After losing the Battle of France, in 1940, France concluded an "Armistice," basically a "cease fire in place," with Germany. (The borders were adjusted so the Germans were given the portion of the Atlantic coast that they had not captured, and they "retroceded" a small portion of central France to the Vichy government.) Losses were disproportionate, with the Germans losing 150,000 men, and the French suffering 2.5 times that much in physical casualties. The thing that surprised me was that France surrendered all of its men, nearly 2 million, in the Armistice, to become prisoners of war for the duration of the war.
Some alternatives follow.
Following the 1918 Armistice and the Versailles Treaty, the Germans had to pay a large indemnity, hand over their battleships, and reduce their army to 100,000 men, but the remainder did NOT become prisoners of war.
The Dutch "surrendered" in May, 1940, but made provisions for the parole of their soldiers in the summer and fall of that year.
In the shoes of the French government, I would have disbanded the army, had the enlisted men hand in their weapons, given them their discharge papers, and maintained only an officer corps to effect the surrender. This would keep most of the two million men out of the POW camps?
The French could have ordered their forces to fight until their ammunition gave out, a formula that had been established by Prussia's own Marshal Bluecher. This would have cost the Germans more casualties, and (presumably) given the Germans an incentive to negotiate.
So why did Vichy France agree to surrender its men, instead of disbanding its army, or having it paroled like the Dutch? Or was it the case that the nearly two million French were already POWs at the time of the armistice?