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La Agonia de Francia (Spanish) Paperback – Jun 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 187 pages
  • Publisher: Libros del Asteroide S.L.U. (Jun. 2010)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 8492663219
  • ISBN-13: 978-8492663217
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,709,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Manuel Chaves was a fine but not very known Spanish writer and journalist. He was republican, but not communist. In 1937 worried of the crimes in both bands of Spanish Civil War and seeing Franco has to win, he exiled to France with his wife and sons. This book deals with the situation he saw there, and his study of the moral and situation of France in front of the menace of Germany is exhaustive. Summing up, Chaves thought France could have resisted with many chances to the German army, but he saw a low moral for war in French population and leaders, very different of the fierce battles of Spain. Curiously, he judged the British expeditionary forces as distant people, but much more resolute to fight, but in French people he detected a clear lack of spirit and a sure defeat.
A defeat he doesn't understand, as he thinks German tanks and aircraft, yes, couldn't be stopped in open ground, but in a city as Paris that was a different matter. This is I think a doubtable observation, but he had the experience of the defence of Madrid where Franco's troops and German tanks and aircraft weren't enough to overcome Republican army. Chaves thought the aircraft from these times wasn't enough to destroy a modern capital with dozens thousands houses and so, for him, French people was too frightened by a danger not big enough. In effect, in Madrid, after the first artillery and aircraft attacks, population rested more or less impassible. Chaves knew the bombing of Guernica, but he reasons that complete destruction was only possible because these was only a small village without anti aircraft artillery.
If he was correct or not I can't judge. Weaponry from 1939 wasn't the same that these of 1945. The Gestapo knew Chaves and when France finally was defeated he toke a British warship while his wife and sons remained in France. As he spoke several languages he worked for BBC and several newspapers in England and died in London in 1944.
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