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  • Published: 3 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141979021
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 960


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.

  • Published: 3 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9780141979021
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 960

About the author

Halik Kochanski

Halik Kochanski is a British historian. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and member of the British Commission for Military History, she taught history at several universities and is the author of The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War.

Also by Halik Kochanski

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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'


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