War in the Shadows: Resistance, Deception and Betrayal in Occupied France

Written by Patrick Marnham
Review by Mike Ashworth

In 2000, Patrick Marnham published a biography of Jean Moulin, General de Gaulle’s delegated leader of the French Resistance in World War Two. Sometime later the author received an anonymous letter from a person who claimed to work for British Intelligence in the war. The anonymous writer claimed that while Marnham had got close to the truth with regard to Moulin’s betrayal, he had not found the “real treasure”. This and subsequent one-sided correspondence drew the author back to the 1960s, when he had been taught French at the chateau of Anne-Marie de Bernard, who had been in the Resistance, and whose SOE network had been broken on the same day as Jean Moulin was arrested. Could these two events have been connected?

Following a trail leading from London through wartime Europe and individual members of the Resistance, Marnham unravels a story of a deception operation that could explain the death of Jean Moulin. The heroism of all those who fought in the Resistance is indisputable. I found the author’s conclusions disturbing. Others with far greater knowledge than I are in a better position to judge. A thought-provoking, and at times deeply disturbing read.