Forgotten Heroes of WWII: The French Resistance
In 1940, when the Germans invaded France, many independent résistance cells were formed in France. Initially, these résistance cells provided only minimum opposition to the Germans. The opposition was in the form of strikes, bureaucratic delays, and occasional vandalism. What the French Résistance needed was coordination, weapons, and training. To provide all groups that were resisting the Germans, the British formed the office of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The SOE started training agents who were either flown or parachuted into the occupied territories. Through the 1941-1942 period, the résistance cells were provided short wave radios, weapons, and SOE covert agents, which provided training. Beginning in 1942, the Allies were engaged in bombing the Germans in the occupied territories. The bombing runs resulted in Allied planes being shot down.
This, in turn, resulted in Allied fliers parachuting behind enemy lines. The French résistance would find some of the downed fliers before the Germans. The résistance formed a series of safe houses to move the downed fliers through France and into Spain. From Spain, the fliers were taken to the British consulates. From the consulates, the fliers were transported back to England via sea transport. The résistance was credited with saving hundreds of fliers through this underground network.
Fans of historical fiction as well as non fiction will really enjoy reading this book. I am a huge fan of reading military themed books. While this book may have been fiction is does read like nonfiction. That is because the war was real and while most of the characters were fiction, the main lead Chico was modeled after the author's first cousin.
Having read many non fiction books, I can tell you that the author really did do his homework with his research. He was accurate in how he wrote the story and the interactions. Scattered throughout the book are chapters that did provide true facts about the events portrayed in this book. I really appreciated these nuggets of information. The lives of the brave men that risked their lives only to come back in a pine box or not at all will not be forgotten.