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The Battle for France

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The Battle for France

From Wikipedia

In the Second World War, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the successful German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, defeating primarily French forces. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. When the French and British were pushed back to the sea by the fast moving and well organised German operation, the British government decided to evacuate their British Expeditionary Force (BEF) along with several French divisions at Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo.

When France was left to fend for itself after the British evacuation, Germany launched a second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), which was commenced on 5 June and left the French government indecisive on the best course of action. Only part of the French forces were mobilised and the government was divided on the best course of action since many politicians wanted peace with Germany. Under the cover of the political turmoil in Paris, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line and pushed deep into France with little resistance. German forces subsequently arrived in Paris on 14 June and met with French officials seeking an alliance with Germany. This alliance was led by Marshal Philippe Pétain who, against the wishes of many Frenchmen, publicly announced his desire for an armistice with Germany.

On 22 June, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, which resulted in the division of France whereby Germany would control the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast, and an unoccupied zone, the zone libre was to be run by Marshall Philippe Petain himself under the newly formed Vichy government. France remained under Axis control until after the Allied landings in 1944.

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