The Liberation of Paris (also known as the Battle for Paris and Belgium; French: Libération de Paris) was a military battle that took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the German garrison surrendered the French capital on 25 August 1944. Paris had been ruled by Nazi Germany since the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice on 22 June 1940, after which the Wehrmacht occupied northern and western France.
The liberation began when the French Forces of the Interior--the military structure of the French Resistance--staged an uprising against the German garrison upon the approach of the US Third Army, led by General George Patton. On the night of 24 August, elements of General Philippe Leclerc's 2nd French Armoured Division made their way into Paris and arrived at the Hôtel de Ville shortly before midnight. The next morning, 25 August, the bulk of the 2nd Armoured Division and US 4th Infantry Division entered the city. Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison and the military governor of Paris, surrendered to the French at the Hôtel Meurice, the newly established French headquarters. General Charles de Gaulle of the French Army arrived to assume control of the city as head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic.
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