4-441 Editorial Note on de Gaulle’s Washington Visit, July 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Subject: World War II

Editorial Note on de Gaulle’s Washington Visit

July 6-10, 1944

General Charles de Gaulle, president of the French Committee of National Liberation, visited Washington, D.C., between July 6 and 10, 1944. De Gaulle recalled in his memoirs that he “had no favors to ask” and “would undertake no negotiations.” After his meetings with de Gaulle, Roosevelt wrote to Churchill on July 10, 1944, that he was willing to accept the French Committee “as temporary de facto authority for civil administration in France provided two things are made clear—first, complete authority to be reserved to Eisenhower to do what he feels necessary to conduct effective military operations, and, second, that French people be given opportunity to make free choice of their own Government.” Roosevelt concluded, “The visit has gone off very well.” (The Complete War Memoirs of Charles de Gaulle [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1964], p. 570; Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence, 3: 238.)

General de Gaulle’s visit also included discussions over the employment of Free French armed forces in forthcoming Allied operations. De Gaulle wished to maintain current French military units, which required American logistical support and equipment, and to raise the maximum number of new French divisions from French Resistance groups and from military-age manpower that would be shortly liberated in metropolitan France. Lieutenant General Emile B

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