7 juin 2018

The Armistice 1940 : revenge

The context

The Battle of France was lost and on June 14th the enemy entered Paris. Half of France was going to be invaded. England had no more combat-ready forces left on the Continent and the United States would not enter the war until a year later. In France, the most serious solutions were therefore considered, while a plane carried to London the man who, refusing to accept defeat, would continue the fight.

The signing

As a result, given the troops’ state of exhaustion and the progress made by the enemy, “an implacable and painful military necessity” imposed itself on those who had saved French military honour, notably the general recalled to duty who had been Marshal Foch’s righthand man on 11 November 1918: the French decided to submit an armistice request.

Chancellor Adolf Hitler forced the French delegation to sign his armistice agreement at the exact same spot as that of the signing of the 1918 Armistice. In this manner, the location of Germany’s 1918 humiliation became the symbolic site of the Third Reich’s victory over France.