Vercors 1944: Resistance in the French Alps

Vercors 1944: Resistance in the French Alps

by Peter Lieb, Peter Dennis
     
 

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Fighting insurgents has always been one of the greatest challenges for regular armed forces during the 20th century. The war between the Germans and the French resistance, also called FFI (Forces Françaises d'Intérieur), during World War II has remained a near-forgotten chapter in the history of these 'Small Wars'. This is all the more astonishing as

Overview

Fighting insurgents has always been one of the greatest challenges for regular armed forces during the 20th century. The war between the Germans and the French resistance, also called FFI (Forces Françaises d'Intérieur), during World War II has remained a near-forgotten chapter in the history of these 'Small Wars'. This is all the more astonishing as agencies like the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) and the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) pumped a good amount of their resources into the support of the French resistance movement. By diversionary attacks on German forces in the occupied hinterland the Allies hoped the FFI could provide assistance in disrupting German supply lines as well as crumbling their morale. The mountain plateau of the Vercors south-west of Grenoble was the main stronghold of the FFI, and in July 1944 some 8,000 German soldiers mounted an operation on the plateau and destroyed the insurgent groups there. The battle of the Vercors was the largest operation against the FFI during World War II and the German's suit and crushing victory has caused traumatic memories for the French that persist to the present day.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...follows the fighting between Germans and French Resistance forces during World War II, and provides close inspection of the military events that took place during this nearly-forgotten engagement. It was a powerful struggle set against the backdrop of France's southern mountains, and is here documented through source materials, vintage photos, and discussions of encounters, strategies, and military choices. Any collection strong in World War II specifics will find this a winner!"
- The Midwest Book Review (March 2013)

"In addition to the story of the Vercors campaign, this book also goes into the campaign in the nearby Tarentaise Valley, a campaign that also did not go as planned, and for various reasons, the biggest of all being the lack of experienced leadership. It makes for a fascinating read that shows that determination is not all that is required to succeed in battle and while eventually things turned out well (the Allies did drive the Germans out of France), things did not go as planned for the Maquis. It is a book that I found to be quite interesting and one that I am sure you will enjoy as well."
- Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (March 2013)

"A relatively little-known but vicious World War II campaign is covered in 'Vercors 1944: Resistance in the French Alps.' Peter Lieb chronicles how the Battle of Vercors was the largest German operation launched against the FFI . He underscores how the crushing defeat triggered traumatic and bitter memories that persist for the French to this day 70 years later. Rare photos, maps and some great color plates by Peter Dennis illustrate this book." -Toy Soldier & Model Figure magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781780961163
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
12/20/2012
Series:
Campaign , #249
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
File size:
60 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Dr Peter Lieb is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Prior to this he was a Research Fellow at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich and the German Historical Institute in Paris. He holds a PhD and an MA from the University of Munich. His research interests are the German Army in World War I and World War II, and insurgencies and counterinsurgency in the 20th century. He has written numerous articles in English, German and French on these topics. His major studies are a book on the radicalisation of warfare in the West in 1944 with the title 'Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44' (2007) and a fundamental contribution on the German occupation in the Ukraine in 1918 in the multi-authored book 'Die Ukraine. Zwischen Selbstbestimmung und Fremdherrschaft 1917-1922' (2011). He also served as an expert witness for military history in a Nazi war crimes trial in Munich in 2009.

Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.
Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.

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