Thanks Norman. I've read a little about it on Wiki now.
I must have heard about the 3rd Republic when doing history A level at school covering those years. But as far as I remember the curriculum concentrated more on german reunification, and british social history. This was in the early 50s, when the memories of WW2 were still very fresh in everyone's minds. And we were very disappointed in France.
Though I can understand now how France had become so weak, after years of wars with Germany.