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Eisenhower's Guerrillas: The Jedburghs,…

Eisenhower's Guerrillas: The Jedburghs, the Maquis, and the…

by Benjamin F. Jones

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Benjamin F. Jones wrote a miraculous book about the country of France during WWII, and what it took to liberate it from German occupation. If we had to depend on Churchill and F. D. R. to win the war, from reading this book, I would seriously doubt the Allies would have. These two "Gentlemen" (the good ole' boys club) were too concerned with making America the next occupier of France, and making Eisenhower it's governor. France was having none of that. In the meantime, General Eisenhower was trying to work with the French to liberate their own country. He tried to get young de Gaulle (the leader of the Free French) to work with him to get the backing of the French people.

There are basically two halves to the liberation movement. During Normandy and around D-Day, the Free French volunteers were basically front and center for the fighting. Even though Churchill and Roosevelt did not want them knowing any plans before they happened. There were thousands of would be volunteers. This was to be considered the success story. They were basically used to sabotage the Germans, cut communication ties, and blow up bridges and railways, not get directly involved in the fighting. Then you have the team's who were set in place to do their duties as the Germans retreated back into Germany. This is what I found so fascinating. None of these teams received supplies for months. They did not have proper communication, as some radios were destroyed and others captured with radio operators by the Germans. The teams did not have proper weapons, ammunition, and other basic supplies to defend themselves. London blamed it on weather conditions, moon phases (where it couldn't be bright enough for planes going over the drop off sites to be seen at night) or knowledge of where German anti-aircraft weapons may be, among others. Some team leaders were captured, killed, or sent to prison camps in Germany. Mr. Jones tried to inform us if the guerrilla warfare tactics worked in France and why or why not. I was not a student of WWIi battles, etc. before I read this book. However, this book read like a novel after chapter six. Eisenhower did what no other even tried to do: work directly with the French people for the good of their nation. I was extremely impressed by that. It was no wonder the French did not like Americans for so long after the war. But, Eisenhower saved the day where Churchill and Roosevelt did not. This is a book for everyone who wants to learn about public relations.

Thank you Oxford University Press and NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book to read and give my honest review. ( )
  Connie57103 | Jan 31, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0199942080, Hardcover)

The challenges facing General Dwight Eisenhower before the Invasion of Normandy were not merely military but political as well. He knew that to liberate France, and to hold it, the Allies needed local help, which would necessitate coordinating with the highly independent French resistance groups known collectively as the maquis. The Allies' objective was to push the Germans out of France. The French objective, on the other hand, was a France free of all foreign armies, including the Allies. President Roosevelt refused to give full support to Charles de Gaulle, whom he mistrusted, and declined to supply the timing, location, and other key details of Operation Overlord to his Free French government. Eisenhower's hands were tied. He needed to involve the French, but without simultaneously involving them in operational planning.

Into this atmosphere of tension and confusion jumped teams consisting of three officers each -- one from the British Special Operations Bureau, one from the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, one from the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignement -- as well as a radioman from any one of the three nations. Known as the Jedburghs, their primary purpose was to serve as liaisons to the maquis, working to arm, train, and equip them. They were to incite guerilla warfare.

Benjamin Jones' Eisenhower's Guerillas is the first book to show in detail how the Jedburghs -- whose heroism and exploits have been widely celebrated -- and the maquis worked together. Underscoring the critical and often overlooked role that irregular warfare played in Allied operations on the Continent, it tells the story of the battle for and liberation of France and the complexities that threatened to undermine the operation before it even began.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 31 Jan 2016 14:53:47 -0500)

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