Episode 6: a Miracle in a Sea of Disasters
The Fall of France and the aftermath.
On the morning of May 15th, with German armour sprinting toward the channel coast, Paul Reynaud, the French Prime Minister, called Winston Churchill to tell him they were defeated and that the front had been broken at Sedan. Churchill was incredulous. “Surely”, he asked, “it can’t have happened so soon?” He tried to reason with Reynaud and remind him that offensives must halt, that they must resupply and consolidate. After a brief silence Reynaud simply repeated “We are defeated, we have lost the battle.” Churchill had only been prime minister for 5 days.