9

Why did Churchill choose de Gaulle to lead the French resistance? (and was it really up to Churchill to decide?) Churchill could decide among what he had available. De Gaulle was in the UK, had the will to continue the war, had shown that he had initiative. He had got some fame during the war. Here his relatively lower rank could even be an advantage; a ...


6

Lack of ... everything Lack of will . First we must understand that among many Vichy officials (in this case naval officers) but also among common people (in this case naval ratings), there was certain resentment against both Germans and Allies (especially British). French Republic has clearly failed under German blows in 1940, but who was to blame ? Beside ...


5

The problem was that he was not able to prepare the fleet to take the sea and join the Allies. Ships could have take the seas individually, but they would then had been under the threat of the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica: then, they would've certainly been sunk. Also, you should count with the difficulty by that time for this sort of French officers to ...


5

The question gave me a bit of a chuckle: the admiral's name wasn't Labourde (which means "blunder" or "boner" in French) but Laborde. Anyhow, rs.29's answer contains most of the key elements. I'll add a few more: On the international scene, Vichy had adopted a neutral stance and didn't want to be dragged back in the war. France and ...


5

There were already numerous French soldiers taken as prisonners of war when the Armistice happened. 2/ Those prisonners of war could have been paroled, but the Germans did not trust France. OP mentionned Dutch army as an example to follow, however while Dutch army was small and easily beaten, France was an other matter. The Germans, in 1940, could not take ...


3

A large part of the issue was that de Gaulle (born 1890) was one of the few French leaders who was the optimal age (around 50) for generalship and national leadership. Foreign contemporaries in this group include America's Dwight Eisenhower (1890), Britain's John Verreker, Lord Gort (1886), and Germany's Erwin Rommel (1890). Adolf Hitler himself was born a ...


3

I don't know if that counts as a full answer, but it might be worth more than a comment. De Gaulle was one of the French proponents of armored warfare. France lost partially due to its insistence on diluting tanks amongst infantry units, which De Gaulle had argued against. On the other hand Germany won precisely by following the type of warfare that had ...


2

Tens of thousands of prisoners of war were taken between the 17th and the 22nd of June. Then Président du Conseil (Head of Government) and Chief of Armies Philippe Pétain made a huge blunder when he announced on radio the 17th of June, 1940, that France was seeking an armistice with Germany and that The fight must be stopped. "il faut cesser le combat&...


2

TL; DR : De Gaulle was one of many people who favored continuing the armed resistance against the Nazis. Being less known and less important served him well, as he could flee to Britain without being accused of deserting his country or reneging on his responsibilities. In the same time, once in London, he was protected from the Vichy government, which moved ...


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