This second volume of the saga "A French generation" plunges us into the heart of spring 1940 alongside Tanguy Brettin d'Arçonet, a cavalry officer in the French army. The opportunity to address a relatively rare theme in the world of comics: the battles led in Belgium by the French army to try to counter the advance of the troops of the Third Reich.
The saga “A French Generation” claims to give an overview of the reactions of French society during the Second World War through three particular destinies embodying engagement in the Free French Forces, the Resistance and collaboration. We do not want to judge before having seen the whole of the saga, but we have to admit that this rather simplistic plan in three parts risks dangerously simplifying History by proposing portraits (too) well identifiable, treated (too ) quickly (two volumes per character) at the risk of erasing the complexity of the courses, the diversity of the motivations of the resistance fighters and the mosaic of convictions and sometimes contrary intentions which revolve around Vichy and which more or less adapt to the German occupier with tendencies ranging from marshalism to collaborationism. Hopefully the writers will be able to avoid these pitfalls.
This second volume presents a man from a rich traditionalist family who, in 1940, rallied around Pétain. He embodies a nationalist and Germanophobic right-wing youth who fights fiercely against the invader with the certainty of having a role to play in the defense of eternal France. Despite some agreed dialogues, this volume presents an epic and chivalrous fresco of the French army fighting against the invader until the disaster of Dunkirk. This image is at odds with the usual vision of the Franchouillard soldier surrendering automatically to the pseudo implacable German military force. The truth is certainly in between. One of the rare occasions for comic readers to see Somua tanks stand up to Panzer IIIs ...
A French generation T02 - Population betrayed! , by Thierry Gloris (Author), Manuel Garcia (Illustrations), Cyril Saint-Blancat. Editions Soleil, May 2017.