France in World War II

  • France officially declares war on Germany

    France officially declares war on Germany
    Although France and Great Britain offered Germany an ultimatum, remove German troops from Poland or else the two democratic forces would go to war with Germany, the Nazi government refused. World War II began. Timeline leading up to beginning of World War II
  • German Invasion

    Germany invaded Northern France. The invasion left France split in two, with Germany controlling the North and Free France in the South. Timeline leading up to German invasion of France
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    Battle and evacuation of Dunkirk

  • Dunkirk Evacuation

    Dunkirk Evacuation
    Around 340,000 French and British troops were evacuated from the beach of Dunkirk More information on Dunkirk
  • French Navy based in Toulon carried out offensive operation against italian targets along the ligurian coast

  • France officially surrenders to invading German Forces

  • Destruction of Mers-el-Kebir

    Destruction of Mers-el-Kebir
    After the Fall of France, Allies order the destruction of the ship Mers-el-Kebir to prevent it from falling into German possession.
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    Pierre Laval government

  • Laval meets Hitler

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    Pierre-Étienne Flandin government

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    Francois Darlan government

  • Invasion of Syria and Lebanon

    Allies invade Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon
  • Battle of the Litani River

    Battle of the Litani River
    The Syria-Lebanon campaign begins. Allies prevent Gernmany from using the Vichy French-controlled Mandate of Syria and Mandate of Lebanon to use as launchpoins for attacks on the Allied stronghold of Egypt
  • Operation Barbarossa

    Operation Barbarossa
    Hitler invades USSR at an attempt to capture oil lines. Details on Operation Barbarossa
  • Vichy France signs armistice

    Vichy France signs armistice terms ending all fighting in Syria and Lebanon
  • Lend-Lease to France

    United States of America grants Lend-Lease resources to Free France.
  • British Commandos raid St Nazaire

    St. Nazaire is located at the coast of western France. It was a key port during WWII, it acted as a transfer point for British troops.
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    Laval government

  • Battle of Madagascar begins

    Battle of Madagascar begins
    ports were of strategic value, allied and japanese forces faught to maintain control until november 6, 1942. Allied victory
  • Allied Dieppe Raid

    Allied Dieppe Raid
    A failed Allied attempt to capture the port and German intelligence. Allies were forced to retreat. More information on Dieppe
  • Battle of Marseille

    German forces, accompanied by Vichy-French police, round up thousands of Jews to be shipped to nearby concentration camps
  • Lebanon Independence

    Lebanon Independence
    Lebanon becomes independent from France
  • D-Day

    British and American troops land on beaches of Normandy in France
  • Allies land in southern France

  • Allies arrive in Paris

  • Mussolini dies

    Mussolini dies
    During a desperate escape to Switzerland, Benito Mussolini was captured and executed. His lifeless body was then hung at a gas station where it was subjected to further public beatings. Biography of Benito Mussolini
  • Hitler dies

    Hitler dies
    It is widely believed that the Nazi leader poisoned and shot himself to end his own life. Details on Hitler
  • Laval interned

    Laval interned
    Spanish government hand Pierre Laval over to France Online book on the trial against Pierre Laval
  • Execution of Laval

    Laval is found guilty for treason and violating state security and is sentenced to be executed by firing squad