September 3 – France and Britain declare war on Nazi Germany as a result of its invasion of Poland
May 10 – after 9 months of ‘phoney war’, Germany invades France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, and quickly overruns them
June 18 – In the dying days of the Battle of France, General de Gaulle broadcasts from London telling the French to resist Germany
June 22 – The defeatist French government signs an armistice with Germany which establishes German direct rule over northern and western France and leaves southern, ‘unoccupied’ France, to be run by a new French government led by First World War hero, Marshal Pétain. Technically, the unoccupied territory became know simply as the ‘French state’, but the English-speaking world refers to it as ‘Vichy France’ because its government was located in the small spa town of Vichy.
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