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23 Facts About Free French
The Free French government re-established a provisional republic after the liberation, preparing the ground for the Fourth Republic in 1946.
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In many sources, Free French describes any French individual or unit that fought against Axis forces after the June 1940 armistice.
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Free French was a long-time advocate of the modern armoured warfare ideas applied by the Wehrmacht, and commanded the 4th Armoured Division at the Battle of Montcornet.
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Free French forces included men from the French Pacific Islands.
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Free French forces included 5, 000 non-French Europeans, mainly serving in units of the Foreign Legion.
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The 1st Free French Division contained a mixed brigade of French Troupes de marine and the Pacific island volunteers.
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Free French therefore insisted that French warships either join the Allies or else adopt neutrality in a British, French, or neutral port.
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In February 1941, Free French Forces invaded Cyrenaica, again led by Leclerc, capturing the Italian fort at the oasis of Kufra.
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In June 1942, the British attacked the strategically important colony of Free French Madagascar, hoping to prevent its falling into Japanese hands and especially the use of Diego-Suarez's harbour as a base for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
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In November 1943, the Free French forces received enough military equipment through Lend-Lease to re-equip eight divisions and allow the return of borrowed British equipment.
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Free French ordered them to cease resisting and co-operate with the Allies, which they did.
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Free French changed the name of his movement to "Fighting French Forces" and sent Jean Moulin back to France as his formal link to the irregulars throughout the occupied country to co-ordinate the eight major Resistance groups into one organisation.
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The Vichy regime's exile ended when Free French forces reached the town and captured its members on 22 April 1945, the same day that the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division took Stuttgart.
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Free French forces were fighting in Alsace-Lorraine, the Alps, and besieging the heavily fortified Free French Atlantic coast submarine bases that remained Hitler-mandated stay-behind "fortresses" in ports along the Atlantic coast like La Rochelle and Saint-Nazaire until the German capitulation in May 1945.
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