By Douglas Boyd
Based on unique study and private memories of French and Allied members, this tale, formerly unpublished in English, highlights the cynical fail to remember for civilian lives proven via British SOE and American OSS
Nearing D-Day, Allied intelligence used Royal Air Force airdrops to ship Allied liaison officials down with offers to the hundreds of thousands of younger males hiding in France's forests and hill nation. the following the officials defied the 2 ideas of guerrilla struggle: by no means focus your forces or probability a pitched conflict. They assembled small armies of untrained civilians in wild kingdom the place it was once believed Allied airborne forces may land and support them force the hated occupiers out in their nation. actually they have been getting used as bait—to draw German forces clear of the invasion shores. They have been hunted down through collaborationist French paramilitaries, Wehrmacht, and Waffen-SS troops, loss of life within the snows of iciness via to excessive midsummer. these taken prisoner have been raped, tortured, and shot or deported to demise camps in Germany. lots of their killers have been themselves murdered after the liberation, whilst millions of Frenchwomen have been additionally publicly humiliated as sexual traitors.
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Extra resources for Blood in the Snow, Blood on the Grass: Treachery, Torture, Murder and Massacre - France 1944
It is hard to find a sane reason for such a major error, which may have been due to a disarming sense of triumph at getting this group of powerful men to set aside their internecine conflicts in a common cause. The venue for the meeting in the afternoon of 21 June was in the house of dental surgeon Dr Dugoujon, chosen because Moulin thought they could enter and leave unnoticed among the coming and going of Dugoujon’s patients. Frenay, in London for a briefing, was represented by his deputy Henri Aubry, who brought along René Hardy.
Apparently unmoved by his pitiful state after four months in the Gestapo cells of Montluc prison, Lucie raved at ‘Ermulin’ that whatever was happening served him right as far as she was concerned, but she needed a name for her child and expected him to ‘do the decent thing’ and marry her. ‘Ermulin’ was hardly in a condition to marry anyone. The whole point of the dangerous pantomime was to have him brought to the medical school for the confrontation. As the police van was returning him and Barbie’s other victims of the day to Montluc prison after interrogation, two cars closed in on it and automatic fire from silenced weapons killed the men in the driver’s cab and mowed down the guards who jumped out, save one who escaped.
It was one thing for a career soldier like him, safely across the Channel in London, to call upon his countrymen to resist the German invader, but what could ordinary people at the mercy of Hitler’s victorious war machine do about it? The first individual acts were limited to disobedience of German proclamations, which invited reprisals to serve as lessons to the general population, and a scattering of acts of unthinking desperation. In Rouen, Epinal and Royenne lone protesters cut German telephone lines and were executed by firing squad.