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French Resistance Actions

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Hummel, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Greetings all!
    Long time no write, and sorry about that. Does anyone know of any seriously successful French Resistance strikes against those Modder Pocking nazi scumbags? I'm looking for large explosions, loud and wildly uncontrolled machine gun bursts and HIGH nazi body counts. Also, is there a good (and accessible, and by accessible I mean a book for someone without a serious grounding in the history of the war) book about the French resistance? I don't want a political treatise, ok, because I KNOW, since we're talking about the French, we're talking a LOT of politics (that was gentle teasing, please don't take offense if you're French -- I happen to LOVE the French and France).

    Thank you in advance.

    Here's wishing all a joyous holiday season full of wonder and merriment no matter your creed (unless you're a nazi, in which case, I hope you catch on fire and burn to death).
    Joyous Yule and Happy New Year!
    Hummel (the bumblebee, NOT the cannon, hehehe)
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    There are many examples . The most tragic is probably the 1943 Vercors uprisal which ended in large massacre after the Germans eventually sent the Fallschirmjägers to end the uprisal.

    You may also investigate the Liberation of the Lyon hostages (Google Aubrac) or the attack of the attack of the Gestapo prison in Reims after the RAF Moquitoes bombed a whole in the main wall.

    Another lead could be the Paris uprisal.

    Other feats were even more tragic after the execution of the Chateaubriand Resistants in 1941 after the shooting a Km officer in Nantes.

    Don' t forget the D-Day Preparations. The blowing up of bridges, trains, trucks, depot , telephone wires etc.. helped a lot.

    Another lead would be the SOE.

    Good luck
     
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  3. Hummel

    Hummel Member

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    Thanks Skip! Do you know of any books that deal directly with their actions? I only have Nincompedia and "The Longest Day" to go on right now, lol, and I know neither is a really reliable source. I have never even heard of Vercors! I will look that up on Nincom, and at least get an idea what it was. Thanks muchos nachos! (That is thank you with an order of nachos on the side -- extra cheese naturally.
    Hummel
    P.S. I hope you don't mind me calling you Skip, it's what we called the Captain on our ship in the USN. :)
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    The Vercors Maquis uprisal was a tragic event. They were ready to goto war more than a year before D-Day and did not want to wait until 1944. The allies chose not to parachute weapons to them on alarge scal because they feared a too early uprisal might jeopardise D-Day sabotages in 1944. Therefore the SS and the Milice started reconquering the liberated areas and chasing the Maquisards when they had fired their last rounds in July 44, they tortured many civilians until they found the Hq and killed almost evey last of them .


    I will check for books later.

    these films will help . ( in French but the pictures are great)

    There is a list of the combats and places mentionned below the films.


    .





    t
    here are many more films on this site.


    story of General Delestraint .

    http://www.ina.fr/histoire-et-conflits/seconde-guerre-mondiale/video/I00009720/l-armee-secrete-le-general-delestraint.fr.html



    http://www.ina.fr/media/radio/video/I00010153/juillet-44-le-maquis-du-vercors-aneanti-par-les-ss-et-par-la-milice.fr.html





     
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  5. leccy1

    leccy1 Member

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    Operation Frankton more commonly known for the film 'The Cockleshell Heroes'

    An operation to sink ships in Bordeaux in 1942 by British Commandos in Kayaks.

    Most of the commandos lost their lives (8 executed and 2 died of hypothermia) and a tragic point to this operation was that the French resistance with SOE's help had an operation planned for same time on the same targets.

    The land operation was led by Claude de Baissac who was ready in Bordeaux to go onto the ships when he heard the explosions of the limpet mines Hasler's team had set. At the time there was no co-ordination of effort between different departments, each trying to keep its own info and ops secret from anyone.
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Good reminder, I forgot about that one
     
  7. FalkeEins

    FalkeEins Member

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    Assuming you don't want to read any of the (largely) self-serving and historically exaggerated French accounts (although Lucie Aubrac's 'Outwitting the Gestapo' is available in English, albeit heavily 'novelised') then you'll be hard pushed to find anything much in English about French resistance actions. That's mostly because there weren't any, at least not of the sort you're looking for. This may have something to do with the fact that while there are some tales of bravery and heroism, the French resistance is mostly about treason, deceit, cynical political manipulation, incompetence and in-fighting. Lots of politics as you've surmised and little in the way of Nazi 'body counts'- Vercors is perhaps the exception, but even here, the movement was hardly directed against the German occupiers and more about establishing an autonomous French presence in a wild and rugged mountainous region in the middle of nowhere.. The French spent most of their time fighting each other. De Gaulle's representative in France, Jean Moulin, was betrayed and captured by Klaus Barbie in Lyons at the very meeting that was supposed to unify the various 'resistance' movements, Caluire, Lyons, June 1943. You have to understand that the French resistance was about as far from an homogenous movement as it was possible to be, with 'resisters' all vying to compete for British/Allied funds & support and all desperately trying to position themselves for the political scene post-war. Two book recommendations; Milton Dank's "The French against the French" and Matthew Cobb's " The French resistance"..
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I think you're a bit harsch when you say "there weren't any". They may be forgotten (especially by the French) but they certainly happened.

    There are numerous accounts more than you could ever think of. I have personnally interviewed many Veterans and know about many stories that are not well known . This included people who have saved Allied soldiers and other who killed many Germans and died while doing so .

    I will mention one for now: the sacrifice of two men who blew up a huge Kriegsmarine amno depot that burutn for 3 days in Jonzac knowing he would not be able to get away fast enough. His friend was caught tortured and executed. a dozen other fighters gave his life before the Germans left. Not many remembers them . They killed 17 Germans in the explosion. I have many other examples, but will only do so I get a non biased approach and won't read things there "weren't any"

    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Ruibe


    FNDIRP - Le Patriote Résistant





    [​IMG]

    train sabotaged in Rouen

    [​IMG]
    execution of caught Resistants




    [​IMG]
     
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  9. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Dishonorably Discharged

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    Falkeins,100% agree with you!They were no Resistance,nor Resistants.As there is no English cooking,hahaha!Please Sir ,you live in France,your point of view counts and may be seen as objective.Please don't be "more french than a french".It's so fashion here in France to say we were all collaborators.It's an insult for all the names engraved on the memorials in my countryard.
     
  10. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Dishonorably Discharged

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  11. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Many of the Soe members who died in Buchenwald were French agents. They should also be remembered . May these brave men rest in peace. :poppy:
     
  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Personally, I think both sides of the arguement have facts behind them. There was a lot of betrayal and collaboration from the French. There was also a lot of bravery too. Many Frenchmen went into the resistance, especially in Southern France to escape being dragged to Germany as forced labor, which even if they didn't fight, is a of of resistance in and of itself. A prime exampe of bravery is the harassment of Das Reich Pz Div when it tried to motor from the south to the invasion front. An example of collaboration is the Melice (sp?). I suspect most French citizens were between these two extremes and encompassed many shades of grey. I could easily some French citizens going back and forth between acts of collaboration and heroism throughout the occupation. However, the ones that joined the Resistance only after D-Day are probably opportunists.
     
  13. efestos

    efestos Member

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    double post
     
  14. efestos

    efestos Member

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    This guy wasn´t an opportunist but a comunist (no body is perfect).

    La Madeleine Battle, agost 1944.
     
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  15. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Not so many actually went back and forth. Those who switched, whether early or late, mostly did it once for all. Those who followed Petain in 1940-41 and switched sides , did so when they realized that the old man in charge was no longer the hero who defeated the Germans in Verdun. His reputation and prestige was comparable to Hindenburg. Open ones eyes despite the official Vichy and German propaganda wasn't easy when the only surviving gamster (the Uk ) was depicted as the "bomber of civilian homes", "the attacker of the fleet" etc..
    After Barbarossa things changed because surviving Republican Spaniards in France and Communists could now join the resistance out of Ideology . The trouble is that they were isolated, without any weapons and when they'd attack the Germans, civilians were shot, so there was a real dillema : attack and face reprisals or wait until the allies dropped in. Some couldn't wait and most of these men died in combat or in deportation. It has to be added that the SOE and De Gaulle were reluctant to drop weapons to some Communist factions and that the Vercors Maquis suffered a from a massive lack of weapon drops that were intentionally never delivered to them despite their begging for supplies until the last moment.

    Another aspect is "opportunity" . Some became a "hero", a "Resistant", a "Collaborator" or a "traitor" because one day someone knocked on their door and asked for help (either a Jew, an evaded airman, a hiding colonial Soldier , a forced labor escaper , a German deserter etc... ).You'd either take the man in , send him away or betray him.... Had noone knocked on that door, you would never have been labelled after the war. Some could stay away, others were dragged into it, some were volunteers out of Patriotism or Ideology .... .
     
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  16. efestos

    efestos Member

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    It was very easy to criticize the attitude of those who did not join the resistance enthusiastically. Now that I'm head of a family ... I wouldn't risk the life of "my girls" for anything in the world. Prevention useless, I have heard stories of babies nailed to the doors of their houses in retaliation for a shooting. Random choice, Southern France.
     
  17. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Another one :


    The five martyr students of the Lycée Buffon .

    These school kids were shot after have thrown hand grenades in the middle of a Kriegsmarine soldatenheim in 1942 . One Km Admiral was killed.

    Cinq Martyrs du lycée Buffon - Wikipédia
     
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  18. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    :S!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9vZZvf8GPk
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I was reading an account recently of Patton's breakout from Normandy. He apparently enjoyed a lot of help and colaboration with French resistance fighters. Indeed he likely would not have made near the progress without them. From what I recall it helped that he understood what they could and couldn't do.

    Found the article that goes into some detail on it:
    https://www.benning.army.mil/armor/armormagazine/content/IssuesCAC/2011/ARMORJulyAug2011Web.pdf
    I don't know if you can access it though.
    Here's a short quote:
    The article is by CPT Michael S. Ibrahim and titled "Patton's Guerrillas".

    The contacts page is http://www.benning.army.mil/Armor/ArmorMagazine/content/Contacts.html and they might be able to send you a pdf copy if interested.
     
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