Histoire militaire de la France : De 1870 à nos jours

TitleHistoire militaire de la France : De 1870 à nos jours
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDrévillon, Hervé, and Olivier Wieviorka
Number of Volumes2
Number of Pages720
PublisherÉditions Perrin

The entire military history of France from the Merovingians to the present day, in two volumes. That war contributed to the institutional and social construction of France is obvious, especially since the army represents a founding element of the nation-state. In order to better understand the nature of the ties uniting the French to their army as well as the war to the State, it was necessary to account for 1,500 years of history. In its entirety. Because the military goes beyond the major organizational frameworks, the equipment or structures of the army and its composition. It obliges us to think about our relationship to politics and to society as a whole, and encourages us to look back at our commitments, reflecting on strategy and tactics, describing the major conflicts, and finally focusing on the reality of combat, armament, the violence of war and its imposition on civilians.

The second volume explores the years 1870 to the present. The war then becomes total and global. It involved millions of soldiers, in 1914 as in 1939; it involved civilians, who now had to supply the front line with the mountains of shells and thousands of tanks that conflicts demanded; it hit them just as hard during bombardments. The army, on the other hand, played an eminent political role. During the Second World War, some of its cadres supported Pétainist ideals. Later, some generals tried to overthrow Charles de Gaulle to counter his Algerian policy. These positions, however, did not meet with unanimous approval, and a bitter conflict arose between the Marshal and the General. The military history of France from 1870 to the present day cannot be written in the monochrome shades of black and white. Alternating victories and defeats, blindness and lucidity, greatness and servitude, it imposes, during this very long century, to challenge simplism and Manichaeism. 

Translated TitleMilitary History of France: From 1870 to the Present Day
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