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11-08-2015, 18:54

The Underground Resistance

People in occupied territories set up clandestine resistance movements against their conquerors. These movements cropped up in every occupied country, without exception. Despite differences in their essential characters, they everywhere evolved in a similar way. Everywhere the oppressed boosted their morale by denigrating their conquerors. Avid for news, they listened eagerly to radio broadcasts from Allied stations - from Boston, Moscow, and, principally, the B.B.C. transmission from London. With the news pep-talks were broadcast and, later, instructions for action. News was printed first in occasional pamphlets, then in newssheets published as the opportunity arose. Groups sprang up spontaneously and often survived and grew strong. They did what was within their means, improving their methods with experience. The German wrar machine was damaged by progressively more frequent and more effective sabotage operations. Help was offered people pursued bv the enemy, escaped prisoners of war, Jews, Allied pilots who had been shot down. A network of escape routes extended from Belgium to the Pyrenees and from Poland to Hungary and Greece. Air and sea operations landed and collected agents. Resistance groups gathered information useful to the Allied armies. The braver resistance fighters acquired skill by attacking 'collaborators' or isolated soldiers. Gradually, dissenting groups found hiding places in forests, especiallv after large numbers of young men were inducted into compulsory labour forces in Germany. Partisans and resistance fighters operated in combat units. The aims of the resistance were realized in the mass insurrections, repeated strikes, demonstrations, armed uprisings in cities, such as Paris and Warsaw, and in inadequately protected regions, such as Vercors and Slovakia, leading up to the Allied liberation.