Free French Forces
The Free French Forces were individuals or military units who joined "Free France", the resistance organization founded by Charles de Gaulle in 1940 in London in order to continue the struggle against the Axis powers.
De Gaulle, a French government minister who rejected the armistice concluded by Maréchal 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, though initially relatively few French forces responded to De Gaulle's call.
The Free French fought Axis and Vichy 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 there were Free French units in the Royal Air Force, Soviet Air Force, and British SAS.
In November 1942, the Allies invaded Vichy-controlled French North Africa, and many Vichy troops joined the Free French, with General Henri Giraud at their head. This caused the Germans to occupy Vichy France, and in retaliation a Vichy force of 60,000 in North Africa joined the Allies.
By mid-1944, the Free French 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 invasion of Germany.
... United Kingdom on 5 July 1940, after the Royal Navy attacked the French fleet in port at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria in order to deny the possibility their use by ... the fleet followed a standoff during which the British insisted that the French either scuttle their vessels, sail to a neutral port or join them in the war against ... hardened relations between the two former allies and caused more of the French population to side with Vichy against the British-supported Free French ...
... To counter the Vichy regime, General Charles de Gaulle created the Free French Forces (FFL) after his Appeal of 18 June, 1940 radio speech ... Even so, the Free France headquarters in London was riven with internal divisions and jealousies ... The additional participation of Free French forces in the Syrian operation was controversial within Allied circles ...
... Adélie Land (Uninhabited possession) Clipperton Island (Uninhabited possession) French Antilles and Guiana (Colony) French Equatorial Africa (Colony, loyal to the Free French Forces) Capital Brazzaville ...
... proctorates of the Emirate of Cyrenaica, the occuptied territory of Tripolitania, and the French occupied territory of Fezzan merge to form a joint administered Libya November 8 ... British, and French occupation zones of Germany April 3 — The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan is renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan April 1 — The Dominion of Newfoundland joins Canada as its tenth ... August 17 The Dutch East Indies declares independence, after being freed from Japanese forces by allied powers, from the Netherlands as the Republic of ...
Famous quotes containing the words forces, free and/or french:
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