22.06.

1940: Hitler Defeats and Humiliates France

1940: Hitler Defeats and Humiliates France
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 June 1940
  • It is necessary to understand that Hitler's retaliatory gesture had roots in the humiliation that Germany experienced during the 1918 armistice at Compiègne. Specifically, Germany in World War I surrendered without actually being military defeated, and many Germans saw that surrender as treason. This humiliation was one of the main causes of World War II.

On this day in 1940, Adolf Hitler personally accepted the surrender of France in World War II.

He deliberately chose the forest at Compiègne as the location where the surrender would take place, since it was the same place where Germany had to surrender at the end of World War I.

Hitler even ordered the railroad car in which the humiliating surrender of Germany was signed in 1918 to be brought from the museum, so that France would be the one humiliated in that wagon this time. Hitler even sat in the same seat on which French Marshal Foch sat when he accepted the surrender in 1918.

To further humiliate French General Charles Huntziger, who had signed the surrender, Hitler rudely left the wagon after reading the preamble and left Field Marshal Keitel to settle the remaining formalities.

Among the high-ranking Nazis who watched Hitler’s triumph in Compiegne were Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, and Joachim von Ribbentrop.

It is necessary to understand that Hitler’s retaliatory gesture had roots in the humiliation that Germany experienced during the 1918 armistice at Compiègne.

Specifically, Germany in World War I surrendered without actually being military defeated, and many Germans saw that surrender as treason.

This humiliation was one of the main causes of World War II. The Germans felt so outraged for losing World War I that they wanted another war as an opportunity for revenge against their opponents.

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