Ten Minute History – World War 2: Free and Vichy France (Short Documentary)


Field of Flowers caption was made my ‘Joshua’ in this episode.

Special Thanks to the following Patrons for their support on Patreon:
Franco La Bruna
James Baker
Chris Fatta
Richard Wolfe
Mitchell Wildoer
Kevin Sanders
Norman A. Letterman
Mason Cox
Blaine Tillack
William Foster
Thomas Mitchell
Josh Selby
Shaun Pullin
Perry Gagne
Spencer Smith
Andrew Keeling
JoΓ£o Santos
Richard Manklow
Mark Bevan

Recommended reading:
France: The Dark Years 1940-1944 by Julian Jackson. An absolutely phenomenal work which despite the name covers everything from the late 1920s to just after the war. Talks in depth about the political climate which weakened France and her response to Germany and the war. It’s an academic text so not the most accessible, though.

To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 by Ian Kershaw. A great and accessible book which gives an overview of Europe during the period. Be aware that it jumps about quite a bit so don’t expect entire chapters devoted to one nation. Good breakdowns of the general events and gives some much needed context to France during the 1930s.


  1. I will forever be proud of the Royal navy for taking the hardline stance of "You say your ships won't be used by Germany? WE'RE GONNA MAKE SURE OF IT" after france refused to surrender them.
    Sadly, the majority of the early allied losses were the result of poor french warcraft and a refusal to be intergrated into a unified command structure that would contain British commanders who "wouldn't respect french lives".
    Put simply, franch fucked up due to arrogance and spent the next 80+ years trying to craft the narrative that the British forces "ran away" because france was rightly branded as a cowardly country and filled with traitors

  2. Even though he was Jewish, Leon Blum stayed in (Vichy) France after the Nazi invasion, and was put on trial by the Petain government. The trial was suspended then abandoned after it proved embarrassing to Petain. After Vichy France was taken over by the Nazis, he was sent to Buchenwald and then Dachau and then Tyrol, where he was held as a high profile prisoner suitable for prisoner exchange. He was ordered executed in the final days of the war, but the orders were disobeyed.

  3. I find it strange how nobody really brings up how much Stalin and the communists were such backstabbing opportunists but still expected the Allies to come to the rescue after the Nazis invaded. Stalin’s begging would have been received by eye rolls if I was heading the Allies.

  4. Fearing a communist revolution was actually warranted when your learn that leftist/communist union put arms factories on strike before and during the war, weapon sabotage from communist workers was common ( for anti tank guns the figure is around 10% of the production) and the leftist/communist resistance didn't become active until stalin ordered their activation. All because germany was allied with the soviets at the time.

  5. for once, it is pointed out that the french AND THE ENGLISH ARMY fled from Hitler's troops in 1939… just mentioning… πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  6. You are so awesome in doing these but this one should be a 2-parter, I think.
    If they taught history like this in high school, we could educate more people, or at least introduce more people, to history and why it should matter, rather than doing a drab recitation of what are very exciting events in reality, but somehow become nothing more than a series of memorized facts designed to pass multiple choice tests and an essay question and nothing more. And not to give you the overview of why these things have such influence on our lives today, although the TikTok generation fails to see that. It takes a really curious and bright mind to take anything out of most public school history classes. (which is what the Left actually wants in the USA, so that the poor masked unwashed won't give a damn when statues are torn down, some of which have no political meaning in and of themselves….the idea is to disassociate the lockdown generation that will be voting in 2030 from their own nation's history and create Bill Gates, George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Klaus Schwab's NWO, the Globalist Socialist Non-Worker's Partei….oops, I rambled…. my bad.) (why they want to impose such an authoritarian society on ordinary people is beyond me…..the Hitler-Stalin gene, I guess)
    The idea of "all [people] are created equal…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are just meaningless in this socialist dystopia. They want "equity" except for the elites, who'll run things. Charles Manson (yes, THAT one) was 100% behind this idea, but he called it Helter Skelter.

  7. The discussion of the French fleet in the summer of 1940 is incomplete, although this is understandable at this level of detail and length limit. The full story is that the British offered the French a range of options, which included disarming them in place (which happened in Alexandria) and taking them to French territory in the Americas, in addition to scuttling the ships or joining the British as Free French.

  8. Imma be honest if we look at how Poland turned out (Completely fucked up BTW) it is better to die on your feet than on your knees so France bitched out as far as Vichy goes

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