By Léon Werth
A infrequent eyewitness account by way of a massive writer of fleeing the Nazis’ march on Paris in 1940, that includes a never-before-published advent by means of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
In June of 1940, Leon Werth and his spouse fled Paris ahead of the advancing Nazis Army. 33 Days is his eyewitness account of that have, one of many greatest civilian dispacements in history.
inspired to put in writing 33 Days by his pricey pal, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, writer of The Little Prince, Werth accomplished the manuscript whereas in hiding within the Jura mountains.
Saint-Exupéry smuggled the manuscript out of Nazi-occupied France, wrote an advent to the paintings and organized for its book within the usa via Brentanos. however the book by no means got here to go, and Werth’s manuscript may disappear for greater than fifty years till the 1st French variation, in 1992. It has seeing that develop into required studying in French schools.
This, the first-ever English language translation of 33 Days, contains Saint-Exupéry’s unique advent for the booklet, lengthy regarded as misplaced. it really is offered it right here for the 1st time in any language. After greater than seventy years, 33 Days appears—complete and because it used to be totally meant.
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Additional info for 33 Days: A Memoir
W hat role would heavy artillery play in such tactics? The First World War had shown the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the opening bombardment from fixed positions: it might have wrought destruction and panic on a massive scale but it also gave warning of the intention to attack and, besides, it could plough up the terrain which advancing troops needed to cross. Both drawbacks could be fatal to Panzer divisions whose best chance of success lay in surprise and speed. Mobile anti-tank guns supporting the tanks would help, thought Guderian, since he always regarded the tank as the most dangerous enemy of the tank.
Petain got the job after Nivelle dis graced himself with the Chemin des Dames offensive, but that was specifically because his touch was needed in handling the mutinies. At the start of the final Allied offensive in the summer of I9I8 Foch was appointed over his head as Supreme Commander of all the Allied armies in France. So though Petain might have been the popular hero of the I9I9 V ictory Parade it was Foch who enjoyed the place of honour behind the grands mutilis at the head of the column.
Perhaps Joffre and others like him can be dismissed as spokesmen for the older school of military thinking which the war discredited and Petain himself rejected. Field Marshal Earl Haig's doubts are harder to dismiss since he originally judged Petain 'business-like, knowledgeable, and brief of speech', the last being a quality he prized greatly but encountered too rarely in Frenchmen. Yet even he reported that, during Ludendorffs spring offensive in I9I8, Petain looked as if he 'was in a funk and had lost his nerve'.