June 22nd 1940 France Surrenders

William Shirer at Compiègne
On June22nd the French surrendered. They were allowed to keep a third of the country as Vichy France. The French navy was to disarm but not surrender.


With the fall of Paris it was only a matter of time until the French surrendered. Hitler was eager to reach a surrender agreement so that the French would not continue to fight on from their colonies. The French also possessed a potent navy whose help the Germans wanted to deny to the Allies. Hitler presented the French with terms: Germany would occupy two thirds of the country, France would pay for the occupation, meanwhile the French could have a rump state run from Vichy. The French were allowed to keep their overseas empire as well as their navy as long as the navy disarmed.

Hitler insisted that the armistice be signed in the Compiègne Forest in the same railroad car that the Germans had surrendered to the Allies at the end of World War I. When the French tried to modify some of the terms, General Kietel who had taken over the negotiations once Hitler had read the terms said it was take it or leave it. The French army was in no condition to continue to resist and so at 18:36 on June 22nd the French signed the agreement and surrendered. The Germans had lost 27,000 men dead and 111,000 wounded in the six weeks it took to capture France. The French lost 92,000 dead and 200,000 wounded. The British lost about 10,000 men.