- May 2014
Excellent points, DT!For a some would have been difficult to join the Free French. They were sent back in France, only to end as POW.
Also, one should keep in mind they were soldiers, while de Gaulle, Free French were deserters (de Gaulle had it's French nationality redrawn and had been sentenced to death ... ). It wasn't that straightforward to break your oath and join traitors.
De Gaulle was officially recognised as legitimate representative of France quite late, and it was firstly recognised by the Belgian Government in exile (and this part is even less known) inspite of the opposition and pressure against of UK and US governments.
As for recognition of De Gaulle's government, I seem to recall that Michael Mills previously argued somewhere either on this forum or on another forum that the Western Allies were initially hoping to get Vichy France to change sides and that it was only once it became clear that this wasn't actually going to happen that the Western Allies actually (and perhaps reluctantly) recognized De Gaulle's government as being the legitimate government of France.