The World at War

FRANCE REBORN 1944 - 1945


June 5 Operation Neptune commences
2200 – 5 assault groups depart English ports for Normandy 2300 - The Maquis of Brittany receive orders from London to begin large scale sabotage.
The Maquis of Vercors orders to mobilize, "The goats of the Alpes gather."
June 6 Operation Overlord, the liberation of Western Europe commences with Allied landings in Normandy
0005 Allied air forces begin bombing of coastal batteries between Le Havre and Cherbourg
0010 Reconnaissance groups dropped by parachute - Lieutenant Poole becomes first Allied soldier to set foot on French soil
0020 British commandos under the command of Major Howard arrive by glider and begin attacks on Pegasus and other bridges over the River Orne
0100 U.S. 82nd Airborne Division lands by parachute west of Sainte Mere Eglise
0111 First reports of American airborne assault reach headquarters of the German 84th Army Corps at Saint Lo
0130 U.S. 101st Airborne Division lands by parachute near Utah Beach
0150 Main body of the British 6th Airborne Division lands by parachute east of the River Orne
0245 Troops bound for Omaha Beach board landing craft
0300 Allied warships arrive at assigned positions for the assault
0320 Heavy equipment and reinforcements for paratroops arrive by glider
0325 German naval observers report presence of Allied task force off the coast of Normandy
0350 British paratroops begin attack on the village of Ranville
0430 Sainte Mere Eglise captured by 505th Regiment, U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
Marcouf Islets off Utah Beach occupied by Americans
0445 Two miniature submarines drop off beachmasters and equipment for signaling landing craft
British knockout German shore battery at Merville
0530 Allied warships begin shelling German coastal fortifications
0600 Aerial bombardment of German fortifications along Utah and Omaha Beaches
0630 American landings begin on Utah and Omaha Beaches
0652 First reports of conditions on the beaches reach Admiral Ramsay
0700 German radio broadcasts initial report of the landing
0710 U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion begins assault on Pointe du Hoc
0725 British landings begin on Gold and Sword Beaches
0735 Canadian landing begins on Juno Beach
0900 General Eisenhower authorizes release of communiqué announcing the commencement of the invasion
0913 General Bradley, fearing it may become necessary to abandon Omaha Beach, calls for reinforcements
0930 The Casino building at Riva Bella is liberated by Free French commandos led by Commandant Kieffer
0930 First units reach the top of cliffs overlooking Omaha Beach
Hermanville, behind Sword Beach, is liberated
0945 Utah Beach cleared of all enemy forces
1200 Winston Churchill reports on the landings in speech to the House of Commons
1300 Troops from Utah Beach link up with paratroops from the 101st Airborne Division
1330 Troops on Omaha Beach begin moving inland
1430 21st Panzer Division launches counter attack towards the coast
1500 12th SS Panzer Division falls into position south of Caen
1600 British tanks arrive in Arromanches
1800 Saint Laurent, behind Omaha Beach, liberated
2000 21st Panzer Division reaches the coast at Luc sur Mer between Juno and Sword Beaches
Allied patrols reach the outskirts of Bayeux
2200 Rommel returns to his headquarters after meetings in Germany
Canadian/British advance on Caen stalls in the Forest of Lebisay
June 7 0400 President Roosevelt leads the nation in prayer for the troops on radio broadcast at 10 p.m. June 6th Washington time.
The Allies begin installing artificial harbors “Mulberries” at Arromanches on the Normandy coast (the 147 caissons weigh between 600 and 1600 tonnes and measure 17 x 60 meters by 18 meters in height). Resistance forces occupy Tulle.
June 8 Bayeux is liberated by British troops.
June 9 French Forces of the Interior are integrated with the Free French Army.
The Maquis launch and offensive on the Vercors Plateau in the Savoie.
The Provisional Government names Commissioners to replace Prefects of Departments.
The Resistance withdraws from Tulle. SS Das Reich Division troops hang 99 men after retaking the town.
The first issue of the Resistance newspaper L'Homme Libre appears in Paris.
June 10 The SS 2nd Das Reich Division murders 642 civilians at Oradour sur Glane near Limoges.
The Maquis of Vercors receive orders to cancel their attack, too late.
Isigny is liberated.
June 12 Carantan is liberated. The two American bridgeheads are linked. The drive on Cherbourg begins.
The British and Canadian drive on Caen stalls.
A German counter-attack on the Vercors front at Saint Nizier is repulsed.
June 14 General De Gaulle arrives in Bayeux to establish the Provisional Government of France.
Allied bombers attack Le Havre. 1,000 bombs fall on the port.
June 15 German troops and artillery renew the attack on the Vercors Resistance killing 130 men. The Maquis are force to withdraw from Saint Nizier and the plains Lans and Villard.
June 16 Historian and Resistant Marc Bloch is shot by the Gestapo.
General De Gaulle delivers his first public speech on French soil at Bayeux.
June 17 Hitler meets with Rommel and Rundstedt at Margival near Soissons. A V-1 rocket crashes near the bunker shortly after Hitler's departure.
June 18 2,500 Resistants and 200 French SAS paratroops hold off a German attack on their stronghold at Saint Marcel, Brittany before withdrawing under cover of darkness.
June 19 A violent storm, lasting 4 days, strikes at the Mulberrys (artificial harbors) threatening Allied ability to land enough supplies and reinforcements.
The French 1st Army captures the Island of Elba from German and Italian garrison.
June 20 Jean Zay, Education Minister in the Popular Front, is assassinated by the Milice.
Resistance fighters battle German troops at Mont Mouchet and La Truyere on the Upper Loire.
June 25 - 28 The Allies airdrop 2,160 containers of supplies to the Maquis of Vercors. Most end up in German hands.
June 26 Cherbourg is liberated, Lt. General Carl von Schlieben and Rear Admiral Hennecke surrender the German garrison to U.S Army VII Corps commander General Joseph L. Collins.
The British launch Operation Epsom hoping to establish a bridgehead on the River Odon, west of Caen. The attack fails.
June 27 Four hundred German holdouts in the port of Cherbourg led by Major General Robert Sattler surrender to the U.S. Army 29th Infantry Division. Damage to port facilities prevents full utilization until September.
June 28 Philippe Henriot, Minister of Information and Propaganda, is assassinated by the Resistance agent Philippe Gonard aka Morlot.
The Maquis of Saffré, Loire Inferieure are crushed by the Germans. Thirteen of 280 are killed in action. Another 27 are executed.
June 29 Seven Jewish hostages are shot in reprisal for the assassination of Philippe Henriot on orders from Paul Trouvier, intelligence officer of the Lyon Milice.
July 1 Hitler replaces Marshal von Rundstedt with General von Kluge as commander of German forces on the Western Front.
July 2 A train carrying 2,551 deportees to Germany leaves Compiègne. Only 1,543 survive the trip to Dachau and less than 200 return at the end of the war.
July 3 Free French troops enter Sienna, Italy.
Yves Farge, General de Gaulle's commissioner in the Vercors, proclaims the restoration of the Republic and abolition of Vichy decrees.
July 4 Canadian troops capture Capriquet a few kilometers west of Caen.
July 6 A lone resistant, Maurice Leboucher, sets off explosion in the Le Havre submarine base destroying, 120 tons of shells and torpedoes, compressed air tanks, and 15 motor torpedo boats.
German artillery and air attacks destroy the Resistance in the Ardèche.
General de Gaulle confers with President Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and General Marshall in Washington.
The Provisional Government of the French Republic issues a decree outlining the authority of the Commissioners appointed to replace Vichy prefects.
July 7 Georges Mandel murdered by the Milice in the Forest of Fontainbleu.
The British launch Operation Charmwood attacking Caen from the north. The Royal Air Force drops 2,500 tons of bombs on the city in preparation for the offensive.
July 8 American forces capture La Haye du Puits after a five day battle.
July 9 Caen is liberated by British and Canadian forces.
July 10 General de Gaulle tells a Washington press conference that the reconstruction of France is an exclusively French concern.
Mayor LaGuardia welcomes General de Gaulle to New York.
July 12 The Vichy Council of Ministers meets on French soil for the last time.
July 14 The last daylight airdrop of supplies is made to Maquis in Vercors, Lot, Coreze and Dordogne.
July 17 Fieldmarshal Rommel is seriously injured in an automobile accident in Normandy. Marshal von Kluge assumes command of German forces in France.
July 18 Saint Lo, “the capital of ruins”, is liberated.
July 19 Fifty two political prisoners are shot at Lyon.
July 21 German gliders land 600 SS troops on the Vercors plateau. The Resistance believes they are Allied reinforcements and does not oppose the landings.
July 22 Resistance leaders order the Vercors Maquis to disperse during the night.
July 23 German troops defeat the Maquis in the Battle of Vercors. The Maquis loose 630 men.
July 24 The Americans launch an offensive codename Operation Cobra in Normandy.
German troops and Vichy Milice execute 36 Jews at Guerry.
July 29 Coutances is liberated clearing the way for an American advance up the Cotentin peninsula towards Cherbourg.
Jean Bringer, chief of military operations for the Resistance in the Aude, is arrested.
July 30 General LeClerc’s Free French 2nd Armored Division lands at Utah Beach.The Chateau de Trévarez, a rest and recreation center for the Kreigsmarine in Brittany, is bombed by the Royal Air Force.
July 31 The U.S. Third Army under General George S. Patton breaks through the German line blocking an Allied advance on Brittany at Avranches.
Famed aviator and author Antoine de Saint Exupéry disappears over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission between Bastia and Grenoble.
August 1 Forty eight resistance men are executed at Souges internment camp Bordeaux.
Author Jean Prévost and four other resistance fighters are killed by a German patrol near Pont Charvet in the Vercors.
August 4 Rennes is liberated.
August 5 Marshal Petain condemns the actions of the Milice.
August 6 General Patton’s army reaches the outskirts of Brest and turns eastward. Heavily defended pockets surrounding submarine bases at Brest, Lorient and Saint Nazaire remain in German hands. Panzer units launch counterattack on Americans at Mortain.
Vannes, Redon, Vitre and Laval are liberated.
August 7 General Dietrich von Choltitz replaces General von Stulpnagel as Commander of Greater Paris.
Saint Brieuc is liberated.
August 8 Operation Totalize - Canadians attack on the Caen-Falaise front. Encirclement of remaining German troops begins in the Falaise Pocket.
Morlaix and Le Mans are liberated by the U.S. Third Army.
August 9 The Provisional Government of the French Republic issues a decree re-instituting Republican law.
Quimper is liberated by the U.S. Third Army.
August 11 Nantes and Angers are liberated.
August 12 Alençon is liberated by the Free French 2nd Armored Division.
Argentan is liberated by the Americans.
August 13 Quimperle is liberated.
August 14 Approximately 2500 civilians are evacuated from the German held pocket around the port of Brest.
August 15 Operation Dragoon - Allied Landings in Provence
0000 French commandos landed to sabotage German guns
0030 Adrien Trixier, commando leader, first Allied soldier killed in action
0130 US/Canadian 1st Special Service Force lands on the Ile de Hyeres
0155 Diversion operations begin – 5 American C-47s drop 300 mannequins on the hills near La Ciotat – task force led by the destroyer USS Endicott penetrates German radar west of La Ciotat simulating a convoy 12 X 20 km 0430 American/British airborne division, General Tryor’s “Rugby Force”, dropped between Draguingnan and Freyes 0800 US 7th Army 3rd Infantry Division lands between Cavalaire and Ste. Maxime
0830 US 7th Army 36 Infantry Division lands at St. Raphael
0650 1st Special Service Force regiment lands at Port Cros
1300 1st Special Service Force regiment lands on Ile du Levant
1530 2nd American landing at St. Raphael
1730 St. Tropez liberated by French Forces of the Interior and American paratroops. General Patch establishes headquarters in the Hotel Latitude 43.
1800 Americans occupy 40 km beachead between Cap Negre and St. Aygulf
Paris police, metro and postal workers begin a strike.
August 16 2030 Seven divisions of French Army Group B under the command of Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny land near St. Tropez
Canadian troops enter the city of Falaise in Normandy.
August 17 Colonel Andreas von Aulock and 571 surviving members of the 8000 man German garrison at St. Malo surrender after a two week siege by by the U.S. Army 83rd Infantry Division
The last deportation of French Jews from Drancy to Auschwitz begins.
Dreux, Chartres and Orleans are liberated by the U.S. Third Army.
Vichy Labor Minister Marcel Déat flees to Germany.
The collaborationist newspaper L'Oeuvre publishes its last issue.
August 18 Resistance forces fire on German troops from a position on Pont de Arts in Paris.
Pierre Laval leaves Paris for Belfort.
Draguignan is liberated by US 36th Infantry Division.
August 19 Paris’ Communist dominated Resistance led by Colonel Rol (aka Henri Tanguy) begins an insurrection against the occupation authorities.Resistance fighters attack German troops in Marseilles.
German troops execute 20 resistance members by setting off an explosion in the Carcassone ammunition magazine where they are held prisoner.
German troops destroy port facilities in Sète.
Perpignan, Saint Etienne and Agen are liberated.
Fieldmarshal von Kluge, commander of German forces in France, commits suicide after being implicated in the July 20th plot to assassinate Hitler. Fieldmarshal von Rundstedt succeeds him.
August 20 Marshal Petain makes his last broadcast as Chief of State.
Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval are taken from Vichy to Belfort.
German troops kill 100 prisoners at Saint-Genis-Laval.
Sète and Pau are liberated.
August 21 Swedish Consul, Raoul Nordling, negotiates a truce between the Resistance and the German garrison in Paris.
SS troops kill 126 people at Maille.
August 22 FFI commandant Colonel Rol Tanquy and the Paris Committee of Liberation decide to resume fighting in Paris.
General de Gaulle prevails on Eisenhower to allow General Leclerc’s 2nd Armored Division liberate Paris. General Bradley issues order for LeClerc’s 2nd Armored Division to march on Paris The Falaise pocket is closed trapping remaining the German armored units in Normandy.
The last convoy of French Jews sent to Auschwitz leaves Clermont Ferrand.
Aix en Provence is liberated.
August 23 General von Choltitz receives Hitler’s order to destroy Paris.
General Monsabert’s 3rd Algerian Infantry Division enters Marseilles.
August 24 A Free French reconnaissance brigade led by Captain Raymond Dronne enters Paris by the Porte de Gentilly and reaches city hall by dusk.
Commissioner of the Republic Raymond Aubrac takes office in the Marseilles prefecture.
Cannes, Grasse and Grenoble are liberated.
August 25 Troops of the Free French 2nd Armored Division, under General LeClerc, enter Paris closely followed by U.S. 4th Infantry Division.
At 1530 General von Choltitz signs the act of surrender to General Leclerc in the Prefecture of Police. Colonel Rol countersigns the instrument of surrender on behalf of the French Forces of the Interior.
At 1615 General DeGaulle arrives at la Gare Montparnasse.
August 26 General de Gaulle leads a triumphal march from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde. Sniper fire erupts as de Gaulle enters Notre Dame for a mass of thanksgiving.
An ordnance defines the crime of "indignité nationale" for collaboration. 49,723 people will be convicted of this offense.
Avignon, Arles and Tarascon are liberated.
August 27 Toulon and Montélimar are liberated.
August 28 German forces withdraw from Bordeaux.
The last German holdouts in Marseilles surrender.
August 29 Marcel Déat, the representative of the French Governmental Commission of Sigmaringen, is received by Hitler.
Montpellier and Nimes are liberated.
August 30
Rouen is liberated.
August 31 The Provisional Government of the French Republic moves from Algiers to Paris.
Verdun is liberated by the U.S. Third Army.
Béziers, Narbonne, Angouleme and Valence are liberated.
September 1 British troops of the 49th West Yorkshire Division and 51st Highland Division complete encirclement of German troops holding the port city of Le Havre.
107 members of the Alliance resistance network are executed at the Struthof concentration camp in Alsace.
German troops withdraw from Tours.
Amiens and Reims are liberated.
September 2 Nice and Chambéry are liberated.
September 3 Lyon is liberated by the French 1st Army.
September 5 Royal Air Force bombers inflict heavy damage on the center of Le Havre. The city hall is destroyed and 110 resistance fighters holding the main theatre are killed.
Lille, Poitiers and Saint Etienne are liberated.
September 6 326 civilians are killed when a bomb falls on a Le Havre air raid shelter. Only 6 people in the shelter survive.
September 8 Beaune and Chalon sur Saone are liberated.
September 9 The Conquet sector of the Brest pocket falls to the Americans. 1400 Germans are taken prisoner.
September 10 The Provisional Government issues decree naming cabinet ministers and declaring General de Gaulle Chief of State.
Besançon is liberated.
September 11
Dijon is liberated.
September 12 General Leclerc’s 2nd Armored Division meets Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny’s force advancing from Provence at Nod-sur-Seine. The 7th Royal Tanks and 2nd Glouscestershire Regiment capture German headquarters in the center of Le Havre (the Geman commander Colonel Wildermuth surrenders to Major General Barker of the 49th West Yorkshire Division).
September 13 Admiral Hans-Udo von Tresckow surrenders German naval forces in the port of Le Havre to Lieutenant Colonel Butterworth of the 2nd Gloucestershires.
American troops capture Fort de Montbarey in the Brest pocket.
September 14 German forces holding l’Ecole Navale (Naval Academy) at Brest surrender after a day of heavy fighting. September 15
Special Courts are established to try collaborators.
Nancy is liberated.
September 17 German forces under Lieutenant General Rauch retreat from the Crozon peninsula to join General Ramcke’s holdouts on the Pointe des Espagnols. September 18
Brest is liberated. Major General Hans von der Mosel and Rear Admiral Otto Kahler surrender along with 1900 German troops. The German commander of Festung Brest, Lt. General Hermann Ramcke, escapes by boat to the Pointe des Espagnols.
September 19 General Ramcke surrenders to Lieutenant General Troy Middleton, commander of the U.S. Army VIII Corps. Fighting ends in Brest. German losses during the 43 day siege total 4000 killed, 5982 wounded and 28,000 taken prisoner.
The French Forces of the Interior are integrated into the French Army by decree.
September 20 Marshal Petain and Pierre Laval leave Belfort for Sigmaringen, Germany.
September 21 Menton is liberated by the U.S. Army 36th Infantry Division.
September 22 Lieutenant General Ferdinand Heim, commander of the German garrison at Boulogne-sur-Mer surrenders to Brigadier General John Rockingham of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade.
September 23 The Allies recognize the Provisional Government of the French Republic’s authority in matters of civil administration. September 30
Calais is liberated by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division. 7,500 German soldiers are taken prisoner.
October 1 German authorities confer extraterritorial privileges on the headquarters of the Vichy Government in Exile at Sigmaringen. The French flag is raised over the residence of Marshal Petain.
October 4 The Provisional Government of the French Republic launches a judicial inquiry against Marshal Petain.
The French 1st Army of General de Lattre de Tassigny launches an offensive in the Vosges.
October 5 Women granted the right to vote in French elections.
October 9 The port of Le Harve reopens.
October 10 Maurice Chevalier's appearance in a Communist sponsored parade dispells collaboration charges in France but the entertainer is barred from Great Britain for several years and is later barred from the United States.
October 11 The Provisional Consultative Assembly enlarged to 296 members (148 representing the Resistance in metropolitan France, 28 representing the Corsican and overseas Resistance, 60 senators and deputies of the old National Assembly and 12 representatives of the overseas territories).
October 17 General de Lattre breaks off the offensive in the Vosges after sustaining heavy losses to German counter attacks at Haut du Faing and Haut de Touteux.
October 20 Colonel Adeline, the commander of French forces besieging the La Rochelle Pocket, signs an accord with Admiral Shirlitz, the German commandant, to halt further combat in exchange for a promise to refrain from destruction of the port facilities.
October 23 The Provisional Government of the French Republic is recognized by Great Britain, the United States, Canada and the Soviet Union.
October 24 Industrialist Louis Renault dies in prison while awaiting trial for collaboration.
October 28 The Provisional Government dissolves the Armed Resistance. Communist reject the measure and call for their retention under the title of Republican Civic Guards.
October 31 Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez is granted an amnesty by the Provisional Government.
November 1 Winston Churchill visits Paris.
Philippe Barrès, Eve Curie and Henri Massot launch the conservative daily newspaper Paris Presse.
November 13 Five battalions of the French 2nd Armored Division cross the Vosges and advance on Strasbourg.
November 18 A special high court is established to try leading collaborators.
The French 5th Armored Division and 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division overrun German positions around Belfort (German troops continue to hold out in the Fortress).
November 20 French commandos seize German strong points in the Fortress of Belfort in a daring nighttime raid.
November 21 Mulhouse is liberated by General Caldairou’s 1st Armored Division. The German 19th Army troops holding the town are caught completely off guard and flee without most of their equipment. November 22
Metz is liberated by American and Free French forces after a 3 day battle. General Walker turns command of the city over to General Dody.
The 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division clears last German troops from the center of Belfort.
St. Die is liberated by the 6th Corps of the U.S. 7th Army.
November 24 The French 2nd Armored Divison liberates Strasbourg.
November 26 Georges Bidault founds the centerist Mouvement Républicain Populaire.
November 27 French Communist Party leader Maurice Thorez returns from exile in Moscow.
November Women are allowed to serve on juries of the Assize Courts.
December 10 A Franco-Soviet Treaty of Alliance is signed in Moscow.
December 13 Oil refineries in the Nord region are nationalized.
December 15 Georges Suarez, editor of the collaborationist newspaper Aujourd’hui (Today), is executed. December 18
The French merchant marine is nationalized.
Paul Chack, retired naval officer and writer, is sentenced to death for having publicly favored German victory and publishing collaborationist tracts (executed January 1, 1945).
December Free French troops occupy the islands of Houat and Hoedic in the Bay of Quiberon inside the Lorient pocket.
December 29 Henri Beraud, writer, is sentenced to death for publishing collaborationist tracts (commuted to life at hard labor, paroled in 1950).
December 30 A Social Security decree establishes sickness, maternity and old age pensions.
Goncourt Prize for Literature
Elsa Triolet for Le Premier Accroc Coute 200 Francs
Notable Books Antigone by Jean Anouilh
Le Querelle de Brest by J. Genet
Huis Clos by Jean Paul Sarte
Notable Recordings Maurice Chevalier Fleur de Paris
Germaine Sablon - Le chant des partisans
Jacques Helian - Paris Tour Eiffel
Elyane Celis - Lorsque demain tu reviendras dans ton village
1945January 1 Operation Northwind: Seven German divisions launch an offensive against the U.S. 6th Army Corps in northern Alsace. The Americans are forced to fall back on Moder. General Eisenhower orders an Allied retreat from Strasbourg despite French opposition. General de Gaulle declares that, "the French will defend Strasbourg come what may."
January 2 General Devers orders General de Lattre to reduce his left flank and withdraw towards the Vosges.
January 3 General de Gaulle persuades General Eisenhower to rescind an order for Allied troops to withdraw from Strasbourg.
January 4 The Germans retake the town of Wissembourg in northern Alsace.
January 5 The French 1st Army under General Guillaume relieves American troops defending Strasbourg.
A Royal Air Force raid on Royan levels three quarters of the city and kills 2,000 people.
January 6 Jacques Doriot announces the formation of a Vichy "Committee of French Liberation" in a radio broadcast from Germany.
January 10 Marcel Déat and Jacques Doriot represent Vichy at the Nazi front European Congress in Weimar.
January 15 General Devers places the U.S. 28th Infantry Division and the French 2nd Armored Division at the disposal of the French 1st Army for an attack on the Colmar Pocket.
January 16 The Renault factories are nationalized.
January 18 Finance Minister Pierre Mendes-France resigns after the cabinet rejects austerity measures.
January 19 Robert Brasillach, editor of the anti-semitic journal Je Suis Partout (I am everywhere) is sentenced to death for collaboration with Germany.
January 20 The French 1st Army launches an offensive against German forces in the Colmar Pocket along a line from Cernay to Ensisheim.
German troops retake Marans in the La Rochelle Pocket.
January 21 Communist Party General Secretary Maurice Thorez orders the patriotic militias to disband at a meeting in Ivry.
January 23 The Communist Party Central Committee agrees to dissolution of armed resistance groups.
January 27 Charles Maurras, philosophical inspiration for L’Action Francaise, is sentenced to life in prison and expulsion from l’Academie Francaise (pardoned 1952). January
Maurice Chevalier stages a Parisian comeback at l'ABC.
The Italian Monte Rosa and Littorio Divisions, supported by the German 5th Mountain Division, enter combat against French troops on the heights of the western Alps.
February 2 Colmar is liberated, General Milburn halts American troops at the edge of town leaving the honor of liberating it to the French 5th Armored Division under General Schlesser.
February 6 Robert Brasillach is executed at Fort de Montrouge.
February 22 Jacques Doriot killed in strafing near Sigmaringen, Germany.
February 22 Committees of Enterprise are established in all businesses with more than 100 employees.
February 27 147 people are killed when a British plane bombs Calais instead of Dunkerque which is still in enemy hands.
March 15 Pierre Drieu LaRochelle, collaborationist author, commits suicide.
March 24 The Order of the Liberation awarded to the City of Paris.
March 26 The French 2nd Armored Division crosses the Rhine.
March 27 Collaborationist author Louis Ferdinand Céline flees to German held Denmark.
March 29 Italian paratroopers of the Folgore Regiment force the withdrawal of the French 11th Battalion des Chasseurs Alpines. from Mont Cenis in the Alps.
March 31 Algerian and Moroccan divisions under General Montsabert and General Valluy's Division Coloniale cross the Rhine and capture Karlsruhe.
April 5 Socialist Pierre Mendes-France resigns from the cabinet in a policy dispute with Finance Minister René Pleven.
April 6 Italian paratroopers of the Folgore Regiment climb the heights of Mont Froid in the Alps and force the withdrawal of the French 15th Battalion des Chasseurs Alpines.
April 14 The first deportees to return from Germany are greeted by General de Gaulle, Frenay and Mitterand.
April 19 Italian forces holding the Col de Ciriega at 2,543 meters in the Alps repulse an attack by the Free French 1st Division.
April 20 General Henri-Fernand Dentz, Commander in Chief of Vichy forces in the Levant, is sentenced to death for having fought British and Gaullist forces in Lebanon and Syria (sentence commuted to life in prison).
April 24 Switzerland agrees to allow Marshal Pétain to transit the country in order to surrender himself to the French authorities.
The San Francisco Conference opens. Georges Bidault heads the French delegation.
April 27 Marshal Pétain is turned over to France by the Swiss authorities. General Koenig, Commander in Chief of the French Forces of the Interior and Military Governor of Paris, takes custody of the former head of the French State at Vallorbe.
May 3 German sailors recapture the islands of Houat and Hoedic in the Bay of Quiberon off Lorient.
May 4 The French 2nd Armored Division takes the Berghof, Hitler's retreat at Berchtesgaden.
Exchange of old 50 to 5000 franc banknotes for new currency is required.
May 6 Racing Club de Paris defeats a combined Olympique de Lille/SC Fivios squad 3-0 in the Coupe de France (football) at the Colombes Stadium in Paris.
May 7 At 0241 German General Jodl signs an instrument of unconditional surrender at General Eisenhower’s headquarters in a Reims schoolhouse. General Francois Sevez signs for France. General Fahrmbacher agrees to surrender the German pockets around Lorient and St.Nazaire to General Kramer of the U.S. Army 66th Division. Allied entry into the Lorient and St.Nazaire pockets is delayed 3 days to allow Germans to mark the minefields.
May 8 The Soviets stage a second surrender ceremony in Berlin. Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny represents France at the ceremony.
May 9 The German garrison surrenders the La Rochelle/La Pallice pocket to the French 23rd Infantry Division.
May 10 The French 19th Infantry Division enters Lorient.
May 11 Admiral Frisius surrenders the German garrison at Dunkerque to Czech troops.
The French 25th Infantry Division enters Saint Nazaire.

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