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Liveblogging World War II: February 1, 1942

Quote of the Day: February 1, 2012

"This self-questioning produced at least one work of unsurpassed brilliance, Marc Bloch’s Étrange Défaite. France’s most distinguished historian, a reserve officer (the oldest in the French army) who volunteered for service in 1939, Bloch recorded his testimony in 1940; it was only published after the war, by which time its author, an active member of the Resistance, had been shot by the Germans. All subsequent commentators on 1940, including Ernest May, the most recent historian of the battle, pay due homage to Bloch’s essay, describing their own efforts as a mere footnote or amendment to his penetrating analysis. They are right to do so, for Bloch sketched out what is still the conventional explanation of the French disaster."

--Tony Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century