View Full Version : Transport during WWII

06-30-2014, 02:50 PM
Hi guys,

I wonder if you could help me with my research--

I'm trying to find out what public transport would have been like during the German invasion of France in 1940.

Particularly for those French citizens who would have wanted to flee France and go to Britain?

Would such transport have been possible? And if not, at what point would it have been cut off?

06-30-2014, 03:23 PM
Which part of France are you setting your story?

I ask because people-smuggling routes would vary greatly depending on where they are.

06-30-2014, 03:25 PM
It may also depend on time of year. According to this:


There was a massive snowfall in Northern France, as far down as Paris, so that would affect travel greatly.

06-30-2014, 03:28 PM
You probably already know this fella but he may be worth further research. He was Minister for Transport in 1940 and also a Socialist.


06-30-2014, 03:44 PM
I also found this site:


That particular page is one man's experience but there may be others with further detail.

ETA: I found this one about civilians trying to get out in 1940:

06-30-2014, 05:47 PM
Particularly for those French citizens who would have wanted to flee France and go to Britain?
Every freakin' boat in the harbor. :)

Think Dunkirk. There were a ton of civilians transported as well as retreating troops.


06-30-2014, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the help guys. The character in question is fleeing Paris in early 1940 (although the date can of course be changeable).

06-30-2014, 11:45 PM
Is it easier for your character to go south to Spain, and then to either Lisbon or Gibraltar? Not sure whether French Railways continued running during the 'phoney war' but my guess is they did.

07-04-2014, 12:06 PM
Victor Serge gave a good details of his journey through France in 1940, finally getting out of Marseilles by ship to Mexico in his autobiography Memoirs of a Revolutionary.