In Allies and Axis Europe, France's capital, Paris, typically falls on the first turn. As a result, most games do not have a player playing France alone. Instead, either the US or UK player is typically assigned to play France. Then the question is what does this person get to do with France? I'm confused by a rule that says "France will be managed as a separately controlled power, including its IPC economy," which suggests that it has an economy.
Is France played under "China rules" from Allied and Axis Pacific when it is left only with its overseas holdings? (China has lost its capital (Nanjing) and has no industrial centers but still gets to collect income from its remaining territories and gets to build infantry using this income.) China is typically played by the U.S. or one of the UK players. In that case, it would make sense to assign a player to play France from the beginning.
Or is France played under "standard" rules (its pieces stay on the board until eliminated, but it can't collect income or build new units until Paris is liberated, at which time it gets four "Free French" units on Paris)? Then wouldn't it make sense to let the liberator (UK, US or possibly Russia) play France (separately from its own pieces) instead of assigning a player early on? Because there's a possibility that Paris won't be liberated, in which case, wouldn't playing France be moot?