By Harry Elmer Barnes.
When France was in her darkest hour and facing utter defeat -Marshall Petain stepped forward to ease her suffering. Nevertheless, he was much attacked for his actions. The most important charges levelled against Marshal Petain are:
(1) that he was an incompetent defeatist in the first World War;
(2) that he let the defence of France lag after 1919:
(3) that he frustrated the mechanisation of the French Army recommended by deGaulle;
(4) that he became a collaborationist with the Nazis after 1935;
(5) that he was a leading French Fascist long before 1939;
(6) that he asked for an Armistice in 1940, when the French Army could readily have retired to North Africa and held out against the Germans indefinitely; and
(7) that, as Chief-of-State at Vichy, he deliberately and exuberantly sold out France to the Nazis.
The true historical facts, gleaned from the original sources, constitute a complete and overwhelming exposure and refutation of the falsity of each and every one of these charges.