The author has provided a complete and well-researched study of the French Resistance groups, Allied agents and Special Forces operating against the Germans in the South of France. The story of the resistance in the South of France has been covered far less than the situation in Northern and Western France, a deficiency corrected by this very readable book. – Very Highly Recommended.
NAME: The Killing fields of Provence, Occupation, Resistance and Liberation In The South Of France FILE: R3144 AUTHOR: James Bourhill PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, World War Two, Second World War, Vichy State, German Occupation, French Resistance, Maquis, SOE, SIS, OSS, sabotage, intelligence gathering, training, arms drops, Allied agents, Special Forces, SS-SD, Gestapo, deportations, forced labour. Operation Dragon ISBN: 1-52676-132-7 PAGES: 405 IMAGE: B3144.jpg BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/vdltedl DESCRIPTION: The author has provided a complete and well-researched study of the French Resistance groups, Allied agents and Special Forces operating against the Germans in the South of France. The story of the resistance in the South of France has been covered far less than the situation in Northern and Western France, a deficiency corrected by this very readable book. – Very Highly Recommended. In 1940, when France surrendered to Hitler, the Germans were happy to partition France to reduce the number of troops required to police the French. This is an area of WWII history that is often misunderstood. The Wehrmacht garrisoned Western France and, in most respects, was the military occupation force, but in reality they delegated to French police and officials many civil tasks, including the rounding up of Jews for deportation to Germany and the death camps. In the South of France a French puppet government was established at Vichy, but provided with German 'liaison' personnel who made clear what Germany expected. When the Vichy Government was told by their masters to jump, they just asked “how high?”, but many Vichy personnel were very happy with Nazi political thought and often jumped higher than ordered. The result was, as French opinion hardened against the Germans, resistance units began to form across France, but were differently structured because of the differences in the two parts of France. Allied agents were infiltrated into both areas, together with supplies of weapons, ammunition and communications. Training of resistance groups was similar but there were important differences, with the operation of Special Forces, including the British SAS with their armed jeeps. There was also in effect a civil war developing. The Vichy authorities were a coalition of people who supported many of the concepts of the Nazis, those who just did their pre-war jobs as best they could, and those preparing to take power after the Germans had gone. In the latter category Communists and Gaulists were already shaping up to direct the future of France and happy to betray each other to the Germans. The author has done an excellent job of combining local and social history to provide a graphic and moving picture of the parallel universes that were partitioned France and of the replacement of Vichy with full German occupation. It is a story that is both inspiring and uncomfortable for the French. A story of courage, heroism, betrayal, deception, violence, duplicity, and deliverance from German occupation into the confused and contentious world of post war France