The Complete War Memoirs of Charles Degaulle, translated by Jonathan Griffin and Richard Howa

“Vichy’s liquidation coincided with the development of the battle in the capital. What had been reported to me of it during my brief stay at Rennes intensified my eagerness to see the crisis past. It was true that the German command, for reasons that were still vague, did not seem to wish to bring matters to a head. But this passive attitude might give way at any moment to a sudden and furious repression. Furthermore, I found it intolerable that the enemy should occupy Paris even a day longer than was necessary from the moment we had the means to drive him out of it. Lastly, I did not wish the capital to fall victim to anarchy because of the upheavals it would be subject to. A report from Pierre Miné, director of provisions and supply in Paris, described the situation as criticial. Cut off from all communication with the country for several weeks, the capital was virtually reduced to famine. Miné indicated that the pilfering of the last stocks of supplies and of the shops was beginning in certain places and, should the absence of all police action be prolonged, that serious excesses must be expected. Nevertheless, the day drew to its close without the Allied command having given Leclerc orders to move forward.”

Posted December 26, 2002

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