time in France during World War II

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Thu Dec 21 03:04:43 UTC 2000

> From: "Ciro Discepolo" <discepol at tin.it>
> Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 20:51:12 +0100

> If it can be you useful I point out you a breve (it doesn't
> complete) bibliography on the matter treated in our letters.
> Henri Le Corre, Régimes Horaires pour le monde entier, Éditions
> Traditionnelles - Paris 2 books, 1993

> Gabriel, Traité de l'heure dans le monde, Guy Trédaniel éditeur, Paris, 1991

> Françoise Gauquelin, Problèmes de l'heure résolus en astrologie, Guy
> trédaniel, Paris 1987

Thanks; I'll add a comment about these.
> As you can read from the attached file, according to Le Corre, and
> according to also other authors, in France, in 1943, there was a
> double daylight saving time, both in the busy zones and in the zones
> freed by the Germans.

Le Corre is not consistent about whether he means local time or
Universal Time.  I think most of his data use Universal Time, but
his first line "Du 15/03/1891, 0h01 au 11/03/1911, 0h01 = GMT +
0h09m21s" must be referring to local time; it wouldn't make sense
as Universal Time.

Three years ago Denis Excoffier checked our tables against the
Ephemerides Astronomiques for 1998 from Bureau des Longitudes.  I
recall that an advantage of that source is that it explicitly gives
the Universal Time for each transition.  Unfortunately it is not
available on the web as far as I know.  I don't recall what it had to
say about Paris during the war, either, unfortunately.

Assuming Le Colle means Universal Time for most times, I see the
following discrepancies between your attached page and our current

* Shanks has the 1911 switch at 1911-03-11 00:00; Le Corre has it at
  00:01.  Let's go with Le Corre here, since he has more detail.

* The transitions between 1976 and 1978 are a hodgepodge.  I think our
  tables agree with Le Corre only if we assume some of Le Corre's
  times are local time, and some are UTC; but this doesn't really make
  sense.  I'd rather get some confirming data.

* Shanks writes that Paris observed German time under occupation,
  whereas Le Corre has it observing the same as Vichy time starting on
  1942-11-02.  This is the discrepancy that you observe.  I am inclined
  to agree with Le Corre.

* Shanks writes that Paris reverted to the previous French rules
  between 1944-08-25 and 1945-09-16, whereas Le Corre has Paris
  continuing to observe the same time as occupied France.  Here
  Shanks's story seems more plausible, though of course Le Corre could
  be right as well.

I wish I had confirmation of Le Corre's data, or knew where he got his
information from.  Are there references in his book for this data?

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