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Anglo-French Supreme War Council

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Public | French

Source: Guill37

Copyright: CC 3.0

The Anglo-French Supreme War Council was established to oversee joint military strategy at the start of the Second World War. Most of its deliberations took place during the period of the Phoney War, with its first meeting at Abbeville on 12 September 1939. The final three sessions were held in France during the German Blitzkrieg of May and June 1940.
Its first meeting was at Abbeville on 12 September 1939 with Britain represented by the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, and Lord Chatfield, the French delegation headed by the Prime Minister, Édouard Daladier, and General Maurice Gamelin. The next meeting took place at Hove on 22 September 1939. At both meetings, discussion centred on Italy and whether it would be possible to deploy military force at Salonika or Istanbul without provoking Benito Mussolini. With their huge army mobilised but idle, the French feared an ebbing of military morale and were accordingly bellicose and impatient for action; Britain, on the other hand, shrank from such measures. At the Hove meeting there was also discussion about munitions production and reinforcements to the air and anti-aircraft defences in France. The British party at Hove consisted of Neville Chamberlain , Lord Halifax , Sir Alexander Cadogan and Edward Bridges . France was represented by Édouard Daladier , General Maurice Gamelin, Admiral François Darlan , Raoul Dautry , and Jean Monnet . Chamberlain stated that the Allies could not prevent a German intervention into Yugoslavia. At this and the two further meetings in 1939, on 17 November and 19 December, the French turned down a British scheme to bomb industrial targets in the Ruhr if the Germans were to invade Belgium. The French view was that such action would not stop the invasion of Belgium, but it would risk retaliation by the Luftwaffe against Britain and France.


Copyright: CC 3.0

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