The Fall of France, the Rise of Vichy June–July 1940


Map Code: Ax00279

After the evacuation at Dunkirk and success in northern France, the Germans focused on moving south, with divisions crossing the Seine as well as turning eastward to isolate the remaining French forces at the Maginot Line. They continued to Paris, with German forces sweeping through eastern and western France, and on to the Rhône Valley. Thousands of Allied troops, meanwhile, were rescued by British ships from the northwestern ports under Operation Arial. On 22 June, the Franco-German Armistice was signed, dividing France in two: one half with German occupation, the other with French sovereignty. Vichy was a French state under the supreme authority of 83-year-old Marshal Philippe Pétain, but the Allies never recognized the Vichy government. Free France, the government in exile led by Charles de Gaulle, was set up in London in June 1940, and supported the Allied war effort, as well as the Resistance in occupied France, throughout the war.

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