France History - De Gaulle

France History – De Gaulle and “France Libre”

Born from the armistice and raised at the same time against the occupier and against the “French State”, the history of the resistance dates back to the first.

Already on June 18, 1940 on the London radio, General De Gaulle launched his first appeal denying any legitimacy to the Pétain government and inciting France to resist. A first agreement was reached on June 28 with Churchill on the basis of the constitution of a voluntary “French force” under the supreme command of the general, who declares to accept “the general directives of the British Command” (only on August 7 will he be recognized as ” of all free Frenchmen, wherever they are, who adhere to “him), the action of General De Gaulle – destined not only to undergo all the changes in the mood of diplomacy and the English cabinet,, the latter more reserved towards De Gaulle; collided with Admiral E. Muselier, etc.) – he turned from the beginning to obtain the defection from Vichy of the various colonial governors: first of all the New Hebrides joined (22 July), followed four days later by the Costa d ‘ Ivory. On August 26, Governor France Eboué brought Chad, which allowed two days after the coup over Cameroon and Brazzaville; on 31st Tahiti joined, on 9th September by French India, on 24th by New Caledonia, on 6th November by Gabon. Thus, on October 27, 1940, De Gaulle was able, in Brazzaville, to establish the Defense Council of the Empire with the task of defending what remains of the national patrimony from the enemy. According to, the degollist penetration into the colonial camp occurs above all where it is favored by the distance from Vichy or by the pressure exerted by the colony being surrounded by English territories; where these conditions do not exist, it fails (Dakar failure of 23 September 1940).

However, throughout 1940, to hold the camp of resistance (perhaps it would be more accurate to speak of “dissidence”) was only the degollist Mouvement français libre, who became stronger and stronger, especially after a treasury agreement with England (19 March 1941), the Syrian campaign, the creation on 23 September 1941 of the Comité national français, the Soviet recognition (De Gaulle-Maisky letters of 24 October), the admission by the American side to the rent and loan law (11 November), the declaration of war on Japan (December 9) and the occupation by Admiral Muselier of St. Pierre-et-Miquelon (December 24, 1941); in the metropolitan territory there is still no resistance: there is, at most, the passive refusal to collaborate with the occupier or an conseils à l’occupé of July 1940 by Jean Texier) and, in the free zone, a certain political agitation of essentially radical origin that has some doubts about the duration of the marshalist system. In the spring of 1941 the first active resistance groups began to organize themselves, to which, after 21 June, the communist forces came to join (the first act of the communist struggle was the killing of a German officer in a metro station, on 21 June). August 1941). Thus, distinct from London, we have an internal resistance front, in which however there is always a clear demarcation between communist and non-communist groups. However, albeit with difficulty, the landing on November 8, 1942 manages to achieve unity, although, at the beginning, it introduced greater confusion. Occurred by American will, outside of degollism, the landing had the immediate result of putting the fighting France (new name assumed by the MFL on 14 July) in contrast with the environment of Algiers, which found its spokesperson first in H. Darlan and then in France Giraud, and to create almost two central antagonists of dissidence (if on November 30, Réunion, December 14, Madagascar and December 26, the Costa dei Somali join the FC, on March 18, 1943, Guiana joins the Imperial Council of Giraud instead); but the creation of the Comité français de libération nationale (June 3, 1943) eliminates this conflict and, subsequently, the purge undertaken by the FC (resignation of M. Peyrouton, Pucheu trial, etc.) practically manifested in the creation of the Consultative Assembly (17 September 1943) and in the entry of the communists L. Misol and E. Fajon to the CFLN (November 16). This collaboration marks the dismissal of any conflict between the FC and the metropolitan resistance.

Now the latter, to which the lavaliana relève has brought a significant increase in forces, has managed to unify: diversified by the demarcation line (more paramilitary in the north, more political in the south), it, at the beginning of 1942, is essentially constituted for the north by the Ceux de la libération formations (predominantly radical and former French Social Party), Ceux de la résistance (predominantly socialist), Front national (predominantly communist and with the armed formation Francs tireurs et partisans), Libèration nord (trade unionists) and Organization civile et militaire (technicians and right wing) ; Libération sud (syndicalists), Franc tireur (left) and Combat are formed for the south, a group that arose in Grenoble in December 1941 from the fusion of the socialist formation of H. Frenay with the Catholic one of PH Teitgen and Menthon. But soon the whole southern zone is united in the Mouvements unis de résistance (MUR; these at the beginning of 1944 will become Mouvement libération nationale for the merger of some groups in the north) and, by Jean Moulin, on March 27, 1943, eight resistance movements, five political parties and the two trade union centers are subordinated to a unitary body, the Conseil national de la résistance. This moment also marks the dismissal of any disagreement with De Gaulle: this is symbolized by being the head of the CNR Jean Moulin, who is at the same time the delegate of the CFLN of Algiers for the metropolis. With the arrest of J. Moulin by the German side, the two functions split (CNR: G. Bidault; delegation: E. Bollaert, then A. Parodi); but the agreement remains effective at least until

France History - De Gaulle