The Appeal of 18 June (French: L'Appel du 18 juin) was a famous speech by Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces, in 1940. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance to the German occupation during World War II. De Gaulle spoke to the French people from London after the fall of France. He declared that the war for France was not yet over, and rallied the country in support of the Resistance. It is regarded as one of the most important speeches in French history.
In spite of its reputation as the beginning of the Resistance and Free French, historians have shown that the appeal was heard only by a minority of French people. De Gaulle's 22 June 1940 speech on the BBC was more widely heard.
General de Gaulle became the de facto leader of the Free French Forces that had escaped to London in June 1940. Marshal Philippe Pétain, a hero of World War I, pledged to sign an armistice with Nazi Germany, and led the collaborating Vichy government while the Germans occupied the country's northern portion and several leading politicians, including Georges Mandel, Leon Blum, Pierre Mendès France, Jean Zay and Edouard Daladier (and separately Paul Reynaud), were arrested while travelling to continue the war from North Africa. De Gaulle opposed the armistice and had fled France on 17 June after Pétain made clear that he would seek an accommodation with the Nazis.
De Gaulle obtained special permission from Winston Churchill to broadcast a speech on 18 June via BBC Radio from Broadcasting House over France, despite the British Cabinet's objections that such a broadcast could provoke the Pétain government into a closer allegiance with Germany. In his speech, de Gaulle reminded the French people that the British Empire and the United States of America would support them militarily and economically in an effort to retake France from the Germans.
The BBC did not record the speech, and few actually heard it. Another speech, which was recorded and heard by more people, was given by de Gaulle four days later. There is a record, however, of the manuscript of the speech of 18 June, which has been found in the archives of the Swiss intelligence agencies who published the text for their own uses on 19 June. The manuscript of the speech, as well as the recording of the 22 June speech, has been classed on 18 June 2005, by the UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme.
On 18 June 1940, at 19:00 (GMT), de Gaulle's voice was broadcast nationwide, saying in French (author. translation):
Although de Gaulle's speech on 18 June is among the most famous in French history, few French listeners heard it that day. It was broadcast on the BBC, a British radio station, practically unannounced, and given by an obscure brigadier general only recently appointed junior minister. Consequently, of the 10,000 French citizens in Britain, only 300 volunteered and of the more than 100,000 soldiers temporarily on British soil, most of them recently evacuated from Norway or Dunkirk, only 7,000 stayed on to join de Gaulle. The rest returned to France and were quickly made prisoners of war. Despite this, de Gaulle's speech was undeniably influential and provided motivation for the people of France and for the oppressed of the rest of Europe.
The themes of the speech would be reused throughout the war as a means of inspiring French people to resist German occupation. Four days later, de Gaulle delivered a speech which largely reiterated the points made in his 18 June speech, and this was heard by a larger audience in France. The content of the 22 June speech is often confused for that of 18 June. In addition, in early August a poster written by de Gaulle would be distributed widely in London and would become known as L'affiche de Londres (The London Poster). Variations of this poster would be produced and displayed in Africa, South America and France itself over the course of the war.
Elections to the French National Assembly were held in Chad and Ubangi-Shari on 21 October 1945. The territories elected two seats to the Assembly via two electoral colleges. René Malbrant was elected from the first college and Guy de Boissoudy in the second, both of whom were members of the Chadian Democratic Union.Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.
At the start of the war on 1 September 1939, the Allies consisted of France, Poland and the United Kingdom, as well as their dependent states, such as British India. Within days they were joined by the independent Dominions of the British Commonwealth: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. After the start of the German invasion of North Europe until the Balkan Campaign, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, and Yugoslavia joined the Allies. After first having cooperated with Germany in invading Poland whilst remaining neutral in the Allied-Axis conflict, the Soviet Union perforce joined the Allies in June 1941 after being invaded by Germany. The United States provided war materiel and money all along, and officially joined in December 1941 after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. China had already been in a prolonged war with Japan since the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937, but officially joined the Allies in 1941.
The alliance was formalised by the Declaration by United Nations, from 1 January 1942. However, the name United Nations was rarely used to describe the Allies during the war. The leaders of the "Big Three"—the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States—controlled Allied strategy; relations between the United Kingdom and the United States were especially close. The Big Three together with China were referred as a "trusteeship of the powerful", then were recognized as the Allied "Big Four" in the Declaration by United Nations and later as the "Four Policemen" of the United Nations. After the war ended, the Allied nations became the basis of the modern United Nations.Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (; French: [ʃaʁl də ɡol] (listen); 22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970) was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to reestablish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty. He was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France later that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969. He was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, and his memory continues to influence French politics.
Born in Lille, he graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1912. He was a decorated officer of the First World War, wounded several times, and later taken prisoner at Verdun. During the interwar period, he advocated mobile armoured divisions. During the German invasion of May 1940, he led an armoured division which counterattacked the invaders; he was then appointed Undersecretary for War. Refusing to accept his government's armistice with Germany, De Gaulle exhorted the French population to resist occupation and to continue the fight in his Appeal of 18 June. He led a government in exile and the Free French Forces against the Axis. Despite frosty relations with the United Kingdom and especially the United States, he emerged as the undisputed leader of the French Resistance. He became head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic in June 1944, the interim government of France following its Liberation. As early as 1944, De Gaulle introduced a dirigiste economic policy, which included substantial state-directed control over a capitalist economy which was followed by 30 years of unprecedented growth, known as the Trente Glorieuses.
Frustrated by the return of petty partisanship in the new Fourth Republic, he resigned in early 1946 but continued to be politically active as founder of the Rassemblement du Peuple Français (RPF; "Rally of the French People"). He retired in the early 1950s and wrote a book about his experience in the war titled War Memoirs, which quickly became a staple of modern French literature. When the Algerian War was ripping apart the unstable Fourth Republic, the National Assembly brought him back to power during the May 1958 crisis. He founded the Fifth Republic with a strong presidency, and he was elected to continue in that role. He managed to keep France together while taking steps to end the war, much to the anger of the Pieds-Noirs (ethnic French born in Algeria) and the military; both previously had supported his return to power to maintain colonial rule. He granted independence to Algeria and progressively to other French colonies.
In the context of the Cold War, De Gaulle initiated his "politics of grandeur" asserting that France as a major power should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national security and prosperity. To this end, he pursued a policy of "national independence" which led him to withdraw from NATO's military integrated command and to launch an independent nuclear development program that made France the fourth nuclear power. He restored cordial Franco-German relations to create a European counterweight between the Anglo-American and Soviet spheres of influence through the signing of the Élysée Treaty on 22 January 1963. However, he opposed any development of a supranational Europe, favouring a Europe of sovereign nations. De Gaulle openly criticised the United States intervention in Vietnam and the "exorbitant privilege" of the United States dollar. In his later years, his support for the slogan "Vive le Québec libre" and his two vetoes of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community generated considerable controversy.
Although reelected President in 1965, he appeared likely to lose power amid widespread protests by students and workers in May 1968, but survived the crisis and won an election with an increased majority in the National Assembly. De Gaulle resigned in 1969 after losing a referendum in which he proposed more decentralisation. He died a year later at his residence in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, leaving his presidential memoirs unfinished. Many French political parties and figures claim a Gaullist legacy; several streets and monuments in France were dedicated to his memory after his death.Corrèze
Corrèze (French pronunciation: [kɔʁɛz]; Occitan: Corresa) is a department in south-western France, named after the river Corrèze which runs though it. Its capital is Tulle, and its most populated town is Brive-la-Gaillarde.
The inhabitants of the department are called Corréziens.Edmond Michelet
Edmond Michelet (8 October 1899, in Paris – 9 October 1970, in Brive) was a French politician.
On 17 June 1940, he distributed tracts calling to continue the war in all Brive-la-Gaillarde's mailboxes. It is considered to be the first act of resistance of World War II in France, one day before Charles de Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June.
He helped many victims of the Nazis in occupied France, including Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand. In 1943 he was arrested and incarcerated at the Dachau concentration camp where he assisted other prisoners during a typhus epidemic and was infected himself. When Dachau was liberated he was still aiding the sick and was the last to leave. (While a prisoner, he was helped by abbé Franz Stock.)
He was made minister of the Army by Charles de Gaulle in 1946.
He served as Minister of Justice from 1959 to 1961.
Michelet was the main collaborator of Abraham Vereide, the leader of the Family fundamentalist organisation, based in the United States.Evacuation of the Polish Army from Saint-Jean-de-Luz
The evacuation of the Polish Army from Saint-Jean-de-Luz took place in June 1940 during the Second World War following their fight in the Battle of France, where 55,000 men of the Polish Army in France had fought.
After the French Marshal Pétain's call for an armistice and demobilisation on 16 June the Poles had fought on, until on 19 June Polish Commander-in-Chief General Władysław Sikorski ordered all units to withdraw to the coast to seek evacuation to the United Kingdom as part of Operation Ariel. Units unable to get on ships trying to leave Saint-Nazaire made a fighting retreat south to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where they flocked onto the beach and the pier in the fishing port.
The Gdynia-America Line passenger ships Batory and Sobieski anchored in the harbour, where local fishermen volunteered to ferry the soldiers out to them. The sea was rough and the fishing boats had difficulty approaching the side of these ships to enable the men to transfer without falling into the water. It is reported that women and children were helped aboard by sailors. Diplomats and officials of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also embarked on these ships, and some French who had been inspired by General De Gaulle's appeal of 18 June to continue the struggle against Germany. The ships sailed early on 21 June and the Senior Naval Officer reported that 9,000 Polish troops were loaded on these two ships.We know in detail the various movements of ships through the logs that have been preserved. Sobieski was at the mouth of the Gironde river on 20 June, and arrived in Saint-Jean-de-Luz harbour on the night of 20–21 June where she immediately embarked evacuees. Batory reached the mouth of the Adour at 0700 hrs on 21 June and then began an approach to enter the port of Bayonne without anchor. However, on the recommendation of a British liaison officer, she then went to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where troops and Polish civilian refugees were gathered. The French soldier, writer and later politician Maurice Schumann was among those who embarked on her.
The Ettrick arrived on 23 June and embarked about 1,100 British refugees and 300 Poles. The British liner Arandora Star also arrived in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where she embarked about 3,000 troops and refugees including most of the Polish Staff and took them to Liverpool. Bad weather and low clouds prevented a Luftwaffe attack and hence another disaster like the sinking on 17 June of the British liner RMS Lancastria at Saint-Nazaire, which was laden with thousands of troops and refugees as part of Operation Ariel. Arandora Star got out of Saint-Jean-de-Luz just in time before a Luftwaffe bomber attack on the town and port began. Ettrick and Arandora Star sailed with escort provided by HMS Harvester (H19)A total of 24,352 Polish troops managed to evacuate France by the armistice deadline of 25 June, in total. One of the last evacuees was Sir Ronald Hugh Campbell, the British Ambassador to France.France during World War II
The following are articles about the topic of France during World War II:
Maginot Line and Alpine Line of fortifications and defences along the borders with Germany and Italy
Phoney War, or drôle de guerre ("strange war"), the period of little military activity between the defeat of Poland in October 1939 and April 1940.
Anglo-French Supreme War Council set up to organize a joint Entente Cordiale strategy against Germany
The Battle of France, in which the German victory led to the fall of the Third Republic in May and June 1940.
Free France (La France Libre) the government-in-exile in London and provisional government over unoccupied and liberated territories, and the forces under its control (Forces françaises libres or FFL), fighting on the Allies' side after the Appeal of 18 June of its leader, General de Gaulle.
French Liberation Army (Armée française de la Libération) formed on 1 August 1943 by the merger of the FFL and all other Free French units, principally the Army of Africa
French Forces of the Interior (Forces françaises de l'intérieur) elements of the Resistance loyal to London and under its operational military command
Free French Air Force
Free French Naval Forces
Vichy France, the rump state established in June 1940 under Marshal Philippe Pétain in the non-occupied Zone libre, officially neutral and independent until invaded by the Axis and the Allies in November 1942
Vichy French Air Force
Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon
Axis occupation of France:
German occupation of France during World War II - 1940-1944 in the northern zones, and 1942-1944 in the southern zone
French Resistance and the National Council of the Resistance which coordinated the various groups that made up the resistance
Service du travail obligatoire - the provision of French citizens as forced labour in Germany
The Holocaust in France
Italian occupation of France during World War II - limited to border areas 1940-1942, almost all Rhône left-bank territory 1942-1943
Japanese and Thai occupation of French Indochina - beginning with the Japanese invasion in September 1940 and with the Franco-Thai War which started in October 1940
Liberation of France
Operation Overlord - the invasion of northern France by the western Allies in June 1944
Operation Dragoon - the invasion of southern France by the western Allies in August 1944
Liberation of Paris - the freeing of the French capital in August 1944
Allied advance from Paris to the Rhine - advance (as the right flank of the western front) into Alsace-Lorraine in 1944
Western Allied invasion of Germany - invasion (as the right flank of the western front) of Baden-Württemberg in 1945Free France
Free France and its Free French Forces (French: France Libre and Forces françaises libres) were the government-in-exile led by Charles de Gaulle during the Second World War and its military forces, that continued to fight against the Axis powers as one of the Allies after the fall of France. Set up in London in June 1940, it organised and supported the Resistance in occupied France.
Charles de Gaulle, a French government minister who rejected the armistice concluded by Marshal Philippe Pétain and who had escaped to Britain, exhorted the French to resist in his BBC broadcast "Appeal of 18 June" (Appel du 18 juin), which had a stirring effect on morale throughout France and its colonies, although initially relatively few French forces responded to de Gaulle's call for resistance.
On 27 October 1940, the Empire Defense Council (Conseil de défense de l'Empire) was constituted to organise the rule of the territories in central Africa, Asia and Oceania that had heeded the 18 June call. It was replaced on 24 September 1941 by the French National Committee (Comité national français or CNF). On 13 July 1942, "Free France" was officially renamed France combattante ("Fighting France"), to mark that the struggle against the Axis was conducted both externally by the FFF and internally by the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). After the reconquest of North Africa, this was in turn formally merged with de Gaulle's rival general Henri Giraud's command in Algiers to form the French Committee of National Liberation (Comité français de Libération nationale or CFNL). Exile officially ended with the liberation of Paris by the 2nd Armoured Free French Division and Resistance forces on 25 August 1944, ushering in the Provisional Government of the French Republic (gouvernement provisoire de la République française or GPRF). It ruled France until the end of the war and afterwards to 1946, when the Fourth Republic was established, thus ending the series of interim regimes that had succeeded the Third Republic after its fall in 1940.
The Free French fought Axis and Vichy regime troops and served on battlefronts everywhere from the Middle East to Indochina and North Africa. The Free French Navy operated as an auxiliary force to the Royal Navy and, in the North Atlantic, to the Royal Canadian Navy. Free French units also served in the Royal Air Force, Soviet Air Force, and British SAS, before larger commands were established directly under the control of the government-in-exile.
From colonial outposts in Africa, India, and the Pacific, Free France steadily took over more and more Vichy possessions, until after the Allied landings in North Africa (Operation Torch) in November 1942 Vichy only ruled over the zone libre in southern France and a few possessions in the West Indies (and nominally over Japanese-occupied French Indochina). The French Army of Africa switched allegiance to Free France, and this caused the Axis to occupy Vichy in reaction.
On August 1, 1943, L'Armée d'Afrique was formally united with the Free French Forces to form L'Armée française de la Liberation. By mid-1944, the forces of this army numbered more than 400,000, and they participated in the Normandy landings and the invasion of southern France, eventually leading the drive on Paris. Soon they were fighting in Alsace, the Alps and Brittany, and by the end of the war in Europe, they were 1,300,000 strong – the fourth-largest Allied army in Europe – and took part in the Allied advance through France and invasion of Germany. The Free French government re-established a provisional republic after the liberation, preparing the ground for the Fourth Republic in 1946.Free French Naval Forces
Les Forces Navales Françaises Libres ("Free French Naval Forces") were the naval arm of the Free French Forces during the Second World War. They were commanded by Admiral Émile Muselier.German military administration in occupied France during World War II
The Military Administration in France (German: Militärverwaltung in Frankreich; French: Occupation de la France par l'Allemagne) was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II to administer the occupied zone in areas of northern and western France. This so-called zone occupée was renamed zone nord ("north zone") in November 1942, when the previously unoccupied zone in the south known as zone libre ("free zone") was also occupied and renamed zone sud ("south zone").
Its role in France was partly governed by the conditions set by the Second Armistice at Compiègne after the blitzkrieg success of the Wehrmacht leading to the Fall of France; at the time both French and Germans thought the occupation would be temporary and last only until Britain came to terms, which was believed to be imminent. For instance, France agreed that its soldiers would remain prisoners of war until the cessation of all hostilities.
Replacing the French Third Republic that had dissolved during France's defeat was the "French State" (État français), with its sovereignty and authority limited to the free zone. As Paris was located in the occupied zone, its government was seated in the spa town of Vichy in Auvergne, and therefore it was more commonly known as Vichy France.
While the Vichy government was nominally in charge of all of France, the military administration in the occupied zone was a de facto Nazi dictatorship. Its rule was extended to the free zone when it was invaded by Germany and Italy during Case Anton on 11 November 1942 in response to Operation Torch, the Allied landings in French North Africa on 8 November 1942. The Vichy government remained in existence, even though its authority was now severely curtailed.
The military administration in France ended with the Liberation of France after the Normandy and Provence landings. It formally existed from May 1940 to December 1944, though most of its territory had been liberated by the Allies by the end of summer 1944.Groupe du musée de l'Homme
The Groupe du musée de l'Homme (French: Group of the Museum of Man) was a movement in the French resistance to the German occupation during the Second World War.
In July 1940, after the Appeal of 18 June from Charles de Gaulle, a resistance group was created by intellectuals and academics led by Anatole Lewitsky and Boris Vildé, along with Paul Hauet. They were not Gaullists; since they were prisoners of war (Vildé escaped on 5 July and Lewitsky was freed in August), it is highly improbable that they had heard de Gaulle's broadcast. However, once Gaullist propaganda took hold, with its message of escape from dishonour, the group fell in with it. Germaine Tillon said, "I do not remember from what date we started to call ourselves Gaullists: it was not at the beginning at any rate. But we did consider General de Gaulle to be right, or at least to be a man who thought as we did. But we knew nothing about him". They were joined by other groups in September. Raymond Burgard, René Iché, Claude Aveline, Marcel Abraham, Jean Cassou (who launched the newspaper Résistance), René-Yves Creston, Germaine Tillion and her mother, Émilie Tillion, were also part of the network.
To prevent their meetings from attracting the attention of the Germans and the French police, they set up a "literary society", Les amis d'Alain-Fournier (The Friends of Alain-Fournier).Henri Jibrayel
Henri Jibrayel, (born on 18 September 1951 in Marseille, France), is a French politician with Lebanese and Assyrian roots.
His father was an Assyrian survivor of the Assyrian genocide, that took place in present-day Turkey, who had taken refuge with his parents in a Beirut slum. He married in 1938 a Lebanese Maronite young woman from Bkassine (near Jezzine), then joined the Free French Forces after De Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June. After the war, the family got the French naturalisation and was hosted by its new fatherland in a slum near Marseille. The father was sent in Madagascar till 1950 to repress the anticolonial insurgency, then again in Indochina in one of France's colonial wars. In 1963, the family, including 8 children, tries a comeback in Lebanon, and settle in Ain al-Remmane, but this attempt led to a fiasco, and two years later the family turned back to Marseille, Henri left school at 15, became a crane driver, and afterwards entered the French Poste.After being a trade-unionist at the Poste, he became conseiller général for the Socialist Party in a Marseille canton and maire-adjoint in a Marseille secteur in 2001, then he was elected member of the National Assembly of France on June 17, 2007, with 57.41% of votes (25.85% at the first round), so becoming one out of three metropolitan deputies with non-European family roots.
On December 19, 2014, he is accused of breach of trust and illegal acquisitions of interest regarding the payment of four small cruises he organised for retired people of Marseille, right after and right before elections. In August 2018, he is committed for trial for misappropriation of public funds and illegal acquisitions of interest..June 18
June 18 is the 169th day of the year (170th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 196 days remaining until the end of the year.Pronunciamiento
A pronunciamiento (Spanish: [pɾonunθjaˈmjento], Portuguese: pronunciamento [pɾunũsiɐˈmẽtu]; "proclamation , announcement or declaration") is a form of military rebellion or coup d'état particularly associated with Spain, Portugal and Latin America, especially in the 19th century.Radio Londres
Radio Londres ([ʁa.djo lɔ̃dʁ], French for "Radio London") was a radio station broadcast from 1940 to 1944 by the BBC in London to Nazi-occupied France. It was entirely in French and was operated by the Free French who had escaped from occupied France. It served not only to counter the propaganda broadcasts of German-controlled Radio Paris and the Vichy government's Radiodiffusion Nationale, but also to appeal to the French to rise up, as well as being used to send coded messages to the French Resistance.Raoul Magrin-Vernerey
Raoul Charles Magrin-Vernerey, other known as Ralph Monclar born 7 February 1892, was a French officer and 2nd Inspector of the Foreign Legion who fought in World War I, World War II, and particularly within the ranks of the Free French Forces and the French Battalion in the Korean War. He was also one of the first superior officers to respond to the Appeal of 18 June.Resistance Medal
The Resistance medal (French: Médaille de la Résistance) was a decoration bestowed by the French Committee of National Liberation, based in the United Kingdom, during World War II. It was established by a decree of General Charles de Gaulle on 9 February 1943 "to recognize the remarkable acts of faith and of courage that, in France, in the empire and abroad, have contributed to the resistance of the French people against the enemy and against its accomplices since 18 June 1940".The Resistance medal was awarded to approximately 38,288 living persons and 24,463 posthumously. These awards were both for membership in the Free French forces and for participation in the metropolitan clandestine Resistance during the German occupation of France in World War II. Higher deeds were rewarded with the Ordre de la Libération. Proposals for the medal ceased to be accepted on 31 March 1947. For acts that occurred in Indochina, however, that date was moved back to 31 December 1947.The medal was also awarded to 18 communities and territories, 21 military units, and to 15 other organizations including convents, high schools, and hospitals that particularly distinguished themselves.Vichy France
Vichy France (French: Régime de Vichy) is the common name of the French State (État français) headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain during World War II. Evacuated from Paris to Vichy in the unoccupied "Free Zone" (zone libre) in the southern part of metropolitan France which included French Algeria, it remained responsible for the civil administration of France as well as the French colonial empire.
From 1940 to 1942, while the Vichy regime was the nominal government of all of France except for Alsace-Lorraine, the German militarily occupied northern France. While Paris remained the de jure capital of France, the government chose to relocate to the town of Vichy, 360 km (220 mi) to the south in the zone libre, which thus became the de facto capital of the French State. Following the Allied landings in French North Africa in November 1942, southern France was also militarily occupied by Germany and Italy to protect the Mediterranean coastline. Petain's government remained in Vichy as the nominal government of France, albeit one that was obliged by circumstances to collaborate with Germany from November 1942 onwards. The government at Vichy remained there until late 1944, when it lost its de facto authority due to the Allied invasion of France and the government was compelled to relocate to the Sigmaringen enclave in Germany, where it continued to exist on paper until the end of hostilities in Europe.
After being appointed Premier by President Albert Lebrun, Marshal Pétain's cabinet agreed to end the war and signed an Armistice with Germany on 22 June 1940. On 10 July, the French Third Republic was dissolved, and Pétain established an authoritarian regime when the National Assembly granted him full powers. The Vichy government reversed many liberal policies and began tight supervision of the economy, calling for "National Regeneration", with central planning a key feature. Labour unions came under tight government control. Conservative Catholics became prominent and clerical input in schools resumed. Paris lost its avant-garde status in European art and culture. The media were tightly controlled and stressed virulent anti-Semitism, and, after June 1941, anti-Bolshevism.The French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory, but had effective full sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern zone libre ("free zone"). It had limited and only civil authority in the northern zones under military occupation. The occupation was to be a provisional state of affairs, pending the conclusion of the war, which at the time (1940) appeared imminent. The occupation also presented certain advantages, such as keeping the French Navy and French colonial empire under French control, and avoiding full occupation of the country by Germany, thus maintaining a degree of French independence and neutrality. Despite heavy pressure, the French government at Vichy never joined the Axis alliance.
Germany kept two million French soldiers prisoner, carrying out forced labour. They were hostages to ensure that Vichy would reduce its military forces and pay a heavy tribute in gold, food, and supplies to Germany. French police were ordered to round up Jews and other "undesirables" such as communists and political refugees. Much of the French public initially supported the government, despite its undemocratic nature and its difficult position vis-à-vis the Germans, often seeing it as necessary to maintain a degree of French autonomy and territorial integrity. In November 1942, however, the zone libre was also occupied by Axis forces, leading to the disbandment of the remaining army and the sinking of France's remaining fleet and ending any semblance of independence, with Germany now closely supervising all French officials.
Most of the overseas French colonies were originally under Vichy control, but with the Allied invasion of North Africa it lost one colony after another to Charles de Gaulle's Allied-oriented Free France. Public opinion in some quarters turned against the French government and the occupying German forces over time, when it became clear that Germany was losing the war, and resistance to them increased. Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 and the liberation of France later that year, the Free French Provisional government of the French Republic (GPRF) was installed by the Allies as France's government, led by de Gaulle. Under a "national unanimity" cabinet uniting the many factions of the French Resistance, the GPRF re-established a provisional French Republic, thus apparently restoring continuity with the Third Republic. Most of the legal French government's leaders at Vichy fled or were subject to show trials by the GPRF, and a number were quickly executed for "treason" in a series of purges (épuration légale). Thousands of collaborators were summarily executed by local communists and the Resistance in so-called "savage purges" (épuration sauvage).The last of the French state exiles were captured in the Sigmaringen enclave by de Gaulle's French 1st Armoured Division in April 1945. Pétain, who had voluntarily made his way back to France via Switzerland, was also put on trial for treason by the new Provisional government, and received a death sentence, but this was commuted to life imprisonment by de Gaulle. Only four senior Vichy officials were tried for crimes against humanity, although many more had participated in the deportation of Jews for internment in Nazi concentration camps, abuses of prisoners, and severe acts against members of the Resistance.