Towards the end of August 1944, life in some parts of France , which had been liberated from the four-year Nazi yoke, had started returning to normal, while expectations of embracing the wind of salvation gripped the other parts.
Paris had just been liberated alongside Toulon and Marseille, and two major fronts had just been opened in France with the aim of crushing the German defence and scattering the armoured troops they had stationed on French territory.
The two French forces linked up on September 12, 1944 , and jointly executed their offensive scheme.
The 2 nd Armoured Division
The 2 nd Free French Forces Armoured Division, having been dubbed the 2 nd Armoured Division (DB) following the key role they played in the liberation of Paris, fought alongside the Resistance and the American forces, took part in the liberation of the rest of the national territory and participated in the complete demolition of the German army. Thus, the 2 nd DB entered Strasbourg on November 23, 1944 , and subsequently proceeded to the capture of the Berchtesgaden Eyrie, on May 4, 1945.
autour d'un feu
Musée de l'Armée Paris
20 avril 1945 - Jeep de reconnaissance 96e Génie,
5e D.B. Photo Fernand Jourdan
The 1st French Army
As for the 1 st Division of the Free French Forces (1st DFL), after having landed in Provence and participated in the liberation of Toulon, they forged upwards through the Rhône valley to continue fighting retreating German forces in the 1st French Army, and they were only able to set foot in Vosges and Alsace in the heart of Winter 1944 / 1945.
During the same period, Free French Forces commandos and parachutists distinguished themselves in a series of remarkable feats, notably in Normandy (marine commandos), in Bretagne (SAS parachutists), and later on in the central and eastern regions of France.
This glorious saga of the 1st Army ended on May 8, 1945 ,
with the unconditional surrender of the Nazi troops.