Joseph B asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 2 months ago

Why Did the Allies Tolerate Charles de Gaulle?

In the view of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, he was a pompous arrogant jerk.  As for his contribution to the war, he sat on his behind in the relative safety of London while Americans and British fought and died on French soil.

During and after the war (and principally the United States) had to bail out France anyway, and pay for its postwar recovery through the Marshall Plan and other measures, while Frenchmen, drunk on wine, and collaborating with the Nazis, fantasized about the myth of the "French Resistance" movement.Yet the Allies let de Gaulle lead the parade when Paris was liberated (as if he had anything to do with it), gave France, which was just another overrun country of Europe, a veto on the UN Security Council, and foolishly backed France during the Vietnam War, opposing the struggles of the Vietnamese people to be free of French colonialism.De Gaulle, continuing his troublemaking ways, came to Montreal in 1967, and standing on a balcony, shouted "Vive Quebec Libre," thereby helping to incite and encourage terrorists, who, in 1970, attempted to overthrow the Canadian government. What was de Gaulle's hold on the Allies?  Did he have secret information about them?

Update:

Yes, I know, the French loved de Gaulle, but that is not my question.  My question is why did the Allies, who had to fight and die to save France, and then bail it out financially after the war, tolerate him?

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  • Marli
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    But "the French loved him" IS the answer. Of course not all the French loved him. The Communists did not not and Vichy did not and Leclerc did not.  But de Gaulle had turned himself into the symbol of French resistance and Churchill and Roosevelt, Eisenhower and everyone else had to endure him in order to keep up morale and hope for freedom in France.

    World leaders have to endure the antics of other world leaders who are ego-centered prima donnas (hmmm...primo dons) with personality cults.

    His cry "Vive le Quebec Libre!" (in 1967) did get loud cheers in Montreal at Expo '67 and it did encourage the separatists.

  • 2 months ago

    You conveniently omit that the French Second Army was an important part of the Allied front in western Europe from the moment it took the field in late 1944 to the end of the war.  You also omit the Polish & other allied troops who fought & died.  Go away with your selective "history."      

  • 2 months ago

    Churchill often said of de Gaulle, "...Of all the crosses I had to bear in the War, I often felt the heaviest was the Cross of Loraine." 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    He was a coward, like many of the French.

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  • 2 months ago

    For Most of WW2 he was Ignored he stole an aircraft to get to Paris so he could lead the French on the Liberation March both Churchill and FDR wanted hi left behind

    The French love the coward who ran away before Paris was occupied and then asked the British to save his family

    If we had Upset degaul we would have angered France

    But for Years he refused to allow the UK to Join the Common Market, so he was our Friend after all

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    He was the representative of free France. Nobody could downgrade the notion of freeing France, so its representative had to be tolerated, even if not liked.

  • xyzzy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Of course de Gaulle was a pompous arrogant jerk, he was French and thought he was France.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    De Gaulle actually fought in the Battle of France, he was one of the few French generals who was able to conduct some kind of offensive action against Guderian's forces.

    After the Dunkirk evacuation and the subsequent bombardment of the French fleet there was great French animosity toward the British. But the British had de Gaulle onside and he was at least sympathetic to Britain compared to the alternatives.

    Post war France (like Italy) was very close to becoming communist which is why the western allies supported the staunchly anti-communist de Gaulle.

  • 1465
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    After the defeat of their initial 1939 attack on Germany, France was ready to call it quits. Roosevelt had to pay them to stay in the war until he could manipulate Congress into involving the United States.

    "Tolerate" might not be the best word here. "Used" might work better. As many countries as the United States and Britain could muster to go against Germany, there were fewer that Germany could recruit to go against the Allies.

    The Soviet Union is a case in point. Communism has always been a threat to the world and yet, Britain and the US aligned themselves with the Soviet Union in a "your enemy is my enemy" context. (This would later bite them in the a*ss.)

    Whether France was effective or not was of little importance. They were on the side of the Allies and not the axis.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    De Gaulle had nothing to do with the separatist group that wanted to overthrow the government of Quebec, not Canada, in 1970. And the US backed the French in Vietnam because they were anti-communist.

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