Nazi Germany’s defeat of France in May and June 1940 stunned the world. How could the French, the dominant military power of the First World War, collapse so rapidly in the opening stages of World War II? Was it Germany’s boldness, advanced tank technology, and modern doctrine? Or did France’s internal societal weaknesses lead to the Third Republic’s humiliating end?
Marking the 75th anniversary of the fall of France, Mark Gerges of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth examines the key military actions of this critical period as well as the myths that continue to surround this momentous French defeat.