Germany launched an offensive against France. To circumvent the strong Maginot Line fortifications on the Franco-German border, Germany directed its attack at the neutral nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
Charles attacked again on 19 May and his forces were once again devastated by German Stukas and artillery. He ignored orders from General Georges to withdraw, and in the early afternoon demanded two more divisions from Touchon, who refused his request.
On 2 June he sent a memo to Weygand vainly urging that the French armored divisions be consolidated from four weak divisions into three stronger ones and concentrated into an armored corps under his command. He made the same suggestion to Reynaud.
Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of 338,226 Allied servicemen from Dunkirk, ended on Tuesday, 4 June when the French rearguard surrendered. The total was far in excess of expectations and it gave rise to a popular view that Dunkirk had been a miracle, and even a victory. Churchill himself referred to "a miracle of deliverance" in his "we shall fight on the beaches" speech to the Commons that afternoon, though he shortly reminded everyone that: "We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations". The speech ended on a note of defiance coupled with a clear appeal to the United States: We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
On 8 June, de Gaulle visited Weygand, who believed it was "the end" and that after France was defeated Britain would also soon sue for peace. He hoped that after an armistice the Germans would allow him to retain enough of a French Army to "maintain order" in France. He gave a "despairing laugh" when de Gaulle suggested fighting on.
Later on, 11 June de Gaulle attended the meeting of the Anglo-French Supreme War Council at the Chateau du Muguet at Briare. The British were represented by Churchill, Anthony Eden, John Dill, General Ismay, and Edward Spears, and the French by Reynaud, Pétain, Weygand, and Georges.
On 13 June de Gaulle attended another Anglo-French conference at Tours with Churchill, Lord Halifax, Lord Beaverbrook, Spears, Ismay, and Alexander Cadogan. This time few other major French figures were present apart from Reynaud and Baudoin.
Prime Minister Pétain moved the government to Vichy (2 July) and had the National Assembly (10 July) vote to dissolve itself and give him dictatorial powers, making the beginning of his Révolution Nationale (National Revolution) intended to "reorient" French society. This was the dawn of the Vichy regime.
The Vichy regime had already sentenced de Gaulle to four years' imprisonment; on 2 August 1940, he was condemned to death by court-martial in absentia, although Pétain commented that he would ensure that the sentence was never carried out.
On 23 October 1940, Hitler and Franco met in Hendaye in France to discuss the possibility of Spain's entry on the side of the Axis. Franco's demands, including supplies of food and fuel, as well as Spanish control of Gibraltar and French North Africa, proved too much for Hitler.