The Liberation of Paris 13–25 August 1944


Map Code: Ax00533

Following the envelopment of the Falaise pocket, the Germans were rapidly pushed east across France as they tried to regroup. General Eisenhower was not prepared to tie up his precious resources in a battle for Paris when Hitler had made it clear that the Germans would employ a scorched earth policy if it was clear they could not hold the city any longer. Therefore, the main Allied armies took up positions to bypass Paris and continue the attack further east; however, Free French General Philippe Leclerc intended to disobey this order. Following the deportation of a large group of French political prisoners to concentration camps on 15 August, a general strike broke out, soon erupting into an armed uprising. Leclerc capitalized on this by sending his 2nd French Armoured Division into Paris on 24 August and, after brief exchanges of violence, General Choltitz surrendered the city on 25 August.

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