France during World War II
3 September 1939 – 2 September 1945
President(s)Albert Lebrun
Philippe Pétain
Charles de Gaulle
Prime Minister(s)Édouard Daladier
Paul Reynaud
Philippe Pétain
Pierre Laval
Pierre-Étienne Flandin
François Darlan
Charles de Gaulle
Interwar France Trente Glorieuses

France was one of the largest military powers to come under occupation as part of the Western Front in World War II. The Western Front was a military theatre of World War II encompassing Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. The Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale combat operations.

The first phase saw the capitulation of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France during May and June 1940 after their defeat in the Low Countries and the northern half of France, and continued into an air war between Germany and Britain that climaxed with the Battle of Britain.

After capitulation, France was governed as Vichy France headed by Marshal Philippe Pétain. From 1940 to 1942, while the Vichy regime was the nominal government of all of France except for Alsace-Lorraine, the Germans and Italians militarily occupied northern and south-eastern France. France was not liberated until 1944, when the allied invasion restored the French Government.


The following are articles about the topic of 'France during World War II:

Vichy France

Free France

Further reading