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By Dr. Jan Koniarek, Don Greer, Tom Tullis

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The GQG Service Aéronatique attempted to meet the unanticipated needs of the front and of the reserves. Industry received contracts for both aircraft and engines, but efficient production was hampered by lack of blueprints, rising labor and material costs, and so on, as well as the calling up of skilled labor. Also creating havoc was the habit of the front to send pilots directly to factories to commandeer needed replacement machines. Deliveries in late 1914 were half those promised and lacked accountability.

Policies subsequently evolved to meet specific crises. But deprived of its industrial and raw materials in the northeast, France had to seek credit, production, and transportation from abroad. The country had to import wheat, coal, and sugar, and it had to pay for them. Necessity caused the creation of interallied purchasing and shipping commissions and parallel organizations within France. And the British increasingly demanded that the French make the same sacrifices and accept the same limitations as their British counterparts, thus forcing the almost complete regulation of the French economy.

In France after 1918 grand strategy was the province of the Centre des Hautes Études Militaires (center for high military studies). The École de Guerre (war college) withered under the great marshals like the aging Pétain, and became engrossed in minutiae of divisional handling and running of set-piece battles. In the French system up to June 1940, the emphasis was still on the power of reasoning and on an academic approach to study, whereas in the British Army the emphasis was to integrate the academic and the actual with the application of knowledge and judgment to war conditions.

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