EQUATORIAL AFRICA AND THE CAMEROONS RALLY TO FREE FRANCE
Charles de Gaulle
THE SPEECHES OF GENERAL DE GAULLE pp. 28- 29.
On August 26th, Chad Territory rallied to the cause of Free France at the instigation of her Governor and Military Commander. On August 27th, in a tremendous surge of faith, order, and discipline, the Cameroons placed themselves, of their own free will, under the guidance of my representatives, who have assumed direct administration of the French mandate and taken command of the troops.
Yesterday, on August 28th, my representative, acclaimed by the entire population and obeyed by all the troops, took over full civil and military power in Brazzaville, the capital of French Equatorial Africa.
Threatened by the cupidity of our German and Italian enemies, and placed by the abominable armistice in a hopeless economic situation, our Equatorial African Colonies have returned to the war in a body. This vast and intrepid section of the French possessions has decided to take up arms, and from now on it will be defended. There can be no doubt that other parts of the Empire will follow suit. The French Empire is rising to its feet ready for the fray.
In this world-wide and total war, in this conflict where every detail tells, the French Empire forms an aggregate of vital
forces. In view of its geographical and strategic position, the size of its population and the vast resources of its Colonies, France still holds vital trump-cards in this struggle which is to decide her destiny.
The crime of the armistice is that France was surrendered to the enemy as though her Empire did not exist.
The crime of the armistice is that the immense and unimpaired strength of our Empire was entirely disregarded. The crime of the armistice is that the Empire was disarmed and placed at the enemy's mercy.
Two days ago, the Italian Press and Radio referred to French Tunisia in the following terms:
'France has signed an armistice and admitted defeat. France will be taught how to behave. There are certain questions about which there can be no bargaining. One of these is the question of Tunisia, which will be completely and unreservedly included in the Roman Empire.'
There sounds the voice of our Italian foe. But Free France will have none of this so-called armistice. So far as she is concerned, it is null and void. This so-called armistice was concluded by unworthy leaders whom she refuses to recognize. War is still being waged between France and her enemies. It is being waged by the French Empire. The war is still going on passively, and one day it will be fought actively, on the soil of the motherland, before sweeping over the enemy frontiers.
I call to duty all French lands for the work of national defence. I call to arms the Army, Navy, and Air Force of France. There is still glory to be won for our standards. I call upon all Frenchmen, wherever they may be, to join in the battle for honour and freedom. By active means or passive, one and all must do everything in their power to resist the enemy. We shall not perish; we shall come through; we shall win the war.
France! new France! glorious France I—Forward!.