The World at War

FRANCE - The French State & The Occupation 1940 -1944

FRANCE - The French State & The Occupation Timeline

1940July 10 The National Assembly votes to abolish the Constitution of 1875 and transfers its powers to Marshal Petain by a vote of 586 to 80.
July 11 Marshal Petain assumes power as Chief of State, adjourns the National Assembly and abolishes the Republic in favor of the French State.
July 12 Marshal Petain appoints Pierre Laval to serve as Deputy Chief of State.
Urban and Rural Youth Centers are created to combat unemployment and idleness.
July 15 President Albert Lebrun leaves Vichy without tendering his resignation.
July 14 The Alexandria squadron of the French fleet including the heavy cruiser Lorraine is neutralized under accord between Admirals Cunningham and Godfroy.
Otto Abetz informs Berlin that Pierre Laval will visit Paris and wishes to meet with Goering.
General de Gaulle reviews the 800 troops of Free France in London.
July 19 Pierre Laval is the first Vichy minister to visit Paris.
July 22 Vichy begins a review of the citizenship status of all persons naturalized since 1927.
July 24 The customs boundary in Alsace and Lorraine is restored to pre-1914 limits.
The passenger liner Meknes is sunk by a German patrol boat killing 383 passengers.
July 25 Companions of France, an amalgamation of the Scouts, Catholic Youth Association, Christian Union of Young Men and several political party youth associations under Vichy control is founded in the Free Zone by Henri Dhavernas.
August 2 General de Gaulle is convicted of treason, threatening the security of the State and desertion to a foreign country by the 13th Military Region Tribunal in Clermont-Ferrand. The Tribunal sentences de Gaulle to death in asbentia.
August 3 Otto Abetz is named German ambassador to the occupation authorities in Paris.
Railway service between Occupied France and the Free Zone restored.
August 7 Alsace and a portion of Lorraine (department of Mossel) are annexed to Germany. Robert Wagner is named Gauleiter of Alsace.
Arthur Groussier, President of the Grand Council of the Order of the Great East (Masonic Order), announces the Order’s voluntary dissolution.
August 10 Marshal Petain announces the beginning of the “National Revolution” calling for a new moral order "devoid of lies, ego, licentiousness and a taste for leisure" and extolling traditional values of work, family and fatherland.
Pierre Laval informs Ambassador Abetz that René Fronck, the leading Allied air Ace of World War I, wishes to form a squadron of 200 French pilots to enter the war against Great Britain.
August 14 Secret societies are banned by decree (60,000 Free Masons join the Resistance over the course of the war, 6000 are arrested, 989 deported and 549 executed).
August 16 State controlled organizing committees are created in business and industry.
August 17 An order is issued barring the return of Jews from the Free Zone to Occupied France.
August 26 Vichy agrees to pay Germany 400 million francs per day to defray the costs of the occupation.
August 29 The Legion des Francais Combattants is formed to support Petain in the Free Zone.
September 1 Postal service between Occupied France and the Free Zone is restored. Cartes familiales allow the sender to communicate by checking appropriate preprinted messages.
September 3 A decree allows internment without trial.
September 7 General Weygand is named Delegate General to North Africa.
September 8 Former premiers Edouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud and General Gamelin are interned in the Chateau de Chazeron.
September 9 Georges Mandel is interned at the Chateau de Chazeron.
September 11 The Lascaux cave paintings are discovered in the Dordogne.
September 15 The departments of Nord and Pas de Calais are annexed to German occupied Belgium.
September 16 Former premier Leon Blum is interned at the Chateau de Chazeron.
September 23 Ration cards for bread and meat are introduced.
September 24 A Court Martial is established at Gannat to try Gaullist military officers.
September 25 Vichy French air forces bomb Gibraltar.
September 26 Vincent Auriol, Marx Dormoy and Jules Moch are interned at Pellevoisin, Indre.
September 27 A census of Jews living in Occupied France is ordered by the Germans.
The French Communist Party is outlawed by Vichy.
October 3 Vichy introduces first anti-Jewish statutes defining Jewishness and banning Jews from upper levels of the civil service and positions of public influence.
October 4 French police arrest and intern 3,747 foreign Jews.
October 19 Jacques Doriot begins publication of the collaborationist Le Cri du Peuple.
October 20 The Jews of Alsace, Lorraine, Saar, Baden and the Palatinate are deported to the internment camp at Gurs with Vichy's approval.
October 22 Pierre Laval meets with Hitler at Montoire.
Louis Rougier begins a secret mission to London.
October 24 Marshal Petain meets with Hitler at Montoire. Petain requests lower occupation charges and relaxation of controls on cross demarcation line travel.
October 28 Pierre Laval is appointed Vichy Foreign Minister. Laval begins negotiations with General Warlimont and offers to launch an offensive against Gaullists in Chad if Germans agree to Petain’s Montoire demands. His offer is refused.Otto von Stulpnagel is named military commander of Occupied France.
October 30 Marshal Petain broadcasts a call for collaboration with Germany.
November 9 Pierre Laval meets with Goering.
Vichy orders the dissolution of trade unions and business associations.
November 11 Students demonstrate against the occupation at the Arc de Triomphe. Three are wounded and a hundred are arrested. Vichy intercedes to gain release of the detainees.
November 14 Generals Laure and Gamelin and former Premier Blum are imprisoned at Burrassol.
November 18 Residents of the Moselle (Lorraine) who opted to retain French citizenship are expelled.
November 27 An airplane piloted by Henri Guillaumet and carrying High Commissioner Jean Chiappe to Syria is shot at by an Italian fighter between Sardinia and Africa.
December 1 A constitutional decree dismisses the Deputies and Senators.
December 12 German Ambassador Otto Abetz tells Pierre Laval that Hitler wants a Franco-German reconciliation and has decided to send the ashes of L’Aiglon (the Eaglet) aka Francois Napoleon, son of the Emperor, to France for internment at Les Invalides. Laval phones Vichy to invite Marshal Petain to preside over the ceremony. Petain brusquely declines. Laval informs Abetz of the Marshal’s response but Abetz insists. December 13
3 pm: Laval returns to Vichy and meets with Petain. Petain agrees to go to Paris for the ceremony.
8 pm: Petain meets with his cabinet and demands the resignations of his ministers. Laval tenders his resignation believing that the Marshals is only interested in replacing Labour Minister Belin. Petain accepts the resignations of Laval and Education Minister Ripert. The Marshal claims that Laval has prevented his installation as Chief of State at Versailles and conspired with Marcel Deat to publish critical editorials in L’Oeuvre. Laval and his wife are taken their home at Chateldon under police escort. Pierre Etienne Flandin is appointed to replace Laval as Deputy Chief of State at the instigation of American Ambassador Robert Murphy.
December 15 The ashes of Napoleon’s son, l’Aiglon, are interred in les Invalides,Paris.
December 17 Otto Abetz travels to Vichy, obtains Laval’s release and escorts him to Paris. Petain offers Laval the posts of Agriculture or Industrial Production Minister but Laval refuses to return to Vichy.
December 18 Fernand de Brinon is appointed Vichy Ambassador to the Occupation authorities in Paris.
December 23 Jacques Bonsergent is executed for assaulting a German officer in Paris.
December 25 Admiral Darlan meets Hitler at La Ferriere sur Epte.
During the Year Edith Piaf stars in Jean Cocteau's Le bel indifferent at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens.
Goncourt Prize for Literature
Francis Ambriere for Les Grandes Vacances
Notable Books Anthologie de l’Humour Noir by André Breton Notable Recordings
Maurice Chevalier - Ca sent si bon la France
Fernandel - Faut pas Francine, ecouter des raconteurs
1941January 1 Marshal Petain denounces individualism in an article entitled "Individualism and the Nation" published in La Revue Universelle.
January 2 - 10 Admiral Emile Muselier, Commander of the Free French Naval Force, is jailed by the British on a false charge of transmitting information on the Dakar Expedition to Vichy.
January 4 Le Journal officiel de la Republique Francaise becomes Le Journal officiel de l’Etat Francais. Philosopher Henri Bergson dies in Paris at age 82.
January 8 Postal authorities allow transmission of 7 line message cards between Occupied and Free Zones.
January 19 Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval meet at La Ferte-Hauterive.
January 22 The National Council, a consultative assembly of notables, is established.
Captain Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves, General de Gaulle's resistance organizer in France, is arrested.
January 24 Marcel Deat and Eugene Deloncle form La Rassemblement National Populaire.
January 27 The Civil Service is required to swear an oath of loyalty to the Chief of State.
February 7 Je suis partout resumes publication under editor Robert Brasillach.
February 9 Admiral Darlan is appointed Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier.
February 11 Vichy turns the directors of the German Socialist Party in Exile over to the German authorities.
Former German Finance Minister Rudolf Hilferding, residing in France since 1938, commits suicide following his arrest by the Gestapo.
February 13 Marshal Petain meets with General Franco of Spain at Montpellier.
February 26 The Weygand-Murphy Accord is signed. The United States agrees to furnish petroleum, wheat and coal to France in the spring via the port of Nice.
February 26 Joseph Darnand founds the Service d’ordre de la Legion forerunner of la milice. February
Le Juif Suss, anti-semitic film, is shown in Paris cinemas.
March 19 Great Britain signs a monetary accord with the Free French fixing the exchange value of the franc.
March 20 Vincent Auriol is freed from internment at Pellevoisin.
March 29 The Commissariat General aux Questions Juives (General Commission for Jewish Questions) is established under the direction of Xavier Vallat.
April 4 A court martial at Gannat sentences General Georges Catroux to death in absentia.
April 14 Judges and Army officers are required to swear an oath of allegiance to Marshal Petain.
April 18 France withdraws from the League of Nations.
April 19 The Free Zone is divided into 15 prefectures.
May 11 Vichy sponsors celebrations of Joan of Arc’s feast day.Admiral Darlan meets with Hitler at Berchtesgaden.
May 12 Germany lowers occupation charges from 500 to 300 million francs per day.
May 14 French police conduct the first roundup of Parisian Jews.
May 25 Girondins ASP representing the Unoccupied Zone defeats SC Fivois representing the Occupied and Forbidden Zones 2-0 to win the Coupe de France (football) in a match played at St. Ouen.
May 26 A coal miners strike in Nord and Pas de Calais is organized by Auguste Lecoeur.
May 26 A Vichy decree institutes the Francisque (Fasces) as the emblem of the French State.
May 27 The Paris Protocols are signed by Generals Warlimont and Huntzinger. Germany agrees to release 83,000 prisoners in exchange for military collaboration in North Africa. Vichy rejects the protocols.
Auguste Lacouer organizes a coal miners' strike in the Nord - Pas de Calais region.
June 2 New anti-Jewish laws call for a census in Unoccupied France. Jews are barred from business and industry.
June 13 The coal miners’ strike in Nord and Pas de Calais ends.
June 15 General Alphonse Juin is released by the Germans at the request of Marshal Petain.
June 16 American consulates in the Occupied Zone are closed.
June 30 Vichy breaks off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
July 7 Le Legion des Volontaires Francais contre le Bolchevisme (The Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism) is formed to fight for the Axis on the Eastern Front.
July 11 A court martial at Gannat sentences General Larminat to death in absentia.
July 14 The first issue of the Resistance newspaper Défense pour la France appears.
July 18 Pierre Pucheu is appointed Interior Minister and Francois Lehideux, Minister of Industrial Production.
July 22 Vichy authorizes seizure of Jewish properties and businesses.
July 26 Marx Dormoy is killed by a bomb placed under his bed at a house in Montelimar where he was confined under house arrest.
August 1 All military personnel are required to swear an oath of allegiance to Marshal Petain.
August 12 Marshal Petain speaks at the Casino de Vichy on the “ill wind” that is rising and goes on to denounce the Resistance.
August 15 An internment camp for Jews is opened at Drancy.
August 20 Police conduct a second roundup of Parisian Jews.
Jean Borotra, Vichy Commissioner of Sports, banned participation in competitions with Germany.
August 22 Communist Pierre Georges aka Colonel Fabien kills German naval officer Alfons Moser at the Barbes-Rochechouart metro station, Paris.
August 23 Special sections are created in the Courts of Appeal to deal with political crimes.
August 27 Paul Colette attempts to assassinate Pierre Laval and Marcel Déat at a send off for the LVF in Versailles. Laval is hit four times but survives.
August 29 Honore d’Estienne d’Orves, chief of the Free French Deuxieme Bureau, is shot by the Germans at Mont Valerien along with 2 members of his network
September 3 A German soldier is shot at le Gare de l’Est, Paris. September 5
An anti-Semitic exhibition titled Le Juif et la France opens in Paris.
September 24 General de Gaulle forms the Comité national français in London.
September 25 A court martial at Gannat sentences General Le Gentilhomme to death in absentia.
September 26 The Soviet Union recognizes General de Gaulle as Chief of Free France.
September 29 Deputy Jean Cathelas is executed at La Sante prison along with three Communists.
September Maurice Chevalier returns to Paris to star in Bonjour Paris, a new revue at the Casino de Paris.
October 2-3 Seven Paris synagogues are blown up on the order of Eugene Deloncle, chief of La Cagoule.
October 4 Vichy introduces a labor charter to suppress the trade unions.
October 5 Jean Borotra, Vichy Commissioner of Sports, organizes a national athletics day in Paris in memory of Leo Lagrange, the Minister of Sports and Leisure in the Popular Front who was killed fighting on the Aisne.
October 15 Former premiers Leon Blum, Edouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud and General Gamelin are imprisoned at the Fort du Portalet by order of Marshal Petain's Council of Political Justice.
The Germans arrest 5 members of the Academy of Sciences and Paul Langevin in Paris.
October 20 Lieutenant Colonel Hotz, German commander at Nantes, is killed by an FTP Communist resistance team.
Jean Moulin reaches London.
October 21 Twenty hostages are shot at Nantes and five hostages are executed in Paris in retaliation for the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Hotz.
War Councilor Reimers is shot by 2 passing cyclists in Bordeaux.
October 22 Twenty seven hostages including Paris deputy Charles Michels, CGT union leader J.-P. Timbaud and Guy Moquet, 17 year old son of Communist deputy Prosper Moquet are shot at Chateaubriant.
October 24 The Germans execute fifty hostages at the camp of Souges-Merignac near Bordeaux.
October 29 The Occupation authorities in Paris license Jacques Doriot’s Parti Populaire Francaise. November 11
The Order of the Liberation is awarded to the City of Nantes.
November 12 General Charles Huntzinger is killed in an airplane crash.
November 20 General Weygand, Commander in Chief of French forces in Africa, Algerian Governor General Chatel, General Juin Commander in Chief for French North Africa and General Barreau, Commander in Chief for French West Africa are recalled on orders from Hitler.
November 29 Xavier-Vallat establishes L’Union Generale des Israelites de France under the pretense of letting French Jews manage their own affairs. November
Maurice Chevalier accepts an invitation from Vichy to sing at Alten Grabow, the camp where he had been a prisoner during the First World War. Chevalier appears without receiving a fee and in exchange for the release of ten men from the Ménilmontant area of Paris. His performance before 3000 prisoners fuels collaboration charges.
December 1 Marshal Petain meets with Hermann Goering at Saint-Florentin.
December 7 The first convoy of deportees leaves France for Germany.
December 15 Gabriel Peri, Communist deputy for Seine et Oise is shot by the Germans at Mont Valerien.
December 31 General Gamelin and former premiers Daladier and Blum are transferred to Bourrassol.
Goncourt Prize for Literature
H. Pourrat for Le Vent de Mars
Notable books Le Creve Couer by Louis Aragon
Melanges by Paul Valery
Notable Films L'Assassinat du Père Noël - directed by Christian Jaque, screenplay by Charles Spaak, based on the novel by Pierre Véry.
Notable recordings Douce France - Charles Trenet
la romance de Paris - Charles Trenet
Marechal nous voila - Andre Dassary
la Chanson du Maçon - Maurice Chevalier
Nuages - Django Reinhardt
Bel Ami - Tino Rossi
Ou sont-ils mes petits copains - Edith Piaf
Je suis seule ce soir - Leo Marjane
1942January 2 Jean Moulin returns to France as the representative of General de Gaulle.
January 3 A bomb is thrown at the Tours office of the collaborationist Rassemblement National Populaire.
January 12 The Communist FTP resistance at Tours derails a train, bombs a Gestapo building and throws a bomb at German officers inside a cafe.
January 22 Hitler rejects Admiral Darlan’s offer of French support in the war against the Soviets in exchange for a peace treaty that would allow the release of French prisoners of war.January 31
General Otto von Stulpnagel is relieved as German military commander for Occupied France.
February 4 The Service d’Ordre Legionnaire (Vichy militia) is formed.February 9
The Free French Medal of the Resistance is instituted in London.
February 20 The Riom Trials of Third Republic leaders including Premiers Blum, Daladier and Reynaud and General Gamelin begin.
February 27 Operation Biting, British commandos attack the Freya radar station near Bruneval and escape with parts of the Wurzburg W-110 advanced radar system.
March Marshal von Rundstedt, sacked by Hitler the preceding December, is named German commander in chief for the Western Front and establishes his headquarters at Saint Germain en Laye.
March 3 The Renault plant at Billancourt is bombed by the Royal Air Force.
March 17 General Giraud escapes from the German fortress of Konigstein.
March 19 Xavier-Vallat is sacked as head of Vichy’s anti-Jewish office and replaced by Darquier de Pellepoix. March 26
Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval meet at Randan, Pas de Calais.
Marcel Deat, chief of the collaborationist Rassemblement National Populaire, is attacked in the municipal theater in Tours.
March 27 Special train 767 carrying 1,112 Parisian Jews leaves Drancy for Auschwitz.
March 28 Operation Chariot, British commandos raid Saint-Nazaire and destroy the Normandie lock, largest drydock on the French coast.
March The Communist led Franc-Tireurs et Partisans resistance movement is formed.
April 15 The Riom Trials of Third Republic political leaders are suspended.
April 17 Admiral Darlan is forced to resign as Chief of Government but remains in charge of the armed forces.
Vichy Sports Commissioner Jean Borotra embarks on a tour of North Africa which the Germans label blatant and excessively nationalistic.
April 19 Petain recalls Pierre Laval returns to Vichy as Chief of Government, Minister of Interior, Information and Foreign Affairs. Marshal Petain signs Constitutional Decree XI surrendering his powers to Laval. Abel Bonnard is appointed Minister of Public Instruction.
Jean Borotra is sacked as Vichy Commissioner of Sports.
April 28 Collaborationist Jacques Doriot survives an attempted assassination in Rennes.
April René Bousquet, Prefect of the Paris Police, and SS Commander Karl Oberg, chief of the city’s Gestapo, sign an accord authorizing French police to turn over foreign Jews. May 1
General de Gaulle's call for Frenchmen to mark Labor Day by passing in silence before the monuments of the Republic is widely followed.
Resistance demonstrations in Tours result in the arrest of three young Communists.
May 5 Pierre Laval meets with Goering at Moulins.
May 17 A combined Red Star/Olympique squad defeats FC Sete 2-0 in the Coupe de France (football) final at the stadium of Colombes in Paris.
May 29 Jews over age 6 living in Occupied France are required to wear a yellow Star of David.
June 1 Responsibility for security in Occupied France is transferred from the Army to the SS.
June 17 Marshal Petain admits his National Revolution has been checked.
June 22 Pierre Laval declares, “I wish for German victory because without it, Bolschevism, tomorrow, will be everywhere.” Laval negotiates la Releve (release of French POWs in exchange for forced laborers) with Fritz Saukel.
July 2 The Gestapo orders French police in Bordeaux to proceed with the deportation of all Jews between the ages of 16 and 45.
July 8 Marshal Franchet d'Esperey dies at the Chateau de Saint Chameaux in the Tarn at age 86.
July 14 The Free French movement adopts the name France Combattante.
Over 2,000 people gather at the Barbès monument in Carcassonne in response to a call for a show of resistance broadcast over the BBC. Demonstrations are also staged in Perpignan and Marseilles where the militia fires shots at a crowd gathered along the Canebière.
July 15 - 16 French police arrest over 145 Jews in Bordeaux.
July 16 - 17 French police arrest 12,353 foreign Jews, half of them children, and detain them in the Velodrome d'Hiver for eventual deportation to Auschwitz.
July 16 La Legion Tricolore is organized to fight with the Germans on the Eastern Front.
July 28 General Schaumburg is killed by a bomb hurled into his car by the Misrak Manouchian cell of the Communist FTP resistance.
August 5 Deportation of Jews in the Unoccupied Zone to Drancy begins.
August 11 Pierre Laval goes to Compiègne to greet first French POWs release under la Releve.
August 17 American planes bomb Europe for the first time. Twelve B-17 s flying at 7500m drop 16 tons of bombs on Rouen-Sotteville. One hundred forty civilians are killed in the raid.
August 19 Operation Jubilee, Canadian troops, British commandos and U.S. Army Rangers raid Dieppe.
Marshal Petain offers French troops to guard the coasts.
August 23 Monsignor Jules Saliege, Archbishop of Toulouse, publicly condemns Vichy’s treatment of the Jews.
August 25 Alsatians and Lorrainers are conscripted into the Wehrmacht.
August 26 443 Jews, including 81 children and 186 French nationals, are deported from Bordeaux to the Drancy transit camp.
September 4 A census of men between 18 and 65 and single women 21 t o 35 is conducted to implement conscription for labor in Germany (Service du Travail Obligatoire).
September 20 - 22 One hundred sixteen hostages are killed at Romainville.
September 21 French police supervise the transfer of 71 Jews from the Merignac internment camp to the Drancy transit camp near Paris.
September 26 The Soviet Union accord diplomatic recognition to the Free French Comité National Français.
September 30 Former Premier Edouard Herriot is place under house arrest at Brotel.
September Maurice Chevalier returns to the Casino de Paris in a new revue Pour toi Paris.
October 27 Seven Communist hostages are shot at the Ruchard camp near Tours.
November 5 Admiral Darlan visits his son Alain who is suffering from polio in an Algiers hospital.
November 8 Operation Torch, American and British troops land in French North Africa.
November 9 Pierre Laval meets with Hitler at Berchtesgaden.
November 11 Germans and Italians occupy the Free Zone.
General de Lattre de Tassigny offers brief resistance to the Axis occupation of the Free Zone.
November 12 German troops occupy Marseilles, Perpignan and Sète.
The Luftwaffe occupies airfields at Toulon.
Leon Jouhaux leader of the CGT(General Confederation of Labor) is interned at Evaux les Bains.
The United States Navy requisitions the French luxury liner Normandie, anchored in New York, for use as a troopship.
November 15 Pierre Laval formally dismisses Admiral Darlan.
November 17 Marshal Petain prohibits Laval from declaring a state of war with the United States.
November 18 Pierre Laval is granted full powers.
November 19 French troops guarding fortifications behind Toulon withdraw on German orders.
November 20 General Weygand is deported to Germany.
November 27 Hitler orders the Vichy Armistice Army disbanded and the French fleet at Toulon turned over to the Germans.
0430 - German tanks advance on the Port of Toulon.
0830 - Admiral Laborde, having twice defied Admiral Darlan’s order to sail the French fleet to Algiers, orders the Toulon squadron scuttled to prevent it from falling into German hands. A hundred ships totaling 225,000 tons including the battleships Provence, Strasbourg and Dunkerque go to the bottom.
November 22 Jean Borotra, former Sports Commissioner under Vichy, is arrested by the Germans.
November 28 The French Armistice army is disbanded under orders from Hitler.
Marshal Petain’s personal guard is reduced to 3,000 men.
November 29 The Free French Normandie-Nieman Fighter Squadron arrives at Ivanovo to fight beside the Soviets.
December 11 Vichy orders Jews in the Free Zone to be identified as such on documents.
December 24 Admiral Darlan is assassinated in Algiers.
Goncourt Prize for Literature
Marc Bernard for Pareils a des Enfants
Notable Books L’Etranger by Albert CamusLe Mythe de Sisyphe by Albert Camus
La Reine Morte by Henry de Motherlant
La Silence de la Mer by Vercors
Pilote de Guerre by Antoine de Saint Exupery
Notable Recording Charles Trenet - Que reste-t-il de nos amours
Suzy Solidor - Lili Marlene
Raymond Le Grand - Sur le chemin du retour
1943January Jean Moulin unites Combat, Liberation-Sud and the Franc-Tireurs et Partisans under the co-ordination of the Mouvement unis de la Resistance (United Movements of the Resistance).
January 9 General de Lattre de Tassigny is sentenced to 10 years in prison for resisting Axis occupation of the Free Zone.
January 12 Fernand Grenier arrives in London to confirm the adherence of the French Communist Party to the Free French movement.
January 13 Fritz Sauckel demands 250,000 French workers (150,000 skilled tradesmen and 100,000 laborers) be sent to Germany.
January 24 The Germans demolish 40 hectares of Marseilles' the Old Port district.
January 29 Two Royal Air Force bombing raids on Morlaix miss their objective, the railway viaduct, and kill 74 civilians including 39 nursery school students and their teacher.
January 31 The Milice Francaise (Vichy militia) formed with Pierre Laval as President and Joseph Darnand as Secretary General.
February 9 The USS Lafayette, the ex-French luxury liner Normandie, is destroyed by a fire while under refitting in New York.
February 16 Conscription for labor in Germany (Service du Travail Obligatoire) is introduced.
February Philippe Henriot begins broadcasting propaganda on Radio-Paris.
March 1 The demarcation line between Occupied and Free Zones is abolished for French nationals.
March Postal authorities allow transmission of letters throughout France.
April 6 General de Gaulle rejects Anglo-American demands to place the Free French movement under the authority of General Giraud.
April 7 Former President and Premier Alexandre Millerand dies in Versailles at age 84.
April 11 Pierre Laval agrees to Fritz Sauckel’s plan allowing French prisoners to be released as “free workers” in Germany. April 24
A Milicean is killed by the Resistance for the first time.
April 28 The Front Revolutionnaire National is formed by Marcel Deat.
May 21 General de Gaulle informs General Charles Delestraint, head of the Secret Army resistance, that, "the necessity of immediate action is accepted."
May 22 Olympique de Marseilles defeats Girondins ASP 4-0 in the Coupe de France (football) final match at Le Parc des Princes in Paris.
May 27 Jean Moulin presides over the first meeting of the Conseil National de la Resistance.
June 9 General Charles Delestraint head of the Secret Army is arrested by the Gestapo.
June 13 General Frère, the head of the Army Resistance ORA, is arrested by the Gestapo in Paris. He is replaced by General Verneau.
June 19 German agents begin tailing Jean Moulin after he meets with an American OSS agent in Avignon.
June 21 The Gestapo captures Jean Moulin and several leading resistants who are meeting at Caluire, near Lyon, to choose a successor to General Delestraint. René Hardy, the only resistant to escape, is later accused of treason.
June 25 Lyon Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie identifies Jean Moulin as the leader of the Resistance.
June Georges Bidault succeeds Jean Moulin as President of the National Council of the Resistance.
July 8 Jean Moulin dies while being transported to Germany.
July 22 Vichy authorizes French nationals to volunteer for combat against "Bolshevism" outside French territory and for service in the Waffen SS.
July 31 - August 10 The Germans relieve Italian occupation forces in the Midi.
August 26 The Soviet Union recognizes the French Committee of National Liberation (CFLN) as representative of the French Republic.
August 27 Great Britain and the United States recognize the French Committee of National Liberation as the Government of French overseas territories recognizing its authority.
September 3 The French Committee of National Liberation declares Petain and his ministers traitors.
General de Lattre de Tassigny escapes from occupied France and joins the Free French in Algiers.
September 8 Germans troops move into the Italian occupation zone after Italy signs an Armistice with the Allies.
September 9 The Resistance launches an uprising on Corsica following news of the Italian armistice and calls for Allied aid.
September 12 Free French troops land on Corsica.
September 13 The submarine Casablanca and destroyers Fantasque and Terrible land Free French troops at Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital city.
October 2 Moroccan Tirailleurs from the 1st Army Corps capture the Col de Teghime opening the route to Bastia, Corsica’s second largest city.
October 3 Bastia is liberated by Free French troops and Resistance fighters. Corsica is the first liberated department of metropolitan France.
November 11 The Resistance occupies Oyonnax and several other towns to commemorate Armistice Day.
November 13 Allied planes airdrop arms to the Maquis of the Vercors plateau for the first time.
December 2 Maurice Saurrat editor of La Depeche de Toulouse and brother of former Premier Albert Saurrat is assassinated by the Milice.
December René Bousquet is removed as Secretary General of Police at the insistence of the German authorities.
Goncourt Prize for Literature
Grout de Marius for Passage de l’Homme Notable books
120 Rue de la Gare by Leo Malet
Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lettre à un Otage by Antoine de Saint Exupery
L’Etre et Le Neant by Jean Paul Sarte Notable recording
Jacques Helian - Le chant des partisans
Lucienne De Lyle - J'ai chante sur ma peine
Georges Guetary - On m'appelle Robin des Bois
Charles Trenet - Quand un facteur s'envole
Ray Ventura - Tiens, tiens, tiens
1944January 1 Joseph Darnand is appointed Secretary General for the Maintenance of Public Order.
January 6 Philippe Henriot becomes Minister of Information and Propaganda.
January 10 Victor Basch, former president of the League of the Rights of Man, and his wife are murdered.
January 12 A few dozen Sephardic Jews are released from Drancy on condition that Spain evacuate them immediately.
January 30 The Brazzaville Conference establishes a framework for transformation of the French Empire into the French Union.
January 27 La Milice is authorized to operate in the Occupied Zone.
February 1 The French Forces of the Interior (Forces Francais de l’Interieur FFI) are established.
February 15 The Mediterranean coastline line is declared a forbidden zone.
February 18 Operation Jericho: The Royal Air Force bombs an Amiens prison holding Resistance fighters many escape but 95 prisoners and 20 German guards are killed in the attack. Sixty Gestapo agents are unmasked by the escapees.
February 26 Darquier is removed as head of the Commission for Jewish Questions and replaced by Charles Mercier.
February Yves Montand makes his Paris debut at the Theatre de l'ABC.
March 8 The leaders of the H Hour resistance network in Le Havre are taken prisoner.
March 16 Marcel Deat is appointed Minister of Labor and National Solidarity.
March 20 Pierre Pucheu, former Minister of the Interior, is executed in Algiers.
March 26 The Germans defeat Resistance fighters in the Battle of Glieres.
April 1 Eighty six people are killed by the SS at Ascq near Lille.
April 6 Klaus Barbie raids a children's refuge near Izieu. 44 Jewish children are deported to Auschwitz where 41 of them are killed.
April 8 General Giraud refuses to accept appointment as Inspector General of the Free French Armies and is compelled to retire.
April 10 Allied air raids destroy 400 homes and kill 28 people in Tours.
April 26 Marshal Petain makes his only visit to Paris during the occupation.
May 4 The Order of the Liberation is awarded to the City of Grenoble.
May 7 Marshal Pétain leaves Vichy and takes up residence in the Chateau de Voisins near Rambouillet on orders from the Germans who believe an Allied landing or general uprising are iminent.
Nancy defeats Reims 4-0 in the Coupe de France (football) final match at Le Parc des Princes in Paris.
May 11 The French 1st Army under General Juin breaks through German line at Garigliano, Italy.
Allied air raids kill 194 people in Epinal.
May 12 The French National Committee of Liberation issues an appeal over the BBC for the French people to leave the cities and seek refuge from air raids in the countryside.
Allied air raids on Boulogne sur Mer kill 101 and injure 120 people.
May 14 Marshal Pétain visits Rouen to mark the Feast of Saint Joan of Arc.
May 15 The French National Committee of Liberation becomes the Provisional Government of the French Republic by a unanimous vote of the Consultative Assembly in Algiers.
Vichy Commissioner for Public Order Joseph Darnand orders the arrest of former Police prefect René Bousquet.
May 17 General de Gaulle tours the Italian Front accompanied by Generals de Lattre, Béthouard and Diethelm.
May 19 Marshal Pétain is ordered to leave the Chateau de Voisins and return to Vichy in anticipation of an Allied landing on the Channel coast.
May 20 A Royal Air Force bombing raid on Tours kills 137 and injures 67 people.
May 21 A raid on a police station in Lozere by the Bir Hakeim Maquis fails. Thirty two Resistance fighters are killed in the attack and 27 others are taken prisoner and executed.
May 22 A Royal Air Force bombing raid on Orléans kills 172 people.
May 26 - 27 Allied bombers attack 25 major cities causing heavy civilian casualties. Deaths number: Marseilles 1,976, Saint Etienne 870, Lyon 600, Amiens 385, Avignon 380, Nice 316, Chambèry 300, Nimes 260, Paris 240, Grenoble 80.
May 27 The French Expeditionary Corps in Italy captures Amaseno, Castra dei Volsci and Monte Siserno.
May 31 Allied air raids on Rouen kill nearly 1,000 people.
June 1 General Koenig is named Commander in Chief of the French Forces of the Interior.
June 3 The French Committee of National Liberation declares itself the Provisional Government of the French Republic.
The Germans launch an attack against a Maquis stronghold at Mont Mouchet in the Auvergne.
June 4 General de Gaulle protests plans to establish an Allied Military Government in France during a meeting with Churchill in London.

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