Second World War – 80th anniversary of 1941

French soldiers of the Leclerc Column in the Libyan desert, 1941
SHD – donated by Marshal Leclerc’s widow


After 1940 and the dazzling successes of the German army against its initial adversaries, in 1941 the geographical field of operations widened and new belligerents entered the war. While Great Britain did stand alone for several months against Nazi Germany, the invasion of the USSR in June followed by the Japanese raid on the US air base at Pearl Harbor in December marked a turning-point, as the war became a global conflict.


This expansion of the field of operations also concerned France: the troops rallied to General de Gaulle resumed the fighting in Africa and the Levant, Leclerc distinguished himself at Kufra, and the rallying of St Pierre and Miquelon broadened Free France’s territorial base. On metropolitan French soil, the resistance movements developed and organised, and networks, some with close links to London, others less so, emerged and disappeared, confronted with highly effective German repression.





Scientific articles documenting the key events of 1941


Un numéro spécial de la Revue Les Chemins de la mémoire


1941 - Résister, s'organiser.

Le numéro 273 de la revue accessible en ligne et sur tous vos supports numériques: un dossier spécial, des articles sur les premières résistances, sur l'association des engagés volontaires de Saint-Pierre-et- Miquelon, et le témoignage d'Odile de Vasselot de Régné



Reinforcing Free France