French Intelligence in World War II

A - K

Austin, Roger. "Surveillance and Intelligence under the Vichy Regime: The Service du Controle Technique, 1939-45." Intelligence and National Security 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1986): 123-137.

Bertrand, Gustave. ENIGMA ou la plus grande énigma de la guerre, 1939-1945. Paris: Librairie Plon, 1973.

Polmar and Allen describe Bertrand as the "[l]eading French cryptologist of the World War II era," whose efforts helped to break the German ciphers. After the war, he rose to the rank of general in the French intelligence services. Constantinides sees Bertrand's book as "one of the most important works ... on the history of Allied cryptologic successes against Enigma.... [T]he latest evidence ... supports the author's story." Bertrand gives "the Poles the main credit for the early successes against the Enigma machine,... [and] also credits the aid provided by French intelligence." To Sexton, these memoirs are "somewhat self-serving but generally accurate."

Burrin, Philippe. La France a l'heure allemande. Paris: Editions du Seuil, 1995. Living with Defeat: France under the German Occupation, 1940-1944. London: Arnold, 1996.

According to Amdur, H-France/ (Jul. 1997), the author's "study focuses on the varied forms of French 'adaptation' or 'accommodation' (beyond simple collaboration) to German hegemony, including behaviors by government leaders, sectors of civil society, and partisan groups of assorted persuasions.... [T]his rich study presents much new material and adds depth and detail to familiar generalizations. It is thoroughly documented with primary and many lesser-known secondary sources, in both French and German."

Garder, Michel. La guerre secrète des services spéciaux français, 1935-1945. Paris: Plon, 1967.

Gunsburg, Jeffery. Divided and Conquered: The French High Command and the Defeat of the West, 1940. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1979.

Harrison, Edward D.R. France and British Intelligence in World War Two. Working Papers in Intelligence & Security Studies, no. 1. Salford, UK: European Studies Research Institute, 2004.

This is a brief (42 pages) overview.

Jackson, Julian. France: The Dark Years, 1940-1944. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 2003 [pb]

The Publishers Weekly (2001) (via reviewer notes that the author shows "the Resistance forces' diverse membership, including women, Jews, farm workers and foreigners.... This insightful, thoroughly researched book will be of interest to scholars and general readers, who will come away with a profound understanding of a crucial time in French history." Doyle, Library Journal (2001) (via, refers to Jackson's "detailed analysis" and "meticulous scholarship"

Katona, Edith Zukermanova, with Patrick Macnaghten. Codename Marianne: An Autobiography. London: Collins & Harvill, 1976. New York: McKay, 1976.

Constantinides suggests that this story of a Czech who served as an agent for French military intelligence against the Italians between 1938 and 1942 is of "little consequence."

Kedward, Harry Roderick. Occupied France: Collaboration and Resistance. Oxford: Blackwell, 1985.

From publisher: "This concise history ... focuses on the struggle between those who favoured collaboration with the occupying Germans and those who opted to resist." The author "discusses the many different forms of resistance launched from inside and outside France."

Kitson, Simon. "Arresting Nazi Spies in Vichy France (1940-42)." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 80-120.

Kitson, Simon.

1. Vichy et la chasse aux espions nazis, 1940-1942: complexities de la politique de collaboration. Paris: Éditions Autrement, Collection Mémoires no. 110, 2005.

Jackson, I&NS 20.3 (Sep. 2005), believes the author "has made an important contribution to the history of the Second World War, the social and political history of wartime France and the role and functioning of intelligence services.... [H]e demonstrates that, in many ways, the secret services were effective tools of [Vichy] government policy." This work may prove to be controversial in that there could be "considerable resistance to the view that there was a confluence of interests in many respects between Vichy policy and the work of the security services."

2. Tr., Catherine Tihanyi. The Hunt For Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Goulden, Washington Times, 24 Feb. 2008, and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), says that the author tells a story that "is at once confusing and fascinating. The Vichy regime tracked down left wing resistants and supporters of Charles de Gaulle's Free French forces. It deported slave workers and Jews to Germany. Yet concurrently, it tracked down and arrested hundreds of German agents who sought to further undermine France militarily.... Kitson's book is a highly-recommended read for anyone interested in the intricacies of counterintelligence."

For Peake, Studies 52.3 (Sep. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.2 (Fall 2008), the author "has filled an unexpected gap in our knowledge and will cause historians to modify the standard image of French collaboration during WW II."

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