The Appeal Of June 18th 1940

Discussion in 'History & Geography' started by Julie Stewart, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
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    "L'Appel de 18 Juin" is something all French children learn about and is celebrated every year. It was the day that General de Gaulle, leader of the Free French who had fled to London, spoke on BBC Radio.

    He called for all French to oppose the German occupation and the collaboration of Pétain and the Vichy government. It is a very famous speech here in France as it was associated with the establishment of the French Resistance.

    It is commemorated every year at war memorials and cenotaphs. The manuscript of the speech and the recording have been classed as part of UNESCO'S "Memory of the World Program"

    We watched the memorial in Epernay this afternoon.

    de_gaulle.jpg
     
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  2. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I would put that in the category of who knew? I remember De Gaulle though. He was the President of France for many years. I remember him being mentioned on the news, and reading about him when I was young. Was he continually being re elected? It seemed like he was in power in France for a long, long time. I guess he is still well regarded in France. I think they are grateful for the assistance of the U.S, in WWII as well.
     
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  3. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
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    It's a pity more people don't know. The French Resistance (also known as the Maquis) played a huge part in the defeat of the occupying German forces and along the whole western front. The European Allied nations could not have infiltrated France as they did without the Resistance and when the US joined they too depended on the Resistance to advance through occupied France, the combined Allied forces would have lost more soldiers and the war would have lasted longer without the Resistance. Of the 45,000 allied soldiers who parachuted into France 75% were given assistance by members of the Resistance. They also facilitated the escape of many military prisoners of war from all allied nations.

    On "D-Day" the Germans could not identify the numbers and location of many incoming UK and US soldiers because the Resistance had cit so many telephone lines that the Germans could not communicate adequately. Cutting telephone lines was a suicide mission but saved many Allied lives. There were about 500,000 "ordinary" (ie not military) men and women in the French Resistance - over 90,000 are on record as being tortured, killed and deported, many thousands of others 'disappeared'.

    Many Brits and French have mixed feelings of gratitude when it comes to US assistance in the northern Europe theater of war. Without question, much respect is paid on several significant dates throughout the year, every year, to the brave US soldiers who fought on the battlefields and who helped the local population. But there is a feeling held by many that, as an ally, they could have come earlier before it got so bad and not waited until Hitler and his régime became a real threat to the wider world outside of Europe. The timing, of course, was in the remit of generals and politicians - not the soldiers in the field.

    I'm not of this mind myself - ie: that the assistance could have come earlier. Although my parents and both sets of grandparents were strongly critical of what they saw as a late entry of the US into the war, as are/were many French people of the generation who were young in the war. But, with hindsight and access to more facts, we can see that the long-term effects of the uncertain end of World War One plus the Japanese threat to the US are important factors when it came to US deployment of their army (much smaller than today). I do, however, feel the war was already being won, the coming of the US allies helped to speed up the victory.
     
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  4. Gary Ridenour

    Gary Ridenour Very Well-Known Member
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    its said when Churchill heard about Pearl Harbor he got his first good night of sleep. with us in the fight Hilter was doomed to lose. the biggest mistake he made was declaring war on the US.

    [​IMG]

    photos link
     
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  5. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
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  6. Texas Beth

    Texas Beth Well-Known Member
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    Yes, WW II is a good example of countries working well together. I would like to see this again as it relates to defeating ISIS.
     
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  7. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
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    I agree @Texas Beth but the world is such a different place than it was 70 years ago. There were no so-called super powers then; there was religious hatred between opposing groups (as there has been for many centuries, long before modern religions) - but it was much more localized geographically.

    Also today I feel people think in a much more black-and-white manner, they're either "for" or "against" and so don't see the mellow, more reasonable shades of grey in the middle. For example - because of terrorist attacks associated with extreme Islamic factions it's easier to put all Muslims into the same category. Another example, here in Europe, with the tragic story of migration over recent months, some people view ALL immigrants as opportunists coming to take over our society.

    If countries worked together and shared reasoned intelligence rather than the sensationalist rubbish that is the fodder of most of the world's press, we would have much greater control over extremist factions from all walks of life and be able to discriminate between what is genuine and what is opportunistic.

    It feels as though the world is a much more fractured place in terms of different cultures, beliefs and societies. Which is ironic as most of the world's population has fingertip access to much more information - or maybe that's part of the problem.....
     
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