The parade did not pass without incident, nor did the next day, as more troops entered the capital. Gunfire interrupted the festivities and bullets were in place of the more appropriately benign confetti. Nonetheless, the French flag now flew from the Eiffel tower and Paris was truly free once again. The Third Republic would regain their rightful place as the government and Vichy was banished to Germany, now a prostrate artifact of those darkened days of occupation. Though Paris was now free and the power center of not only government but also transportation and communication had been restored to French control, this was not the end, but only the end of the beginning.
As August slipped away Operation Overlord, as the Allies referred to it, ended at last and everyone’s eyes turned east. East the armies of the Allies marched across the rest of France until they arrived at Germany through the foxholes, artillery fortifications, pillboxes, explosives, and barbed wire of the Siegfried Line. These battles culminated in October at Aachen, where for the first time German civilians were faced with the urban warfare that their western neighbors had already endured for months.
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