18. "The French let us down when the fighting got tough. What did they do - as fighters - to help us out?"

Here are a few of the things the French did:

  • The French fought in Africa, in Sicily, liberated Corsica, fought in Italy, took part in the invasion of Europe and fought through the battles of France and Germany -- from Normandy to Munich.
  • Units from the French navy participated in the invasions of Sicily, Italy, Normandy and South France.
  • Units of the French navy and merchant marine took part in convoying operations on the Atlantic and Murmansk routes.
  • On June 5, 1944, the day before D-Day, over 5,000 Frenchmen of the resistance dynamited railroads in more than 500 strategic places.
  • They delayed strategic German troop movements for an average of 48 hours, according to our military experts. Those 48 hours were tactically priceless ; they saved an untold number of American lives.
  • French resistance groups blew up a series of bridges in southern France and delayed one of the Wehrmacht's crack units (Das Reich Panzer Division) for twelve days in getting from Bordeaux to Normandy.
  • About 30,000 FF1 troups supported the Third Army's VIII Corps in Brittany: they seized and held key spogs ; they conducted extensive guerrilla operations behind the German lines.
  • 25,000 FFI troops protected the south flank of the Third Army in its daring dash across France: the FFI wiped out German bridgeheads north of the Loire River ; they guarded vital lines of communication; they wiped out pockets of German resistance; they held many towns and cities under orders from our commmand.
  • When our Third Army was approachiung the area between Dijon and Troyes from the west, and while the Seventh Army was approaching this sector from the South, it was the FFI who stubbornly blocked the Germans from making a stand and prevented a mass retirement of German troops.
  • In Paris, as our armies drew close, several hundred thousand French men and women rose up against the Germans. 50,000 armed men of the resistance fought and beat the Nazi garrison, and occupied the main buildings and administrative offices of Paris.
These are some of the things the French did. For others, see question # 104.

Editor's note: The list above was indented but not bulleted in the original.