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How Fighting EndsA History of Surrender$
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Holger Afflerbach and Hew Strachan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693627.001.0001

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French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians

French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians

(p.321) 19 French Surrender in 1940: Soldiers, Commanders, Civilians
How Fighting Ends

Martin S. Alexander

Oxford University Press

French surrender in 1940 is typically written as a misleading narrative of wholesale collapse. This chapter re-assesses the surrenders in a variety of sites, scales and contexts: by disorientated army stragglers, by field units, by decisions of commanding generals, city councils and military governors, and by the national political leadership. At all levels, leadership proved decisive. The closer defeat came, though many soldiers actually showed better combat effectiveness, the more the civilians wanted a ceasefire. French surrender is a case of how fighting can end without ending the war for which the fight had been joined.

Keywords:   capitulation, ceasefire, civilians, collapse, combat effectiveness, generals, leadership, stragglers, surrender, troops

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