Des amiraux au service de Vichy (1940-1944)

Abstract : As soon as the Armistice was signed, nearly 70% of general officers in the Navy found themselves not only in emblematic positions of the French State but also in secondary ones. Whatever the nature of these positions, they enabled them, in most cases, to be the messengers of the French State. Joining politics as early as June 1940, according to how military events happened, these men have a strong social and professional coherence which cannot explain, by itself, this huge rallying to marechal Petain. Their professional and political culture remains a key element in explaining the ideological meeting of this branch with the national Revolution. Convinced of the superiority of their moral and cultural model, they consider this regime, born on the ashes of the third Republic, as an opportunity to make their values prevail. Military obedience then appears as a real, although secondary factor to explain their rallying.As far as Admiral Darlan is concerned, though, this access to power, on the contrary, appears as deeply and carefully thought as soon as 1940 and goes on for the first six months of the regime. These admirals, who believe in an authoritarian management of power, hold the measures of exclusion and of return to the Tradition depending on their own values and on the positions they hold. Their political observance, directly inherited from the methods used in the Navy, as well as their immediate circles, also connected with the « Royale », contributes to their bad reputation as politicians too, because of the nature of their actions. Judicial and professional purge sometimes condemns some of them but the procedures of amnesty and invalidation taken by the Council of State concerning administrative sanctions permit to temper the declarations of strict purge. A dictionary completes this collective approach : it enables one to follow the professional route of each of these 49 general officers, to explain their role between 1940 and 1944 as well as to evoke their position after the war.
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Odile Girardin-Thibeaud. Des amiraux au service de Vichy (1940-1944). Histoire. Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux III, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014BOR30079⟩. ⟨tel-01599235⟩

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