Winston Churchill had spoken to Reynaud during the impending fall of France, saying of Pétain, "... he had always been a defeatist, even in the last war [World War I]. As a retired military commander, he ran the country on military lines. With the imminent Fall of France in June 1940 in World War II, Pétain was appointed President of the Ministerial Council by President Lebrun at Bordeaux, and the Cabinet resolved to sign armistice agreements with Germany and Italy. …16th, whereupon the ancient Marshal Pétain asked for an armistice. In July 1927 Pétain himself went to reconnoitre the whole area.  The mutinies were kept secret from the Germans and their full extent and intensity were not revealed until decades later. On 26 October 1931, Pétain was honored with a ticker-tape parade down Manhattan's Canyon of Heroes. As to French artillery it had, basically, not been modernised since 1918. In collaboration with Nazi Germany, he then served as the Chief of State of Vichy France from 1940 to 1944. After Germany and Italy occupied and disarmed France in November 1942, Pétain became a puppet of the German military administration.  The Cabinet voted 13-6 for the Chautemps proposal. Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Political unease was sweeping the country, and on 6 February 1934, the Paris police fired on a group of far-right rioters outside the Chamber of Deputies, killing 14 and wounding a further 236. Pétain in Politics.  At midnight on 15 June 1940, Baudouin asked the Spanish Ambassador to submit to Germany a request to cease hostilities at once and for Germany to make known its peace terms. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Seeing the French army defeated, the “hero of Verdun” asked for an armistice. Consideration has been given to removing the sidewalk ribbon denoting the parade for Pétain, given his role with the Nazis in World War II. Cabinet and Parliament still argued between themselves on the question of whether or not to retreat to North Africa.  Fascistic and revolutionary conservative factions within the new government used the opportunity to launch an ambitious programme known as the "National Revolution", which rejected much of the former Third Republic's secular and liberal traditions in favour of an authoritarian, paternalist, Catholic society.  After the war ended Pétain was made Marshal of France on 21 November 1918. The latter wrote a sarcastic reply, telling Pétain that he should have "thought of this before". (an echoing of Joan of Arc, roughly: "We'll get them! Von Renthe-Fink renewed his request twice on the 18th, then returned on the 19th, at 11:30, accompanied by General von Neubroon, who told him that he had "formal orders from Berlin". Later in the year, Pétain was stripped of his right of direct appeal to the French government and requested to report to Foch, who increasingly assumed the co-ordination and ultimately the command of the Allied offensives. His great-uncle, a Catholic priest, Father Abbe Lefebvre (1771–1866), had served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and told the young Philippe tales of war and adventure of his campaigns from the peninsulas of Italy to the Alps in Switzerland. Historical Events. – was actually uttered by Robert Nivelle who succeeded him in command of the Second Army at Verdun in May 1916. However, after Germany invaded France, Pétain joined the new government of Paul Reynaud on 18 May 1940 as Deputy Prime Minister. He was imprisoned in a fortress on the Île d’Yeu off the Atlantic coast, where he died at the age of 95. Corrections? Philippe Pétain, in full Henri-Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, (born April 24, 1856, Cauchy-à-la-Tour, France—died July 23, 1951, Île d’Yeu), French general who was a national hero for his victory at the Battle of Verdun in World War I but was discredited as chief of state of … This article appeared just five days before Adolf Hitler's announcement of Germany's new air force and a week before the announcement that Germany was increasing its army to 36 divisions. The cuts in military expenditure meant that taking the offensive was now impossible and a defensive strategy was all they could have. The others did not, seeing the offer as insulting and a device to make France subservient to Great Britain, as a kind of extra Dominion. "the need to stay in France, to prepare a national revival, and to share the sufferings of our people. Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain. , That afternoon the British Government offered joint nationality for Frenchmen and Britons in a Franco-British Union. Hengshan Road, in Shanghai, was "Avenue Pétain" between 1922 and 1943. After Allied landings in November 1942 in North Africa, Pétain secretly ordered Admiral Darlan, then in Algeria, to merge the French forces in Africa with those of the Allies. Though Pétain publicly stated that he had no desire to become "a Caesar," by January 1941, Pétain held virtually all governing power in France; nearly all legislative, executive, and judicial powers were either ‘’de jure’’ or ‘’de facto’’ in his hands. German forces occupied southern France in November 1942. The Congress voted 569–80 (with 18 abstentions) to grant the Cabinet the authority to draw up a new constitution, effectively "voting the Third Republic out of existence". , Shortly after the war, Pétain had placed before the government plans for a large tank and air force, but "at the meeting of the Conseil supérieur de la Défense Nationale of 12 March 1920, the Finance Minister, François-Marsal, announced that although Pétain's proposals were excellent they were unaffordable". Bentley B. Gilbert and Paul P. Bernard, "The French Army Mutinies of 1917". French general who fled to England after the fall of Paris and set up a government-in-exile. Pétain later remarked to Reynaud about this statement: "your ally now threatens us".  By 8 June, Paris was threatened, and the government was preparing to depart, although Pétain was opposed to such a move. , Lebrun reluctantly accepted Reynaud’s resignation as Prime Minister on 16 June, and felt he had little choice but to appoint Pétain in his place. Pétain ended the war regarded \"without a doubt, the most accomplished defensive tactician of any army\" and \"one of France's greatest military heroes\" and was made a Marshal of France at Metz by President Raymond Poincaré on 8 December 1918. Pétain joined the French Army in 1876 and attended the St Cyr Military Academy in 1887 and the École Supérieure de Guerre (army war college) in Paris. , Over the following years Pétain's lawyers and many foreign governments and dignitaries, including Queen Mary and the Duke of Windsor, appealed to successive French governments for Pétain's release, but given the unstable state of Fourth Republic politics, no government was willing to risk unpopularity by releasing him. In addition, François-Marsal announced reductions – in the army from fifty-five divisions to thirty, in the air force, and did not mention tanks. What was left was a rump French state headquartered in Vichy and headed by World War I hero Marshal Philippe Petain. Admiral Darlan, who had been opposed to an armistice until 15 June, now became a key player, agreeing provided the French fleet was kept out of German hands. A new Cabinet with Pétain as head of government was formed, with Henry du Moulin de Labarthète as the Cabinet Secretary. , In February 1973, Pétain's coffin housing his remains was stolen from the Île d'Yeu cemetery by extremists, who demanded that President Georges Pompidou consent to its re-interment at Douaumont cemetery among the war dead of the Verdun battle. Pétain refused and asked for a written formulation of this request. Updates?  He issued new constitutional acts which abolished the presidency, indefinitely adjourned parliament, and also gave him full power to appoint and fire ministers and civil service members, pass laws through the Council of Ministers and designate a successor (he chose Laval).  After rejecting Pétain's first marriage proposal, Hardon had married and divorced François de Hérain by 1914 when she was 35. On 29 June, the French Government moved to Clermont-Ferrand where the first discussions of constitutional changes were mooted, with Pierre Laval having personal discussions with President Lebrun, who had, in the event, not departed France. On 18 June, Édouard Herriot (who would later be a prosecution witness at Pétain's trial) and Jeanneney, the presidents of the two Chambers of Parliament, as well as Lebrun said they wanted to go. The third offensive, "Blücher", in May 1918, saw major German advances on the Aisne, as the French Army commander (Humbert) ignored Pétain's instructions to defend in depth and instead allowed his men to be hit by the initial massive German bombardment. His government voted to transform the discredited French Third Republic into the French State, an authoritarian regime that collaborated with the Axis. A Certain idea of France The life of Charles de Gaulle, Julian Jackson, p. 58. Rather than resigning, he maintained in a letter to the French the fiction that "I am, and remain morally, your leader". France's Marshal Philippe Petain points as he orders our photographer from the room during the meeting of the Council of Ministers in Vichy, central France, June 9, 1941. At cabinet on 15 June, Reynaud urged that France follow the Dutch example, that the Army should lay down its arms so that the fight could be continued from abroad. Not once did he offer a sympathetic word for Germany." In the postwar years, Petain was promoted to Field Marshal, remaining active in military affairs. France, Battle of; Vichy France Occupation of France, 1940–44. The republican motto of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("Freedom, equality, brotherhood") was replaced with "Travail, famille, patrie" ("Work, family, fatherland"). The Maginot Line, as it came to be called, (named after André Maginot the former Minister of War) thereafter occupied a good deal of Pétain's attention during 1928, when he also travelled extensively, visiting military installations up and down the country. Reserves could be called up when needed. After the autumn maneuvers, which Pétain had reinstated, a report was presented to Pétain that officers had been poorly instructed, had little basic knowledge, and no confidence. Pétain commanded the Second Army at the start of the Battle of Verdun in February 1916.  Weygand persuaded him that Reynaud's suggestion would be a shameful surrender. The next day, they went to Lebrun himself. " General de Gaulle, no longer in the Cabinet, had arrived in London on the 17th and made a call for resistance from there, on the 18th, with no legal authority whatsoever from his government, a call that was heeded by comparatively few. At the same time, the draft constitutional proposals were tabled. , Pétain conducted some successful but limited offensives in the latter part of 1917, unlike the British who stalled in an unsuccessful offensive at Passchendaele that autumn. A ‘snap decision’ was made to put Philippe Pétain in command (Horne 1962, p.129). After World War I Pétain married his former girlfriend, Eugénie Hardon (1877–1962), "a particularly beautiful woman", on 14 September 1920; they remained married until the end of Pétain's life. Although Pétain did say "On les aura!" " When World War II began in September, Daladier offered Pétain a position in his government, which Pétain turned down. A new commission for this purpose was established, under Joseph Joffre, and called for reports. While the latter favoured the offensive at all costs, Pétain held that a well-organized defensive was sometimes called for and that before any attack the commander must be sure of the superiority of his fire power. On the 20th, a delegation from the two chambers came to Pétain to protest at the proposed departure of President Lebrun.  On 3 September 1925, Pétain was appointed sole Commander-in-Chief of French Forces in Morocco to launch a major campaign against the Rif tribes, in concert with the Spanish Army, which was successfully concluded by the end of October. Churchill then said the French should defend Paris and reminded Pétain of how he had come to the aid of the British with forty divisions in March 1918, and repeating Clemenceau's words. On 26 April 1936, the general election results showed 5.5 million votes for the Popular Front parties against 4.5 million for the Right on an 84% turnout. At the end of August the Germans transferred Pétain from Vichy to Germany. He was promoted to captain in 1890 and major (Chef de Bataillon) in 1900. Here he met Hermann Göring and the two men reminisced about their experiences in the Great War. A Nazi-controlled puppet state in Souther France established by Hitler and headed by Marshal Philippe Petain. He was later condemned as a traitor for having headed the pro-German Vichy regime after France's defeat in World War II (1939-1945). French aviation entered the War in 1939 without even the prototype of a bomber aeroplane capable of reaching Berlin and coming back. He died in 1951. Verdun 1916, by Malcolm Brown, Tempus Publishing Ltd., Stroud, UK, p. 86. In the latter year General Maxime Weygand claimed that "the French Army was no longer a serious fighting force". By May, Pétain required constant nursing care, and he was often suffering from hallucinations, e.g. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Chamber of Deputies and Senate, meeting together as a "Congrès", held an emergency meeting on 10 July to ratify the armistice. Following the British attacks of July and September 1940 (Mers el Kébir, Dakar), the French government became increasingly fearful of the British and took the initiative to collaborate with the occupiers. Find the perfect Marshal Philippe Pétain stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. During the battle, he was promoted to Commander of Army Group Centre, which contained a total of 52 divisions. Pétain, of course, disapproved of the whole thing, pointing out that North Africa still had to be defended and in itself required a substantial standing army. Marshal Philippe Pétain Philippe Pétain was the hero of the Battle of Verdun in World War One. Under him the French armies participated in the victorious offensive of 1918, led by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, generalissimo of the Allied armies. Pétain was invited, on 8 February, to join the new French cabinet as Minister of War, which he only reluctantly accepted after many representations. , In 1924 the National Assembly was elected on a platform of reducing the length of national service to one year, to which Pétain was almost violently opposed. or "firepower kills! , Pétain ended the war regarded "without a doubt, the most accomplished defensive tactician of any army" and "one of France's greatest military heroes" and was presented with his baton of Marshal of France at a public ceremony at Metz by President Raymond Poincaré on 8 December 1918. As colonel, he commanded the 33rd Infantry Regiment at Arras from 1911; the young lieutenant Charles de Gaulle, who served under him, later wrote that his "first colonel, Pétain, taught (him) the Art of Command". 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