On June 10, 1940, in accordance with the Pact of Steel Hitler's ally; Mussolini attacked French positions in the Alps and the region of Nice, the French who were under the command of René Olry struggled to fight off the Italian invaders.
On 25 June, France and Italy signed an armistice. The stalemate forced Mussolini to abandon his pretensions of reconstituting an Empire at French expense, and Italy dropped its claims to the Rhône Valley, Corsica, Tunisia, and Djibouti, settling for a modest 50 km (31 mi) demilitarized zone. With Germany′s blessing, Italy occupied Corsica and the Alpes-Maritimes, plus some areas of French territory along the Franco-Italian border further north.
The full terms are as follows
Article 1. France will cease hostilities in her continental territory, In French North Africa, in the colonies, and in the territories under French mandate. France will also cease hostilities in the air and the sea.
Article 2. When the armistice goes into effect, and for the duration of the armistice, Italian troops will stand on their advanced lines in all theatres of operations.
Article 3. In French continental territory, a zone situated between the lines referred to in Article 2 and a line drawn fifty kilometres as the crow flies beyond the Italian lines proper shall be demilitarized for the duration of the armistice. In Tunisia, the militarized zone between the present Libyan-Tunisian frontier and the line drawn on the attached map shall be demilitarized for the duration of the armistice. In Algeria and in French African territories south of Algeria bordering on Libya, a zone 200 kilometres wide adjoining the Libyan frontier shall be demilitarized for the duration of the armistice. For the duration of hostilities between Italy and the British Empire and for the duration of the armistice, the French Somaliland coast shall be entirely demilitarized. Italy shall have full and constant right to use the port of Jibuti with all its equipment, together with the French section of Jibuti-Addis Ababa railway, for all kinds of transport.
Article 4. provides that zones to be demilitarized shall be evacuated by French troops within ten days, except for the personnel necessary to supervise and maintain fortifications and military buildings.
Article 5. provides for the removal within 15 days of such arms and supplies in the demilitarized zones as Italy does not require France to surrender under Article 10. Fixed armaments in the coastal territory of French Somaliland are to be rendered useless.
Article 6. requires that so long as hostilities continue between Italy and Britain the maritime fortified areas and naval bases of Toulon, Bizerta, Ajaccio and Oran shall be demilitarized.
Articles 7 and 8. primarily concern the procedure to be followed in demilitarizing the areas and bases mentioned in Article 6.
Articles 9 to 26. parallel in a general way to the main provisions in Articles 4,5,6,8,10,11,12,14,15,19,21 and 24 of the German Armistice.
- Jowett, Philip S. 2000, pg. 5
- Aly, Götz & Chase, Jefferson; Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State p. 145, Macmillan, 2007 ISBN 0-8050-7926-2
- Charles De Gaulle page 78–79 by Philippe Barres