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France during World War II

 This article is part of the 
History of France series.
 France in the Middle Ages
 Valois Dynasty
 Bourbon Dynasty
 French Revolution
 First French Empire
 French Restoration
 Second Republic
 Second French Empire
 Third Republic
 France during World War II
 Fourth Republic
 Fifth Republic

France surrendered to Nazi Germany early in World War II (June 24 1940). Nazi Germany occupied three fifths of France's territory (mostly on the northern coast) leaving the rest to the new Vichy collaboration government established on July 10, 1940 under Henri Philippe Pétain, a general during World War One. Its senior leaders acquiesced in the plunder of French resources, as well as the sending of French forced labor to Nazi Germany; in doing so, they claimed they hoped to preserve at least some small amount of French sovereignty. In the mean time, civilian anti-semites aided in the concentration and persecution of Jews. The Nazi German occupation proved costly, however, as Nazi Germany appropriated a full one-half of France's public sector revenue.

On the other hand, those who refused defeat and collaboration with Nazi Germany, the Free French, organised resistance movementss in occupied and Vichy France and the Free French Forces. The Free French Forces started in exile in and with the support of the UK. They were led by Charles de Gaulle, under-secretary of state for war and national defence, whose role in the resistance was to pave the way for his immense impact on the future of France, as leader of its provisional government and first President of the French Fifth Republic.

After four years of occupation and strife, Allied forces, including Free France, liberated France in 1944.