1935/1941 FHF 150
FREE FRENCH WWII
France, along with the United Kingdom, was one of the first participants in World War II after declaring war on Germany following its invasion of Poland in 1939. After the Phony War from 1939 to 1940, the Germans conducted a brilliant campaign in the Low Countries and, in the Battle of France, managed to inflict defeat on the Allied forces. France formally surrendered to Germany and Italy—who invaded in late campaign—on 25 June 1940, and a collaborationist government, the French State, was established. On 18 June 1940, as an answer to Pétain’s own June 17 appeal to “cease the fight” and to obey him on the French national radio, Charles de Gaulle gave a memorable speech to the French people on the English speaking London emitting BBC Radio, telling them that “France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war” (the battle of France and World War II respectively). De Gaulle did not recognize the legitimacy of the Vichy government and went on to found the Free France (La France Libre) as the true government of France.
France and the United Kingdom were the first to declare war after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. In a lightening, successful campaign from the Low Countries to the Battle of France, Germany inflicted defeat on the Allied forces [FRANCE-BRITIAN-BELGIUM]. France surrendered in June of 1940 and formed a collaborating government — headed by Pétain — titled “The French State” and known as the Vichy government. Right after the French Government surrender,Pétain went on French National Radio to appeal to units still battling the Germans to obey him and “cease the fight”. Within days of Pétain’s speech, Charles de Gaulle, a French officer who would become a Free French Brigadier General and then French President after the war, with the backing of Winston Churchill, gave what would become a historical speech to the French people on BBC Radio. De Gaulle focused on bolstering French pride by informing his fellow citizens that “France has lost a battle, but France has not lost the war”.
Once again, with backing of Winston Churchill, he formed both the Free France Government (La France Libre) and the Free French Forces [NOTE: PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND STALIN DID NOT HAVE ANY CONFIDENCE IN NOR DID THEY BACK DE GAUL- YET DE GAULE WOULD TRIUMPH.]
The Free French forces included soldiers rescued from Dunkirk as well as units of the Foreign Legion. Free French Generals recruited additional Free French forces from the French Colonial Empire. They chose French Nationals & Natives from tropical African colonies. French Algeria and Morocco supplied men from their native populations. Senegal in French West Africa provided conscripts. Even Tahitians were recruited and served with distinction. With Allied success in the French Colonial strong-hold of North Africa, the Free French troop strength grew. De Gaulle rallied of the Army of Africa and pursued the fight against the Axis in multiple campaigns until the Free French Forces would have the opportunity to participate in the invasion of Italy and assist in the occupation of France and Germany. In fact, the battles fought during WWII in Italy included *120,000 French Colonial Forces that made history and were, in many cases, the major difference in the defeat of the Germans in Italy. 1/4 of the forces died or were injured, 2000 went missing in action. .
Capitaine de corvette Thierry d’Argenlieu
Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu was a priest, diplomat and French Navy officer and important co-founder and leader in the Free French Government & Forces. Eventually he became an admiral in charge of French Colonial Administration in Indochina. It was Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu who suggested the adoption of the Cross of Lorraine as a symbol of the Free French, both to recall the perseverance of Joan of Arc, whose symbol it had been, and as an answer to the Na-zi swas-tika. In July 1940, Vice Admiral Émile Muselier, chief of the naval and air forces of the Free French, created the bow flag displaying the French colors with a red cross of Lorraine, and a cockade, which also featured the cross of Lorraine On 23 October 1944, the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union officially recognized De Gaulle’s Free French as the provisional government of France; which would become the Fourth Republic in 1946. The French, both free and collaborating, had 1,250,000 troops in 10 divisions when the war ended in May of 1945. During the course of the war, French military losses totaled 212,000 dead, of which 92,000 were killed through the end of the EUROPEAN campaign of 1940, 58,000 from 1940 to 1945 in other campaigns, 24,000 lost while serving in the French resistance, and a further *38,000 lost while serving with the German Army.
WITHOUT A DOUBT
HELBROS WATCH CO