In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed on May 10th, 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many French soldiers were however evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. In the second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), executed on June 5th, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line to attack the larger territory of France. Italy declared war on France on June 10th. The French government fled to Bordeaux, and Paris was occupied on June 14th. After the French Second Army Group surrendered on June 22nd, France capitulated on June 25th. For the Axis, the campaign was a spectacular victory.
France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast and a collaborationist rump state in the south, Vichy France. Southern France was occupied on November 10th, 1942, and France remained under German occupation until after the Allied landings in 1944; the Low Countries were liberated in 1944 and 1945.
Pictured here is a French Tank Crewman from the 15eme Batailion de Chars Combat, then defending France during early 1940 - "Serge Bernier". Sold Out!