When analysing the realm of collaboration, the initial task is to scrape away the mythology carefully constructed by Vichy apologists. They usually peddle one, or both, of two arguments. First, it is claimed that the overtures for collaboration derived from Germany, not from France. While de Gaulle acted as the ‘sword’, carrying out resistance overseas, Petain and his government did their best to ‘shield’ French men and women from the excesses of Nazi pressure, ensuring that France escaped the misfortune of ‘Polandization’, an allusion to the terrible fate that Hitler visited on that country. The second claim, closely related to the first, is that the marshal secretly played a double game with the Germans, maintaining regular contacts with Britain, thereby thwarting Berlin’s wishes (Rougier, 1946; Girard, 1948). For such apologists, the one person at Vichy who was genuinely interested in cooperating with the Reich was Laval who, conveniently enough, had few defenders outside his immediate family in the period straight after the war (Chambrun, 1990).