For Honour Alone

Roy Macnab examines the ongoing debate on the two Frances of 1940 – epitomized on the one side by Petain and de Gaulle on the other – in the light of an heroic Cavalry stand against the German Blitzkrieg.

For the first time since the event took place 48 years ago, the adversaries in one of the most unusual battles of the Second World War, French and German, have met again at the place where it happened, the historic French Cavalry School at Saumur, on the banks of the Loire. Here, in June 1940, teenage cadets, still under training and with derisory weapons (including an artillery gun from the school museum), heroically engaged an entire German panzer division for nearly three days. And in doing so became a legend in France.

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