By Robert Tombs, Emile Chabal
France and Britain, vital allies in international wars, take note and omit their shared heritage in contrasting methods. The e-book will research key episodes within the courting among the 2 international locations, together with the outbreak of battle in 1914, the battles of the Somme and Verdun, the autumn of France in 1940, Dunkirk, and British involvement within the French Resistance and the 1944 Liberation. The individuals speak about how the 2 international locations are likely to fail to remember what they owe to one another, and feature a distorted view of heritage which nonetheless shades and prejudices their courting this present day, regardless of executive efforts to construct an in depth political and armed forces partnership.
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Additional info for Britain and France in two world wars : truth, myth and memory
Thus British objectives for the Entente were more complex than those perceived by Cambon. According to Keith Wilson, a powerful lobby in British governing and military circles, notably Grey, wanted the agreement to act as a stepping stone to the securing of an agreement with Russia on Asia that would maintain cordial relations with her and thereby ensure the security of India. 9 The Entente was also the opportunity, according to Wilson, for Britain not to be isolated internationally from the two powers that could do her interests, above all those of the British Empire, much damage: Russia and France.
45 For this reason there was no real crisis within the cabinet in 1912: that would come in 1914. Even if historians like Zara Steiner believe that the government’s freedom had been compromised, it is still safe to say that its freedom was not as fettered as Paul Cambon believed, or would have had Paris believe. It is also fair to say that Cambon had misunderstood or had chosen to ignore the nature and power of radical opposition to siding with France; he was guilty of overconfidence in Britain’s loyalty to France and as a result misled his political masters.
This reality is the context in which the three chapters under discussion need to be set. The problems highlighted by John Keiger, William Philpott and Elizabeth Greenhalgh were not unique to France and Britain in the era of First World War. Similar if not identical challenges can be found in the histories of many other coalitions. The same themes emerge time after time. Coalitions are often marriages of convenience, marked by acute suspicion of partners. The Second World War relationship between Britain and the Free French stands out as an example of a particularly awkward alliance, and the relationship between the Britain and Prussians during the 1815 Waterloo campaign demonstrates that such situations were not a purely twentieth-century phenomenon.