Occupied territories (1940–67)
in Mobilizing nature
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This chapter considers how the French experienced and challenged the foreign militarization of their country from the German occupation that began in 1940 to the withdrawal of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) forces in 1967. It examines how Axis, Allied, and NATO forces mobilized nature during this period. As well as establishing the Colleville-sur-Mer and other cemeteries in the postwar period, the USA occupied other sites across France under the framework of NATO agreements. With French armed forces defeated and reduced to 100,000 men charged with maintaining law and order under the terms of the 1940 armistice, German occupation troops were the main instigators of environmental militarization between 1940 and 1944. Occupation forces did not monopolize the mobilization of nature between 1940 and 1944. As the occupation continued, the hills, mountains, and forests of France became places of refuge and resistance.

Mobilizing nature

The environmental history of war and militarization in Modern France

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