A Breaking of Seals. The French Resistance in Slovakia by B. Chnoupek, R. Pynsent, K. Brusak

By B. Chnoupek, R. Pynsent, K. Brusak

A Breaking of Seals is the tale of a quest - the hunt to find probably the most awesome and least remembered occasions of the second one international struggle. This used to be the participation within the Slovak rebellion of 1944 of the French infantrymen who escaped from prisoner-of-war camps in Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. less than the management of Captain Georges de Lannurien, they shaped a Detachement francais de warring parties de l. a. Tschecoslovaquie which fought beside the Slovak military throughout the rebellion and which later stood aspect via part with Slovak partisans as a part of the Stefanik Brigade.

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I noticed others—CSM Peyras for one. He'd distinguished himself in the very first action in command of the third section. A shortish, stocky fellow, a regular, married with two children—always in the right place at the right time. I liked him all the more because he was a gunner, like me. And Bronzini, another of de Lannurien's aides. A Corsican, bearded and good-looking, proud that he came from Napoleon's island. Well, they were back, thank God, and there was plenty of work for them. The orders were to send out reconnaissance and fighting patrols to establish the German positions.

Nobody knew anything; Sklabina had become one big barracks. As soon as the men had been taken away the Germans had estab­ lished a garrison in the village. Germans and Hlinka Guardsmen lounged about in the house which had been the partisans' HQ. They built a look-out post on the slopes above the village; not even a mouse could move without being seen. No one could enter or leave the village without a pass. 'Better not ask where you husband's grave is', the neighbours advised Mrs Kucma. 'The Germans are looking for their own graves now.

Since our first meeting I'd learned quite a bit about them. De Lannu­ rien, of course: firm character, clipped speech, energy, self-confidence, refusal even to countenance failure. He'd told me about his family background: an old Breton family which had provided generations of Army and Navy officers in the service of their country. His father had been a general under Pétain in the Great War; badly wounded at Verdun, he'd been awarded the Croix de Guerre. All three of de Lan­ nurien's brothers were in the Army.

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