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The French Resistance

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French Resistance to the German occupation of France, 1940-1944. In France, the Cross of Lorraine (seen here in the background) is the symbol of the Resistance Movement of World War II and the liberation of France from Nazi Germany. The Cross of Lorraine was originally held to be a symbol of Joan of Arc, who was from Lorraine. During World War II the Cross of Lorraine was suggested as the symbol of the Free French Forces led by Charles de Gaulle, to recall Joan of Arc, and as an answer to the Nazi swastika. The French Resistance - An "underground movement" Adolf Hitler poses in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris A German checkpoint in France marked "Halt!" (Stop!) in German. There was...a movement of individuals who were interested in fighting the Nazi and fascist regimes... In World War I, the French army had been particularly important in stopping the advance of the Germans toward Paris (i.e., Battle of the Marne, 1914) German troops on the Champs-Elysées, in front of the Arc de Triomphe Road signs in German posted on French streets (left side of screen) Newspapers of the resistance movement The British Broadcasting Corporation, or "BBC", broadcast pro-resistance programs from England, which could be heard in some parts of France. Wiring explosives to train rails Downed Allied airmen were transported via an "underground railway"-like system to Spain and hten back to England. Nazi firing squad Charles de Gaulle (1890 – 1970): French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. A prominent French general in World War I, de Gaulle led one of the few successful armored counter-attacks during the 1940 Fall of France, and then organised the Free French Forces with exiled French officers in England. Prior to escaping to England, he gave a famous radio address on the BBC in June 1940, exhorting the French people to resist Nazi Germany. Jean Moulin (1899 – 1943) was a high-profile member of the French Resistance during World War II. He is remembered today due to his courage and death at the hands of the Germans. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was officially formed by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1940. Its mission was to encourage and facilitate espionage and sabotage behind (German) enemy lines. The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Moulin returned to France in 1943 with orders to form a unified resistance group, a difficult task since each resistance movement wanted to keep its independence La Croix de Lorraine (The Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of the Resistance) The V-1 bomb and the V-2 rocket were weapons used by the Germans during World War II, fired at population centers such as London and Antwerp. V-1s were launched from launch sites along the French (Pas-de-Calais) coast until the sites were overrun by Allied forces. Cartes d’identité (ID cards) of Resistance agents/spies. Routes of escape for Allied airmen who were downed in France Since 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union (led by Josef Stalin) had agreed to a pact of non-aggression. Hitler broke the pact in 1941 and invaded Soviet territory. It was only when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 that French communists began to actively organize resistance, benefiting from their experience in clandestine operations during the Spanish Civil War. The communist resistance maintained its independence from de Gaulle, who had tried to unify the resistance factions. The Resistance newspaper "Combat", with the Cross of Lorraine integrated into the "C" of "Combat" The "Maquis" were predominantly rural guerrilla bands of the French Resistance. Initially they were composed of men who had escaped into the mountains to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire (STO) to provide forced labour for Germany. Originally the word came from the kind of terrain in which the armed resistance groups hid, the type of high ground in southeastern France covered with scrub growth. Although strictly meaning thicket, maquis could be roughly translated as "the bush" 1941, the second year of German occupation - roughly 190 railway sabotage acts. 1944 - the height of the conflict/resistance - 4,940 acts of railway sabotage

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 14 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 591
Posted by: dhanna on Nov 13, 2009

Video in English with some explanatory subtitles

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