Georges, General Joseph, 1875-1951

Georges, immediately subordinate to GAMELIN, held the position of Commander of the Northeast Front in 1940 and it was his troops which faced the German onslaught in May that year. Although he had command of GIRAUD’s 7th Army, BILLOTTE’s Army Group No 1, Pretelat’s Army Group No 2. and the British Expeditionary Force, he was too slow in his response to the Germans and the nearest the French came to halting the Panzer advance was a last minute counterattack by DE GAULLE’s 4th Armored Division. Georges gave evidence at PETAIN’S trial after he war and said that he thought France could have fought on: ‘At the very moment when we were about to stop fighting, five armies were partly imprisoned. In the groups which fought step by step over a depth of 281 miles, the trained effective strength still available were of the order of three to four hundred thousand men.’

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