- In their book, Philippe Valode and Robert Arnaut analyze forgotten or unrecognized events that took place during the Second World War. The Secret Files of the Second World War presents fourteen well-documented stories featuring several protagonists who have played singular and opposing roles: heroes, traitors, victims or even warlords.
All wars have their glorious and dramatic pages, their official events and their hidden episodes. Those who have not found their place in the history books can, long after, rise to the surface like objects buried in the sand. They come back to bear witness to actions, to little-known and yet genuine situations. ”
Looking at these "yellowed photos" of World War II, the authors of this document have uncovered people and events that have escaped history. For example, this first secret battle of heavy water which, in full defeat of 1940, was the start of the great nuclear adventure leading to victory. The pages of this book mainly ask questions: where have the billions of the Resistance gone? Who killed General Delestraint, the head of the Secret Army? Why this "friendly" hatred between Hitler and Rommel? Do you know the man who saved London from the V1s and influenced the course of the war?
Traitors or heroes, adventurers and scholars, executioners or victims, pacifists and warlords ... all the characters who populate these chapters have each lived an unsuspected, extraordinary adventure that only war could spark.
The Second Conflict Through Fourteen Stories: An Interesting Bias and Useful Reminders
Philippe Valode and Robert Arnaut scrutinize fourteen events and several characters who saw their destiny change with the Second World War. Each story of about twenty pages is meticulously documented and is the subject of a indicative bibliography intended for those who wish to prolong their reading.
These are less secret files than forgotten stories. The authors wish to show how man is led to behave in an extreme situation in the face of war by opting for: "suffering, heroism, ignominy, sacrifice, cruelty, altruism or infamy" .
For those fond of military history and great battles, this collection will guide you through the career of Admiral Plato and the battle of Seas El-Kebir as well as to the arrest of General Delestraint, head of the secret army. The authors also highlight Hitler's unpopularity with some German generals. The work indeed contains chapters relating to Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel and to Erwin Rommel. The first, Infantry General of the Wehrmacht took part in an assassination attempt on Hitler on July 20, 1944. The second, who was at the head of the AfrikaKorps, a German army operating in North Africa from 1941 , despised the Nazis and the methods of the Fuhrer.
The issue of media propaganda is treated with rigor and supporting extracts. The chapter entitled "War on the waves" traces the beginnings of radio propaganda with Radio Humanity. It broadcast for the first time on December 16, 1939, hiding its identity as a German transmitter under the guise of a French Communist radio station: "The program begins with Comrades and ends with The International".
The authors present figures who had an important role in the resistance, such as Michel hollard, the man who saved London from an F1 rocket bombardment but also controversial with Georges guingouin at the head of the Limousin maquis and accused of exactions. Another chapter is dedicated to the murders in the Puy maquis, a consequence of the mistrust between communist and Trotskyist resistance fighters.
The following stories focus on the treasury of the Spanish Republicans, the tragedy on the Maginot line, the father of the American space program, Malraux and the billions of the Resistance or the last ghost train for Dachau.
About the authors:
Historian and writer, Philippe Valode is the author of more than forty books on the history of the 20th century and in particular on the Second World War.
Robert Arnaut, passionate about History, is a producer at Radio France.
The Secret Files of the Second World War, First Editions, April 2010.