Thousands of French Civilians Act Against Nazi Germany

Summary of Event

During World War II, thousands of French civilians helped the Allied forces establish victory. They were known as the French Resistance and supplied the Allies with intelligence, as well as hosting raids on German trains to cut off their supply lines. These French fighters felt as though their government had let them down and taken away their pride.


During World War II, hundreds of undercover French citizens were a vital ingredient to the Allies' victory. These citizens supplied the Allies with intelligence about the German strategies.
They also succeeded at cutting of Nazi supply lines and leading more than 500 raids on German supply trains. They have also fought to liberate cities and capture soldiers.

Simone Segouin was a symbol to women fighting for the resistance. She was only 18 years old when she joined. While fighting for the resistance, Simone went by the name Nicole Minet, so she could go undercover and to protect her family.

As her first mission, Simone stole a bike from a German military administrator. Later, she helped blow up some bridges, derail a train, and assist in the capturing of 25 German troop at the town of Thivars. People have asked Simone if she has killed anyone before. "On July 14, 1944, I took part in an ambush with two comrades. Two German soldiers went by on a bike, and the three of us fired at the same time, so I don’t know who exactly killed them. You shouldn’t have to kill someone like that. It’s true, the Germans were our enemies, it was the war, but I don’t draw any pride from it."


"The meeting was by night. It was behind the city hall of byong, and of corse I was on the ground. And Mr. Hikes was also on the ground. So we had to meet. We did not know each other at all. And we had to recognize in the place of the city where there are many police people. So we had a sentence to exchange. 'la lune est ronde' or 'the moon is round'. And I had to until know it is not round, it is green. So that is the way I met Jean Moulin for the first time. So he took me to a place. He had the keys to the house. Then, he took out of his pocket a box of matches. He took all the out of the box. He had a small pass.

He opened the bottom of the box, and from the bottom he drew a small photocopy. And that was the first time in my life that I saw Jeanal Digon's signature. That was his old ambition. "He had no special physical characters. If I want to try what was special with him, I would say his eyes. He had such dark eyes. He was always smiling. I met him, I don't know, five or six times. Especially to build the secret almée, which was my job in my organization. And that man did not practice authority at all. He was always discussing with people to bring them to his own views. And I believe this is the way he succeeded in unifying the resistance movement, which was not an an easy job. If we think of it, about 10 countries were occupied by Germany. There were resistance movements in all these countries, and the only country where the resistance movements were able to unify completely was France. And that was Jean Moulin's job.

"Very quickly we recognized that he was able to help us. He was the channel by which we received France, and some arms, very few, and also agents coming from England to France, people going from France to England. So he had, he really did, a very great level of power. So he was able really to do something. He was the channel for which all the support of the resistance movements came." Raymond Aubrac, French Resistance Fighter


  • On June 18, 1940, Charles De Gaulle encouraged the French to continue fighting.
  • 100,000 members by the end of the war
  • 500+ raids occurred on German supply trains
  • 130 raids occurred on trains in only 6 months
  • 6 newspaper regularly printed by the end of the first year


Allen And Adam Luck For The Mail On Sunday, Peter. "The Hotpants

Hotshot: Formidable Derring-do of the Nazi- hunting, Gun-toting Teen Pin-up of the French Resistance." Mail

Online. Associated Newspapers, 29 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.

C N Trueman "The French Resistance" The History Learning Site, 18 May 2015. 16 Dec 2015.

"French Resistance Survivor on Jean Moulin - BBC News." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.