A Sword for Peace and Liberty Volume 1

Force de frappe – The French Nuclear Strike Force and the First Cold War 1945–1990

Philippe Wodka-Gallien

Today, France has the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the word. The history behind this high-tech force remains ignored by many. This book is the first of two volumes and presents the French nuclear military ambition from historic, strategic and military aspects.
Date Published :
March 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
c 120 b/w photos & maps, 20 color ills
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512135
Pages : 96
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


A Sword for Peace and Liberty Volume 1 shows the solid continuity of French nuclear strategy through programs for strategic bombers, tactical aircraft, missiles, nuclear submarines, and space assets. The nation has made significant efforts in financial terms to support a project and vision shared between the left and the right wings of political circles. The French nuclear program is the result of a perception of the role that the nation wants to play in Europe and in the world and as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The spirit of resistance is the engine that has driven this ambition. Never again should there be war over France, and no more military invasion. The trauma of the Werhmacht invasion of May 1940 has formed the vision of the leaders and made national sovereignty mandatory in the technological and military approach. However, this volume also highlights the cooperation launched secretly or openly with the UK and USA in these domains and the necessary diplomacy with Washington and London.

This fist volume is focused on the origins of the nuclear ambition just after the liberation of France, and the following build-up of the strategic triad, with the first generation of the weapons program: Mirage IV strategic bombers, Mirage III and Jaguar tactical aircraft, Pluton mobile short range missiles, Redoutable class nuclear submarines, and S2 and S3 ballistic missiles sheltered in the Alps of the Provence region. In addition, the canceled projects of the Super Mirage IV, very long range missiles, giant aircraft carriers, and Mirage 4000, are detailed, along with the successful second generation of systems launched during the later Cold War: Mirage 2000, ASMP missile, a new generation of submarines.

About The Author

A graduate in 1990 of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Law and Politics Institute), Philippe Wodka-Gallien is a member of the Institut Français d'Analyse Stratégique (IFAS), a think tank based in Paris. Expert of defense issues, he graduated from the IHEDN (Institute for High National Defense Studies), 47th national session. In 2015, he edited Nuclear forces – a strategic perspective, a collective work published by Revue de Défense Nationale. A regular contributor to Revue Défense Nationale, he is the author of numerous articles in the professional media: Airways, Conflits, Marines & Forces Navales, and in Défense, the IHEDN magazine where he writes Les Chroniques de la dissuasion.

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