[54] Furthermore, France even remained formally at war with Germany, albeit opposed to the Free French. Or Marshal Patain (marachal Patain) Was A French General Who Reached The Distinction Of Marsh Image libre de droits de ANL destinée à un usage éditorial, 20 déc. In the latter year General Maxime Weygand claimed that "the French Army was no longer a serious fighting force". A Certain idea of France The life of Charles de Gaulle, Julian Jackson, p. 58. Pétain restored some form of pride to an army on the verge of defeat. A ‘snap decision’ was made to put Philippe Pétain in command (Horne 1962, p.129). Pétain had been made, briefly, Minister of War in 1934. The next day, 20 August 1944, Pétain was taken against his will by the German army to Belfort and then, on 8 September, to Sigmaringen in southwestern Germany,[58] where dignitaries of his regime had taken refuge. [citation needed]. Philippe Pétain was born in 1856 in Cauchy-à-la-Tour near St. Omer, France. Pétain already had a ministerial team ready: Laval for Foreign Affairs (this appointment was briefly vetoed by Weygand), Weygand as Minister of Defence, Darlan as Minister for the Navy, and Bouthillier for Finance.[43]. In the southern part of France, left free by the armistice agreement, he set up a paternalistic regime the motto of which was “Work, Family, and Fatherland.” Reactionary by temperament and education, he allowed his government to promulgate a law dissolving the Masonic lodges and excluding Jews from certain professions. He was subsequently summoned to be present at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, and was afterwards appointed to France's \"top military job as Vice-Chairman of the revived 'Conseil Supérieur de la Guerre'\". He nevertheless tried and failed to get himself elected President following the November 1919 elections. He died in 1951. Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre (army war college) in Paris. Marshal Philippe Pétain Philippe Pétain was the hero of the Battle of Verdun in World War One. In effect, he applied the basic principle that was a mainstay of his teachings at the École de Guerre (War College) before World War I: "le feu tue!" By May, Pétain required constant nursing care, and he was often suffering from hallucinations, e.g. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Reynaud then put the cabinet's armistice proposals to Churchill, who replied that "whatever happened, we would level no reproaches against France". He was imprisoned in a fortress on the Île d’Yeu off the Atlantic coast, where he died at the age of 95. Corrections? The entire government subsequently moved briefly to Clermont-Ferrand, then to the spa town of Vichy in central France. As a young second lieutenant in an Alpine regiment, sharing the rough outdoor life of his men, he came to understand the ordinary soldier. [13][14] Pétain was encouraged by friends to go into politics, although he protested that he had little interest in running for an elected position. No reply ever came. On 12 June, after a second session of the conference, the cabinet met and Weygand again called for an armistice. Pétain, who was 84 years old in 1940, ranks as France's oldest head of state. Philippe Pétain (1856–1951) was a French Field Marshal, World War One hero and convicted Nazi collaborator. [24] In 1931 Pétain was elected a Fellow of the Académie française. However, aged 58 and having been told he would never become a general, Pétain had bought a villa for retirement.[7]. 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