Georges's physical condition may have played a critical role in his deteriorating abilities during the late 1930s. He expected to be named chief of staff of the French Army in 1935, but the French premier, Édouard Daladier, suspected him of right-wing tendencies. Georges was also closely linked to Paul Reynaud, Daladier's political rival. Daladier thus named General Maurice Gamelin to the position instead and named Georges as Gamelin's assistant.
The troubled professional and personal relations between Gamelin and Georges severely weakened French preparations for war during the last half of the 1930s. Georges assumed responsibility for northeast France, placing him in direct command of the units most likely to meet a German invasion. In 1940, these units included two French army groups and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). Fully confident of the abilities of his force, Georges was stunned by its subsequent poor performance.
Georges also bears partial responsibility for the decision to implement the Dyle plan, which placed substantial Allied units on the road to Belgium rather than in the Ardennes, the main axis of German attack. As the military situation collapsed, so did any semblance of professionalism between Georges and Gamelin. On 17 May 1940, both men were relieved of command in favor of General Maxime Weygand. Georges refused to play any role in the subsequent Vichy government, but he also had no real role in the French Resistance because he did not enjoy the confidence of Charles de Gaulle. He briefly served as minister without portfolio in the French Committee of National Liberation in 1943. Georges died in Paris on 24 April 1951.
Michael S. Neiberg
Horne, Alistair. To Lose a Battle: France 1940. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969.; May, Ernest. Strange Victory: Hitler's Defeat of France. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.