PAUL KIX    Book Number: 85899    Product format: Hardback

Subtitled ' The Aristocrat Who Became France's Most Daring Anti-Nazi Commando'. Before his death in 2012, Robert de Rochefoucauld confided to his daughter some details of his life in the French Resistance that he had kept locked away in his memory. He had killed people, sometimes with his own hands, and had watched them die. While he believed these wartime deaths had been necessary, he had never fully quieted his conscience. This page-turning true story describes the heroism of Robert's war. Following the occupation of Paris in 1940, the Rochefoucauld family was on the run, ending up in Robert's grandmother's chateau where the student Robert heard what was happening on the radio and resolved to join the Free French. A few years earlier, as a boarding school boy in the Bavarian Alps, he had actually met Hitler when out on a walking expedition near the Berghof, Hitler's Alpine retreat. With two aliases he now headed for Vichy, where he and a comrade scaled the Pyrenees in an old bus and ended up in a Spanish concentration camp on the other side. A chance encounter sent him to London to train with the newly-formed élite group of commandos, the Special Operations Executive learning to crack safes and plant bombs. A meeting with de Gaulle cemented his resolve. Soon he was being parachuted back into France with machine guns and cigarettes. He organised Resistance cells, blew up fortified compounds and munitions factories, interfered with Germany's wartime missions and executed Nazi officers. Apprehended, he was tortured for months and sentenced to death, he managed to escape not once but twice. Rochefoucauld much later courted controversy by helping war criminal Maurice Papon to escape imprisonment, believing him to be a scapegoat. 286pp. Remainder mark.
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Bibliophile price: £6.50

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ISBN 9780062322524
Browse these categories as well: War Memoirs, War & Militaria

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