The Killing Fields of Provence (ePub)
Occupation, Resistance and Liberation in the South of France
In the South of France, the most memorable event of the Second World War was the sea and airborne invasion of 15 August 1944. Perhaps because it went relatively smoothly, this ‘Second D-Day’ was soon relegated to the back pages of history. Operation Dragoon and the liberation is however only a small part of the story. The arrival of the Allies was preceded by years of oppression and strife. Provençal people still struggle to come to terms with the painful past of split-allegiances and empty stomachs which epitomize les années noires (the dark years).
The author’s blend of local and social history enables the English-language reader to discover the parallel universe which exists alongside these idyllic shores. In every corner of Provence, the mindful traveller will come across words, chipped into stone, which exhort: Passant, souviens-toi (passerby, remember). These sacred places of memory tell a story of duplicity, defiance, and ultimately, deliverance. Whether the stuff of legends, or the everyday experiences of lesser mortals, humanity is used to explain the Franco-American experience of wartime Provence, as seen through an Anglo-Saxon prism.
Pen and Sword produce to their normal high standard with good glossy images that are relevant.Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)
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This book is a very detailed and well researched account of the progress of the war in Southern France. It necessarily focuses on the efforts of the various French resistance groups and the German counter efforts as well as the Allied landings in 1944. The narrative is pacey and at no time is the reader saturated in detail so that the overview is obscured. A well constructed narrative history of a region that was subsidiary to the main efforts in Northern Europe but was important to the eventual outcome.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide