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summary correspondence Germany and Vichy, 09th of December-26th of February, Tunis

Date:

07.12.2021

Location:

תוניס

Personality:

German state secretary/Major Henri Curnier/Pétain

Organization:

French/German military in Tunisia

Archive:

Archive of the Foreign Office/State Department

Case number:

GFM33/559_P17-24

Description

The German part of the document deals with the visions of the officer Henri Curnier on the new French troups stationed in Tunisia. He is searching for opportunities to recruit new fighters for the battle in North Africa. Young men from France are invited to join the organisation “Phalange Africaine” in order to fight the Allied forces together. Despite the enthusiasm among young French men regarding their participation in the fights, the Axis powers face some difficulties in North Africa. The propaganda strategies turn out to be inefficient and the Vichy government isn’t installing the new entities of volunteers quickly enough in North Africa. Besides, there are only small numbers of French citizens in North Africa, since many young people have either gone to war with General Barré or never learned how to fight. Thus, they decide to send 15 officers of the Wehrmacht and French voluntary soldiers, who had been fighting at the East Front so far, to Tunisia. The new entities are told to bring deserters back and convince even more people to join the war. It is also talked about basic supply-problems for the companies in Tunisia and the lack of skill among the recruits, why many were discharged immediately. Thus, general Curnier insisted on implementing new ways of recruitment. These are, just to name a few of them, a more obvious presence in the newspaper “Tunis-Journal”, intensified propaganda on the radio or the remission of the fatigue-duty for young men.

Correspondence between the German state secretary and the ceasefire-commission in Wiesbaden and Turin about the relocation of the troups. The names of the officers and their special functions mentioned. Among them are Christian du Jonchay, Pierre Simon Christofini, Henri Curnier himself, Daniel Peltier, Roger Euziere and Henri Charbonneau. Also contains the transcription of a letter of Pétain aimed at deserters. He judges the lack of will among the soldiers to fight despite their chance of winning the battles.

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