Book Review By Bruce Royall
The Cruel Victory : the French Resistance, D-Day and the Battle for the Vercors, 1944
by Paddy Ashdown. Collins paperback, 2015, first published in 2014.
Good quality Second World War history about a battle little known of outside France.
Well researched, with illuminating quotes from eyewitnesses and documents of the Free French in North Africa and London, even radio messages from the BBC and accounts from the German Army and Parachute regiment.
“When resistance units rose to declare the Vercors plateau their stronghold of freedom and independence on 9 June 1944, they expected swift support by the liberating armies. But botched information from the Free French and British forces, along with follies of proud leadership saw their bold gamble soon facing massacre.
What followed was a tragic, brutal annihilation of the first self-liberated area of France by some eight thousand German soldiers. As the most violent crushing of the Resistance in the entire War, the trauma of Vercors continues to reverberate in France that to this day.”
A good read. ***
Print copy available for loan from: Lithgow Library Learning Centre,
In the Non-Fiction section at 940.5486 ASH. See: Catalogue link