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Friday, December 7, 2012

The Blood Of Free Men

In June and July of 1944  the Allies were bogged down in the hedgerows of Normady, and the fate of Paris hung in the balance.   Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino—were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble as the Allies pushed on to defeat the Nazi monsters.  But Paris endured, thanks to a divided cast of characters, from Resistance cells and Free French to an unlikely assortment of diplomats, Allied generals, and governmental officials.  Popular perception in the long run coalesced on certain views of what happened. Some of it true. Other parts not….

In The Blood of Free Men,  historian Michael Neiberg  traces the forces vying for Paris, providing a revealing new look at the city’s dramatic and triumphant resistance against the Nazis. Saving Paris was not a sure thing that might have led to this beautiful city being utterly destroyed.  The Allies were intended to go aroun Paris focuses on trapping the German army west of the Rhine.   Many, but not all,  of Paris’s citizens had chosen to lay low and survive upon the Germans quick and surprising defeat of the French army in 1940    In August of 1944  they had to act as the Allied armies ever so slowly approached and the city was starving. Then the city rose and that along with clever diplomacy, and last-minute aid from the Allies, managed to save the City of Lights. An intriguing story for sure.

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