Take the 2-minute tour ×
History Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for historians and history buffs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why did France give up when Paris was taken in WW2? They could have kept fighting just like the Polish did.

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark C. Wallace, Gwenn, Dan the Man, lins314159, Steven Drennon Aug 12 '13 at 22:42

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

5  
The French did not give up "When Paris was taken". They did keep fighting. The "Cheese-eating surrender-monkeys" is a joke from The Simpsons that has no bearing to reality. As a percentage of the population, more French died fighting than Americans. –  Lennart Regebro Aug 4 '13 at 14:21
    
I have reworded the question. Perhaps it can be reopened in its current form. –  Tom Au Aug 5 '13 at 20:00
3  
@TomAu: That's not a rewording of the question - it is an entirely new question on a vaguely contemporary topic. –  Pieter Geerkens Aug 5 '13 at 21:59
1  
@PieterGeerkens: My version of the question is "different" in the sense of being more objectively worded. It also has several reopen votes. I'll leave it up to the OP (Young) as to whether he would rather have it reopened in its current form, or closed in its original form. If he prefers, he can roll it back. –  Tom Au Aug 5 '13 at 23:15
    
I'd say that at it's core, the question is the same just social bias has been removed from the question. –  Kobunite Aug 6 '13 at 8:16

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Without a major fight! Where do you get your facts?

Loss of over 1.5 million prisoners in less than 6 weeks, loss of virtually 100% of fighters and modern tanks, plus 100% of the artillery, firearms and ammunition stored in the Maginot Line left France completely defenceless. Sixty one of 117 total divisions had surrendered, the BEF had evacuated twice, leaving French units vastly outnumbered and out-gunned by the Germans.

France surrendered on June 16, 37 days after the invasion on May 10; the last Polish regular army units surrendered on October 2, 32 days after invasion on September 1. I don't see that there is a major difference here.

share|improve this answer
4  
The French had plenty of aircraft left, unfortunately it was in the south. The French in general did not lose close to 100% of anything, but one would appreciate a source if you're so inclined to speak in near absolutes. –  Kunikov Aug 4 '13 at 6:04
    
Yes, no doubt quite true; but how many were first-line fighters capable of making an ME-109 pilot break a sweat?. The French also had more operational tanks on June 16 than the Germans did; but they were 3-man tanks designed as WWI-style mobile artillery platforms, couldn't fire and steer at the same time, and were all dispersed as infantry support. The French Army and Air Force were operationally prostrate, and France had lost the industrial capacity to maintain a continuing supply system. –  Pieter Geerkens Aug 4 '13 at 6:13
3  
It is important to give sources for all these claims. –  kmlawson Aug 4 '13 at 6:17
1  
@LennartRegebro: Thank you; I was unsure how to phrase this myself without coming across as arrogant. –  Pieter Geerkens Aug 4 '13 at 17:30
2  
@PieterGeerkens no need to educate me on the definitions, thank you very much. Your claim that 100% of their material was destroyed though is laughable, as a lot of it was never in combat, being out of position in what became Vichy or in the colonies (there was for example a major French military presence in Algeria and Morocco, which never saw combat before the fall of France, later joining either the German Afrikakorps or the allied forces (or being destroyed by the Royal Navy). –  jwenting Aug 6 '13 at 8:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.