top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Paris at War

Paris at War, David Drake, Belknap Press, £25, ISBN: 978-0-674-50481-3

 AS THE Nazis neared Paris they sparked a panic that saw hundreds of thousands streaming daily out of a city that was defended by only two battalions of Senegalese troops, four platoons of state riot police and a few tanks.

Using diaries from the time, the author tells how sceptical Parisians viewed the sight of its government calling on the “Arch­angel Michael and Saint Joan of Arc to fight alongside the French soldiers”.

They voted with their feet.

In total, between eight and 10 million people joined the exodus from the advancing army. First the “sumptuous and fast American cars driven by chauffeurs in livery... then the older, less smart cars driven by petit-bourgeois and their families... then came the cyclists”.

Following the timeline of history, the stories tell personal anecdotes that build a greater picture; of collaboration and some defiance, of the rising state of fear for both occupier and occupied from Resistance attacks and reprisals; but overall of a passive collaboration.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now