Monday, September 21, 2015



Charles de Gaulle / London / June 1940

This evening I should just like to say, since someone must do so, what shame and revolt rend the heart of every true Frenchman.
     There is no point in commenting at length on the various clauses of the Franco-German and Franco-Italian armistices. They can all be summed up in this one phrase: France and her people, bound hand and foot, have been surrendered to the enemy.
     But though the terms of this capitulation have been set down in black and white, there are countless men, women, adolescents, and children in our country who will never accept it with resignation, who will always spurn it and have none of it.
     France is like a boxer who has been struck to the ground by a terrible blow. She lies there helpless. But she knows, she feels, that the strong tide of life still flows in her veins.
     She knows, she feels, that the fight is not over, that the last word has not been spoken.
     She knows, she feels, that she deserves a better fate than the slavery to which the Bordeaux Government has agreed.
     She knows, she feels, that in her Empire great forces have arisen to resist the enemy and save her honour. Already the will to fight on has shown itself in many parts of the French overseas possessions.
     She knows, she feels, that her Allies are more than ever resolved to continue the struggle until final victory is achieved.
     She sees in the New World immense reserves of material and moral strength which may one day rise up and overwhelm the enemies of freedom.
     We must have an ideal. We must have hope. Somewhere the flame of French resistance must burn with a shining light.
     Officers, soldiers, sailors, airmen, and engineers of France, wherever you may be, do your utmost to join those who are determined to fight on. The day is coming, I promise you, when our combined forces, a French army of picked warriors, a mechanized army on land, on sea, and in the air, fighting shoulder to shoulder with our Allies, will win back freedom for the world and greatness for our country.

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