It is often said (e.g. [1], [2]) that, around the time of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Supreme Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch said "This is not peace. It is an armistice for twenty years" (but probably in French).

Foch was the Supreme Allied Commander at the time of the Armistice. Given his general stance, it is usually claimed that he said this while advocating the imposition of harder penalties.

Some sources (e.g. Wikipedia) attribute the popularisation of this Foch quote to Churchill.

Is an authentic quote of Foch, approximately contemporaneous with Versailles?

My own searches have only led to questionable or harder-to-obtain, offline sources.

  • 1
    I can show that Churchill did indeed attribute the quote to Foch (without providing references to justify it). Would you consider that an answer to the question? Or just another step in a possible urban legend?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 16:09
  • 1
    Wikipedia cites the book Versailles and After by Ruth B. Henig, which can be "borrowed" on Internet Archive. The book repeats the quote but does not include any citation. Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 17:03
  • @Oddthinking what's the earliest timing for Churchill's quote? If Churchill could be shown to have recorded the quote in 1920 that would be good evidence of either Foch or Chirchill's foresight.
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 21:34
  • 1
    @DanSheppard: Nah, too late. After WWII.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 0:20
  • 1
    Wikiquote say it was quoted in an 1963 memoir by Paul Reynaud. Given the date, I strongly suspect this is a dead-end - but maybe he published a letter in the memoir? I have been unable to find an online copy.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 26, 2022 at 0:37


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