October 6, 2017

1942. Resistance Movements Across Europe Fight Nazi Occupation

The Enduring Spirit of Europe
"Members of the Maquis in La Tresorerie (a hamlet part of Wimille, near Boulogne-sur-Mer, France), 14 September 1944." (source)
Bill Downs

CBS London

November 1, 1942

The ancient cathedral town of Canterbury counted its casualties this morning after the biggest daylight raid on England since the defeat of the German air force in the Battle of Britain.

Although the German raiders caused extensive damage in this quiet British center of culture, the casualties were exceptionally light—much lighter than would be expected in a daylight attack at dusk yesterday evening when the city's housewives were doing their weekend shopping.

Yesterday's attack on Canterbury was the first time the Nazis had attempted a reply of any force to the daylight raids on the Continent that the American and British air forces have been making. For the number of planes Göring sent over undefended Germany, the German losses were high. Nine German bombers were shot down when the RAF chased the raiders back over the channel yesterday evening.

And then last night the German bombers returned to the same area and did scattered bombing which had little effect. In these raids last night, four more Nazi planes were destroyed. This makes a total of thirteen enemy aircraft shot down in the past twenty-four hours. Compared to the RAF losses in the daring Lancaster raids on Northern Italy and French war factories, it is quite possible for the German air force to raid itself to death if the losses continue.

However, today's most encouraging news came from Germany's "internal front." The subjugated peoples of Occupied Europe again are struggling against the Nazi bonds of slavery. A series of revolts in both Vichy France and the occupied zone threatens the German occupation troops with more trouble than at any time since the abortive Franco-German armistice after the Fall of France.

From Belgium and Holland there is news of a new wave of sabotage which appears to be aimed primarily at the German lines of communication and transport in these two countries.

From Poland, the most enslaved nation in Europe, there also is word of continued resistance despite the bloody efforts of the Germans to kill the Polish spirit. Fifty-five hostages have been taken under threat of death if sabotage of railway lines continue in the Warsaw area.

But it was the French who are carrying the most widespread campaign against their German conquerors. The Independent Belgian news agency said that locomotive repair depots on the French-Belgium border had reduced its output by fifty percent through sabotage.

In the French towns of Cluses on Scionzier, wives and sisters and mothers and sweethearts of workers assigned to work in Germany revolted. These men were supposed to be part of the 150,000 French war workers Hitler has been demanding Laval send into the Nazi war machine. However, the women of Cluses and Scionzier massed in front of the hotels the Germans had taken over and would not let the Nazi officials approach labor recruiting depots.

It also was reported that three hundred French trade union officials and workers have been arrested in Marseilles, Lyon, and other French cities for opposing the German labor conscription order.