ARMY LEADERS' PLOT Ex-Premier Says France Saved The World N.Z. Press Association—Copyright Rec. 1 p.m. LONDON, July 24. M. Edouard Daladier, French Prime Minister on the outbreak of war, giving evidence in the Petain trial, declared that in 1939 France savecl the world. "We fought the war almcst alone, and even the glorious Red Army was thrown off its feet at the beginning of the German tornado," he declared.
"If we had abandoned Poland in 1940, Germany might have had time to find the 50 divisions she later lacked to take Moscow," he declared.
Accusing Petain of having systematically taught out-of-date doctrines of strategy and neglecting to prepare the country for the war as Vice-President of the Supreme War Council and as Minister for War, M.
Daladier said that for five years before the war no big appointment was made without Petain's approval. "Petain, as Minister for War in M. Doumergue's Cabinet," witness added, "reduced the arms credit 20 per cent at the time when the construction of tanks and anti-tank guns should have begun. Later he refused to authorise the ccnstruction of a 47mm anti-tank gun which the war proved was an excellent weapon." The Ardennes sector, in Petain's opinion, was not dangerous, the marshal expressing the opinion that 'if the enemy penetrates it we shall get him on the way out.'
M. Daladier, passionately defending his policy during the "phoney war" in the winter of 1939-40, explained that he was waiting for arms from factories and for British divisions to arrive on the Continent, but when the moment came Petain, Weygand and others in the plot had already made their choice. When the plotters decided to accept an armistice, M. Daladier said, France had more than 2000 modern front-line planes, of which 1000 reached North Africa shortly afterwards.
The trial was adjourned
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DALADIER CALLED, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 174, 25 July 1945
DALADIER CALLED Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 174, 25 July 1945
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