This article challenges the traditional view that France was “obsessed” with the German threat in the decade after World War II and that French leaders only grudgingly accepted the policy that the United States and Britain had decided to pursue. The official rhetoric of the postwar period should not to be taken at face value. In reality, French leaders understood the logic of the “western strategy” for Germany and at a basic level endorsed it. Even on the question of West German rearmament—a critical issue in 1950—the French government was not nearly as opposed to moving ahead as many scholars have argued.

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