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L'Etrange defaite (English, "Strange Defeat") is a book written in the summer of 1940 by French historian Marc Bloch and published after his death in the summer of 1944.

The main thesis of the book is that the French leadership failed to recognize that "the whole rhythm of modern warfare had changed its tempo."

There are only three chapters: Presentation of the Witness, being a short personal history of a life devoted to historical study and interrupted by World War I; One of the Vanguard Give Evidence, a factual account of one man's experience in the battle of France; and, A Frenchman Examines His Conscience, a biting analysis of the thinking and action of the generation between the wars.

Bloch's conclusion is harsh and forthright: "Whatever the deep-seated cause of the disaster may have been, the immediate occasion was the utter incompetence of the High Command."


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