So when Hitler goes rampaging across Europe, he sets up a bunch of puppet governments such the Slovakian government, Vichy France etc etc. He does try to get Vichy France into the war, but fails which gives the impression that Vichy France is acting on it’s own free will. So how does one actually make out, that the government set up is a puppet or a liberated one?
It’s a complicated thing… and a moral decision of the gov. In reality, even the ’ independent ’ govs were not really free to act as they pleased, but chose to do so out of fear of invasion/retaliation …
I thought of the puppet govs as traitors when I was younger, but now I realize they did save millions of lives by not fighting. Not only that but imagine if Paris were bombed for example… all the culture, history etc., gone…
It is like you say, very complicated. Even the mighty USA was bound by its own fear of losing their young men and were reluctant to get into the fight until they themselves were attacked.
War is, I guess, always a last option.
In addition: every country has it’s cowards and traitors but I refrain from mentioning any out of respect for the residents of today in those countries.
We need to move on but also never forget
You should look up the war actions of Vichy French forces in Syria, north Africa… I mean, they really fought hard against Allied forces…
Liberated country has full sovereignty from any other country. Puppet government have nominal sovereignty, but are in fact under foreign power and control. There are many means to assert power and control to a puppet, may it be militarily, economical or other. Also there are many levels of autonomy in the puppet government, only given by the foreign power.
Puppets are different from allies, as an allied country choose actions on their own accord or in accordance with treaties they have voluntarily entered. Puppets are forced to provide legal endorsement for actions already taken by foreign power. Like deporting and arresting jews.
As for Vichy France, it had limited autonomy under Germany’s control during 1940-1942 but was heavily dependant from Germany. In 1942 Germany occupied portions of Vichy France and installed a new leadership, thus taking more direct control of it’s puppet state.
Even as a puppet state, it is hard to get people to fight a war. It is not as simply as to force puppet states to create a fighting force and then send them to battle. There is a risk that the newly armed soldiers decide to fight against the controlling power, thus making it hard to control. So I believe it was more beneficial to germans to just let Vichy France be dependant from the germans than trying to force them to fight for them. Production is important in a war and a puppet state producing things is as valuable as an army of soldiers.
Much appreciate your input! It might even be a valid topic for a special on WAH, mind you! Also, influencing statesmen, contributing to more killings and horrors all were waging their own war of attrition, I guess…
I think it is largely subjective. Vichy was really a special case. If you look around during WW II, in Poland there was no pretense of independence. In Norway the Nazis didn’t trust Quisling any more than the Norwegians did. He was for show, but all decisions were made by his Nazi supervisor. Denmark is problematic to classify, because for racist reasons the Nazis had to give them special consideration.
The Danish King was very much defiant, riding out on his horse every day. Paitin was an obedient servant and Quisling has become a proverb for traitor, both his own and every other people were disgusted of his actions, even the Nazi’s.