On 11 November 1942, following the landing of the Allies in North Africa (operation Torch), the Axis launched Operation Anton, occupying southern France and disbanding the strictly limited "Armistice Army" that Vichy had been allowed by the armistice.
Vichy's claim to be the legitimate French government has been denied by Free France and all subsequent French governments after the war.
Similarly, a sliver of French territory in the Alps was under direct Italian administration from June 1940 to September 1943.
Throughout the rest of the country, civil servants were under the formal authority of French ministers in Vichy.
The main arguments advanced against Vichy's right to incarnate the continuity of the French state were based on the pressure exerted by Pierre Laval, former Premier in the Third Republic, on deputies in Vichy, and on the absence of 27 deputies and senators who had fled on the ship Massilia, and could thus not take part in the vote. The Right in France, with strength in the aristocracy and among Catholics, had never accepted the republican traditions of the French Revolution.
It demanded a return to traditional lines of culture and religion and embraced authoritarianism, while dismissing democracy.
Following the Allied invasion of France in June 1944 and the subsequent Liberation of France later that summer, the Free French Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF) succeeded Vichy as France's government.
Pétain was put on trial for treason by the new Provisional Government, and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment by de Gaulle.The Vichy government cooperated with the Nazis' racial policies.In theory, the civil jurisdiction of the Vichy government extended over most of metropolitan France; only the disputed border territory of Alsace-Lorraine was placed under direct German administration.Calling for "National Regeneration," Vichy reversed many liberal policies and began tight supervision of the economy, with central planning a key feature. The media were tightly controlled and stressed virulent anti-Semitism, and after June 1941, anti-Bolshevism.The newly formed French State maintained nominal sovereignty over the whole of French territory, but had effective sovereignty only in the unoccupied southern zone libre ("free zone").