Paris Uprising of 1944

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paris Uprising of 1944


an antifascist, liberation uprising of the popular masses of Paris, which took place from Aug. 19 to Aug. 25, 1944, during World War II (1939–45). It was directed against the fascist German forces that had occupied France in 1940, as well as against traitorous elements of the French bourgeoisie who had collaborated with them.

The Paris Uprising of 1944 was the culmination of the French Resistance movement, which had become particularly extensive in 1944, in connection with the Soviet Army’s decisive victories and the success of the Anglo-American landing on French soil in June 1944. Launched by the Communist Party, the uprising was directed by the Paris Committee of Liberation, which was headed by A. Toilet, a member of the Communist Party and president of the underground association of trade unions. Colonel Rol-Tanguy, a Communist worker, was commander of the French Forces of the Interior in the Paris region.

By August 24 the French patriots had liberated almost all of Paris, after heavy street fighting. The first unit of a French tank division reached the city on the evening of August 24. On the morning of August 25, the unit assisted the Parisians in storming the last strongholds of the occupying forces. Paris was liberated, and the fascist German forces surrendered. During the uprising, 1,483 Parisians died, and 3,477 were wounded. The occupation forces suffered casualties of 2,788 dead and 4,911 wounded.

The Paris Uprising of 1944 prevented the retreating German forces from concentrating in Paris and using the city’s bridges to cross the Seine. In addition to saving Paris from destruction and its population from the threat of massive losses, the uprising furthered the liberation of France. It demonstrated with utmost clarity the decisive role of the working class and the Communist Party in the struggle of the French people for the liberation of their country.


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L’Insurrection parisienne 19–26 août 1944. [Paris, 1946.]
Massiet, R. La Préparation de l’insurrection et la bataille de Paris. Paris, 1945.
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Histoire du Parti communiste français. Paris, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.