Friday, September 11, 2015


It is customary to distinguish the various organizations of the French Resistance between networks and movements. A resistance group or network was an organization created for a specific military purpose (intelligence, sabotage, helping prisoners of war escape and preventing shot-down pilots from falling into the hands of the Germans). In contrast, the main goal of a resistance movement was to educate and organize the population.

The majority of resistance movements in France were unified after Jean Moulin's formation of the Conseil National de la Résistance (CNR) in May 1943. CNR was coordinated with the French Forces of the Interior under the authority of the Free French Generals Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle and their body, the Comité Français de Libération Nationale (CFLN).

The 8 Major Resistance Movements
Unifications of the Major Movements
Other Movements
  • The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British military organization that directed from London. It parachuted more than four hundred agents into occupied France to establish escape routes, coordinate acts of sabotage and set up radio communications. It also supplied materials and armaments for French groups.
  • The American OSS and the SOE contributed Jedburgh teams in 1944 to aid the resistance and arrange air supply of equipment.
  • Défense de la France was a resistance group in the Northern zone that was centered on the distribution of a clandestine newspaper, whose circulation had reached 450,000 by January 1944.
  • The Groupe du musée de l'Homme was formed by Parisian academics and intellectuals in 1940 after General Charles de Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June. It distributed clandestine newspapers, but with a more patriotic conservative position than others. It also transmitted political and military information to Britain and helped to hide escaped Allied Prisoners of Wars (POWs). Vichy agents eventually infiltrated the group and many members were arrested and later executed.
  • The Noyautage des administrations publiques (NAP) was a resistance organization launched in 1942 with the mission of infiltrating the administration of the Vichy regime. The main intelligence missions it carried out on behalf of the Free French were providing false papers and preparing for the seizure of power after the liberation of France.
  • The Mouvement National des Prisonniers de Guerre et Déportés (MNPGD)
  • Volontaires de la Liberté, a group composed of school boys (from the Lycée Louis-le-Grand and the Lycée Henri-IV) and university students. Formed in Paris in 1941, most of whose members joined the Défense de la France after February 1943 to engage in armed combat.
Found at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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