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Insurgent Movements During and Immediately After WW2 - Essay Example

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It was a very heterogeneous movement. The myth created by Charles de Gaulle claims that Resistance played the important role in the liberation of France. However, the facts and documents…
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Insurgent Movements During and Immediately After WW2
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Insurgent Movements during World War II (French Résistance) Insurgent Movements during World War II (French Résistance) French Resistance was one of the insurgent movement that fought against Nazis Germany. It was a very heterogeneous movement. The myth created by Charles de Gaulle claims that Resistance played the important role in the liberation of France. However, the facts and documents cannot fully support this (Folker, 2012).
The Resistance begun soon after the defeat in 1940. A part of the Frenchmen did not accepted the situation after Petain become a head of the country. The idea of Resistance was also partially connected with the xenophobia. The roots of xenophobia are in the consequences of Franco-Prussian War and the fact that Germany and France were the enemies during World War I. The further occupation of France, as well as austerity measures of Nazis and Vichy regime increased the will to fight. Part of the population had no choice apart from joining the Resistance (Jews or people forced to work in Germany) (Crowdy, 2007).
Part of Resistance groups were communist and antifascists. Another part of the Resistance fought for the liberation of France and establishing the new country. It should be also mentioned that significant part of Frenchmen was depressed by the defeat in 1940, did not want to fight or preferred to accept the existing situation. So-called passive resistance also existed (Folker, 2012). The Resistance was a movement of people with different principles and motivations.
The Resistance included various forms of struggle. It may be described as a combination of movements and networks (Folker, 2012). Movements were mostly aimed on the fight against the Nazism ideology. They grouped around newspapers and spread the ideas of the Resistance. The production of the publications was another form of resistance. Networks were structures that are more active. They gathered information about military activity, organized sabotage actions and armed resistance. Sabotage and espionage were the main forms of fight. The armed fight was the less frequent form of resistance. Non-obedience to the Nazis legislation or hiding Jews are also treated as a form of fight. Part of people treat themselves as resistants for ‘at least doing something’. About 500,000 people were involved in the Resistance and about 100,000 people participating in this movement were killed. The results of maquis’ military was not so serious (about 9,000 executions). The most important result of the Resistance activities was the information gathered before the Normandy invasion (Cobb, 2009).
The activity of the Resistance media was one of the forms of fight. Media spread the antifascist ideology via newspapers, leaflets and broadcasting. De Gaulle known as the leader of the Resistance claimed that the Resistance started from his broadcast June 18 1940. The BBC broadcasting was the source of the information for the Frenchmen and a means of fight against Nazis’ propaganda (Folker, 2012).
The support from abroad was the important component of the Resistance. Weapons and money were parachuted to France. Part of the agents were trained in Britain. British intelligence service, especially Special Operations Executive, was closely connected with the Free French. The most active interactions was during the preparation of the invasion to the north of France. However, American and British leaders did not support Free France fully. It was due to the uncertain information about the Resistance (Cobb, 2009).
Charles de Gaulle is treated as a leader of the Resistance. However, this movement evoked and existed (at least partially) without its direct control. Soon de Gaulle and his Free French aimed to consolidate different movements. The representative of de Gaulle Jean Moulin played a key role in this process. De Gaulle played the important role before the invasion of Allies and during the liberation of France. Due to his activity, Resistance and France became a part of the coalition against Nazis (Folker, 2012).
French Resistance was one of the movements against Nazis. It included different forms of fight. However, it cannot be treated as a force that could liberate France without support from abroad. Armed resistance was not the dominating form of struggle. Sabotage and espionage, as well as passive resistance were prevalent. The Resistance was the most useful before and during the invasion of Allies in Normandy. It also should be noted that France become a member of antihitlerite coalition due to the Resistance’s struggle.
References
Cobb, M. (2009). The Resistance: the French Fight against Nazis, London: Simon & Schuster UK.
Crowdy, T. (2007). French Resistance Fighter: France’s Secret Army, New York: Ospery Publishing Ltd.
Folker, J. (2012). The Nature and Extent of the French Resistance against Nazi Occupation during World War II. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from: http://digitalcommons.providence.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=history_students Read More
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