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Apocalypse; the Second World War


just john

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I must confess I thought the narration was appropriate, straightforward, clear and with a degree of deference, (not wrot wrossy wrould have wreviewed). My attention though was focussed on just how far the humiliation of occupation was extended to the French people and how inappropriate the decisions made by their well past sell by date politicians and positively Melchett-onian Marshal Philippe Pétain. I wonder how current generations of German and French view this occupation and puppetry.

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It's actually a French-made series.  Link here

As the credits here seem to list a German organisation, I presume it has been shown there too.

I caught some episodes in Canada a year ago, and found it very good.  I liked the very chronological format (at least in the episodes I saw), so you could have an idea of the different things going on at the same time.

Angela

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I'm very concious that my interest may be just because of my father's involvement (He never spoke much about his experience in North Africa, in Operation Torch, and I have struggled to find an account of the British there, most seem to catalogue the US).

However after this programme I wonder how the subsequent French / German generation are affected and how it is discussed.

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[quote user="Loiseau"]It's actually a French-made series.  Link here
As the credits here seem to list a German organisation, I presume it has been shown there too.

I caught some episodes in Canada a year ago, and found it very good.  I liked the very chronological format (at least in the episodes I saw), so you could have an idea of the different things going on at the same time.

Angela
[/quote]

It was the event of "La Rentrée" on france 2 on the 70th anniversary, done in september in 6 episodes, a bit of extra colour and 5.1 sound. I enjoyed it.

Available on VOD  from france 2 and the DVD available in local commerce.

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[quote user="just john "]

I'm very concious that my interest may be just because of my father's involvement (He never spoke much about his experience in North Africa, in Operation Torch, and I have struggled to find an account of the British there, most seem to catalogue the US).[/quote]

Just John, you may be interested in this;

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Desperate-Venture-Story-Operation-Torch-Al-/300488830584

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JJ, glad you managed to nail it. Most of the references to Operation Torch do appear to come from across the pond.

Although I haven't read 'Desperate Venture: The Story of Operation Torch', I looked up a review which states:

[quote]Operation Torch, the 1942 Allied invasion of North Africa, was the first major Allied offensive of WW II. Gen. Eisenhower, the overall commander, had grave misgivings about the undertaking, fearing the resistance of Vichy French troops ashore to the Anglo-American landings. As things transpired, the Vichy navy nearly ruined the U.S. landings near Casablanca, but the French capitulated within a week. The victorious Allies then turned eastward to try conclusions with Gen. Erwin Rommel and his formidable Afrika Korps in Tunisia. Gelb ( Dunkirk ) has much of interest to say about the thorny interplay between the British and American high commands and the even more difficult relations between Eisenhower and the French leaders (whom he privately called "little, selfish conceited worms"). The GIs in the field failed to win much glory in the North African campaign (one British general dismissed them as "merely a nuisance"), but, as Gelb points out, it was a superb training ground for the subsequent invasion of Sicily. A well-balanced look at one of the most important but often ignored campaigns of WW II.

Quarterly Journal of Military History.[/quote]

Another that may be of interest is, '"Codename Rygor: The Spy behind the Allied victory in North Africa"

[quote]Major General Mieczyslaw Zygfryd Slowikowski, codenamed Rygor, was a Polish intelligence officer who helped establish Allied spy networks in occupied France, and later, in German-occupied North Africa.

In July 1941, Slowikowski was transferred to Algiers where he set up and ran one of the War’s most successful intelligence operations, providing the vast bulk of the intelligence for "Operation Torch", the 1942 Allied invasion of North Africa.

This was the first joint Allied military operation involving both the British and the Americans, in the first large-scale Allied landings of the war. Although it is not as well known as the later operations in France and Italy, "Operation Torch" provided a turning point in the war against the Axis powers. Slowikowski lit the fuse.

His immense bravery and effort were later rewarded with the American Legion of Merit and an Order of the British Empire.

Demobilized in 1947, Major General Mieczyslaw Zygfryd Slowikowski settled in London where he lived until his death in 1989. [/quote]

Published July 2010, currently on Amazon UK at £6.99.

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Well Normy, I was in France in Aug, Sept, & Oct. I have very brief internet connection when in France via the cafe, and no TV, so didn't catch your post or the prog. Having returned to UK I don't watch much TV but caught the prog here by chance, and was struck by its content. I now learn that it was a French prog previously aired as you say.
However my thrust was that I wonder if people have experience of how the French 2nd generation respond to this content (and on a personal note find myself more determined to find out about my fathers experience, through the interest stirred by programmes like this). My French neighbours say little about the war to my understanding, though they have said that we are very close to where a German border control post was, and that families were split by the German, Vichy, and Resistance sides.; Some collaborating, some helping people illegally cross the border and some sabotaging. I'm still surprised by the three sides of France after the German Invasion.

 

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[quote user="just john "]

Well Normy, I was in France in Aug, Sept, & Oct. I have very brief internet connection when in France via the cafe, and no TV, so didn't catch your post or the prog.

 

[/quote]

Glad to hear of your trip with survey of border timber yards; however the Apocalypse Docu was not this year but last year. Nevertheless I would congratulate the BBC, I presume, on their translation speed.

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[quote user="just john "]

My French neighbours say little about the war to my understanding, though they have said that we are very close to where a German border control post was, and that families were split by the German, Vichy, and Resistance sides.; Some collaborating, some helping people illegally cross the border and some sabotaging. I'm still surprised by the three sides of France after the German Invasion.

 

[/quote]

jj, you may be interested in "France, the dark years".  The link I've given is to the UK Amazon site but the book will be widely available. I wouldn't say that it's a particularly easy read as it's very detailed but gives a great insight into the political environment during the occupation.... Vichy, collaboration, resistance etc.

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Thanks for the recommendations, having recently read  Dunkirk-Fight-Last-Hugh-Sebag-Montefiore  and currently  Alamein-Without-Hate-John-Bierman/ Colin Smith  I'm building a small collection, (when asking about the war as a lad in shorts I was given a part set of PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR , long since gone). Isn't there a quote to the effect that half the books sold are never read.[:)] . . .
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Hi John, good to see you too.

Yes, members of my family were involved in WWII , my grand father was a custom officer at the frontier between Belgium and France , and he and my grand mother have told me what they 've been through at that time. So many stories..

My grand father was not officially in the Resistance, but he helped the local population, who were really lacking food, ( for instance some days my gran just had a bit of parsley to give to her three children....), he knew where the Germans were hiding their food , and at night, he went to that place to steal tinned food.

My grand mother was woken up by German soldiers one night, ( my grand father was working ) , they ordered her to take them to the local cimetery.. So she did, walking in front of a group of armed soldiers, hands up, ( leaving her kids alone at home in the middle of the night..) , once there , she had to face a wall, and what they did she never really kne, ( probably hiding weapons in a grave, she thought..(?) ) , and all the while she thought they would kill her afterwards, for her not to speak . But they just left....

I could tell you many stories, but I guess it would be boring to many people on here.

My other grand father was injured, and died  from his injuries. ( He received a bullet in his throat.)

My brother's married a German woman , and even though my grand dad first resented it, then he accepted, and even welcomed my brother's in laws with warmth.  That was beautiful, IMHO.

 

 

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Aww  you're generalising , I'm sure a certain number of people on here have read about the war,the French Resistance , I know my friend Krusty has, for example.

Anyway, the departement du Nord ( 59), was hit hard, from what they said.

My grand mother gave birth to my auntie in special circumstances.  She had been admitted to the hospital ( in Lille, I think, not sure), so she was in the maternity ward, the midwife said she needed to go and get something in another ward.

There was a bombing, and most of the hospital was destroyed...  Only the maternity was still standing, and she had to deliver her baby on her own, while the bombs were exploding all around.. She said it was a really traumatic experience.

She learned later that the midwife had been  killed that day.

 

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