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France: The Dark Years,
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Julian Jackson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207061

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207061.001.0001

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The Resistance 1940–1942

The Resistance 1940–1942

(p.402) 17 The Resistance 1940–1942
France: The Dark Years, 1940–1944

Julian Jackson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the origins and emergence of resistance in France. From the first weeks of the Occupation there were sporadic anti-German incidents: stray shots fired on German patrols, German posters slashed, cables cut. Clearly these brave but futile acts were gestures of ‘resistance’, but rather than anticipating what came to be ‘the Resistance’, they represented desperate final skirmishes in the battle of France. They were an end, not a beginning, and their perpetrators were usually young men or boys, acting alone, and often paying with their lives. The future Resistance also started with the acts of isolated individuals, but individuals seeking to make contacts and develop new responses rather than continue a lost battle.

Keywords:   France, resistance movement, German occupation

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