The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (November 2013)
The French Resistance was a group of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German military occupation in France during World War II (1939–1945). Resistance cells were small groups of armed men and women who killed German soldiers, published secret newspapers, collected information about the German army, and helped Allied soldiers and pilots who were trapped in France to get back to Great Britain. The men and women of the Resistance came from all levels of society and many different religions.
The Allied armies helped the French Resistance by giving them guns and explosives. It was very dangerous to be a member of the French Resistance. Members who were caught by the Germans were often tortured and killed. When the Resistance killed a German officer, sometimes the Nazi army would kill large numbers of innocent civilians as a punishment.
The French Resistance helped the Allied armies to advance through France in 1944. After the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944, and the invasion of Provence on 15 August, they gave the Allies information about the German defenses. The Resistance also sabotaged the electrical power grid, transportation methods, and telecommunications networks. During the Nazi occupation of France, the resistance was an inspiring example of patriotic behavior and bravery.
When the war was over, the Resistance executed about 9,000 French people who were working to help the Nazis. This included many members of the Milices, a fascist organization that helped Nazi Germany.