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Literature / 1940: Et si la France avait continué la guerre?

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1940: et si la France avait continué la guerre? (1940: What if France kept fighting the war?) is an Alternate History book by Jacques Sapir, Frank Stora and Loïc Mahé, published in 2010 and based on the Web Original France Fights On a.k.a. the Fantasque Time Line. It relates an alternate World War II in which France doesn't sign an armistice with Germany, but instead evacuates its military, its apparatus of government and its essential industrial personnel to North Africa to continue the war from overseas.

The point of divergence takes place on June 6, 1940, when the mistress of Paul Reynaud (the président du Conseil of the Third Republic) dies in a traffic accident. Without her influence, Reynaud is more willing to follow de Gaulle's advice to keep fighting rather than seek an armistice.

Contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The book is a condensed version of the sprawling Web Original.
  • Les Collaborateurs: While Pétain dies of a heart attack, some opportunistic politicians such as Laval and far-right ideologues such as Drieu La Rochelle do offer their assistance to the occupying Germans.
  • For Want Of A Nail: A woman dies in a car accident a few weeks earlier than she did historically, and the world changes.
  • Historical Domain Character: De Gaulle, mostly, but also other French and British political figures.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The premise rests on Paul Reynaud becoming a much braver figure than he was in real life.
  • The Mistress: Hélène de Portes, Paul Reynaud's politically conniving paramour. Her earlier death is the point of divergence.
  • La Résistance: It becomes a matter of concern to the Germans much earlier, thanks to the legitimate French government-in-exile openly encouraging it.
  • Shout-Out/Allohistorical Allusion: Various tongue-in-cheek references to real history pepper the narrative. For example, Reynaud's mistress fatal car accident takes place in the same circumstances as that of Lady Diana's.
  • Shown Their Work: Impressive amounts of research went into this book.
  • War Crime Subverts Heroism: A group of captured German pilots are executed in cold blood when it turns out they can't be evacuated to Algeria.