Wednesday, 15 March 2017

#FrenchResistance During #WW2

The French Resistance was a movement that fought against the Nazi Occupation of France during WW2, and against the collaborationist Vichy régime. Armed men and woman (called the Maquis in rural areas such as portrayed in my novel, Wolfsangel) formed Resistance cells who carried out guerrilla warfare activities, published underground newspapers, gained intelligence information, and helped Allied soldiers escape from behind enemy lines.

Fake ID cards for Resistance fighters

Taking a break from the battle
 On this day, 15th March, in 1944, the Conseil National de la Resistance published a charter demanding that social and economic reforms be implemented after France’s liberation, such as universal suffrage and the equality of all citizens.

For Wolfsangel, the second (standalone) novel in my French historical trilogy: The Bone Angel, I was fortunate enough to speak with several French Resistance fighters still living in the area in which the novel is set, in a rural village just west of Lyon.

Extract from Wolfsangel, Chapter 2...

The helmets of the German soldiers perched atop the train gleamed in the moonlight. I stared at them with hatred, those sinister sentries cradling their guns, their eyes peeling the countryside for danger, and saboteurs.

I kneaded my angel talisman harder.

Dd-dd-dd-dd. Faster, it seemed, and deafening, as the train was almost upon us.

‘Go!’ Olivier shrieked. ‘Now! Get down!’

André hit the button and any further sounds were lost as the train exploded in a golden shatter of fireworks. Bursts of sparks fanned into the navy sky, metal shrieking as if it were in agony.

Our hands clamped over our ears, we cowered from shards of flying metal. The Germans were shrieking –– one continual, torturous wail –– their helmets and uniforms flaming torches as they tried to flee the burning wreckage.

The locomotive screamed like a shot horse and groaned as the whole train lurched sideways, cavorted off the rails and crashed into the ravine on the opposite side of the track.

‘Let’s move it,’ Patrick said.

The moonlight lit their smiling faces as they hurtled back along the woodland path to the bicycles.

I breathed out, long and slow. Another success for
la Résistance.

Buy the Ebook of Wolfsangel for only £2.99/$2.99/Euros 2.99 at all Amazon stores.

If you happen to visit Lyon sometime, don’t miss the Museum of the Resistance

And if you are ever near Limoges, I would highly recommend a visit to Oradour-sur-Glane, on which the war-crime tragedy of Wolfsangel is based.

Main street of Oradour-sur-Glane
Church of Oradour-sur-Glane

No comments: