Marshal Petain & The Orleans
Regime, Part Seven by Raymond Speer
says: this is the last installment of my series on Petain being the
Savior of France in 1940. When Petain changes his mind, and later goes where
he went originally in our time line. he is illegally but emphatically
removed from office and placed in isolation in Scotland, from which he is
hadly likely to escape. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post
do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
|Men, and Trees, Are Measured When
They Are Down
||The Year 1951
On July 23rd,French
Fielld Marshal Henri Phillippe Petain dies after a very long life, the last
five years which were spent in a fog of
Alzheimer's. Many people believe that evidence of his mental decline can be
seen when he posed as the symbol of French resistance in the crucial years
of 1940 and 1941.
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain, tipped French military
chief Charles de Gaulle that Petain had made a deal with Hitler. Petain
would arrest de Gaulle and other War proponents and allow the Germans to
withdraw from France without further fighting so that the Germans could
confront the USSR without any distraction.
Instead Petain was flown by deception into Scotland. Publicity was managed
so that journalists actually believed that Petain had suffered a major
health crisis and that he needed to be cared for in secret so he could make
a recovery. Top doctors were asked neither to confirm or deny that Marshal
Petain was under their care. Instead, the Marshal stayed at Glamis as a man
under house arrest. While there, he contributed to the legend of the Glamis
As it happened, Pierre Laval was imprisoned in barracks and the Germans
never managed a military breakway from their commitment in France.
Indeed, de Gaulle in Orleans and Churchill in London pressed the Germans
all the harder when the Red Fury was launched by offensives into East
Prussia and German occupied Poland, together with an assault from armies
trained for crossing mountains, that was spearheaded by Russia's
World's Largest Parachue Drop on Ploesti, Romania.
The strain was too much for the German Reich, particularly when the actions
against Ploesti proved beyond German chemistry to cure. And at the same
time, a British / Canadian army had been successfully landed at Calais in
the same week that the French chased Germans out of Paris.
Germany's' last success had been its winter offensive against Warsaw, that
had pushed the Russians out of Poland in the winter of 1941.
Hitler still died of a heart attack in Munich during a
British bombing raid, and the War in East and West Europe ended in March
Henri Philippe Petain, still Premier of France, was released on an agreement
between him and de Gaulle that he would not make a big issue of his enforced
retirement. Instead, the wisdom of that wartime move was the subject of the
first post war election, which de Gaulle lost. Pierre Laval again became
Premier, backed by at least 60 per cent of the National Assembly.
Winston Churchill was also out of office in 1942, replaced as Prime Minister
by Clement Attlee of a Labour/Liberal coalition. The worst mark against the
Tory PM was that his diplomacy and military precautions did nothing to
prevent the USSR's rollover of the Persian Gulf. With Britain facing six
fold increases in petrol costs, all at Russia's advantage, the British
voter did not esteem Churchill's record.
The Japanese Government took very seriously the German failure to conquer
France and ceased to draw closer diplomatically to Germany and Italy. That
enhanced moderation meant that Japan never offended the USA to the degree at
which American oil and scrap metal was to be forbidden Japan. War was never
made by Japan against the United States though War did come by 1947 between
Japan's Manchuko and Russia's Korea.
With the return of peace long before the 1940 election and the less than
edifying example of Petain's imprisonment in Scotland, Franklin Roosevelt
gave up on a fourth presidential term when his top poll rating was 20.40
per cent in favor. "Warmongering" was a dirty word in 1944 when Charles
Lindbergh defeated Henry Wallace for the top office.
The remnent of self-governing Germany, still capitoled in Flensburg,
Germany, adjacent to the Danish border, ended on the west bank of the Rhine.
Too small to be a major influence on its neighbors, it is a small strip of
land whose Chief of Government is still Karl Donitz (Hitler's appointee) and
where a Chancellor once was Albert Speer.
In this universe, where continued French resistance protected Jews in France
and where there was never a long period when Nazis held Jew filled Eastern
Europe for years, the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem never got
implemented, and so the public image of Nazis never got darkened to the same
degree. So no one gets angry if one-person waterbikes on the Rhine are
rented out with swastikas on them.
says this is my seventh (and last) installment in my Marshal Petain &
The Orleans Regime.
Other Contemporary Stories
Raymond Speer, Guest Historian of
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