Franco-German Armistice

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Franco-German Armistice  (1956) 
by French and German governments, translated by United States government


Between the chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, Col. Gen. [Wilhelm] Keitel, commissioned by the Fuehrer of the German Reich and Supreme Commander in Chief of the German Armed Forces, and the fully authorized plenipotentiaries of the French Government, General [Charles L. C.] Huntziger, chairman of the delegation; Ambassador [Léon] Noel, Rear Admiral [Maurice R.] LeLuc, Army Corps General [Georges] Parisot and Air Force General [Jean-Marie Joseph] Bergeret, the following armistice treaty was agreed upon:

ARTICLE I.[edit]

The French Government directs a cessation of fighting against the German Reich in France as well as in French possessions, colonies, protectorate territories, mandates as well as on the seas.

It [the French Government] directs the immediate laying down of arms of French units already encircled by German troops.


To safeguard the interests of the German Reich, French State territory north and west of the line drawn on the attached map will be occupied by German troops.

As far as the parts to be occupied still are not in control of German troops, this occupation will be carried out immediately after the conclusion of this treaty.


In the occupied parts of France the German Reich exercises all rights of an occupying power The French Government obligates itself to support with every means the regulations resulting from the exercise of these rights and to carry them out with the aid of French administration.

All French authorities and officials of the occupied territory, therefore, are to be promptly informed by the French Government to comply with the regulations of the German military commanders and to cooperate with them in a correct manner.

It is the intention of the German Government to limit the occupation of the west coast after ending hostilities with England to the extent absolutely necessary.

The French Government is permitted to select the seat of its government in unoccupied territory, or, if it wishes, to move to Paris. In this case, the German Government guarantees the French Government and its central authorities every necessary alleviation so that they will be in a position to conduct the administration of unoccupied territory from Paris.


French armed forces on land, on the sea, and in the air are to be demobilized and disarmed in a period still to be set. Excepted are only those units which are necessary for maintenance of domestic order. Germany and Italy will fix their strength. The French armed forces in the territory to be occupied by Germany are to be hastily withdrawn into territory not to be occupied and be discharged. These troops, before marching out, shall lay down their weapons and equipment at the places where they are stationed at the time this treaty becomes effective. They are responsible for orderly delivery to German troops.

ARTICLE V.[edit]

As a guarantee for the observance of the armistice, the surrender, undamaged, of all those guns, tanks, tank defense weapons, war planes, anti-aircraft artillery, infantry weapons, means of conveyance, and munitions can be demanded from the units of the French armed forces which are standing in battle against Germany and which at the time this agreement goes into force are in territory not to be occupied by Germany.

The German armistice commission will decide the extent of delivery.


Weapons, munitions, and war apparatus of every kind remaining in the unoccupied portion of France are to be stored and/or secured under German and/or Italian control—so far as not released for the arming allowed to French units.

The German High Command reserves the right to direct all those measures which are necessary to exclude unauthorized use of this material. Building of new war apparatus in unoccupied territory is to be stopped immediately.


In occupied territory, all the land and coastal fortifications, with weapons, munitions, and apparatus and plants of every kind are to be surrendered undamaged. Plans of these fortifications, as well as plans of those already conquered by German troops, are to be handed over.

Exact plans regarding prepared blastings, land mines, obstructions, time fuses, barriers for fighting, etc., shall be given to the German High Command. These hindrances are to be removed by French forces upon German demand.


The French war fleet is to collect in ports to be designated more particularly, and under German and/or Italian control to demobilize and lay up—with the exception of those units released to the French Government for protection of French interests in its colonial empire.

The peacetime stations of ships should control the designation of ports.

The German Government solemnly declares to the French Government that it does not intend to use the French War Fleet which is in harbors under German control for its purposes in war, with the exception of units necessary for the purposes of guarding the coast and sweeping mines.

It further solemnly and expressly declares that it does not intend to bring up any demands respecting the French War Fleet at the conclusion of a peace.

All warships outside France are to be recalled to France with the exception of that portion of the French War Fleet which shall be designated to represent French interests in the colonial empire.


The French High Command must give the German High Command the exact location of all mines which France has set out, as well as information on the other harbor and coastal obstructions and defense facilities. Insofar as the German High Command may require, French forces must clear away the mines.

ARTICLE X.[edit]

The French Government is obligated to forbid any portion of its remaining armed forces to undertake hostilities against Germany in any manner.

French Government also will prevent members of its armed forces from leaving the country and prevent armaments of any sort, including ships, planes, etc., being taken to England or any other place abroad.

The French Government will forbid French citizens to fight against Germany in the service of States with which the German Reich is still at war. French citizens who violate this provision are to be treated by German troops as insurgents.


French commercial vessels of all sorts, including coastal and harbor vessels which are now in French hands, may not leave port until further notice. Resumption of commercial voyages will require approval of the German and Italian Governments.

French commercial vessels will be recalled by the French Government or, if return is impossible, the French Government will instruct them to enter neutral harbors.

All confiscated German commercial vessels are, on demand, to be returned [to Germany] undamaged.


Flight by any airplane over French territory shall be prohibited. Every plane making a flight without German approval will be regarded as an enemy by the German Air Force and treated accordingly.

In unoccupied territory, air fields and ground facilities of the air force shall be under German and Italian control.

Demand may be made that such air fields be rendered unusable. The French Government is required to take charge of all foreign airplanes in the unoccupied region to prevent flights. They are to be turned over to the German armed forces.


The French Government obligates itself to turn over to German troops in the occupied region all facilities and properties of the French armed forces in undamaged condition.

It [the French Government] also will see to it that harbors, industrial facilities, and docks are preserved in their present condition and damaged in no way.

The same stipulations apply to transportation routes and equipment, especially railways, roads, and canals, and to the whole communications network and equipment, waterways and coastal transportation services.

Additionally, the French Government is required on demand of the German High Command to perform all necessary restoration labor on these facilities.

The French Government will see to it that in the occupied region necessary technical personnel and rolling stock of the railways and other transportation equipment, to a degree normal in peacetime, be retained in service.


There is an immediate prohibition of transmission for all wireless stations on French soil. Resumption of wireless connections from the unoccupied portion of France requires a special regulation.


The French Government obligates itself to convey transit freight between the German Reich and Italy through unoccupied territory to the extent demanded by the German Government.


The French Government, in agreement with the responsible German officials, will carry out the return of population into occupied territory.


The French Government obligates itself to prevent every transference of economic valuables and provisions from the territory to be occupied by German troops into unoccupied territory or abroad.

These valuables and provisions in occupied territory are to be disposed of only in agreement with the German Government. In that connection, the German Government will consider the necessities of life of the population in unoccupied territory.


The French-Government will bear the costs of maintenance of German occupation troops on French soil.


All German war and civil prisoners in French custody, including those under arrest and convicted who were seized and sentenced because of acts in favor of the German Reich, shall be surrendered immediately to German troops.

The French Government is obliged to surrender upon demand all Germans named by the German Government in France as well as in French possessions, colonies, protectorate territories, and mandates.

The French Government binds itself to prevent removal of German war and civil prisoners from France into French possessions or into foreign countries. Regarding prisoners already taken outside of France, as well as sick and wounded German prisoners who cannot be transported, exact lists with the places of residence are to be produced. The German High Command assumes care of sick and wounded German war prisoners.


French troops in German prison camps will remain prisoners of war until conclusion of a peace.


The French Government assumes responsibility for the security of all objects and valuables whose undamaged surrender or holding in readiness for German disposal is demanded in this agreement or whose removal outside the country is forbidden. The French Government is bound to compensate for all destruction, damage or removal contrary to agreement.


The Armistice Commission, acting in accordance with the direction of the German High Command, will regulate and supervise the carrying out of the armistice agreement. It is the task of the Armistice Commission further to insure the necessary conformity of this agreement with the Italian-French armistice.

The French Government will send a delegation to the seat of the German Armistice Commission to represent the French wishes and to receive regulations from the German Armistice Commission for executing [the agreement].


This armistice agreement becomes effective as soon as the French Government also has reached an agreement with the Italian Government regarding cessation of hostilities.

Hostilities will be stopped six hours after the moment at which the Italian Government has notified the German Government of conclusion of its agreement. The German Government will notify the French Government of this time by wireless.


This agreement is valid until conclusion of a peace treaty. The German Government may terminate this agreement at any time with immediate effect if the French Government fails to fulfill the obligations it assumes under the agreement.

This armistice agreement, signed in the Forest of Compiègne, June 22,1940, at 6:50 p.m., German summer time.



The line mentioned in Article II of the armistice agreement begins in the east on the French-Swiss border at Geneva and runs thence nearly over the villages of Dôle, Paray, Le Monial, and Bourges to approximately twenty kilometers east of Tours. From there it goes at a distance of twenty kilometers east of the Tours-Angouléme-Liborune railway line and extends through Mont de Marsan and Orthez to the Spanish border.

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