VICHY GOVERNMENT IN FRANCE — From June 1940 to November 1942 the unoccupied part of France was administered by a government headed by Maréchal Philippe Pétain, the venerated hero of Verdun. When the German Army crossed the Demarcation Line in November 1942 Pétain slowly receded into the background as Premier Pierre Laval and other more-radical collaborationists came to the fore, maintaining an increasingly hated regime until the liberation of France in the summer of 1944. However, Pétain remained popular, being seen by many as the symbol of French unity. Jean Paul Pallud tells this fascinating story.
The Capture of Saarbrücken — On March 20, 1945 the US 70th Infantry Division captured the city of Saarbrücken, capital of the Saar industrial and coalmining region and one of the mainstays of Nazi Germany’s war economy. Karel Margry takes us through this battle that lasted over six months.
The Death of the Great Escaper— Winston Ramsey tells of the plight of Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, the Commanding Officer of No. 92 Squadron, who was shot down on May 23, 1940. He became an inveterate escaper and late, as ‘Big X’ at Stalag Luft 3 at Sagan, he master-minded the ‘Great Escape’ of 76 prisoners on the night of March 24/25, 1944. He lost his life with a fellow escapee, Frenchman Bernard Scheidhauer, who had left France in October 1940 to join the Royal Air Force and had earned his wings by April 1942.