§802 The bloodless surrender of Paris to the Germans (1940): VI-96.

VI-96 (§802):

The grand city abandoned to the soldiers,
A mortal tumult having never been so proximate there,
Oh, what a hideous calamity is approaching,
Save that only one offensive shall not be pardoned there.

(Grande cité à souldartz habandonnee,
Onques ny eust mortel tumult si proche,
O quel hideuse calamité s'approche,
Fors une offence n'y sera pardonnee.)

NOTES: Habandonnee: = Abandonée.

Fors: = « fors que, sauf que.» (Godefroy); « Sauf que, conj. Save that, except that.» (Dubois).

« On the morning of Sunday, 26 May, as British troops pulled back towards Dunkirk under a heavy storm – ‘thunderclaps mingled with the bombing of the artillery’ – the War Cabinet met in London. Lord Halifax raised the possibility that the government should consider approaching the Duce to find out what terms Hitler might be prepared to accept for peace. He had even met the Italian ambassador privately the previous afternoon to sound him out. Halifax was convinced that, with no prospect of assistance from the United States in the near future, Britain was not strong enough to resist Hitler alone. Churchill replied that British liberty and independence were paramount... The main conclusion was that Britain could probably hold out against invasion, providing the RAF and the Royal Navy remained intact. This was the vital point to support Churchill’s argument against Halifax. Churchill went off to Admiralty House to have lunch with Reynaud, who had just flown over to London. It was clear from what Reynaud said that General Weygand’s wildly favourable view of the situation just a couple of days previously had now swung to outright defeatism. The French were already contemplating the loss of Paris. Reynaud even said that, although he would never sign a separate peace, he might be replaced by somebody who would... » (Beevor, 2012, p.108); « In a decision which only increased the confusion, the French government had moved to the Loire Valley, with different ministers and headquarters established in various chateaux. On 11 June, Churchill flew to Briare on the Loire for a meeting with the French leaders. Escorted by a squadron of Hurricanes, he and his team landed at a deserted airfield near by. They were driven to the Château du Muguet, which was the temporary headquarters of General Weygand. Weygand described the catastrophe in the bleakest terms. Churchill, although wearing a heavy black suit on this hot day, did his best to sound genial and enthusiastic in his inimitable mixture of English and French. Not knowing that Weygand had already given orders to abandon Paris to the Germans [The grand city abandoned to the soldiers], he advocated a house-by-house defence of the city and guerrilla warfare. Such ideas horrified Weygand and also Pétain who, emerging from his silence, said: ‘That would be the destruction of the country!’ Their main concern was to preserve enough troops to crush revolutionary disorder. They were obsessed with the idea that the Communists might seize power in an abandoned Paris.» (Beevor, id., p.116-117); « The Germans now swept southwards; Paris was captured on 14 June and France surrendered on 22 June.» (Lowe, 1988, p.252).

« The Germans wasted little time in launching the next phase of their campaign. On 6 June, they attacked the line of the River Somme and the Aisne, enjoying a considerable superiority in number and air supremacy. There were still over 100,000 British troops south of the Somme, including the 51st Highland Division which was soon cut off at Saint-Valéry with the French 41st Division. Although some French troops were fighting well, many others had started to slink away and join the columns of refugees fleeing towards the south-west of France. Panic spread with rumours of poison gas and German atrocities. Motorcars streamed forth, led by the rich who seemed well prepared. Their head-start enabled them to corner the diminishing petrol supplies along the way. The middle class followed in their more modest vehicles, with mattresses strapped to the roof, the inside filled with their most prized possessions, including a dog or a cat, or a canary in a cage. Poorer families set out on foot, using bicycles, hand-carts, horses and perambulators to carry their effects. With the jams extending for hundreds of kilometres, there were often no slower than those in motorcars, whose engines boiled over in the heat, advancing just a few paces at a time. As these rivers of frightened humanity [
A mortal tumult having never been so proximate there, Oh, what a hideous calamity is approaching], some eight million strong, poured towards the south-west, they soon found that not only petrol was unobtainable, but also food. The sheer numbers of city-dwellers, buying every baguette and grocery available, soon produced a growing resistance to compassion and a resentment of what came to be seen as a plague of locusts. And this was in spite of the numbers who had been wounded by German aircraft strafing and bombing the packed roads. Once again it was the women who bore the brunt of the disaster and who rose to the occasion with self-sacrifice and calm. The men were the ones in tears of despair.» (Beevor, id., p.115-116).

Save that only one offensive shall not be pardoned there: « Paris was an almost deserted city. A huge column of black smoke arose from the Standard Oil refinery, which had been set on fire at the request of the French general staff and the American embassy to deny petrol to the Germans. Franco-American relations were extremely cordial in 1940. The United States ambassador, William Bullitt, was so trusted by the French administration that he was temporarily mayor and asked to negotiate the surrender of the capital to the Germans. After German officers under a flag of truce had been shot at near the Porte-Saint-Denis on the northern edge of Paris, Generaloberst Georg von Küchler, the commander-in-chief of the German Tenth Army, ordered that Paris should be bombarded. Bullitt intervened and managed to save the city from destruction. On 13 June, as the Germans were poised to enter Paris, Churchill flew to Tours for another meeting... » (Beevor, id., p.117);

« The Campaign in the West
5-24 June 1940 2nd phase (‘the battle for France’). After the breakthrough of the ‘Weygand Line’, Paris was occupied without struggle [
only one offensive shall not be pardoned there](14 June). The Germans reached the Atlantic coast (19 June), and by way of the Loire (16 June), the Swiss border (17 June).
10 June 1940 Italy entered the war.
22 June 1940 The armistice was concluded in the forest of Compiègne. France was partitioned into an occupied zone and an unoccupied zone (Vichy France). The French army entered P.O.W. camps, the navy was not surrendered.»
(PenguinAtlas 2, p.199).

Boswell (1941, p.209-210) and Lamont (1944, p.210-211) proposed the theme of the quatrain correctly as the German occupation of Paris in 1940 without fully reasonable explanation of the entire quatrain.
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2019. All rights reserved. 


Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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