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What side was France on in ww2?

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What Side Was France on in World War II?

During World War II, France initially declared itself neutral when the war broke out in 1939. However, after the German invasion of Poland, France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. In 1940, German forces invaded France and within a matter of weeks, the country was occupied by the Nazis. A puppet government, known as Vichy France, was established, which collaborated with the Germans. This led to a divided France, with the Vichy government aligning itself with the Axis powers, while the Free French Forces, led by Charles de Gaulle, continued to fight alongside the Allies.

FAQs about France in World War II

1. Why did France initially declare itself neutral during World War II?

During the early stages of World War II, France had suffered greatly from the devastation of World War I and did not want to become involved in another conflict. They hoped to remain neutral and avoid being drawn into the war.

2. What led to France changing its stance and declaring war on Germany?

The German invasion of Poland in 1939 led to France and the United Kingdom declaring war on Germany as they were obligated to defend Poland through their mutual defense pacts.

3. What happened when Germany invaded France?

German forces quickly overran France in 1940, leading to the occupation of the country and the establishment of the Vichy government. This led to a divided France, with conflicting loyalties between the Vichy government and the Free French Forces.

4. How did the Vichy government collaborate with the Axis powers?

The Vichy government collaborated with the Nazi regime by enforcing anti-Semitic laws, deporting Jews, and providing resources and manpower to the German war effort.

5. Who led the Free French Forces during World War II?

The Free French Forces were led by General Charles de Gaulle, who rallied French troops to continue fighting alongside the Allies against the Axis powers.

6. What was the role of the French Resistance during the occupation?

The French Resistance played a significant role in sabotaging German efforts, gathering intelligence, and aiding the Allied forces, despite facing harsh reprisals from the occupying forces.

7. When did France officially join the Allied powers in World War II?

France officially joined the Allied powers after the liberation of Paris in 1944, when the Free French Forces and the French resistance joined the fight against the Axis powers.

8. How did France contribute to the Allied war effort?

France contributed to the Allied war effort by providing troops, resources, and support to the overall war strategy in Europe and North Africa.

9. What role did France play in the D-Day invasion?

France played a crucial role in the D-Day invasion, as the Allied forces launched an amphibious assault on the beaches of Normandy, which ultimately led to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control.

10. What was the impact of World War II on France?

The impact of World War II on France was profound, leading to widespread devastation, loss of life, and the reshaping of the country’s political and social landscape. The experience of occupation and resistance has left a lasting legacy on the collective memory of the French people.

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