This week in the War, 21–27 August 1944: Liberation of Paris
Crowds line the Champs Elysees to watch the Free French tanks and halftracks of General Leclerc’s 2nd Armoured Division, 25 August 1944 [Public domain]
The Free French 2nd Armoured Division of General Philippe Leclerc reached Paris this week in the war, on 24 August 1944.
The next day, the German commandant of Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, disobeyed the Fuehrer’s order to destroy the city and surrendered to Leclerc.
On the 26 August 1944, General de Gaulle led a victory procession down the Champs-Élysées. Afterwards, he attended a Te Deum at the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Following the success of Operation Overlord and of Operation Dragoon, the Allies were established in both the north and the south. For France, the days of German rule were clearly numbered.
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