Free France (France Libre) was a political entity that claimed to be the legitimate government of France following the dissolution of the Third Republic. Led by French general Charles de Gaulle, Free France was established as a government-in-exile in London in June 1940 after the Fall of France during World War II and fought the Axis as an Allied nation with its Free French Forces (Forces françaises libres). Free France also supported the resistance in Nazi-occupied France, known as the French Forces of the Interior, and gained strategic footholds in several French colonies in Africa.
Following the defeat of the Third Republic by Nazi Germany, Marshal Philippe Pétain led efforts to negotiate an armistice and established a German puppet state known as Vichy France. Opposed to the idea of an armistice, de Gaulle fled to Britain, and from there broadcast the Appeal of 18 June (Appel du 18 juin) exhorting the French people to resist the Nazis and join the Free