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France in 1940

In addition to the Battle of France and Appeal of 18 June, 1940 was a highly eventful year and a decisive episode in France’s history.

Horaires :

Every day from 10am to 6pm
Du jeudi 17 septembre 2020
au dimanche 10 janvier 2021

The Musée de l’Armée is presenting an exhibition which recreates the atmosphere of that dreadful year and its consequences on the people of France after the shock of defeat. Step into the shoes and the daily lives of French women and men in 1940, prisoners of war, interned people, refugees, Resistance fighters and residents of the different areas. Discover the radio broadcasts they listened to, the cinema newsreels they watched, the press, posters and pamphlets they read..

Experience full immersion in the year 1940 thanks to the accompanying explications and comments, and over 215 objects along with archives, photographs, animated maps and multimedia installations.

And you, what would you have actually been doing in 1940?

The exhibition is part of the 2020 cycle of national commemorations marking the 80th anniversary of the Battle of France, Appeal of 18 June and creation of Free France, as well as the anniversaries of General de Gaulle’s birth and death (1890–1970).

The exhibition is under the High Patronage of Mr Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic.

Around the exhibition

Digital guide

Exhibition and permanent collections

5 € In French and English

Online reservation soon available


Exhibition Catalogue

Editions Gallimard

240 × 270 mm • 327 pages • 32 €



Spotlight on 1940

A selection of 6 films made in France and subject to censorship, and in Hollywood studios at a time when the US was on the cusp of getting involved in the war.

24-9 → 9-12-2020

7 PM - Auditorium Austerlitz


Special session for young visitors

Fantasia by Walt Disney

28-10-2020, 4 PM - Auditorium Austerlitz

Free entry on registration (subject to seat availability). Reservations by telephone: +33(1) 44 42 38 77.


Family visits / young visitors

Fun exhibition visit (from 9 years)

Put yourselves in the shoes of a Resistance fighter, foreigner or French person living in the occupied area.

Family visit

7 special panels combined with a games booklet for young visitors provide a fun way for them to explore the exhibition while they meet a challenge.

All audiences

Guided group tours

September 17, 2020 - January 10, 2021

Rich in events, the year 1940 is a decisive episode in the history of France. Your tour guide will make you relive the atmosphere of this terrible year, from the shock of defeat to the establishment of the Vichy regime, and the daily life of the French people, whether civilians, soldiers, prisoners or refugees shared between free and occupied France, Marshal Pétain and General de Gaulle...

From 12 years old - Duration: 1h30
25 people max. per group
17€ / 8€ (under 18 years old)
Audiophone and museum ticket included with the visit

For constituted groups

Visiting slots available every day, by booking by email or by phone on 0825 05 44 05. 


Special tour

A very special evening tour of the exhibition once the museum is closed to the public, accompanied by the curators and a glass of champagne.



Fermer la popup de notification

En application des décisions gouvernementales, le musée sera fermé à partir du 30 octobre jusqu’au 1er décembre 2020. Toutes les activités culturelles prévues en cette période sont annulées.