The Underground War in Europe, 1939-1945
A sweeping, original history of occupation and resistance in war-torn Europe
Across the whole of Nazi-ruled Europe the experience of occupation was sharply varied. Some countries - such as Denmark - were allowed to run themselves within tight limits. Others - such as France - were constrained not only by military occupation but by open collaboration. In a historical moment when Nazi victory seemed permanent and irreversible, the question 'why resist?' was therefore augmented by 'who was the enemy?'.
Resistance is an extraordinarily powerful, humane and haunting account of how and why all across Nazi-occupied Europe some people decided to resist the Third Reich. This could range from open partisan warfare in the occupied Soviet Union to dangerous acts of insurrection in the Netherlands or Norway. Some of these resistance movements were entirely home-grown, others supported by the Allies.
Like no other book, Resistance shows the reader just how difficult such actions were. How could small bands of individuals undertake tasks which could lead not just to their own deaths but those of their families and their entire communities?
Filled with powerful and often little-known stories, Halik Kochanski's major new book is a fascinating examination of the convoluted challenges faced by those prepared to resist the Germans, ordinary people who carried out exceptional acts of defiance.
Praise for Resistance
The best book about the resistance I have ever read. It addresses the story with scholarly objectivity and an absolute lack of sentimentality ... it is marvellous to read a study of such breadth and depth, which reaches balanced judgments.Max Hastings, Sunday Times
Ground-breaking ... a superb, myth-busting survey of the many ways in which the subjugated peoples of Europe tried to fight back.Saul David, Daily Telegraph
A full and nuanced account of all the different forms of resistance... a timely book.Times Literary Supplement
An excellent comparative study of wartime resistance in all its forms.BBC History
This history of resistance in the Second World War is as moving as it is comprehensive.The Critic
A superb account of Poland during the second world war ... The pain and loss is poignantly evoked by Kochanski ... The Eagle Unbowed, a model history, conveys with harrowing immediacy the plight of the Polish people in the conflict.Ian Thomson, Spectator
Poland's war was so terrible as to almost defy summary ... this book is opinionated, fluid and forceful.Oliver Bullough, New Statesman
PRAISE FOR THE EAGLE UNBOWED: 'An extraordinary achievement ... a brilliant exercise in historiography ... Kochanski neither debunks nor sensationalises. The truth is far more powerful than the legend. It's great history writing'Herald