By Tzvetan Todorov
An across the world popular pupil examines an episode within the chaos and retributive strife that engulfed France throughout the liberation on the finish of worldwide conflict II.
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Additional info for A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944 (Contemporary French Culture and Society)
All these comrades [except one] come down on Bricout's side.... Guingouin, contacted, refuses'' (Guingouin, 175). The rest is history: the town of Limoges will surrender to Guingouin, without bloodshed, but only on August 21, two and a half months after the landing. Van Gaver and Blanchard, however, do not have the authority of Guingouin, who has been fighting in the maquis since 1940 and whose prestige in the region is immense. And besides, it is not at all certain that they would have sought to oppose the directives from Limoges, even though former Resistance members cite tactical differences between the two and give the impression that the Page 12 leaders of Combat let Sochet and Lalonnier force their hand somewhat.
On the second point he appears more cooperative. He alerts some friends within the First RF on the next day, June 3, so that they will speak with his boss in Saint-Amand, Commander Ardisson, on behalf of Van Gaver and Blanchard (cf. Les Bandes de Picardie, 6566). Does he tell himself, as Van Gaver and Blanchard take leave of him, that these young men are getting themselves involved in a suicidal adventure and that this is probably the last time he will ever see them? The fact remains that on June 5 he leaves Saint-Amand for the Morvan region to assume direction of his unit on June 6, and he will not return to the Cher until July 20.
As the days pass, its position becomes more extreme. COMAC directive No. 10, issued on May 29, 1944, is particularly explicit: In the weeks to come, every man must prove that he is worthy of his post: (a) by the loyal application of COMAC decisions ... : immediate action, distribution of arms, implementation of plans ... ; (b) by the manner in which, in the struggle against the enemy, in the operations to be executed in conjunction with the landing and the allied offensive, and in the insurrectional battles of our people, he is able to show initiative, daring, clairvoyance, and the spirit of sacrifice and devotion to the nation.
A French Tragedy: Scenes of Civil War, Summer 1944 (Contemporary French Culture and Society) by Tzvetan Todorov