Three Marshals of France: Leadership After Trauma

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Anthony Clayton
1. English ed

Product Overview

Three Marshals of France is a biography of Alphonse Juin, Jean de Lattre de Tassigny and Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque--three outstanding French commanders all created Marshal by the Fourth Republic after successful campaigns in the Second World War and important commands in the post-war years.
Set against the backdrop of a fragile empire stretching from the Maghreb to Indochina, it is also the history of a whole generation of Frenchmen traumatised by the debacle of May-June 1940 and divided by allegiance to Petain or de Gaulle. Anthony Clayton's examination of the passion displayed in the Marshals highlights the tensions and divisions of a nation during these troubled years, providing at the same time a captivating story of three truly charismatic men.
Each a special mixture of Cartesian rationality, firm Christian beliefs and volatile emotions, their complex characters at times proved unfathomable to the Allied commanders who fought alongside them. Yet their reckless courage and great generosity endeared them both to their fellow generals and the men in their command.
These powerful personalities do not, however, in any way dilute what is also an illuminating study of the general's art. All three, to some extent, followed Marshal Lyautey's philosophy that the officer's role extended beyond simple tactical ability to much wider social and national responsibilities for the moral and physical welfare of the troops below him; all three followed Foch's closely reasoned and pragmatic approach to problem solving with its emphasis on imagination.
A welcome corrective to the Anglo-American bias that has played down the contribution of the French forces in the Second World War, Three Marshals of France is a compelling tale of three remarkable men and their pivotal role in the rebirth of a nation.


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