muses
Raymond Speer. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
|Call from Orleans
||The Year 1940
On June 17th,Adolf
Hitler grew very distraught when a translator informed him that France,
contrary to his latest intelligence reports, was not going to surrender.
"This is absolute garbage," said Adolf Hitler when he was exposed to the
oratory of the old Marshal. Petain. "As recently as last week, those curs
expressed gratitude that we would condesend to accept their surrender."
Frustrated, Hitller's basic instincts returned to
violence. "No mercy, no understanding, no pity. The French spurned reason!
If they choose to die where they shelter from us, let them die. Let them all
As soon as the evening of June 17, the German Luftwaffe
began a heavy bombing of Orleans, the French alternative capitol. By the
evening of June 18, armored thrusts pounded on the north and west of the
"Drunk wiith their momentary advantage," commented
Weygand's replacement, Charles de Gaulle, "the Germans have not ever made
any offers worthy of our attention." An angry Hitler had broadcast that the
French would never receive better terms so long as he controled Germany.
The Hitler conditions are the surrender and
demobilization of French armies and fleets, and the northern half of France
and its Atlantic coast was to be occupied by the Germans. Moreover, all
political refugees from Germany are to be returned to their place of origin,
whch seems to indicate that Jewish refugees within France are expected back
in German-occupied Poland.
ORLEANS RESISTS is the new slogan of the French-lead
international community as French tanks, men and artillery meet the invader,
who has sealed off all but one road into the city. Meanwhile, far off in
Algeria, the French Navy at Mers el Kebir agree to rules of co-operation
with the British Navy that are supposed to suppress Italian maritime
On August 8th,
tanks lead by Hans Guderian were repulsed by a surprise
visit from war planes of the Royal Air Force and were kept immobile for most
of the next week. With his air assets divided between Britain (behind the
Channel) and a revived France (fighting hard on a line from Tours - Orleans
- Troyes), the arrogant Air Reichs Marshal Goering was discovering the
limitations of his service.
The National Assembly remained in session as a moral
raiser, although there were worries that German bombs and shells might be
powerful enough to penetrate the crowded and damp bunker. Former Premier
(and Jew) Leon Blum gave a stirring exposition of France's resistance on
August 16 and crossed the ocean for America the next month.
As propaganda suggested, ORLEANS RESISTS and every
attempt to oust the Frenchmen from the forts and bunkers of their "fortress
cities" fell short in the summer of 1940. The Maginot Line, infamous in May
1940 for having been ignored by the Germans, was appreciated by September
for the strength it gave French frontiers in the East.
Pulled between the largely air battles characteristic of
the Battle of Britain and its more traditional role as air enhancement done
in connection with armor movements, the German Air Force was diminished by
On October 17th,
Premier Petain and Prime Minister Churchill met for the
first of two days of conferences with Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. As
Hitler said, since Franco's victory in his Spanish Civil War had been made
possible by a fortune in aid from Germany and Italy, Franco's newfound
ingratude to yesterday's allies should be a new definition of treason.
More worrisome to Hitler, his failure to conquer either
France or Britain meant that his Army was fixed in ongoing combat against
France and Britain. Stalin was left with the ability to take advantage of
Hitler's enforced attention to the War in the West. So when might that
surprise come to Germany?
says this is my second installment in my Marshal Petain & The Orleans
Other Contemporary Stories
Raymond Speer, Guest Historian of
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