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Canadian 1st Infantry Brigade in France: 13-18 June 1940

After the defeat and evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force, the German army launched a second offensive against the remainder of the French army south of the Seine and Marne rivers on 5 June. The British War Cabinet organized a second expeditionary force under the command of General Sir Alan Brooke. This force included the 1st Canadian Division commanded by Major-General Andrew McNaughton.

The first wave, or, to use the military term, advance guard, of the 1st Canadian Division, 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, arrived at the French port of Brest on 13 June. The following day, the battalions of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade moved by rail toward Le Mans. The German army entered Paris on 17 June 1940, and the French government requested an armistice. As a result, the second British Expeditionary Force including the Canadian 1st Infantry Brigade immediately withdrew and, by 18 June, had boarded troopships in Brest and St. Malo and returned to Britain. Fortunately, the rest of 1 Canadian Division had never left England. The Canadian Brigade was forced to abandon most of its vehicles, but it was able to save all of its artillery.

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