The Appeal of 18 June 1940

"L'Appel du 18 juin 1940"
French B2 writing exercise

Discover the historical context around Charles de Gaulle's most famous speech.

Pay attention to the hints!

Some vocabulary you may want to look up before or during this exercise: "the Nazis", "to crush (army)", "to flee to [city]", "a marshal/general", "First World War", "to become the head of", "an armistice", "terms", "German Chancellor", "to impose [something] on [someone]", "to leave for [somewhere]", "London", "British Prime Minister", "to welcome [someone]", "whatever happens", "a flame", "to be extinguished".

I’ll give you some sentences to translate into French

  • I’ll show you where you make mistakes
  • I’ll keep track of what you need to practise
  • Change my choices if you want
Start the exercise
How the test works

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In June 1940, all seemed lost for France: the Nazis had just crushed the French army and as a consequence, the Paris government had fled to Bordeaux. Marshal Philippe Pétain, a hero of the First World War, then became the head of the country, with the clear intention of signing an armistice, by which France would accept the terms that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler would impose on it. But this decision was unacceptable for young general Charles de Gaulle, who left for London on June 17 1940. Churchill, the British Prime Minister, welcomed and helped him. The next day, at half past six in the evening, General de Gaulle pronounced these now famous words on the BBC: "Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished."

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