French Freedom Papers

De Gaulle to Eden: 7/18/1942

Historical Context

This letter was written by Charles de Gaulle to Anthony Eden on July 18, 1942. At this point in the war, de Gaulle had established a strong presence in London with his Free French Organization whose name was changed to the Fighting French Forces on July 13, 1942, just five days before he wrote this letter. In 1942, Eden was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs for Churchill and he and de Gaulle were frequently in contact. During the war, Eden and de Gaulle did not always get along, and frequently disagreed. 

Letter Summary

De Gaulle wrote this letter in order to convey his dissatisfaction with the collaboration between the British Secret Service and the Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action Militaire (BCRA), De Gaulle's Secret Service.  He explains his goals for the Fighting French as well as the importance of the British Service's importance in working with the BCRA to liberate France.  He underlines the fact that the Fighting French have resources that the British may find useful but refuse to use. In conclusion, de Gaulle states that stronger support of the Fighting French from the British Secret Service would facilitate better cooperation between the two groups and be beneficial to the efforts of the Allies.

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