August 19 - 1944 - The Liberation of Paris Begins

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, did not want to directly take back Paris. He had many good reasons, most notably that he needed to destroy the Nazi military and that Adolf Hitler had given orders to destroy the city if it was attacked. General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces and by extension the French Resistance, knew it had a symbolic significance. The French Resistance was a hodge-podge of groups with different ideologies but a unifying goal of fighting the Nazis. As such, de Gaulle helped organize an uprising against Nazi rule in Paris. Strikes of various sorts occurred from August 15th to August 18th in 1944, grinding down the entire city. On August 19th, skirmishes took place between the French Forces of the Interior and Nazi troops. Then, the citizens of Paris helped rise up, including the Gendarmerie and the police. In less than a week, the liberation of Paris was successful. General de Gaulle would walk through the streets of Paris and take control of France on August 25th.

William Floyd