Bloch, Marc - Strange Defeat - ( Item 125290 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2015. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Fine slipcase. Introduced by Frederick Maurice Powicke. New preface by Robert O. Paxton. A compelling first-hand account of the Fall of France in 1940, written before its author was executed by the Nazis. Translation by Gerard Hopkins. Foreword by Georges Altman. Bound in Kraft paper. Set in Bulmer. 208 pages; frontispiece and 16 pages of colour and black & white plates. 9" × 5¾". In Strange Defeat, a former French army captain records his first-hand account of the fall of France in 1940. Vehement and impassioned, it is also lucid and learned, for its author was not only a veteran of two world wars but one of his country’s leading historians and a professor at the Sorbonne. Having fought in the First World War, Marc Bloch was in his fifties when the Second began: his age and six children exempted him from enlisting, yet he chose to fight. Strange Defeat is a clear eyed and deeply moving analysis of the factors that led to France’s defeat. In seeking the reasons for his nation’s fall, Bloch lays the immediate blame at the feet of the generals, who had grown complacent and conservative after years behind desks. In contrast, the German command was trained to act decisively. French communications were shockingly inadequate and bureaucracy prevailed – Bloch gives the sad example of the carrier pigeons of Alsace-Lorraine, all slaughtered through a misread instruction from Paris. The army was well equipped to fight on land, but it had put too much faith in the Maginot Line and had nothing with which to counter the Germans’ air offensive. There was no lack of courage among the ordinary fighting forces whom Bloch praises, however the French generals were still fighting the war of 1914–18. After leaving the army Bloch joined the Resistance, but was executed by a Nazi firing squad in June 1944. Strange Defeat was published in France in 1946, and shortly afterwards in an English edition. This new edition features a specially commisioned preface by the historian Robert O. Paxton, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, and a 1948 introduction by scholar Maurice Powicke, who knew Bloch at Oxford. In a foreword, Bloch’s Resistance comrade Georges Altman (‘Chabot’) describes his friendship with this most unlikely hero, and Bloch’s recorded last words of 'Vive la France'. This is the first illustrated edition; images include soldiers working on the Maginot Line fortifications and the evacuation of Dunkirk.
Price £ 33.50 Other items you may like Others by the same author
***** Please note that prices are now inclusive of 2nd class post in the UK *****
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at email@example.com with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 25,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.