German military administration in occupied France during World War II
The Military Administration in France (German: Militärverwaltung in Frankreich; French: Occupation de la France par l'Allemagne) was an interim occupation authority established by Nazi Germany during World War II to administer the occupied zone in areas of northern and western France. This so-called zone occupée was renamed zone nord (""north zone"") in November 1942, when the previously unoccupied zone in the south known as zone libre (""free zone"") was also occupied and renamed zone sud (""south zone"").Its role in France was partly governed by the conditions set by the Second Armistice at Compiègne after the blitzkrieg success of the Wehrmacht leading to the Fall of France; at the time both French and Germans thought the occupation would be temporary and last only until Britain came to terms, which was believed to be imminent. For instance, France agreed that its soldiers would remain prisoners of war until the cessation of all hostilities.Replacing the French Third Republic that had dissolved during France's defeat was the ""French State"" (État français), with its sovereignty and authority limited to the free zone. As Paris was located in the occupied zone, its government was seated in the spa town of Vichy in Auvergne, and therefore it was more commonly known as Vichy France.While the Vichy government was nominally in charge of all of France, the military administration in the occupied zone was a de facto Nazi dictatorship. Its rule was extended to the free zone when it was invaded by Germany and Italy during Case Anton on 11 November 1942 in response to operation Torch, the Allied landings in Vichy French North Africa on 8 November 1942. The Vichy government remained in existence, even though its authority was now severely curtailed.The military administration in France ended with the Liberation of France after the Normandy and Provence landings. It formally existed from May 1940 to December 1944, though most of its territory had been liberated by the Allies by the end of summer 1944.