# resistance Definition and Topics - 206 Discussions

The French Resistance (French: La Résistance) was a collection of French movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and the collaborationist Vichy régime during the Second World War. Resistance cells were small groups of armed men and women (called the Maquis in rural areas) who, in addition to their guerrilla warfare activities, were also publishers of underground newspapers, providers of first-hand intelligence information, and maintainers of escape networks that helped Allied soldiers and airmen trapped behind enemy lines. The Resistance's men and women came from all economic levels and political leanings of French society, including émigrés, academics, students, aristocrats, conservative Roman Catholics (including priests and nuns), Protestants, Jews, Muslims, liberals, anarchists, and communists.
The French Resistance played a significant role in facilitating the Allies' rapid advance through France following the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. The French Resistance provided military intelligence on the German defences known as the Atlantic Wall and on Wehrmacht deployments and orders of battle for the lesser-known invasion of Provence on 15 August. The Resistance also planned, coordinated, and executed sabotage acts on the Nazi electrical power grid, transport facilities, and telecommunications networks. The Resistance's work was politically and morally important to France both during the German occupation and decades that followed. It provided the country with an inspiring example of the patriotic fulfilment of a national imperative countering an existential threat to French nationhood. The actions of the Resistance stood in marked contrast to the collaborationism of the Vichy régime.After the Allied landings in Normandy and Provence, the paramilitary components of the Resistance were organized more formally, into a hierarchy of operational units known, collectively, as the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). Estimated at 100,000 fighters in June 1944, the FFI grew rapidly and reached approximately 400,000 by October. Although the amalgamation of the FFI was, in some cases, fraught with political difficulties, it was ultimately successful, and it allowed France to rebuild the fourth-largest army in the European theatre (1.2 million men) by VE Day in May 1945.

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