|Etat Federe Français/French Federal State|
Paris (National Capital), Vichei/Vichy (Imperial Capital)
Head of State
Marechal Philippe Petain (1940-1951), General Maxime Weygand (1951-1958), Colonel François de la Rocque (1958-1962), General Raoul Salan (1962-1965), Maurice Papon (1965-1981) Jean-Marie Le Pen (from 1981)
Front pour une Renovation Nationale (1943-1958), Rassemblement Nationale des Ligues de Droite (from 1958)
Head of Government
Pierre Laval (1940), Pierre Etienne Flandin (1940-1941), François Darlan (1941-1950), Marcel Deat (1950-1954), Comte Jacques de Bernonville (1955-1958), Jacques Chevallier (1958-1962), Edmond Jouhaud (1962-1973), Roland Gaucher (from 1973)
System of Government
Authoritarian National Catholicism, similar to Spanish Francoism, heavily influenced by French Action movement.
France was roundly defeated by Germany in May-June of 1940. This defeat was followed by occupation, the de facto abolition of the Third Republic, and a rapid decline in relations with France's erstwhile allies.
By July 1940 the British attacked the French fleet in the Mediterranean, ostensibly to deny use of French ships to Germany. This provoked the entry of Italy into the war, ostensibly in defence of France and outrage at the British attack. Great Britain and France clashed again in Senegal in September 1940, and in April 1941, when the French Mandate of Syria-Lebanon was used by Axis forces as a springboard for the invasion of Iraq and Transjordan. France was now firmly in the Axis camp and, after a further skirmish in Equatorial Africa, suspended relations with Great Britain.
After the end of occupation and the close of the war, the French State was divided into a number of strongly autonomous states, on the Swiss cantonal model. This was, in part, a resurrection of the pre-revolutionary system of provinces, though the term 'provinces' was avoided, replaced with the more up-to-date 'regions'. Regions, unlike their provincial predecessors, were based primarily on cultural and linguistic zones, which more often than not coincided with the old provincial map. Other factors, such as population and population density, economic unity and viability, were also taken into account in their creation.
List of RegionsEdit
- Ile-de-France: the National Capital Region and most populous Region of France. French is the sole official language. Headed by François Lehideux, of the Renault car company and the 'Synarchy' group. Capital: Paris. Population: c.6,000,000.
- Orleanais: the Orleanais Region is the perhaps the least conservative in France in terms of its size and shape, encompassing the old provinces of Berry, Orleanais and Touraine and parts of several other provinces. It is one of two regions in which only the French language has official status (the other being Ile-de-France, the Capital Region). Headed by Maurice Bardeche, formerly of French Action and brother-in-law of the assassinated Robert Brasillach (1909-1944). Capital: Orleans. Population: c.5,000,000.
- Breizh: officially the Popular Free State of Brittany, encompassing all current and most former Breton-speaking regions. Breton, French and German are co-official, though use of French is discouraged. Breizh enjoys more autonomy than any other region. The Bretons are considered a 'pure' Nordic branch of the Celtic people according to the Brezona doctrine, accepted by Berlin. Prior to 1944 Breizh was slated for independence under German protection. Headed by Olier Mordrel, of the Breton National Party (PNB) and later the Breton National Socialist Workers' Movement (MOSNB). Along with Jacques Doriot, Mordrel was responsible for much of the formulation of France's post-war federal constitution. He was replaced as Sturier (Fuehrer) by his son, Trystan Mordrel in 1981. Capital: Naoned. Population: c.4,000,000.
- Provenca: amalgamation of the old provinces of Provence and Dauphine plus additional territory where Provencal dialects (Provencal and Alpine Provencal) are spoken. Provencal and French co-official, while both German and Italian have status as preferred languages. Slated for annexation to Burgund prior to 1944. Headed by Xavier Vallat (to 1973), of French Action. Capital: Ais de Provenca. Population c.4,000,000.
- Gasconha: based on the old province, also known as Aquitania and Guiana, with some territory lost to the neighbouring Lengadoc region and to Spain. French and Gascon co-official. Headed by the former head of the national government, Admiral Darlan (1950-1961) and then by Pierre-Antoine Cousteau. Capital: Bordeu. Population: c.4,000,000.
- Lengadoc: based on the old province, enlarged with parts of Guyenne and Gascony. French and Lengadocian co-official. Lost the old province of Roussillon to Spain in 1945. Headed by Louis Darquier de Pellepoix (to 1972) and by subsequently by Jean-Marie Le Pen (1972-1981) and Pierre Poujade (from 1981). Capital: Tolosa. Much of the territory lost by Lengadoc later came under the control of Darquier's close friend, the former Spanish Minister of War General Antonio Barroso, as Governor-General of the Spanish Protectorate of Andorra. Population: c.4,000,000.
- Normaundiet: based on the old province of the same name. Norman, French and German co-official. The Norman population is considered to be a Nordic people by Berlin. Prior to 1944 Normaundiet was slated to become either a German protectorate or a part of Burgund. Headed by Andre Bettancourt, formerly of La Cagoule and executive director of L'Oreal Cosmetics. Capital: Kaem. Population c.3,000,0000.
- Picardeye: amalgamation of the old Provinces of Picardy, Artois and parts of French Flanders not annexed to Belgium. French, Picard and German co-official. Slated for annexation to Burgund prior to 1944. Headed by Emile Dewoitine (to 1979). Capital: Amiens. Population: c.3,000,000.
- Burgund: amalgamation of the old Duchy and Free County of Burgundy, designed to form the core of a German-controlled buffer state between Germany and France. French, Burgundian dialects (Bourguignon and Franc-Comtois) and German co-official. Headed by Jacques Correze, formerly of La Cagoule, head of L'Oreal Cosmetics and adoptive son of Eugene Deloncle. Deloncle was a veteran of French Action and the founder of both La Cagoule and the MSR. After 1944 he became one of the most influential leaders in France, due to his close relationship with the new military regime in Germany. Capital: Bisanz (Besancon, formerly Dision or Dijon). Population c.2,000,000
- Lothringen: based on the old province of Lorraine, minus the territory annexed to Germany (Moselle). Lorrain, French and German co-official. Slated for annexation to Burgund prior to 1944. Headed by Frederic Martin, also known as Rudy de Merode. Capital: Nanzig. Population: c.2,000,000.
- Tchampagne: based on the old province, minus a small amount of territory lost to Belgium. Champenois and French co-official, with German a subsidiary language. Slated for annexation to Burgund prior to 1944. Headed by Maurice Pujo, until 1954 and subsequently by his son Pierre Pujo, both influential members of French Action. Capital: Troyes. Population: c.1,000,000.
- Anjou-Maine: an amalgamation of the old provinces of Anjou and Maine, where the Armorican dialects (primarily Angevin, also Gallo) are spoken. Angevin and French co-official.Slated for annexation to Brittany prior to 1944. Headed by Pierre Loutrel. As with Eugene Deloncle, Loutrel rapidly allied himself with the new regime installed in Germany after the Putsch of 1944, having fallen out of favour with the local SS. Capital: Angers. Population: c.1,000,000.
- Poitou-Xaintonge: encompassing the region in which the Poitevin dialects, closley related to Canadian French, are spoken. French and Poitevin dialects co-official. Headed by the writer Jacques Boutelleau, also known by his nome de plume of Jacques Chardonne (to 1968). Capital: Poitiers. Population c.1,000,000.
- Auvernha: larger than the old province of the same name, Auvernha also encompasses the old province of Borbones, including Vichy, the Imperial Capital (as opposed to Paris, the National Capital) and the de facto capital of the southern states of France. Pierre Laval, no longer head of the national government, remained in Vichy as head of state for Auvenha, his home region (to 1953). Auvenhat and French co-official. Capital: Vichei. Population c.1,000,000.
- Lemosin: larger than the pre-revolutionary province of the same name, most importantly it has absorbed the province of Marche. Lemosin and French co-official. Headed by Pierre Celor, a member of Jacques Doriot's PPF (to 1958). Capital: Lemotges. Population c.1,000,000.
- Rono-Arpes: restored to France 1950 by plebiscite, consisting of those Romand-speaking areas that did not decide to join either Switzerland or Italy. Centred on the old province of Lyonnais, encompassing the departments of Isere, Rhone, Loire and Ain. Romand, French and Italian co-official. Slated for annexation to Burgund prior to 1944. Headed by Raymond Barre (1964-1980) and subsequently by his protege Bruno Gollnisch (from 1980). Capital: Sant-Etieve. Population: c.4,000,000.
- Alger: created 1962 out of the former departments of Alger and Oran. French and Arabic co-official. Headed by Alex Villaplane, a Pied-Noir former footballer and founder of the North African Legion (to 1973) and subsequently by Edmond Jouhaud (1973-1982) and Jean-Jacques Susini (from 1982). Capital: Alger. Population: c.2,000,000.
- Kabylie: created 1962 as, officially, the Free State of Tamurt n Leqbayel, occupying the territory inhabited by Kabyles and other Berbers between the Alger Region and the former department of Constantine (now part of the Italian Protectorate of Tunisia). If Kabylie were treated on an equal basis with the other Regions of France, it's large population would make it amongst the most influential. French and Kabyle co-official, Arabic banned, use of other Berber languages discouraged. Headed by Ferhat Abbas, a leading native Integrationist (1962-1976) and Said Mohammedi, also known as Si Nacer, a former Abwehr agent (from 1976). Capital: Tizi-Uzezzu. Population: c.5,000,000.
List of Ultramarine TerritoriesEdit
- Afrique du Nord: Algeria, minus the Regions of Alger and Kabylie, integrated with metropolitan France 1962. Morocco and Tunisia lost to Spain and Italy respectively in 1941.
- Afrique Occidentale: enlarged with parts of British Cameroons and Liberia, 1941.
- Afrique Equatoriale: with territory in Tchad progressively lost to Italy in the period 1941 to 1960.
- Afrique Orientale/Ocean Indien: after the loss of Djibouti to Italy, the territory consists solely of islands in the Indian Ocean, most importantly Madagascar.
- Caraibes: French Guyene and the French Antilles.
- Terres Australes et Antarctiques: French Polynesian Islands plus Terre Adelie on the continent of Antarctica.
- Etablisments de l'Inde: most importantly Pondichery, after 1957 the Establishments became havens for Christian refugees from the new Hindu-nationalist regime in the Dominion of India.
- Union Indochinois: consisting (after 1941) of two protectorates (Annam and Cambodia) and one colony (Cochinchina). By 1979 France's presence in Indochina had been ended by Japanese and Thai-backed insurgencies in all territories of the Union.
France suffered territorial losses both on the mainland and in the colonies. Syria-Lebanon was officially made a Franco-Italian Condominion after 1941 and prior to the full indepedence of Syria and Lebanon in 1949. Tunisia was also a joint Franco-Italian protectorate until the war's end, when it was taken over entirely by Italy, along with a small part of French Algeria. Morocco had been a joint Franco-Spanish protectorate since 1912, but after the war became the sole responsibility of Spain.
In Asia, France was forced to come to terms with the demands of Japan and Thailand on its Indochina Protectorate. Laos was lost to Thailand in 1940, while the Japanese 'temporarily' occupied Tonkin for over a decade until the French recognised the Japanese-backed Empire of Viet Nam. Rather than placating Japan, this encouraged the infiltration of Japanese-trained and -armed Vietnamese guerrillas into the remaining parts of French Indochina: Annam, Cochinchina and Cambodia.
Closer to home, France lost territory to all her neighbours: Belgium annexed French Flanders and Givet (later attached to the Netherlands provinces of Vloandern and Wallonreye), Spain took much of Roussillon, Andorra and the French Basque Country, Germany took Alsace and Moselle, Switzerland was enlarged with parts of Jura and Doubs and Italy annexed Corsica, a large stretch of mainland territory and established a protectorate over Monaco and Nice.
The mid-1950's were a low point for France, comparable to the disaster of 1940. The Presidency of Maxime Weygand was jokingly described as the 'Third Empire' or the 'September Monachy', a referrance both to his deeply conservative anti-republicanism and to his presumed illegitimate descent from Leopold I of the Belgians and Louise, Princess of Orleans.
This period was characterised by extreme cronyism: due to his support from Germany, Eugene Deloncle made sure powerful Regional Governorships, as well as profitable government contracts, went to his old Cagoulard allies, while the cadres of Jacques Doriot's PPF dominated the central government.
The Weygand era also saw the last gasp of the 'repli imperial' (retreat to empire). An attempt to re-establish Franco-British control over the government of Egypt failed in 1957, though an independent Kingdom of Sudan was established under Franco-British tutelege. This was to be the last real expansion of French influence, after which the territory controlled by France continued to shrink.
The ascendancy of Colonel de la Rocque to the Head of State was supposed to reverse France's imperial decline, but his immediate cession of territory, to other powers, and autonomy, to natives in the colonies, was viewed with ambivalence by many of his supporters in the military. However his rationalisation of France's empire did usher in a period of both imperial and national stability unknown since before the war.
The elderly de la Rocque died in 1962, and was replaced by another military man, General Salan and then by a high-ranking police officer, Maurice Papon. By this time he had fully integrated most of Algeria into France, but had done nothing to secure France's Asian colonies. The French in Indochina were increasingly reliant on the support of the other European powers, the British, the Netherlands Empire and most of all, Germany.
By the mid-1970s Germany was effectively at war on France's behalf in Indochina. In 1975 Germany withdrew all military personnel from Indochina, leving the French and local collaborators to fight on alone. France withdrew in 1978 and in 1979 Cambodia, the last French posession in the region, fell to Vietnamese invasion.