During World War II: When Did Germany Attack France?

As someone interested in history, you may be wondering when Germany attacked France during World War II. In this instruction, I will provide you with a clear hierarchical structure that will answer your question and help you understand the events leading up to this historic moment.

With ten distinct headings covering the build-up, invasion, aftermath, and historical significance of the attack, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of this important chapter in world history. So, let’s dive in and explore the events surrounding Germany’s attack on France during World War II.


Are you curious about the timeline of events surrounding Germany’s attack on France during World War II? Look no further. This comprehensive hierarchical structure outlines the build-up, invasion, aftermath, and historical significance of this pivotal moment in history.

Starting with the events leading up to the attack, this structure delves into the details of how and why Germany invaded France. It then explores the immediate aftermath of the attack, including the fall of France and the impact on its people.

But this structure doesn’t stop there. It also takes a closer look at Germany’s tactics and the role of its allies in the attack, as well as the long-term historical significance of this moment in world history.

With this comprehensive hierarchical structure, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of the events and implications of Germany’s attack on France during World War II.

The Build-Up to the Attack

Germany’s aggression in Europe had been growing steadily since the start of World War II, and its ultimate target was always going to be France. With the fall of Poland in 1939 and the quick defeat of Denmark and Norway in 1940, Germany was in a position to turn its attention to France.

The German military had been planning the invasion of France for years, and they had a carefully crafted strategy in place. This strategy, known as the Manstein Plan, involved a surprise attack through the Ardennes forest in northeastern France. The plan was risky, but it was also bold and innovative, and it caught the French off guard.

The Invasion Begins

With tensions mounting, Germany launched their invasion of France on May 10, 1940. The attack, known as the Battle of France, began with a surprise attack through the Ardennes Forest, which caught the French off guard.

German forces quickly pushed through the French defenses, surrounding and trapping Allied forces in the coastal city of Dunkirk. The evacuation of Dunkirk, known as Operation Dynamo, was a major turning point in the war and allowed many Allied soldiers to escape to England.

The Fall of France

The fall of France during World War II was a pivotal moment in the war and had significant consequences for both France and the rest of Europe. In May 1940, German forces launched a surprise attack through the Ardennes Forest, catching French and British troops off-guard. Despite some initial success in repelling the German advance, the French military was ultimately outmaneuvered and overwhelmed, and Paris fell to German occupation on June 14th, 1940. The French government was forced to sign an armistice with Germany, effectively ending their participation in the war.

The fall of France was a major blow to the Allied forces, leaving Britain to fight Germany alone for a period of time. It also had a significant impact on the French people, who endured years of occupation and oppression under Nazi rule. The Vichy government, led by Marshal Philippe P├ętain, collaborated with the Germans, leading to widespread resentment and resistance among the French population.

Despite the devastating impact of the fall of France, it also had a profound impact on the course of the war. It forced the Allies to rethink their strategy and provided valuable lessons in warfare and military strategy. Additionally, the resistance movements that sprang up in France and other occupied countries played a crucial role in the eventual Allied victory.

The Aftermath of the Attack

After the fall of France, Germany established the Vichy government, which controlled the southern part of France. The Vichy government collaborated with the Nazis and became known for its anti-Semitic policies, rounding up Jews and sending them to concentration camps.

The attack on France also had a significant impact on the outcome of World War II. It led to the formation of the French Resistance, a group of fighters who resisted the Nazi occupation and carried out acts of sabotage. The Resistance played a crucial role in the Allied victory, providing valuable intelligence and support.

The aftermath of the attack also led to the formation of the United Nations, which was established to promote international cooperation and prevent future conflicts. The UN’s founding members included France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States, and China.

Overall, the aftermath of Germany’s attack on France had far-reaching consequences that extended well beyond the end of World War II.

Analysis of Germany’s Tactics

During World War II, Germany employed a wide range of tactics to achieve their military objectives. The country’s armed forces utilized a combination of innovative strategies, advanced technology, and sheer brute force to overcome their enemies. The analysis of Germany’s tactics during the war is a complex topic that requires careful consideration of numerous factors. Some of the key factors that contributed to Germany’s success on the battlefield include the effectiveness of their armored divisions, their use of air power, and their ability to coordinate large-scale operations.

One of the most effective tactics employed by Germany was their use of armored divisions. The country’s tanks were some of the most advanced in the world at the time, and they were used to devastating effect on the battlefield. Germany’s armored units were able to move quickly and efficiently, allowing them to outmaneuver their opponents and seize key strategic locations. Additionally, the German tanks were heavily armored and well-armed, which made them nearly invulnerable to enemy fire.

Another important factor in Germany’s success was their use of air power. The German Luftwaffe was one of the most powerful air forces in the world, and they were able to use their planes to devastating effect in both offensive and defensive operations. The Luftwaffe’s bombing campaigns inflicted significant damage on enemy infrastructure and morale, while their fighter planes provided vital support to ground troops.

Finally, Germany’s ability to coordinate large-scale operations was critical to their success. The country’s commanders were able to effectively manage large numbers of troops and equipment, which allowed them to launch coordinated offensives against their enemies. This coordination was aided by Germany’s use of advanced communication technology, which allowed their commanders to stay in constant contact with their troops and adjust their strategies as needed.

Overall, the analysis of Germany’s tactics during World War II is a fascinating topic that sheds light on some of the most innovative and effective military strategies ever employed. By studying the tactics used by Germany during the war, we can gain a better understanding of the factors that contribute to military success and learn valuable lessons that can be applied to modern-day warfare.

The Role of Allies

When Germany launched its attack on France in 1940, the country was not alone in its fight against the Axis powers. In fact, the French government had signed a mutual defense agreement with the United Kingdom in 1939, known as the Franco-British Alliance. As a result, when Germany invaded France, the United Kingdom declared war on Germany and sent troops to support the French army.

However, despite this alliance, the cooperation between the French and British forces was often lacking, and the two armies were unable to effectively coordinate their efforts. The British Expeditionary Force, which consisted of over 300,000 soldiers, was sent to support the French army but was ultimately forced to evacuate from Dunkirk after the German forces broke through the French lines.

Other allies also provided assistance to France during the war. The United States, though not yet a combatant, provided financial and material aid to the French government. The Soviet Union, though initially neutral, also offered to provide support to France but was ultimately rebuffed by the French government.

Despite the assistance provided by its allies, France was ultimately unable to resist the German invasion, and the country fell in just six weeks. The defeat of France was a major turning point in the war and would have a significant impact on the course of the conflict in the years to come.

The Impact on France

France was severely impacted by the German invasion during World War II. The country was occupied by German forces for four years, during which time the French people endured immense suffering and hardship. The economy was destroyed, food and resources were scarce, and many French citizens were forced into labor camps or sent to concentration camps.

France’s military forces were also severely weakened by the invasion. Many soldiers were killed or taken prisoner, and the French government was forced to sign an armistice with Germany, effectively surrendering to the enemy. The French Resistance movement, made up of citizens who opposed the German occupation, played a crucial role in supporting Allied forces and eventually helped to liberate France from German control.

The impact of the German invasion on France was far-reaching and long-lasting. The country’s political, economic, and social systems were fundamentally changed, and the trauma of the invasion and occupation was felt by many French citizens for years to come.

Historical Significance of the Attack

The German attack on France in 1940 was a major turning point in World War II. It marked the first time that the Germans had successfully used their new tactic of Blitzkrieg, or “lightning war,” to conquer a major European power. The attack also led to the fall of the French government and the establishment of a collaborationist regime in Vichy, which would be instrumental in the Holocaust and other atrocities.

The German victory in France also had significant geopolitical implications. It led to the establishment of a German puppet state in France, which would serve as a base for German operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa. The German victory also deprived the Allies of a major military power and caused them to rethink their strategy for defeating the Axis powers.

Overall, the German attack on France was a pivotal event in World War II and one that had far-reaching consequences for both the Axis and the Allies. Its historical significance cannot be overstated.


In conclusion, the German invasion of France in World War II was a pivotal moment in the war and had significant consequences for both France and the rest of the world. The quick and decisive victory by the Germans demonstrated the effectiveness of their military tactics and technology, which would have a lasting impact on modern warfare. The role of the Allies cannot be understated, as their support and intervention were critical in ultimately defeating the Germans and ending the war.

The impact on France was devastating, as the country suffered widespread destruction and loss of life. However, the French people showed incredible resilience and determination in rebuilding their country and moving forward. The historical significance of the attack cannot be overstated, as it set the stage for the rest of the war and had lasting implications for international relations and global politics.

Overall, the German attack on France during World War II was a complex and multi-faceted event that continues to be studied and analyzed to this day. It serves as a reminder of the horrors of war and the importance of international cooperation and diplomacy in preventing such conflicts from happening again in the future.

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