He condemned former prime ministers, Léon Blum and Édouard Daladier, and French general Maurice Gamelin all to life in prison. Earlier, the Maréchal had created the Conseil de Justice Politique, which had subsequently indicted all three of the accused for treason against France. The trial had not yet happened.
The fact that he pronounced sentence before the trial had taken place did not trouble Maréchal Pétain in the slightest.Also on 16 October 1941, on the opposite side of the world, Japan’s moderate Prime Minister Prince Fumimaro Konoe was replaced by General Hideki Tojo.
Tojo had the support of the Japanese military and advocated stronger methods than his predecessor, who was considered too soft in his dealings with the USA.
During his posting with Japan’s Kwantung Army (in Manchuria), Tojo had commanded the much-feared Kempeitai—Japan’s military police force. Its brutality is considered by many to have exceeded that of the Gestapo.