He was born in Paris, the son of Paul Corbin, an industrialist. He studied at the Collège Stanislas de Paris, a private Jesuit school in which the father of Charles de Gaulle taught. He continued his education at the Faculté des Lettres at the Sorbonne. After World War I, Corbin served in the press bureau of the French Foreign Ministry at the Quai d'Orsay, in Paris. He made many British friends; he spoke English fluently and had a profound sympathy for Britain and British ways. Corbin served as the French ambassador to Spain (1929–31) and to Belgium (1931-33) before being appointed French ambassador to the court of St. James.
Ambassador in London
He was assigned to London as ambassador in 1933. Corbin arrived in London on 13 March 1933 and presented his credentials as the ambassador of the republic to King George V the same day. His knowledge of economic affairs enabled him to arrange and preside skillfully over meetings of French and British civil servants between 1934 and 1939, while the two nations were preparing for war with Germany.
The first major crisis in Anglo-French relations occurred in June 1934 when the French foreign minister Louis Barthou attempted to create an "Eastern Locarno", a counterpart to the Locarno treaties of 1925-26 guaranteeing the borders of Western Europe for Eastern Europe which was intended to deter Adolf Hitler from aggression in Eastern Europe. The real purpose of the "Eastern Locarno" was to bring the Soviet Union into a front meant to deter Germany as Barthou frankly told the Soviet foreign commissar Maxim Litvinov at a meeting in Geneva on 18 May 1934 that if Germany refused to join the "Eastern Locarno" as expected, then France would sign a military alliance with the Soviet Union. Barthou's plans to enlist the Soviet Union as an ally against Germany was extremely unpopular in Britain with Corbin reporting that the majority of British newspapers portrayed the Soviets as a menace and Barthou as reckless and irresponsible for wanting to bring the Soviet Union into an anti-German front. On 14 June 1934, Corbin met the Foreign Secretary, Sir John Simon, who was openly hostile to the French plan for an "Eastern Locarno" and the Permanent Undersecretary, Sir Robert "Van" Vansittart, who was mostly silent during the meeting.
A major dilemma for French decision-makers in the 1930s was that it was felt in Paris that France could not defeat Germany in another war without Britain, but at the same time, Britain until 1939 was opposed to security commitments in Eastern Europe, where France had a number of allies. The issue of the "Eastern Locarno" was considered so important on 9–10 July 1934 a French delegation consisting of Barthou, Corbin, the Secretary-General of the Quai d'Orsay Alexis St. Léger, the Political Director René Massigli, and Roland de Margerie met in London with Simon, Vansittart, Sir Anthony Eden, Orme Sargent and Lord Stanhope. The meeting went badly with Simon stating his belief that Hitler was a man of peace who only wanted to revise the "unjust" Treaty of Versailles, and once that was achieved, would live in harmony with all his neighbors. Simon ridiculed French fears of the Third Reich, and when Barthou said the "Eastern Locarno" plan was necessary to protect France and its allies in Eastern Europe, Simon incredulously replied "To protect yourselves from Germany?" Barthou, known as one of the "tough guys" of French politics, refused to yield to Simon's objections while St. Léger and Corbin were more conciliatory. St. Léger spoke of the "fundamental importance that France attached to her friendship with England. She does not want to do anything against Great Britain. Better still, the French government does not wish to get into anything without Great Britain".
A man of great charm, distinguished appearance and elegant manners who was fluent in English, Corbin was a favorite of the British Establishment and a dinner invitation with him was a great and much sought after honor. Corbin in his dispatches to Paris made clear his personal preference for anti-appeasement Conservative MPs, often favorably mentioning Winston Churchill, Leo Amery, Alfred Duff Cooper, General Edward Spears, and Sir Anthony Eden together with the Francophile National Labour MP Harold Nicolson. Corbin noted in his dispatches to Paris a connection between Francophilia and an anti-appeasement stance, commenting that those MPs most inclined to be Francophiles like Churchill, Duff Cooper, Spears, Amery and Nicolson were the ones most likely to be opposed to appeasement. Through Nicolson and his wife, the novelist Lady Vita Sackville-West, Corbin was well connected to the British aristocracy, through Corbin found the bohemian Sackville-West not to match his idea about what a British aristocrat should be like. The French historian Jean-Baptiste Duroselle wrote that Corbin's dispatches from London were not of the same literary quality as those of André François-Poncet, the French ambassador in Berlin from 1931-38 whose dispatches are regarded as classics of French writing as he produced a memorably laced-in-acid picture of German society, but still Corbin's dispatches were models of elegant, precise French favored by the Quai d'Orsay and that there was much to be learned about British politics and high society in the years 1933-40 from reading Corbin's dispatches. Duroselle described Corbin as a man with a very legalistic mind who favored precise language and was a stickler for details.
The British official that Corbin was most close to was Sir Robert "Van" Vansittart, the Francophile and Germanphobic Permanent Undersecretary at the Foreign Office between 1930–37, whom Corbin called a true friend of France. Vansittart sometimes leaked material to Corbin in attempts to sabotage his government's policies. Corbin during his time in London was usually frustrated by the widespread attitude in Britain that the Treaty of Versailles was a French-designed "Carthaginian peace" that was far too harsh on Germany and it was the French who were the principle trouble-makers in Europe by seeking to uphold the "Carthaginian peace" that the Treaty of Versailles was alleged to be, finding his Anglophilia severely tested by the anti-Versailles and anti-French views held by much of the British people and Establishment. In his private conversations with Vansittart, Corbin often vented his frustration with the tendency of so many in Britain to see Germany as the wronged nation, the "victim of Versailles" whom Britain should help. In the same way Corbin with his love of precision was exasperated by the usually vague assurances of British politicians and officials who told him that Britain wanted to be a friend of France, was opposed to any nation dominating Europe, wanted to avoid another war and that aspects of the international system created by the Treaty of Versailles needed to be revised in the favor of Germany. For his part, Corbin in his usual polite and gentlemanly way made his clear his disagreement with the direction of British foreign policy, favoring an Anglo-French alliance that would uphold the system created by the Treaty of Versailles against efforts of Germany to challenge that system.
In December 1937, when Vansittart was "kicked upstairs" to the meaningless post of Chief Diplomatic Adviser (whose advice was always ignored), to be replaced with Sir Alexander Cadogan, Corbin was disappointed. In contrast to his friendship with Vansittart, Corbin was usually negative in his dispatches to Paris towards the "big four" of British politics in the 1930s, namely Sir John Simon, Lord Halifax, Sir Samuel Hoare, and Neville Chamberlain, all of whom he clearly disliked. Through Corbin was always outwardly polite and courteous towards Chamberlain, Hoare, Halifax and Simon, his dispatches to Paris made plain his real feelings. On 21 March 1938, the Foreign Minister, Joseph Paul-Boncour, instructed Corbin to seek to "interest" the British in Eastern Europe, especially in the states of the Cordon sanitaire, namely Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia. On 23 March 1938, Paul-Boncour stated in his instructions for Corbin that the French had intelligence that German rearmament had not reached a point when the Reich could fight a long war and that if France were to mobilize with full British support that would force the Wehrmacht to concentrate its strength along the West Wall, thereby making any German aggression in Eastern Europe impossible. Paul-Boncour concluded that France did not want a war with Germany, but a strategy of deterrence instead of appeasement would be the best way of achieving that.
On 7 April 1938, Corbin reported to Paris that he received intelligence from an unnamed friend in the British government that was evidently leaked that sources within the Italian government had informed the British embassy in Rome that Adolf Hitler was pressuring Benito Mussolini to undertake an aggressively anti-French foreign policy in order to distract the French from their allies in the cordon sanitarire. Corbin reported that Hitler visited Rome in May 1938 that it was expected he would make an arrangement with Mussolini that Germany would support Italy's ambitions in the Mediterranean in exchange for Italian support for German ambitions in Eastern Europe. However, Paul-Boncour's strategy of deterrence diplomacy was abandoned with the fall of the government in Leon Blum in Paris as the new premier, Edouard Daladier, appointed as his foreign minister, Georges Bonnet, who was hostile to the idea of France going to war for the sake of its allies in the cordon sanitarire. When Chamberlain returned to London from Munich on 30 September 1938 after signing the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German declaration, Corbin was not there to greet him at Heston airport despite being invited, a snub that was noticed by both the British and French press at the time. In October 1938, Bonnet demoted René Massigli, the anti-appeasement Political Director of the Quai d'Orsay by making him ambassador to Turkey while Pierre Comert of the Press Department was sent to the French embassy in Washington. Bonnet would have also liked to demote Corbin, whom he knew to be opposed to his policies, but he lacked an obvious replacement. The British historian D.C Watt called Corbin "...a determined opponent of any weakness towards Germany on either side of the Channel".
In March 1939, in response to the Tilea Affair, Chamberlain proposed a four-power declaration by Britain, France, Poland and the Soviet Union that they would defend Romania from a German attack. Corbin with his usual love of precise language was described as being horrified by the vague language of Chamberlain's proposed draft, and it was after much consultation with him that the draft for the statement to protect Romania was made much clearer and precise. Ivan Maisky, the Soviet ambassador in London, talked with Corbin on 29 March 1939, during which Corbin predicated that very soon Britain would make "guarantees" of Poland and Romania and that to him the United Kingdom seemed "more willing than at any time in the past to accept obligations" in Eastern Europe".
Given the traditional British opposition to any sort of security commitments in Eastern Europe, Corbin was astonished by the speech given by Prime Minister Chamberlain before the House of Commons on 31 March 1939 announcing the "guarantee" of Poland. Corbin reported to Bonnet on 4 April 1939: "Had I been told three weeks ago that during this time period the British government would have guaranteed the independence of Poland...that such a decision would have been cheered by a nearly unanimous Parliament and that no opposition to it would appear in the press or the public, I would have no doubt greeted such a forecast with an incredulous smile...The new orientation given to British foreign representing such a complete break with the traditional position is so important that it may be said without exaggeration as being of historical magnitude...The objective was to oppose the establishment of German hegemony over continental Europe...The dissenting Conservatives that Messers Eden, Churchill and Duff Cooper usually represented immediately rallied in support of the government."
In the summer of 1939, Corbin poured so much scorn on a proposal to have Pope Pius XII mediate an end to the Danzig crisis, pointing out the impracticalities posed by having the well-known Germanophile Pontiff serving as a supposedly neutral mediator that Bonnet was forced to give up the idea. During the debates within the French cabinet between Daladier and Bonnet in August 1939 about whatever to go to war with Poland, Corbin strengthened Daladier's hand by reporting that Britain approved of his foreign policy, much to the intense fury of Bonnet who wanted Corbin to report the opposite. On 27 August 1939, Corbin at present at a meeting between Sir Alexander Cadogan, the permanent undersecretary at the Foreign Office, and the Swedish businessman Birger Dahlerus, who been trying to play amateur diplomat by negotiating an end to the Danzig crisis. Corbin had been worried that Britain was using Daherus to negotiate behind France's back, which was why Cadogan invited him to hear him lecture Dahlerus that Germany's "gangster policy would have to cease". On the night of 30 August, the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop gave Sir Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador in Berlin, the German "final offer" demanding that a Polish envoy arrive in Berlin that night to discuss the resolution of the Danzig crisis. Chamberlain called Corbin that night to say he thought Hitler was bluffing and the peace could still be saved. As Italy was not ready for war in 1939 which the offensive alliance known as the Pact of Steel had it committed to, the Italian foreign minister Count Galeazzo Ciano proposed an international conference for 5 September 1939 to be chaired by Mussolini to discuss the Danzig crisis. Lord Halifax asked Corbin for French reaction to the Italian peace plan. Bonnet was in favor of the Italian plan for a conference, but needed the approval of the French cabinet and complained that Daladier refused to call a cabinet meeting to discuss Mussolini's conference. Daladier told Sir Eric Phipps, the British ambassador in Paris that would rather resign than attend the proposed conference, saying it would be a "second Munich".
On the morning of 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Corbin telephoned the Foreign Office to ask how best Britain and France should co-ordinate the declarations of war on Germany. Bonnet had sent a message to London asking that Britain and France instead attend the proposed conference, which Corbin distorted by arguing for a time limit for German acceptance on attending the conference, which caused much confusion when Bonnet said there would be no time limit. As Bonnet did not wish to see France declare war, he decided to take up the mediation offer made by Mussolini and instructed Corbin in a phone call at 3: 40 pm to tell Chamberlain that he wanted a British commitment to attend Mussolini's proposed conference. However, at 4:10 pm on 1 September 1939, Corbin telephoned Bonnet to say that Lord Halifax had told him that Britain would not take part in the Italian plan for a peace conference unless Germany pulled out all of its forces from Poland immediately. At 5:30 pm, Corbin tele-texted the instructions that Lord Halifax had given to Henderson to Bonnet to indicate the direction that British policy was going. On the evening of 2 September 1939, a major crisis emerged in Britain as no declaration of war had been issued, leading to a "sit-down strike" at 10 Downing Street as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir John Simon, previously regarded as one of the men most loyal to Chamberlain, refused to leave 10 Downing Street until he received a promise that Britain would declare war on Germany. As a sign of Allied solidarity, it was felt necessary to time the Anglo-French declarations of war on Germany together, but a major battle in the French cabinet between Daladier who wanted to declare war vs. Bonnet who did not, made that impossible. Besides for the crisis caused by the dispute between Daladier and Bonnet, France needed to mobilize six million men in the event of war. Corbin issued a press statement on 2 September 1939 in response to angry British callers to remind them that France had to mobilize six million men, which meant a massive degree of disruption to the French economy, and that if Britain had to call a similar number of men to the colors all at once, this too would take some time.
With the backdrop of heavy thunderstorm, Corbin was summoned to 10 Downing Street on the evening of 2 September, discovering a scene of chaos with Chamberlain, Lord Halifax and Cadogan all telephoning Paris in attempts to get hold of Daladier, Bonnet or anybody in the French government who might be able to tell them what was going on in France. Corbin was be told by Chamberlain that his government was on the verge of collapse, predicating the House of Commons would pass a motion of no-confidence against his government the next morning if he did not make a decision to declare war on Germany at once. Corbin told Chamberlain that the French cabinet was badly divided between Daladier and Bonnet and he did not know when France would make a decision to declare war. Chamberlain also had Corbin speak to Simon in order to assure him that the reason for the delay in declaring war was due to the crisis in Paris, not because the prime minister was seeking a way to avoid honoring his commitments to Poland. Corbin was told at about 11:30 pm that the cabinet had approved of the decision to sent an ultimatum to Germany at 9 am on the morning of September 3 that would expire at 11 am, and there was to be no co-ordination with France in presenting the declarations of war. At 9 am on 3 September 1939, Sir Nevile Henderson, the British ambassador in Berlin, handed over the ultimatum demanding Germany cease its war against Poland or else Britain would declare war at 11 am that day. Shortly after 11 am, King George IV went on the BBC to announce Britain was at war. At 12: 30 pm, Robert Coulondre, the French ambassador in Berlin handed over the ultimatum saying France would declare at 5 pm if Germany did not end its war against Poland.
In the fall of 1939 and the winter of 1940, Corbin was closely involved in the Anglo-French discussions about war aims. The French wanted to undo the Anschluss, insisting that Austria be restored, but the British were willing to accept Austria as part of Germany; finally a compromise where after the Allied victory, a plebiscite would be held to determine if the Austrians wanted their independence back or not. Both the French and the British agreed on restoring Czechoslovakia, but the British held to the frontiers imposed by the Munich Agreement, signalling a willingness to leave the Sudetenland as part of Germany while the French wanted Czechoslovakia restored to the pre-Munich frontiers. However, on other issues, agreement was more possible with both the French and British agreeing that Poland was to be restored and all of the land annexed by Germany was to be returned to Poland, through the question of whatever the parts of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union were to be restored was left ambiguous with British officials nothing the most of people in the areas annexed by the Soviets were not Polish. Finally, both the French and British agreed that it was not possible to make peace with Hitler, and a new government was needed in Germany, through the British were most insistent that the Allies offer lenient peace terms to post-Hitler government, arguing that a promise of a harsh peace would only drive more Germans to Hitler.
During the "Phoney War", in February 1940, Count Edward Bernard Raczyński, the ambassador in London representing the Polish government-in-exile appealed to Corbin for help in seeking a British statement that German war criminals would be punished after the Allied victory. In January 1940, the Polish government-in-exile published a press statement detailing widespread German crimes in Poland right from the start of the war on 1 September 1939 and asked that the perpetrators of these crimes be punished after the Allied victory. Both Corbin and Count Raczyński noted there was a precedent for this, citing the Anglo-French-Russian declaration of May 1915 which called the Armenian genocide a "crime against humanity" (which was the first use of the term) and promised to bring the leaders of the Ottoman empire to justice after the Allied victory, through the failure to start war crimes trials for the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress in 1919-22 due to politics was a less auspicious precedent. At the time, it was the hope of the British government that the Wehrmacht would overthrow Hitler and as such, the British government was absolutely opposed to idea of punishing German officials and officers for war crimes in Poland, believing that a statement promising to do so might frighten the Wehrmacht into staying loyal to Hitler. It was only in 1941-42 after the British finally lost patience with the Wehrmacht which stayed resolutely loyal to Hitler that H.M Government was finally willing to issue statements promising to bring war criminals to justice.
Corbin joined Raczyński in February–April 1940 seeking to lobby Lord Halifax to issue a statement promising to bring war criminals to justice, despite Halifax's objections that such a statement would only make the Wehrmacht more loyal to Hitler with Halifax taking the view that the Allies should be trying to divide the Nazis from the Wehrmacht, which meant no commitments to war crimes trials. After much lobbying, Raczyński and Corbin got Lord Halifax to issue a joint Anglo-French-Polish statement saying they held "the German government responsible for these crimes and they affirm their determination to right the wrongs inflicted on the Polish people". The Anglo-French-Polish statement of 18 April 1940 accused Germany of "brutal attacks upon the civilian population of Poland in defiance of the accepted principles of international law", of "a policy deliberately aiming at the destruction of the Polish nation" and mentioned the "atrocious treatment" inflicted on the Jewish community of Poland. However, Lord Halifax told Corbin and Raczyński that the British regarded the statement of 18 April 1940 as only a "statement of principle", not a "contractual obligation" like the Anglo-French-Russian declaration of 1915, and that his government was still opposed to the war crimes trials, repeating his standard claim the Allies should try to divide the Wehrmacht from the Nazis.
Corbin was with Jean Monnet on 16 June 1940 when the proposal for the union of France and United Kingdom was put to de Gaulle, who had been sent to London by the French Premier Paul Reynaud. The proposed Declaration of Union was a desperate last-minute attempt to bolster French resistance in the face of defeatism among the ranks of the French cabinet to keep the Franco-British alliance alive. De Gaulle was staying at the Hyde Park Hotel and was shaving when Corbin and Monnet burst into his room, bringing their plan for an Anglo-French union in order to keep France in the war. Through de Gaulle was hostile to the plan for Anglo-French union, he was prepared to accept anything that might keep France in the war, knowing full well that Reynaud was losing the cabinet debates with Marshal Petain, who was openly defeatist and urging the French cabinet to sign an armistice with Germany. On the afternoon of 16 June, de Gaulle and Corbin met with the British cabinet who approved of the plan, and as such Churchill and de Gaulle signed the statement of Anglo-French union declaring that the United Kingdom and France were now united in "the unyielding resolution in their common defense of freedom and justice, against subjection to a system which reduces mankind to a life of robots and slaves".
Under the statement of Anglo-French union, the French National Assembly and the British Parliament were to become one; there was to be single War Cabinet in charge of all Anglo-French forces all over the world; and there were to be joint organs for the direction of financial, economic, foreign and military policies. Churchill congratulated de Gaulle on signing the statement of union, saying he was going to become the Commander-in-chief of all the Anglo-French forces in the world, but King George IV was not informed of the plan and was openly hostile when he did hear about it, wondering if the union of the French republic and the British monarchy now meant he was out of a job. Reynaud embraced the plan for Anglo-French union, but Petain rejected it as a British plan to take over the French colonial empire and was able to convince the French cabinet to reject it. On 17 June 1940, Reynaud's government fell after the 9 ministers came out against his plans to continue the war and for Anglo-French union and President Albert Leburn appointed Marshal Petain as the new premier. The first action of the new Petain government was to announce that France would seek an armistice with Germany. In response, de Gaulle went on the BBC on 18 June 1940 in a radio address known as le appeal to denounce Petain and to say he would continue the war. On 23 June 1940, de Gaulle announced the formation of a French National Committee, which the British supported, but not did recognize as a government-in-exile the same way that they did the governments-in-exile for Poland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. Corbin in one of his last acts as ambassador advised the British not to be too closely associated with de Gaulle's National Committee, saying this would make General de Gaulle appear to be a British puppet.
World War II
On 21 June 1940, France signed an armistice with Germany. On 26 June 1940, Corbin resigned as the French ambassador to the court of St. James, saying he could not go on. Corbin told Lord Halifax that day it was a "sad decision" to resign, but that Roger Cambon, who would take over the embassy was a capable man. De Gaulle asked that Corbin not resign and represent his National Committee to the British government, but Corbin stated that the war was lost and he was now leaving for Brazil while there was still time. Corbin made his "tender farewells" to his friends in Britain and left for Brazil in July 1940. De Gaulle's biographer, Jean Lacouture, states that he resigned from the Quai d'Orsay but retired to South America. Corbin was greatly angered by the British attack on the French naval base at Mers-el-Kébir on 3 July 1940, saying he could not in good conscience remain in a country that just attacked his own nation. Corbin was also furthered angered by the decision of the new Churchill government to extend the British blockade of Germany to France after 21 June 1940 and by the frankly Francophobic tone of the British media in the summer of 1940, which openly mocked the French as cowards and defeatists for signing the armistice with Germany. For an Anglophile like Corbin, the sustained anti-French bashing of the British media, which sneered at and mocked the French for the misfortune of losing to Germany was a very bitter blow and hurt him deeply. In the summer of 1940, with Britain facing a German invasion, there was a tendency on the part of the many in the British media to blame the French for the United Kingdom's predicament as it far easier to blame their country's problems on foreigners, which explains the extended bout of French-bashing in 1940.
Corbin arrived in Rio de Janario in August 1940, where he was described as being a deeply depressed man, convinced that Germany was going to win the war and the "New Order in Europe" could not be challenged. In December 1940, Corbin made his peace with the "New Order in Europe", saying in a public statement he awaiting for instructions from Marshal Petain in Vichy for what his role would be in the "New Order", which he then denied to his friends that he issued, causing him a major credibility crisis with many uncertain about where he stood. In February 1941, Corbin arrived in Lisbon, where Daniel Roché, the second secretary of the French legation in Dublin, tried to persuade to go back to Brazil. Sir Ronald Campbell, the British ambassador to Portugal, wrote after meeting Corbin that "he struck me as rather bitter and distinctly flabby...There is no fight in him and he gives the impression of a broken man". Campbell further wrote that Corbin was extremely embittered by the Battle of Mers-el-Kébir, which he took as a personal betrayal, and he was obsessed with "the ghastly spectacle of starving children" in France, which he blamed on the British blockade. In March 1941, Corbin arrived in Madrid, where Hoare, who was now serving as the British ambassador to Spain, reported to London that Corbin was a "defeatist" who believed Germany was "invincible". Once Corbin arrived in France later in March 1941, his "black mood" finally lifted and he refused an offer from Marshal Petain to serve as the ambassador in Washington. Instead, Corbin retired to his cottage in the south of France, where in his private letters he became sharply critical of Vichy, through he did not take part in the Resistance, saying he was too old for such activities. The British historian Nicholas Atkin described Corbin's attitude as an ambivalent, as he was opposed in principle to the "New Order", but also convinced for a considerable period of time, at least until 1942, that Germany was going to win the war and resistance was futile.
Notes and sources
- "Mr Charles Corbin – A Distinguished French Diplomat", The Times, p. 10, 28 September 1970
- Duroelle 2004, p. 24.
- Duroselle 2004, p. 70-71.
- Duroselle 2004, p. 72.
- Duroselle 2004, p. 222.
- Thomas 1999, p. 126.
- Watt 1989, p. 73.
- Watt 1989, p. 177.
- Watt 1989, p. 216.
- Duroselle 2004, p. 336.
- Watt 1989, p. 506.
- Watt 1989, p. 421.
- Watt 1989, p. 506-507.
- Watt 1989, p. 515.
- Watt 1989, p. 526-527.
- Watt 1989, p. 527.
- Watt 1989, p. 528.
- Watt 1989, p. 540.
- Watt 1989, p. 546.
- Watt 1989, p. 549.
- Overy 2009, p. 87.
- Overy & Wheatcroft 1989, p. 188.
- Watt 1989, p. 585.
- Overy 2009, p. 101-102.
- Weinberg 2004, p. 91-92.
- Weinberg 2004, p. 92.
- Weinberg 2004, p. 91-92 & 960.
- Kochavi 2000, p. 8.
- Kochavi 2000, p. 7.
- Kochavi 2000, p. 7-8.
- Kochavi 2000, p. 7-9.
- Kochavi 2000, p. 9.
- For further details of the proposed union between Britain and France, see 'Section 18.104.22.168 French reject Franco-British Union' in the article on Sir Edward Spears
- Fenby 2012, p. 25.
- Fenby 2012, p. 26.
- Fenby 2012, p. 27.
- Fenby 2012, p. 135.
- Atkin 2003, p. 143.
- Fenby 2012, p. 137.
- Atkin 2003, p. 144.
- Lacouture 1991, p239
- Atkin, Nicolas The Forgotten French: Exiles in the British Isles, 1940-44, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003, ISBN 0719064384
- Duroselle, Jean-Baptiste France and the Nazi Threat: The Collapse of French Diplomacy 1932-1939, New York: Enigma, 2004, ISBN 0807866873
- Fenby, Jonathan The General: Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved, New York: Skyhouse, 2012.
- Kochavi, Arieh Prelude to Nuremberg: Allied War Crimes Policy and the Question of Punishment, Raleigh: University of North Carolina Press, 2000
- Lacouture, Jean. De Gaulle: The Rebel 1890–1944 (1984; English ed. 1991), ISBN 978-0-841-90927-4
- Overy, Richard & Wheatcroft, Andrew The Road to War, London: Vintage Books, 1989, ISBN 978-1-845-95130-6
- Overy, Richard 1939 Countdown to War, London: Penguin, 2009, ISBN 978-0-14-312006-3
- Thomas, Martin "France and the Czechoslovak Crisis" pages 122-159 from The Munich Crisis, Prelude to World War II edited by Igor Lukes and Erik Goldstein, London: Frank Cass, 1999, ISBN 0-7146-8056-7
- Watt, D.C. How War Came: The Immediate Origins Of The Second World War, 1938-1939, London: Heinemann, 1989, ISBN 0434842168