Vercors 1944

Vercors 1944

Resistance in the French Alps

Campaign 249
  • Author: Peter Lieb
  • Illustrator: Peter Dennis
  • Short code: CAM 249
  • Publication Date: 20 Dec 2012
  • Number of Pages: 96
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About this Product

Fighting insurgents has always been one of the greatest challenges for regular armed forces during the 20th century. The war between the Germans and the French resistance, also called FFI (Forces Françaises d'Intérieur), during World War II has remained a near-forgotten chapter in the history of these 'Small Wars'. This is all the more astonishing as agencies like the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) and the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) pumped a good amount of their resources into the support of the French resistance movement. By diversionary attacks on German forces in the occupied hinterland the Allies hoped the FFI could provide assistance in disrupting German supply lines as well as crumbling their morale. The mountain plateau of the Vercors south-west of Grenoble was the main stronghold of the FFI, and in July 1944 some 8,000 German soldiers mounted an operation on the plateau and destroyed the insurgent groups there. The battle of the Vercors was the largest operation against the FFI during World War II and the German's suit and crushing victory has caused traumatic memories for the French that persist to the present day.

Biographical Note

Dr Peter Lieb is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Prior to this he was a Research Fellow at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich and the German Historical Institute in Paris. He holds a PhD and an MA from the University of Munich. His research interests are the German Army in World War I and World War II, and insurgencies and counterinsurgency in the 20th century. He has written numerous articles in English, German and French on these topics. His major studies are a book on the radicalisation of warfare in the West in 1944 with the title ‘Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44' (2007) and a fundamental contribution on the German occupation in the Ukraine in 1918 in the multi-authored book ‘Die Ukraine. Zwischen Selbstbestimmung und Fremdherrschaft 1917-1922' (2011). He also served as an expert witness for military history in a Nazi war crimes trial in Munich in 2009.Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.


Origins of the campaign
Opposing commanders
Opposing armies
Orders of battle
Opposing plans
The campaign
The battlefield today
Further reading

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