To successfully conquer a country, you must either kill every last native, or get them to love you. If you achieve neither objective, you’ll lose your war.
France seemed to collapse when the Germans invaded in 1940. In fact, a sizeable proportion of the country resented the invasion and took to arms as the Resistance, establishing relations with the British to secure training and supplies.
André Hue was trained in guerrilla warfare by the British and parachuted back to France in 1944. His mission: to train and co-ordinate local Resistance groups to harass German troops and keep them away from the D-Day beaches.
This was a brutal, trust no one, and take no prisoners kind of war. To the Germans, the Resistance were terrorists, and executed if caught. Hue recalls many acts of savagery, such as when the Germans murdered his 85 year old bedridden friend, simply because she was in a reprisal area. When Hue’s training camp was discovered, such was the ferocity of the Resistance that they killed 560 Germans to only 42 of their own.
General Eisenhower said that the Resistance played a major part in the Allied victory in Europe. Based upon Hue’s notes after the war, this book confirms Eisenhower’s view; it’s certainly the most exciting and realistic account I’ve ever read of the Resistance struggle.