THE MAQUIS: A History of the French Resistance Movement by Claude Chambard

THE MAQUIS: A History of the French Resistance Movement

Email this review


A brief account of the guerrilla aspect of French resistance to the Nazi occupation, focusing on the early development of radio and assassination squads, followed by full-fledged battles between the Maquis guerrillas and regular German forces. The up-close military descriptions are striking--not least the May 1944 showdown in the Haute-Savoie that left 1400 Germans dead along with 160 Maquis. Chambard emphasizes the role of Gaullist partisans without, however, filling in the political fights among the British, the overseas Free French who were loath to support insurgencies within the country, and the resisters at home. The issue of integrating the Maquis into the regular French army is thus left on a military level. The book also bypasses the deportation of French workers to Germany, which spurred Maquis growth from 1943. And the Resistance groups' role as the de facto government of France during and after the German retreat is neglected. The atrocities and the heroism come through, but it is impossible to do justice to guerrilla war without the kind of attention to politics and psychology presented in Henry Frenay's The Night Will End (1975).

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill