I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WWII or that period in general. It is written almost immediately after the campaign, and the author goes on to be tortured and killed by the Germans in 1944 for his activities in the Resistance. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. His original book was hastily written following the French loss. Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2012. This is one of the books that helped me understand. Eyewitness Account of the French Defeat in WWII, Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2011. Don't miss The Collapse of the Third Republic by Shirer if you're really into the subject matter of course; this is a smaller contribution than Shirer's but it is invaluable. Great insight into the unpreparedness of the French army during the German invasion. This is his first-order diagnosis of why the French military was so utterly unprepared for the war of movement that unfolded in the May 1940, despite having seen the adequate warnings of what it could look like in Poland in September 1939. Book reviews. He did not need to assume leadership in a '"no-win" assignment in the French underground, but his commitment to liberating France exceeded that of obligations to his family of a devoted wife and seven children. For example, Bloch critiques the production of French industry, when it later became clear that this was not a problem. Refresh and try again. This is not to minimize others' works, nor to regard M. Bloch as a "minimalist": au contraire. But Chapter 3, where he covers their shortcomings as a people in recognizing the German threat and in being prepared to adequately deal with it, that is worth the time to read for sure. Why did Germany defeat France so easily in 1940? This short, very well written book is the judgement of a prominent French historian on how France came to be so swiftly defeated in World War Two, not as a matter of tactics and movements on maps, but also in how the seeds of defeat lay in the state of the nation. I know the book was written under difficult circumstances and the author was killed before he could do a review and possible reorganization. However, his experience in both wars against Germany give his perspective you'll rarely find anywhere else in personal histories. I can not recommend it highly enough. A hard read but it is well detailed and is written by an observant and aware author. Bloch does touch on briefly the spiritual malaise and these points, but they merit greater explanation than the leadershi. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. The author went on to be a major figure in the French Resistance and was shot for his. But the fact is that there is a great deal of repetition and it is hard to draw our the relevant lessons. He counterposes the French decisions and methods to that of the Germans in the interwar period and during the Phoney War. He was a world-renowned medieval scholar, so his mind was nuanced and perceptive, his approach unsentimental and objective; he brings the full intellectual rigor of his training and experience to extract all possible social, historical, and moral truth from the seemingly mundane. He wrote, Years ago I read somewhere that it is beneficial to read books in topical clusters, i.e., that are somehow connected to one another. Strongly recommended, but you may find it too close for comfort to things you see in the world around you today. The author, a noted medieval historian, fought in both world wars and during the second was a Resistance leader, executed by the Nazis in 1944. Marc Bloch wrote Strange Defeat during the three months following the fall of France, after he returned home from military service. Although he was 53 years old at the outbreak of World War II, he voluntarily elected to continue service, and was eventually assigned as a divisional fuels officer. Reviewed in the United States on August 31, 2015. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The sad story and De Profundis of how and why every segment of society gave in when the Germans came. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. Bloch transferred to Montpellier University in the winter 1941 (for the warmer climate since his wife was in frail health). Book of the day Fiction Luckenbooth by Jenni Fagan review – brilliantly strange Set across nine decades in an Edinburgh tenement, this haunted panorama is a dazzling outsider history Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, IMPORTANT FOR UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY FATEFUL PREDICAMENTS, Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2018. ), Marc Bloch's "present history" account of the Fall of France in the Spring of 1940 is rightly considered an essential account of the events: above all, it is a devastating critique of the conservatism of the military establishment and the failures of the military bureaucracy to create a machine made for war rather than pettifogging paper pushing and internal bureaucratic competition. What seems to have been missing was clear, innovative thinking. Bloch is an historian who fought in WWI and WWII and writes this in reflection on France's qui. I read Bloch as a medieval historian back in graduate school. I wonder if Strange Defeat is required reading in the army staff colleges of the world--not so much ma, This is a hell of a book. Worth a read. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. He gives an insider's viewpoint and is cynically funny, which I didn't expect. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. After evacuation he was returned to France in the Normandy area, and when the Germans reached his area, rather than surrender, he slipped away and returned home to write this history in 1940. July 17th 1999 Buy a cheap copy of Strange Defeat book by Marc Bloch. Even in the most abject moments of defeat, I don't think Bloch ever wavered in the belief that the Germans would eventually have to go. Strange Defeat (French: L'Étrange Défaite) is a book written in the summer of 1940 by French historian Marc Bloch.The book was published in 1946; in the meanwhile, Bloch had been tortured and executed by the Gestapo in June 1944 for his participation in the French resistance.An English translation was published by W. W. Norton in 1968. On prose quality and emotional resonance alone, it's the best book on world war two that I've read (and I've read... quite a number of books on the subject.) I know the book was written under difficult circumstances and the author was killed before he could do a review and possible reorganization. (He relates how cadets of Samur were being killed on the Loire while Nazis cut their escape route over bridges in Nantes that were off limits to and undefended by French Army), Bloch approaches a subject matter which, I feel, few writers of his time could have with the same extraordinary level of emotional collectedness, clarity, or finesse—the complete disintegration of one’s nation, both military and social. The analysis in its third section could equally apply to events from 2016 onwards. One of the best books I have ever read. He wrote the book when he returned to his University teaching post soon after France surrendered. I found this book very helpful in understanding the Fall of France in 1940. But the fact is that there is a great deal of repetition and it is hard to draw our the relevant lessons. An English translation was published by W. W. Norton in 1968. It is also a subtle window into the French social system of classes and the tensions between them, he unabashedly supports his own class and that of the working man -- which not only explains some of the events leading to 1940, but offes insight into the post-war actions of DeGaulle and others. Bloch was an imminent social historian well known throughout Europe for his teaching and analyses of rural societies and feudalism. ; the horrendous experience of the last war ( 1, 357,800 Frenchmen killed, 4, 803,000 wounded , many left with permanent disabilities) bred pacifism and dilution of patriotism which in turn led to widespread sentiment that surrender and occupation were better than war—although in fairness the pacifists were at that point uniformed as to just how profoundly evil Nazism and its intentions were; the timidity of the nation at large--in the wake of Germany’s blanket bombing of Polish cities business interest worried about damage to the economy and citizens about loss of civilian life and this influenced the government to declare that all cities and towns of 20,000 or were would be “open”, i.e., undefended , so the Nazi’s would have no need to bomb them . 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