Cover

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Title Page, Frontispiece, Copyright, About the Author

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Contents

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-2

General Maxime de Nimal Weygand lived an extraordinary life, achieving a pinnacle of fame and prestige, but then later finding himself, in the words of Shakespeare’s Rosalind, “out of suits with fortune,” a life that presents a challenge to any biographer...

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1. Birth and Early Years, 1867–1914

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pp. 3-13

Few general officers commanding a nation’s army have had no certain knowledge of the identity or even the nationality of either of their parents or of the place of their birth. The baby later known to the world as Maxime Weygand was registered as having been born on January 21, 1867. A...

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2. Chief of Staff, 1914–18

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pp. 14-44

Staffs exist to support commanders in their duties in peace and war. Throughout the nineteenth century warfare had become infinitely more complex and commanders more and more dependent on trained staffs. Countries opened army staff colleges. Different countries chose different...

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3. Versailles, Warsaw, Syria, 1919–24

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pp. 45-54

Accompanying Foch in November and December 1918, Weygand visited the devastated areas of France that had been occupied by the Germans. He saw wanton German destruction of towns, villages, and farms and talked to surviving inhabitants about the suffering that they had endured...

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4. Defense Policy in a Fractured France, 1925–39

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pp. 55-76

In the years 1925 to 1939, the bulk of the interwar years, Weygand’s life fell into three phases. The first was from 1925 to the end of his tenure as director at the Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires (CHEM), the second from 1930 to 1935 when he held senior military staff and policy appointments...

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5. Commander in Chief, May–June 1940

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pp. 77-101

It was still just possible that if France had entered the Second World War with the national resolve of 1914 the outcome of events might have been very different. If the French Army, even if not armored but at least motorized, had immediately sallied forth from the Maginot fortresses in effective...

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6. Minister for National Defense, June–September 1940

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pp. 102-114

Among the new ministers, Weygand was to be minister for national defense, with Huntziger as minister for war.¹ Most of the other ministers, however, reflected the policy aims of Marshal Philippe Pétain, now eighty-four years old, the hero of Verdun, the general who had restored...

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7. A General Out of Step: North Africa, 1940–41

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pp. 115-127

Regarding much of Weygand’s life, admirers pay their respects, sometimes perhaps too generously, detractors pour out their criticisms, often unjustly or harshly, and the small details of his daily life and work are not fully covered—for example, the impression Weygand made on individuals who...

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8. Final Misfortunes and Final Years, 1941–65

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pp. 128-142

Following his dismissal Weygand was soon joined by Renée and his son Jacques, both also banned from staying in North Africa. His long-time military secretary, Commandant Gasser, and his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant de Leusse, were allowed to return to Algiers. His biographer records...

Notes

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pp. 143-152

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 153-156

Index

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pp. 157-161