The fall of Paris : June 1940 (Book, 1992) [WorldCat.org]
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The fall of Paris : June 1940
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The fall of Paris : June 1940

Author: Herbert R Lottman
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
The Fall of Paris is the story of five dramatic weeks in the spring of 1940, when the Germans stunned the world by hurling their armies against France, and residents of Paris faced the dreadful prospect of a French defeat and a German occupation of their beloved city.
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lottman, Herbert R.
Fall of Paris.
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers, ©1992
(OCoLC)645861840
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Herbert R Lottman
ISBN: 0060165200 9780060165208
OCLC Number: 25874519
Description: 430 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Responsibility: Herbert R. Lottman.

Abstract:

The Fall of Paris is the story of five dramatic weeks in the spring of 1940, when the Germans stunned the world by hurling their armies against France, and residents of Paris faced the dreadful prospect of a French defeat and a German occupation of their beloved city.

American historian and biographer Herbert R. Lottman - who has lived in and written about Paris since 1956 - sketches in the military and political backgrounds of this period, but his focus is on the people of Paris - native Parisians; government officials; refugees; expatriate Americans, Britons, and Russians; diplomats; and journalists - and how they responded to the crisis that suddenly faced them. The narrative is crowded with fascinating individuals and their experiences: Premier Paul Reynaud and his ever-present mistress; elderly World War I hero Marshal Philippe Petain, who did not have the heart to continue the fight, and the younger Charles de Gaulle, who did; Winston Churchill, trying his best to keep France from surrendering; Simone de Beauvoir, then a high school teacher, writing to her companion Jean-Paul Sartre, who was away at the front; Maurice Chevalier, already a veteran entertainer; journalists from all over, including Clare Boothe Luce, Virginia Cowles, and William L.

Shirer; the Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg; and the colorful, opinionated, extremely self-confident, patrician American ambassador William C. Bullitt, a close friend of FDR.

It's a story rich in detail and dramatic incidents. Because of very poor communications with the front lines, few people even in the government knew what was happening or where the Germans were. Smoke rose from ministry courtyards as secret papers and documents were burned; heavily laden French and Belgian refugees from the north streamed through Paris, and many Parisians who owned cars stocked up on gasoline and loaded their vehicles with household goods to join them on a flight to the south; theaters and restaurants stayed open, their owners not knowing what to expect; rumors abounded of saboteurs and German parachutists, but none ever materialized. As the Germans got closer, the secrets of the Enigma code machines and formulas essential for splitting the atom were slipped out of the city and taken to England. French policemen were issued rifles, and the lowly French army sergeant charged with blowing up the Eiffel Tower changed his mind and left it standing.

And finally the unthinkable happened: The Germans arrived. Full of tension, suspense, turmoil, excitement, confusion, false hopes, and despair, The Fall of Paris sweeps the reader along and brings an unforgettable experience alive.

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