The leaders who, for many years past, have been at the
head of the French armed forces, have set up a government.
Alleging the defeat of our armies, this government has
entered into negotiations with the enemy with a view to bringing about
cessation of hostilities. It is quite true that we were, and still are,
overwhelmed by enemy mechanized forces, both on the ground and in the
air. It was the tanks, the planes, and the tactics of the Germans, far
more than the fact that we were outnumbered, that forced our armies to
retreat. It was the German tanks, planes, and tactics that provided the
element of surprise which brought our leaders to their present plight.
But has the last word been said? Must we abandon all
hope? Is our defeat final and irremediable? To those questions I answer
Speaking in full knowledge of the facts, I ask you to
believe me when I say that the cause of France is not lost. The very
factors that brought about our defeat may one day lead us to victory.
For, remember this, France does not stand alone. She is
not isolated. Behind her is a vast Empire, and she can make common
with the British Empire, which commands the seas and is continuing the
struggle. Like England, she can draw unreservedly on the immense
industrial resources of the United States.
This war is not limited to our unfortunate country. The
outcome of the struggle has not been decided by the Battle of France.
This is a world war. Mistakes have been made, there have been delays
untold suffering, but the facts remains that there still exists in the
worldeverything we need to crush our enemies one day. Today we are
crushed by the sheer weight of the mechanized force hurled against us,
but we can still look to a future in which even greater mechanized
will bring us victory. The destiny of the world is at stake.
I, General de Gaulle, now in London, call on all French
officers and men who are at present on British soil, or may be in the
future, with or withour their arms; I call on all engineers and skilled
workmen from the armaments factories who are at present on British
or may be in the future, to get in touch with me.
Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and shall not