World War II

Play button
1940 Jun 22

German Occupation of Paris

Compiègne, France

The Armistice of 22 June 1940 was signed at 18:36 near Compiègne, France, by officials of Nazi Germany and the Third French Republic. It did not come into effect until after midnight on 25 June. Signatories for Germany included Wilhelm Keitel, a senior military officer of the Wehrmacht (the German armed forces), while those on the French side held lower ranks including General Charles Huntziger. Following the decisive German victory in the Battle of France (10 May – 21 June 1940) during World War II, this armistice established a German occupation zone in Northern and Western France that encompassed all English Channel and Atlantic Ocean ports and left the remainder "free" to be governed by the French. Adolf Hitler deliberately chose Compiègne Forest as the site to sign the armistice due to its symbolic role as the site of the 1918 Armistice with Germany that signaled the end of World War I with Germany's surrender.