Édouard Daladier

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Édouard Daladier
Edouard Daladier.jpg
72nd Prime Minister of France
In office
10 April 1938 21 March 1940
President Albert Lebrun
Preceded by Léon Blum
Succeeded by Paul Reynaud
In office
30 January 1934 9 February 1934
President Albert Lebrun
Preceded by Camille Chautemps
Succeeded by Gaston Doumergue
In office
31 January 1933 26 October 1933
President Albert Lebrun
Preceded by Joseph Paul-Boncour
Succeeded by Albert Sarraut
Minister of Defence
In office
4 June 1936 18 May 1940
Prime Minister Léon Blum
Camille Chautemps
Himself
Preceded by Louis Maurin
Succeeded by Paul Reynaud
In office
18 December 1932 29 January 1934
Prime Minister Joseph Paul-Boncour
Himself
Preceded by Joseph Paul-Boncour
Succeeded by Jean Fabry
Member of the French Chamber of Deputies
In office
2 June 1946 8 December 1958
Constituency Vaucluse
In office
16 November 1919 10 July 1940
Constituency Vaucluse
Personal details
Born(1884-06-18)18 June 1884
Carpentras, Vaucluse, France
Died10 October 1970(1970-10-10) (aged 86)
Paris, France
Political party Radical
Spouse(s)
Madeleine Laffont
(m. 1917;her death 1932)

Jeanne Boucoiran
(m. 1951;his death 1970)
ChildrenJean
Pierre
Marie
Education Collège-lycée Ampère
Profession Historian, teacher
Military service
AllegianceFlag of France (1794-1958).svg  France
Branch/service Flag of France (1794-1958).svg French Army
Rank Captain
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

  Battle for Castle Itter

Édouard Daladier (French:  [edwaʁ daladje] ; 18 June 1884 – 10 October 1970) was a French Radical-Socialist (i.e. centre-left) politician and the Prime Minister of France at the outbreak of World War II.

Radical Party (France) liberal and centrist political party in France

The Radical-Socialist and Radical Republican Party was a liberal and social-liberal political party in France. It was also often referred to simply as the Radical Party, or to prevent confusion with other French Radical parties as the Parti radical valoisien, abbreviated to Rad, PR, or PRV.

Prime Minister of France head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France

The French Prime Minister in the Fifth Republic is the head of government. During the Third and Fourth Republics, the head of government position was called President of the Council of Ministers, generally shortened to President of the Council.

Contents

Daladier was born in Carpentras and began his political career before World War I. During the war, he fought on the Western Front and was decorated for his service. After the war he became a leading figure in the Radical Party and Prime Minister in 1933 and 1934. Daladier was Minister of Defence from 1936 to 1940 and Prime Minister again in 1938. As head of government, he expanded the French welfare state in 1939.

Carpentras Subprefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Carpentras is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Western Front (World War I) main theatre of war during the First World War

The Western Front was the main theatre of war during the First World War. Following the outbreak of war in August 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne. Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

Along with Neville Chamberlain, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler, Daladier signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, giving Germany control over the Sudetenland. After Hitler's Invasion of Poland in 1939, Britain and France declared war on Germany. During the Phoney War, France's failure to aid Finland against the Soviet Union's aggression in the Winter War led to Daladier's dismissal on 21 March 1940 and replacement as Prime Minister by Paul Reynaud. Daladier remained Minister of Defence until 19 May, when he was replaced by Maxime Weygand after the French defeat at Sedan.

Neville Chamberlain Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Arthur Neville Chamberlain was a British Conservative Party statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, conceding the German-speaking Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. When Adolf Hitler invaded Poland, the UK declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939, and Chamberlain led Britain through the first eight months of the Second World War.

Benito Mussolini Duce and President of the Council of Ministers of Italy. Leader of the National Fascist Party and subsequent Republican Fascist Party

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician and journalist who was the leader of the National Fascist Party. He ruled Italy as Prime Minister from 1922 to 1943; he constitutionally led the country until 1925, when he dropped the pretense of democracy and established a dictatorship.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

After the defeat of France, Daladier was tried for treason by the Vichy government in the Riom Trial and imprisoned successively in Fort du Portalet, Buchenwald concentration camp and Itter Castle. After liberation, Daladier resumed his political career as a member of the Chamber of Deputies of France from 1946 to 1958. He died in Paris on 10 October 1970.

Battle of France Successful German invasion of France in 1940

The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries during the Second World War. In the six weeks from 10 May 1940, German forces defeated Allied forces by mobile operations and conquered France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, bringing land operations on the Western Front to an end until 6 June 1944. Italy entered the war on 10 June 1940 and invaded France over the Alps.

Vichy France officially the French State, was France during the regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain, during World War II

Vichy France is the common name of the French State headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Evacuated from Paris to Vichy in the unoccupied "Free Zone" in the southern part of metropolitan France which included French Algeria, it remained responsible for the civil administration of France as well as the French colonial empire.

The Riom Trial was an attempt by the Vichy France regime, headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain, to prove that the leaders of the French Third Republic (1870–1940) had been responsible for France's defeat by Germany in 1940. The trial was held in the city of Riom in central France, and had mainly political aims – namely to project the responsibility of defeat onto the leaders of the left-wing Popular Front government that had been elected 3 May 1936.

Early life

Daladier was born in Carpentras, Vaucluse, on 18 June 1884, the son of a village baker. He received his formal education at the Lycée Duparc in Lyon, where he was first introduced to Socialist politics. After graduation he became a school teacher and university lecturer, employed at the Nîmes, Grenoble, Marseilles, and at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris, where he taught History. He began his political career by becoming the Mayor of Carpentras, his home town, in 1912. He subsequently sought election to the Paris Chamber of Deputies but lost to a Radical Socialist Party candidate, a party that he subsequently joined. [1]

Vaucluse Department of France in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Vaucluse is a department in Southeastern France, located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It is named after the famous spring, the Fontaine de Vaucluse; the name Vaucluse itself derives from the Latin Vallis Clausa as the valley ends in a cliff face from which emanates a spring whose origin is so far in and so deep that it remains to be defined. The department's prefecture is Avignon; it had a population of 559,014 as of 2016.

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

Nîmes Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Nîmes is a city in the Occitanie region of southern France. It is the capital of the Gard department. Nîmes is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Cévennes mountains. The estimated population of Nîmes is 151,001 (2016).

In August 1914, he was mobilized at the age of 30 with the French Army's 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment on the commencement of World War I, with the rank of sergeant, having been militarily trained before the war under France's Universal Military Service Conscription System. In mid-1915 the 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment was destroyed in heavy fighting with the Imperial German Army on the Western Front, and the surviving remnant of it was assigned to other units, Daladier being transferred into the 209th Infantry Regiment. [2] In 1916 he fought with the 209th in the Battle of Verdun, Daladier being given a field commission as a lieutenant in the midst of the battle in April 1916 having received commendations for gallantry in action. In May 1917 he received the Legion of Honour for gallantry in action, and ended the war as a captain leading a company, having also been awarded the Croix de Guerre. [3]

French Army Land warfare branch of Frances military

The French Army, officially the Ground Army to distinguish it from the French Air Force, Armée de l'Air or Air Army, is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of France, along with the other four components of the Armed Forces. The current Chief of Staff of the French Army (CEMAT) is General Jean-Pierre Bosser, a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA). General Bosser is also responsible, in part, to the Ministry of the Armed Forces for organization, preparation, use of forces, as well as planning and programming, equipment and Army future acquisitions. For active service, Army units are placed under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA), who is responsible to the President of France for planning for, and use, of forces.

2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment

The 2nd Foreign Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the French Foreign Legion. The regiment is one of two mechanized infantry regiments of the 6th Light Armoured Brigade.

Sergeant military rank

Sergeant is a rank in many uniformed organisations, principally military and policing forces. The alternate spelling, "serjeant", is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin "serviens", "one who serves", through the French term "sergent".

After demobilization, he was elected to the Paris Chamber of Deputies for Orange, Vaucluse in 1919. [4]

Later, he would become known to many as "the bull of Vaucluse" because of his thick neck and large shoulders and determined look, although cynics also quipped that his horns were like those of a snail.[ citation needed ]

Political career

After entering the Chamber of Deputies he became a leading member of the Radical-Socialist Party, and was responsible for building the party into a structured modern political party organisation. For most of the interwar years he was the chief figure of the party's left wing, supporters of a governmental coalition with the SFIO socialist party. A government minister in various posts during the coalition governments between 1924 and 1928, he was instrumental in the Radical-Socialists' break with the Socialist Party in 1926, the first Cartel des gauches ("Left-wing Coalition"), and with the centre-right Raymond Poincaré in November 1928. In 1930 he unsuccessfully attempted to gain Socialist support for a centre-left government alongside the Radical-Socialist and similar parties; in 1933, despite similar negotiations breaking down, he formed a government of the republican left.

In January 1934, he was considered the most likely candidate of the centre-left to form a government of sufficient probity to calm public opinion amidst the revelations of the Stavisky Affair corruption scandal; his government lasted less than a week, however, falling in the face of the riots instigated by the far right. With Daladier fell the coalition of the left, initiating two years of government by the hard-right.

After a year withdrawn from front-rank politics, Daladier returned to public prominence in October 1934, taking a populist line against the banking oligarchy he believed had taken control of French democracy: the Two Hundred Families. He was made president of the Radical-Socialist Party and brought the party into the Popular Front coalition. Daladier became Minister of National Defence in the Léon Blum government, retaining the crucial portfolio for two years; after the fall of the Léon Blum, he became head of government again on 10 April 1938, orienting his government towards the centre and ending the Popular Front.

While the forty-hour working week was abolished under Daladier's government, a more generous system of family allowances was established, set as a percentage of wages: for the first child, 5%; for the second, 10%; and for each additional child, 15%. Also created was a home-mother allowance, which had been advocated by pronatalist and Catholic women’s groups since 1929. All mothers who were not professionally employed and whose husbands collected family allowances were eligible for this new benefit. In March 1939, the government added 10% for workers whose wives stayed home to take care of the children. Family allowances were enshrined in the Family Code of July 1939 and, with the exception of the stay-at-home allowance, have remained in force to this day. In addition, a decree was issued in May 1938 which authorized the establishment of vocational guidance centers. In July 1937, a law was passed (which was followed by a similar law in May 1946) that empowered the Department of Workplace Inspection to order temporary medical interventions. [5]

Munich

Neville Chamberlain, Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, as they prepared to sign the Munich Agreement. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R69173, Munchener Abkommen, Staatschefs.jpg
Neville Chamberlain, Daladier, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano, as they prepared to sign the Munich Agreement.
Edouard Daladier (centre) leaving Joachim von Ribbentrop after the Munich Summit 1938 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H13007, Munchener Abkommen, Abreise von Daladier.jpg
Édouard Daladier (centre) leaving Joachim von Ribbentrop after the Munich Summit 1938

Daladier's last government was in power at the time of the negotiations preceding the Munich Agreement, when France backed out of its obligations to defend Czechoslovakia against Nazi Germany. He was pushed into negotiating by Britain's Neville Chamberlain. Unlike Chamberlain, Daladier had no illusions about Hitler's ultimate goals. In fact, he told the British in a late April 1938 meeting that Hitler's real aim was to eventually secure "a domination of the Continent in comparison with which the ambitions of Napoleon were feeble."

He went on to say, "Today, it is the turn of Czechoslovakia. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of Poland and Romania. When Germany has obtained the oil and wheat it needs, she will turn on the West. Certainly we must multiply our efforts to avoid war. But that will not be obtained unless Great Britain and France stick together, intervening in Prague for new concessions but declaring at the same time that they will safeguard the independence of Czechoslovakia. If, on the contrary, the Western Powers capitulate again, they will only precipitate the war they wish to avoid." [6]

Nevertheless, perhaps discouraged by the pessimistic and defeatist attitudes of both military and civilian members of the French government, as well as traumatized by France's bloodbath in World War I that he personally witnessed, Daladier ultimately let Chamberlain have his way. On his return to Paris, Daladier, who was expecting a hostile crowd, was acclaimed. He then commented to his aide, Alexis Leger: "Ah, les cons (morons)!" [7]

Rearmament

Daladier had already been made aware in 1932, through German rivals to Hitler, that Krupp was manufacturing heavy artillery and the Deuxième Bureau had a grasp of the scale of German military preparations, but lacked hard intelligence of their hostile intentions. [8]

In October 1938, Daladier opened secret talks with the Americans on how to bypass American neutrality laws and allow the French to buy American aircraft to make up for productivity deficiencies in the French aircraft industry. [9] Daladier commented in October 1938, "If I had three or four thousand aircraft, Munich would never have happened," and he was most anxious to buy American war planes as the only way to strengthen the French Air Force. [10] A major problem in the Franco-American talks was how the French were to pay for the American planes, as well as how to bypass the American neutrality acts. [11] In addition, France had defaulted on its World War I debts in 1932 and hence fell foul of the American Johnson Act of 1934, which forbade loans to nations that had defaulted on their World War I debts. [12] In February 1939, the French offered to cede their possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific together with a lump sum payment of 10 billion francs, in exchange for the unlimited right to buy, on credit, American aircraft. [13] After tortuous negotiations, an arrangement was worked out in the spring of 1939 to allow the French to place huge orders with the American aircraft industry; though, as most of the aircraft ordered had not arrived in France by 1940, the Americans arranged for French orders to be diverted to the British. [14]

World War II

Daladier with Generals Joseph Vuillemin and Victor Bourret on 12 November 1939. 12 XI 1939 le II 4 col Tetu Villemin DaladierLa Chambre Bourret.JPG
Daladier with Generals Joseph Vuillemin and Victor Bourret on 12 November 1939.

When the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was signed, Daladier responded to the public outcry by outlawing the French Communist Party on the basis that it had refused to condemn Joseph Stalin's actions. In 1939, after the German invasion of Poland, he was reluctant to go to war, but he did so on 3 September 1939, inaugurating the Phoney War. On 6 October of that year, Hitler offered France and Great Britain a peace proposal. There were more than a few in the French government prepared to take Hitler up on his offer; but, in a nationwide broadcast the next day, Daladier declared, "We took up arms against aggression. We shall not put them down until we have guarantees for a real peace and security, a security which is not threatened every six months." [15] On 29 January 1940, in a radio address delivered to the people of France entitled The Nazi's Aim is Slavery , Daladier left little doubt about his opinion of the Germans. In his radio address, he said: "For us, there is more to do than merely win the war. We shall win it, but we must also win a victory far greater than that of arms. In this world of masters and slaves, which those madmen who rule at Berlin are seeking to forge, we must also save liberty and human dignity."

In March 1940, Daladier resigned as Prime Minister in France because of his failure to aid Finland's defence during the Winter War, and he was replaced by Paul Reynaud. Daladier remained Minister of Defence, however, and his antipathy to Paul Reynaud prevented Reynaud from dismissing Maurice Gamelin as Supreme Commander of all French armed forces. As a result of the massive German breakthrough at Sedan, Daladier swapped ministerial offices with Reynaud, taking over the Foreign Ministry while Reynaud took over Defence. Gamelin was finally replaced by Maxime Weygand on 19 May 1940, nine days after the Germans began their invasion campaign.

Under the impression the government would continue in North Africa, Daladier fled with other members of the government to Morocco; but he was arrested and tried for treason by the Vichy government during the "Riom Trial".

Daladier was interned in Fort du Portalet in the Pyrenees. [16] He was kept in prison from 1940 to April 1943, when he was handed over to the Germans and deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. In May 1943, he was transported to the Itter Castle in North Tyrol with other French dignitaries, where he remained until the end of the war. He was freed after the Battle for Castle Itter.

Post-war political career

After the war ended, Daladier was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1946, where he acted as a patron to the Radical-Socialist Party's young reforming leader Pierre Mendès-France. He also was elected as the Mayor of Avignon in 1953. He opposed the transferral of powers to Charles de Gaulle after the coup of 1958 but, in the subsequent legislative elections of that year failed to secure re-election, and withdrew from politics after a career of almost 50 years at the age of 74.

Death

Daladier died in Paris on the 10 October 1970, at the age of 86 years. His body was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery. [17]

Daladier's first ministry, 31 January – 26 October 1933

Changes

Daladier's second ministry, 30 January – 9 February 1934

Changes

Daladier's third ministry, 10 April 1938 – 21 March 1940

Edouard Daladier (right) with ambassador Andre Francois-Poncet at the Munich Agreement 1938 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H12956, Munchener Abkommen, Daladier und Francois-Poncet (l.).jpg
Édouard Daladier (right) with ambassador André François-Poncet at the Munich Agreement 1938

Changes

See also

Endnotes

  1. Obituary for Daladier, 'New York Times', 12 October 1970 http://movies2.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0618.html
  2. 'Edouard Daladier and Munich: The French Role in an International Tragedy', Master of Arts thesis by David Wildermuth, Oklahoma State University, 1970. https://shareok.org/bitstream/handle/11244/24004/Thesis-1973-W673c.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
  3. Obituary for Daladier, 'New York Times', 12 October 1970. http://movies2.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0618.html
  4. Obituary for Daladier, 'New York Times', 12 October 1970. http://movies2.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0618.html
  5. Stellman, Jeanne Mager (16 November 1998). "Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety: The body, health care, management and policy, tools and approaches". International Labour Organization via Google Books.
  6. Shirer, William The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940, 1969, Da Capo Press, pp. 339–340.
  7. Jean-Paul Sartre, Le Sursis
  8. Bennett, Edward W. (1979). German Rearmament and the West, 1932-1933. Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 85. ISBN   0691052697
  9. Keylor, William "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 pages 234–235
  10. Keylor, William. "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 page 234
  11. Keylor, William "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 pages 235–236
  12. Keylor, William "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 page 237
  13. Keylor, William "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 page 238
  14. Keylor, William "France and the Illusion of American Support, 1919-1940" pages 204–244 from The French Defeat of 1940 Reassessments edited by Joel Blatt Berghahn Books: Providence 1998 pages 233–244
  15. Shirer, William The Collapse of the Third Republic: An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940, 1969, Da Capo Press, p. 529.
  16. "Fort du Portalet Office de tourisme Vallée d'Aspe tourisme Parc National Pyrénées séjours balades randonnées". www.tourisme-aspe.com.
  17. Entry for Daladier in 'World War 2 Gravestone.com' (2019). https://ww2gravestone.com/people/daladier-eduard/

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References

Reform in France, 1914–1947 by Paul V. Dutton

Political offices
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Jean Fabry
Minister of Colonies
1924–1925
Succeeded by
Orly André-Hesse
Preceded by
Paul Painlevé
Minister of War
1925
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Paul Painlevé
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Yvon Delbos
Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
1925–1926
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Preceded by
Bertrand Nogaro
Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts
1926
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Édouard Herriot
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Georges Pernot
Minister of Public Works
1930
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Georges Pernot
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Georges Pernot
Minister of Public Works
1930–1931
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Maurice Deligne
Preceded by
Charles Guernier
Minister of Public Works
1932
Succeeded by
Georges Bonnet
Preceded by
Joseph Paul-Boncour
Minister of War
1932–1934
Succeeded by
Jean Fabry
Preceded by
Joseph Paul-Boncour
President of the Council
1933
Succeeded by
Albert Sarraut
Preceded by
Camille Chautemps
President of the Council
1934
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Gaston Doumergue
Preceded by
Joseph Paul-Boncour
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1934
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Louis Barthou
Preceded by
Vice President of the Council
1936–1937
Succeeded by
Léon Blum
Preceded by
Louis Maurin
Minister of National Defence and War
1936–1940
Succeeded by
Paul Reynaud
Preceded by
Léon Blum
Vice President of the Council
1938
Succeeded by
Camille Chautemps
Preceded by
Léon Blum
President of the Council
1938–1940
Succeeded by
Paul Reynaud
Preceded by
Georges Bonnet
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Paul Reynaud
Preceded by
Paul Reynaud
Minister of Foreign Affairs
1940
Succeeded by
Paul Reynaud