German military administration in occupied France during World War II
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Military Administration in France (Template:Lang-de) was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II. It remained in existence from May 1940 to December 1944. As a result of the defeat of France and its Allies in the Battle of France, the French cabinet sought a cessation of hostilities. An armistice was signed on 22 June 1940 at Compiègne. Under its terms, a designated area in the north and west of France, the zone occupée, was occupied by the German Army; in this region, the French government located at Vichy, headed by the ageing Maréchal Philippe Pétain, was subordinate to the Germans. Most of the remaining third of the country was set aside as the zone libre, to be fully controlled by the Vichy government. Alsace and Lorraine were reincorporated into Germany proper (thus subjecting their male population to German military conscription.) Several departments along the Italian border were occupied by Italian troops, while areas along the Belgian frontier were administered by the German occupation authorities in Brussels. The entire Atlantic coastline was declared a military zone, placing it off-limits to French civilians (except for local inhabitants, who required a special pass). Both the unoccupied and the occupied portions of France remained legally under the control of the Vichy government.
When the Allies invaded North Africa on 8 November 1942, the Germans and Italians immediately occupied the remaining free part of France. The liberation of France began on 6 June 1944 with the Allied forces landing on D-Day and the Battle of Normandy and ended in December. Paris itself was liberated on 25 August 1944.