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SOE in France by M.R.D. Foot

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VIII

Development: 1942

 

Jean Moulin's importance was threefold: it derived from who he was, who he had been, and who he was going to be. He was a man of fearless integrity, physically stocky and inconspicuous, yet with so commanding a presence and such gifts of drive and leadership that men would follow him far. Moreover he was a man on whom authority sat easily; for at forty-one he had been the youngest prefect in France at the time of the collapse. When it came, he stayed in Chartres to guide the fortunes of his department till Vichy dismissed him late in 1940 for not being pliant enough. He had no reason to love the Germans: they had thrashed him without mercy in June for refusing to sign an allegation of French atrocities he knew to be false. ...

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