Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch

L'Etrange defaite (English, "Strange Defeat") is a book written in the summer of 1940 by French historian Marc Bloch and published after his death in the summer of 1944. The main thesis of the book is that the French leadership failed to recognize that "the whole rhythm of modern warfare had changed its tempo." There are only three chapters: Presentation of the Witness, being a short personal history of a life devoted to historical study and interrupted by World War I; One of the Vanguard Give Evidence, a factual account of one man's experience in the battle of France; and, A Frenchman Examines His Conscience, a biting analysis of the thinking and action of the generation between the wars. Bloch's conclusion is harsh and forthright: "Whatever the deep-seated cause of the disaster may have been, the immediate occasion was the utter incompetence of the High Command."

The 355th greatest nonfiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 80th on The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century (National Review)

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Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
Strange Defeat Paperback 268052 $10.22 $11.24 2019
Strange Defeat Paperback 179049 $7.66 $2.36 1999
Strange defeat;: A statement of evidence written in 1940 Hardcover 10661898 $90.76
Strange Defeat Paperback 1337248 $6.02 $26.78 2013
STRANGE DEFEAT. A Statement of Evidence Written In 1940. With an Introduction by Sir Maurice Powicke. And a Foreword by Georges Altman. Translated from the French by Gerard Hopkins. Paperback 8403258 $4.79 1968
Strange Defeat: A Statement of Evidence Written in 1940 Paperback 2395470 $8.67 $0.01