Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Wartime Wednesday: Couriers with the French Resistance

Wartime Wednesday:
Couriers with the French Resistance

Signed by the French, the Armistice stipulated that “The French Government will forbid French citizens to fight against Germany in the service of States with which the German Reich is still at war. French citizens who violate this provision are to be treated by German troops as insurgents.”

Thousands of French men and women chose to ignore the mandate. The exact number of La Résistance members in France during WWII is unknown because many were never captured and even more never told their family about their involvement during the war. Activities included securing intelligence about German troop numbers and movements, sabotaging communication and train lines, blowing up bridges, kidnapped and killed German army officers, and ambushed German soldiers. Another important task performed by La Résistance was to courier downed airmen and escaped prisoners out of the country and into neutral Switzerland.

As mentioned in a previous post, several escape routes existed. However, rather than be given a map,
Flag of the French
the escapees were led out of the country by couriers, who were often natives of the area through which the route passed. Much like a relay race, the courier would take the individuals from Point A to Point B where the next courier would meet them and continue the journey. Both men and women acted as couriers.


With a fatality rate of 42%, couriers held a dangerous job. They came from all walks of life: housewives and mothers, society women, teachers, and shopkeepers. Couriers had to be in excellent physical condition because of the hundreds of miles they traveled back and forth over rough terrain, many of which went into the higher elevations.


Spies & Sweethearts

She wants to do her part. He’s just trying to stay out of the stockade. Will two agents deep behind enemy lines find capture… or love?

1942. Emily Strealer is tired of being told what she can’t do. Wanting to prove herself to her older sisters and do her part for the war effort, the high school French teacher joins the OSS and trains to become a covert operative. And when she completes her training, she finds herself parachuting into occupied France with her instructor to send radio signals to the Resistance.

Major Gerard Lucas has always been a rogue. Transferring to the so-called “Office of Dirty Tricks” to escape a court-martial, he poses as a husband to one of his trainees on a dangerous secret mission. But when their cover is blown after only three weeks, he has to flee with the young schoolteacher to avoid Nazi arrest.

Running for their lives, Emily clings to her mentor’s military experience during the harrowing three-hundred-mile trek to neutral Switzerland. And while Gerard can’t bear the thought of his partner falling into German hands, their forged papers might not be enough to get them over the border.

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