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Marshal Petain & The Orleans Regime, Part Six by Raymond Speer

Author 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).

Passage to Scotland The Year 1941

On March 6th,Charles de Gaule read the intelligence report that Petain through Laval had organized a separate peace with Germany.

"I had known of the Marshal's proclivities through ordinary conversation,"  de Gaulle statted later. "As soon as August of 1940, Petain had  spoken of calling a truce with the Germans and allowing them to evacuate peacefully from France. His fellow generals all thought that
such an offer would encourage a German speculation that we were close to surrender and he went silent, not referring to the matter again."

Another ominous indication was the Marshal's preference for Pierre Laval.  Laval had been notorious for  offering a "Czechoslovakia" to Mussolini. When he had been foreign minister, Laval and a like minded British minister had  planned to arrange Ethiopia's surrender to Italy when Italy invaded it. At that time, majorities in both the legislatures of Paris and London rejected that solution and  the ministers who had fashioned it.

Pierre Laval remained in the National Assembly but was not appointed to any office and seemed to have no expectation of such a recall to responsibility. Laval gave speeches for anti-Semetic organizations which were surprised that an ex-Premier such as Laval had nothing better to do than to respond to their lecture invitations.

Since de Gaulle had made Petain the foremost representative of French resistance,  the old man had  insisted on a diplomatic passport for Laval.  "Let him try to get our Prisoners of War out of German detention,"  insisted Petain. "If Laval thinks he might do that, let him try."

Laval had reported nothing in the reports which de Gaulle had seen, but the  man had been busy contacting the enemy throughout Europe. Now that Churchill had appraised de Gaulle of Petain's full bargain,  the Frenchman knew it was true instinctively.

On March 14th,Marshal Henri Phillippe Petain departed from Marsailles after a four day visit to Provence to raise local morale.

Fortunate for his pilots, Petain was in his groggy condition (as he usually was after meeting lots of strangers in unfamiliar locations) and failed to notice that his valet and barber were not the servants waiting for him aboard his airplane.  Had he inquired (which he never did), Petain would have found that one of the men in the front cabin was an Englishman.

On March 15,  Pierre Laval woke in his comfortable hotel suite, planning for an 11 AM appointment with the Premier.  Instead an Army captain leading six other soldiers opened his door at 9 AM and ordered him to dress. When Laval reached for the phone, he found that had aleady been unhooked.

"Where is the Premier?" asked Laval.

The young officer told him:  "Marshal Petain is on vacation."

At that time, a very grumpy Marshal of the French Army was  angrily throwing dishes and cups at the servants trying to serve him breakfast.

"Traitors,  traitors, traitors," Petain shouted at the domestic staff of a Scots duke, who had been given a most unhappy guest.

The problem was that Henri Phillippe Petain had not been removed from his office as the Premier of the Third Republic. So there would have to be a hearing on that issue.

Author says this is my sixth installment in my Marshal Petain & The Orleans Regime.

Other Contemporary Stories

Last Anglo-French War 1940-1944 Last Throw of the Dice Crazy Heads

Raymond Speer, Guest Historian of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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