The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944

The Blood of Free Men The Liberation of Paris As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of the fate of Paris hung in the balance Other jewels of Europe sites like Warsaw Antwerp and Monte Cassino were or would soon be reduc

  • Title: The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944
  • Author: Michael S. Neiberg
  • ISBN: 9780465023998
  • Page: 163
  • Format: Hardcover
  • As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance Other jewels of Europe sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them But Paris endured, thanks to a fractious cast of characters, from Resistance cells to Free French operatives to an unlikely assAs the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance Other jewels of Europe sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them But Paris endured, thanks to a fractious cast of characters, from Resistance cells to Free French operatives to an unlikely assortment of diplomats, Allied generals, and governmental officials Their efforts, and those of the German forces fighting to maintain control of the city, would shape the course of the battle for Europe and color popular memory of the conflict for generations to come.In The Blood of Free Men, celebrated historian Michael Neiberg deftly tracks the forces vying for Paris, providing a revealing new look at the city s dramatic and triumphant resistance against the Nazis The salvation of Paris was not a foregone conclusion, Neiberg shows, and the liberation was a chaotic operation that could have easily ended in the city s ruin The Allies were intent on bypassing Paris so as to strike the heart of the Third Reich in Germany, and the French themselves were deeply divided feuding political cells fought for control of the Resistance within Paris, as did Charles de Gaulle and his Free French Forces outside the city Although many of Paris s citizens initially chose a tenuous stability over outright resistance to the German occupation, they were forced to act when the approaching fighting pushed the city to the brink of starvation In a desperate bid to save their city, ordinary Parisians took to the streets, and through a combination of valiant fighting, shrewd diplomacy, and last minute aid from the Allies, managed to save the City of Lights A groundbreaking, arresting narrative of the liberation, The Blood of Free Men tells the full story of one of the war s defining moments, when a tortured city and its inhabitants narrowly survived the deadliest conflict in human history.

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    One thought on “The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944”

    1. In June 1940, the City of Lights was extinguished. Four years later, it was relit."The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944" recounts the astonishing story of how Paris and Parisians avoided the fate of other Allied cities during the Second World War, like Rotterdam, Warsaw, Manila, among others. Although it did not escape unscathed, the damage was relatively light compared to that of the cities previously mentioned. And it was due to the actions of the Parisians, the Americans, and [...]

    2. Halfway through. Terrific so far. Starting with the political and physical circumstances of Paris in mid-1944, with fascinating discussions of the tensions between DeGaulle's men and the Communists, the French and the other western allies, and the escalating perils faces by Parisians, and then the sparksJuly 14 demonstrations, the police refusing to move against the strikers, the turmoil on the German command's side faced with the ramifications of the July 20 plot against Hitler and the growing [...]

    3. I thought this was a super interesting book about a misunderstood and under appreciated (at least by most Americans) event of World War II. It also caused me to have La Marseillaise and Do You Hear the People Sing? stuck in my head 24/7 while reading it.

    4. A defining case of "it's not that simple," this is a fine account of the messy, complicated and harrowing last days of the German occupation of Paris in 1944. Using memoirs and military records Neiberg reconstructs the actions of a wide cast of actors--the factions of the resistance arguing the future of the republic they had sacrificed to save, De Gaulle and his rivals, the American and British planners deciding the strategic importance of a city and the weight of responsibility for millions of [...]

    5. (I read the first chapter and selectively read/skimmed several chapters of the book. I marked it "read" and "first-chapter" because I read enough of the book that it probably would not be worth reading it from beginning to end.)The book covers the liberation of Paris from approximately D-Day to the end of August 1944. It is an interesting counterpoint to "Is Paris Burning." That book took General von Cholitz largely at his word that he had saved Paris from destruction; this book questions whethe [...]

    6. 1940 -1944. Paris is occupied by the Germans (for the 3rd time). Neiberg does a good job of illuminating the internal factions within the resistance that came together to trigger the entry of America into the Paris conflict & the pivotal role a diplomat ,Raoul Nordling, played in thwarting the physical destruction of Paris.The US strategy under Eisenhower was to circle Paris to block off the eventual retreat of the Nazis-making sure that they were not fit to go on after being driven out of P [...]

    7. For a student of World War II history this book tells a relatively unknown story about the preparations for and the liberation of Paris. France was a country of many faces in 1944. When the war ended it was not clear who would rise as the leader of the war torn country. Communist, Socialists, Republicans and other forces were vying for control while the Allies, Britain and the USA were focused on the war against Germany. Better than a Furst spy novel this book takes the reader behind the scenes [...]

    8. An excellent and moving history of the liberation of Paris, August 18-25, 1944, nearly 70 years ago. Since visiting Paris last year I've been voraciously consuming histories, especially of WW II and the occupation. Leaves me thinking about picking up a biography of Charles De Gaulle to learn more about the complex leader who seized the opportunity to create a new government before the smoke had cleared.

    9. If this book does not renew your love for the United States nothing will. One of my in laws survived the occupation as a Jewish teen. This was enlightening although I discovered not much new material. My favorite part was Patton reciting the military rationale for bypassing Paris and then happily celebrating moments later with the French resistance representative upon being reversed.

    10. Americans have this very snobby approach to France i.e "All that the French know how to do is surrender." Not exactly so. This book is all about how the Parisians basically liberated themselves. And yes, the Americans "helped" -- although they dithered (and argued, and obstructed) their way to it.

    11. An excellent book on the liberation of Paris in 1944. Neiberg clearly explains the issues between the various Resistance movements, the Allies, and de Gaulle. History never leaves us; the French fear of another time like the Commune led to divisions where there should have been unity. I learned a lot from this book.

    12. Another excellent work by Neiberg. Handles the complex diplomatic tangle of French, Allies, and Germans in a coherent fashion. His breakdown of rivalries in Resistance movement also well done. Builds novel-like tension as the fate of Paris hangs in the balance.

    13. An excellent account of the liberation of Paris in August, 1944. The book covers the military and political aspects of the liberation, weaving them into an exciting bit of history. Highly recommended for students of WWII and or French history.

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