Liberation of France

World War II: Fall of the Third Reich

Europe 1944.083

Liberation of France

World War II in Europe from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (30 August 1944)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

Throughout July the Allies consolidated and reinforced their hold over Normandy. On August 5 they struck, sweeping south, east and west across France. Ten days later an additional force landed in southern France. French and American troops entered Paris on the 25th.

Main Events

Operation Bagration

Soviet offensive into Belorussian SSR and eastern Poland

Operation Dragoon

Following the successful capture of Normandy, the Allies invaded Southern France, landing on the Côte D'Azur on 15 August and rapidly pushing inward with help from a French Resistance-led uprising in the region.

Liberation of Paris

With the approach of the US 3rd Army under General George Patton, the French Forces of the Interior (FFI) - the military component of the French Resistance - staged an uprising against the German garrison in Paris. While the Germans were skirmishing with the FFI, Free French forces entered the city on the night of 24 August, followed by General Philippe Leclerc's 2nd French Armored Division and the US 3rd Army on the morning of the 25th. Despite Hitler's orders to destroy the city, the German garrison surrendered at 3:30 pm that day.

King Michael's Coup

Following months of secret negotiations with the Soviet Union, Romanian opposition politicians, led by the Communist Party, persuaded King Michael to remove pro-Nazi Prime Minister Ion Antonescu from office. On 23 August 1944, Antonescu was removed and replaced by General Constantin Sanatescu, and Romania joined the Allies. A German invasion, Operation Margarethe II, was planned but not implemented.

Slovak national uprising

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