The Cruel Victory: The French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors 1944

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9780007520817: The Cruel Victory: The French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors 1944

From best-selling author of ‘A Brilliant Little Operation’, winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif – the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War.

In early 1941, three separate groups of plotters – one military, one political, one intellectual – began to organise and plan on and around the forbidding mountainous plateau near Grenoble – the Vercors. The aims of the groups were the same: to hasten the departure of the German occupiers; to restore the pride of France after its fall and the humiliations of the puppet Vichy government which followed; and to build a new France. The overwhelming desire to get rid of the Germans would unite them. Their different views of the France they hoped for in the future would divide them.

Over the next three years these sparks of resistance would grow to challenge the might of the hated German occupiers. As the Allied troops stormed the D-Day beaches, the Vercors rose up to fight the Nazis in a planned rearguard action. It was to prove not only the largest Resistance action of the entire war but also, in the severity of the German response, the most brutal crushing of resistance forces in Western Europe.

For the men and women of Vercors, aided and abetted by the Free French forces of General de Gaulle and SOE operatives from London, the events on the Vercors took them on a journey from early idealism through hope, misjudgement, folly, despair, sacrifice and slaughter to a kind of cruel victory. The tragedy drew the attention of those at the highest level of the Allied war effort and placed the Vercors deep into the heart of the history of modern France in a way which resonates still in the country’s daily life and politics.

Long overlooked by English language histories, this magnificent book sets the story in the context of D-Day, the muddle of politics and many misjudgements of D-Day planners in both London and Algiers, and – most importantly – it gives voice to the many Maquisards fighters who fought to gain a voice in their country’s future.

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From best-selling author of ‘A Brilliant Little Operation’, winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif – the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War.

In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone.

‘The Cruel Victory’ gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion.

Review:

‘Excellent in showing how men across France mobilised. For Ashdown, Vercors is the “hidden story of D-Day” and he tells it with panache and great attention to detail.’ Sunday Express

‘A powerful account of an extraordinary story.’ The Times

‘A fine account.’ 5*, Daily Telegraph

‘Paddy Ashdown has produced not only the most thorough history to date of the Resistance in the Vercors, but also the startling new contention that, ‘The Germans did not win on the Vercors. They lost.’ Written with pace, the detail is fine… and Ashdown is well-placed to write this book, which requires an understanding of military strategy, diplomacy and political shenanigans, as well as old fashioned story telling skill.’ Spectator

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 122 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From best-selling author of A Brilliant Little Operation , winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone. The Cruel Victory gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007520817

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 122 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From best-selling author of A Brilliant Little Operation , winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone. The Cruel Victory gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007520817

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; From best-selling author of 'A Brilliant Little Operation', winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007520817_rkm

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Cruel Victory: The French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors 1944, Paddy Ashdown, From best-selling author of 'A Brilliant Little Operation', winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone. 'The Cruel Victory' gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007520817

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Book Description William Collins, 2015. Book Condition: New. From best-selling author of 'A Brilliant Little Operation', winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. Num Pages: 496 pages. BIC Classification: 1DDF; 3JJH; HBJD; HBLW; HBWQ; JWL. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 199 x 131 x 38. Weight in Grams: 488. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780007520817

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