A brilliant and important book, intended for the instruction of intelligence analysts but also lively, readable, and superbly argued.

Everything you learned in school about the Fall of France in May, 1940 is wrong. The French were not ill-prepared for the War. Their armies were larger, their planes were better, their tanks were stronger and more numerous. No allied commander expected to lose, and few German commanders expected to win. May brilliantly explores how the outcome came to pass. The allies placed a heavy emphasis on using high technology to avoid battle casualties; the Germans accepted casualties as the price of conquest. The allies gathered lots of raw data and placed it before commanders and politicians who ignored it; the Germans brilliantly digested and analyzed their intelligence in order to grasp the central questions. Finally, the allies were terribly slow, encumbered by procedure and detail; it took the French four days to realize they had been fooled, and even then their reaction was far too sluggish to succeed.