Vulcan 607 wrote:Good point but they did take orders from a foreign nation the Americans
Well, you should read De Gaulle's memoirs, and those Churchill, Ike, ... and anybody whom has been in donctact with De Gaulle to wonder how "obedient" he was. He was a real pain in the ...
Americans never trusted him, never bothered to give him any order because they didn't recognize him as representative of France, and Roosevelt feared he was a dictator in being. Such that the Americans would have rather dealt with Pétain, through admiral Darlan, before the latter was assassinated! Then they still ignored De Gaulle and played the Giraud card.
Only Churchill kept De Gaulle in the game, and De Gaulle's own intrigues and (bombastic) unflinshing spirit that "he was France". He was only even informed of D-Day 3 days before because Churchill asked him on June 2 to come from Algiers to London "because it was France's interests". Rooselvet or the Americans never even bothered tell him or ask his support.
The only French division landed on Normandy, the "2e DB", was indeed under American command but only put ashore at the end of June. While all the French forces under British command (SAS, Commandos & RAF Squadrons) were given the opportunity to fight on D-Day ... and even the day before for the SAS.
So, yes, we've had troops under American command (Italy, 2e DB, ...) as well as we had under British command (Lebanon, Bir Hakeim, El Alamein, ...) but De Gaulle never took order from anyone on a political level, and especially not from the Americans ... if only because the latter never gave themselves the trouble to, ignoring De Gaulle as if a leper.
Only after De Gaulle landed in France on his own and made a speech at Bayeux, with the population clearly showing, at least, overwhelming support for him, did the Americabns finally take him into consideration.
Vulcan 607 wrote:anyway the French fleet could have joined De Gaulle
Seen with today's eyes, yes, of course, there's no arguing that.
But by then, De Gaulle was a nobody. There was hardly anyone knowing him. And less of all in the Navy.
Very few had heard his "June 18th speech", calling the French people to keep fighting alongside him, the day it was broadcasted. There was no internet back then, but censorship: it tooks weeks, months even for it to be rebroadcasted, printed and passed secretely from hand to hand. And when finally De Gaulle became known by the French, he was just a name. While Pétain on the other hand, who's name back then didn't have the infamous meaning it has now, was known and worshiped by every single French as one of the greatest living military leader and worldwide hero of the most apocalyptic battle in human History, that of Verdun.
As a mere Frenchman, civilian, sailor or soldier, whom would you have followed back then? It is easy today to say that people should have resisted, but during WW, and especially as soon as June-July 40, it was an act of seddition against a legal governement led by the most trusted of all political and military figure in the country.
Pétain became a dictator and a puppet of the nazis, we know it today.
But up to 1944 and even 1945, most people would see the arrogant and petty noble De Gaulle as the more prone to overthrow the Republic, or what was left of it ...
And one can love or hate the character (or both), but in the end, contrary to American expectations, he twice stepped out of a democratic goverment because he was in disagreement with its policy or the people to return to provate life, and gave France its most stable republican regime so far ...