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Bronzes to BulletsVichy and the Destruction of French Public Statuary, 1941–1944$
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Kirrily Freeman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758895

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758895.001.0001

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“An Important Source of Metal”

“An Important Source of Metal”

The Context of Vichy's Metal “Mobilization”

Chapter:
(p.10) 2 “An Important Source of Metal”
Source:
Bronzes to Bullets
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804758895.003.0002

Vichy's decision to smelt French bronze statuary into component metals and then ship these raw materials to Germany for the production of armaments was conceived with a view to rectifying copper shortages and to meeting German Armistice demands. But what were the circumstances that led to these drastic measures? What was the background of Vichy's fateful decision to exploit its public statuary as a source of nonferrous metal? This chapter outlines context of the bronze mobilization campaign in three sections: the sources and consumption of copper in France and Germany in the period before the Second World War; Vichy, the Franco–German Armistice, and the German exploitation of the French economy; and, finally, the system and structure of Vichy's various scrap and salvage campaigns, and the fateful choice that led to the destruction of French statuary.

Keywords:   Vichy, French bronze statuary, copper, France, Germany, bronze mobilization campaign

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