Eisenhower’s Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the Liberation of France

Benjamin Jones. Oxford Univ, $29.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-19-994208-4
In this solid history, Jones, professor of history at Dakota State University in Madison, S.Dak., details the campaign code named Jedburgh, conducted in occupied France during the months after D-Day—one of the most successful and least familiar special operations of WWII. He clarifies the complex synergy of political and military considerations that shaped the fragile coordination of British and U.S. special forces; the French resistance fought “with the Allies militarily but against them politically” and pursued distinctively French objectives. Jones’s major contribution is to demonstrate that “the French Résistance successfully achieved all its aims, often despite Britain and America.” This unlikely outcome reflected Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s recognition that the invasion needed the resistance militarily, to disrupt the German rear areas, and administratively, to assume government functions in liberated areas. It also showed Charles de Gaulle’s ability “to maintain the notion of French sovereignty” in the face of German occupation, Vichy’s legacy, and British attempts to conduct “British policy [in France] as Britain saw fit.” The combat record of the Jedburgh/Maquis collaboration was “mixed and complicated,” with successes “having more to do with Wehrmacht choices” than Allied plans. Nevertheless, Jones confirms that cooperation between the resistance and the Allies meant the difference between “a failed insurgency and a successful revolution.” (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-7340-0
Hardcover - 978-0-19-994209-1
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