General Charles de Gaulle and Free France, through their military and political acuteness, along with their relentless perseverance, managed to gain a seat amongst the victors of the war. It was done mostly thanks to the use of the military tools at their disposal—including intelligence—that were directly instrumentalized to obtain concrete political gains.
In the Year of the Tiger still deserves serious consideration by scholars as a worthwhile book in the growing field of academic investigation into the First Indochina War. Despite shortfalls in commission and omission at points, Waddell provides a cogent and useful analysis on which others may usefully build. That should, after all, be the goal among those who seek to understand how the First Indochina War conditioned the disaster the United States chose to pursue after final French defeat in 1954.
A successful cyber doctrine must epitomize Clausewitz’s argument in favor of an active or attack-based defense, found in a relatively unknown but rich section of On War entitled “Methods of Resistance.” The chapter opens with a compelling reminder that the advantage of the defense is its defining purpose is to ward off an attack, and this warding off has as its principal strength the idea of awaiting.
Beyond the Beach is an essential addition to our understanding of the battle for France, these deaths, generally glossed over as “collateral damage,” profoundly shaped the French attitudes towards and understanding of the war. The work’s only shortcoming is that it teases but does not pursue many of its most interesting implications, leaving future scholars to build on its foundations.
The titanic struggle between Britain and France (and their respective allies) has been told many times, but the narrow focus here on Britain’s use of power is a welcome addition indeed, and Titan builds a compelling case for what made British victory possible. It will certainly prove useful to strategists and foreign policy practitioners, for while much has changed in the realm of war and diplomacy since the early nineteenth century, the need for smart power will not be ending anytime soon.
On April 8, 1904, French Foreign Minister Théophile Declassé took a telephone call from Paul Cambon, his ambassador in London. “C’est signé!” Cambon roared into the phone—”It is signed!” The modern era’s most significant treaty, the Franco-British Entente Cordiale was signed. What had been one of the world’s most significant historical rivalries from shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066 up to that April day in 1904, was over. France and England reached agreement on a host of issues, specified and sorted out in painstaking detail through three treaties signed at once. The world would never be the same.