Intelligence and National Security coverThis article is based on a report written by General Gaston Renondeau, who served as military attaché to the French embassy in Berlin, to the French Government and to the 2e Bureau de l’État-Major de l’Armée (EMA, the French external military intelligence agency) on 13 November 1934. Thanks to a thorough analysis of the political and military context, the authors demonstrate that military intelligence must be considered not only from a factual angle (enemy capacity, movement of troops, and evaluation of industrial potential and technological level) but also from a psychological perspective, which includes the role of political propaganda. The authors aim to contribute to the historiographical analysis of the French defeat of May-June 1940, which has traditionally been presented as either the result of the Third Republic’s pacifism or as a consequence of the French High Command’s incompetency. These two explanations are irreconcilable and equally simplistic.

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