Hidden Armies of the Second World War

World War II Resistance Movements

by Patrick G. Zander


Amazingly, ordinary people played a major role in helping to win World War II by undermining Nazi occupation.

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Cover image for Hidden Armies of the Second World War

October 2017


Pages 262
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Military History/Armed Forces
  Military History/Conflict and Wars
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A comprehensive and compelling history of the resistance movements that operated in every German-occupied nation between 1939 and 1941.

Even though much of Europe eventually succumbed to the Nazis during World War II, many Europeans defiantly resisted occupation in every way possible. This captivating book provides a survey of these resistance movements during the period of Axis occupation and recounts the ways in which unarmed citizens undermined Nazi efforts at domination. A thorough description of the Axis conquest of Europe, the formation of the Special Operations Executive in Britain, and the Office of Strategic Services in the United States provides a backdrop for this turbulent time in history.

Chapters cover the resistance organizations, their leaders, and other key individuals behind their operations. The book details the movement's furtive tactics that included spreading information, providing the Allies with key intelligence, conducting industrial sabotage, destroying bridges and factories, and fighting behind the lines. Case studies of resistance operations in France, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, the Balkans, Greece, Italy, and within Nazi Germany itself show the scope and breadth of the resistance movement throughout the world.


  • Provides descriptions of all the national movements in one volume
  • Features organizational overviews, personal studies of resistance figures, and descriptions of key resistance operations
  • Considers little-known, smaller resistance movements, primarily Jewish and Communist efforts
  • Reveals stories of resistance among Germany's allies—Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Finland
  • Covers the controversial issue of German occupation and resistance in France as well as how this story has been covered historically
Author Info

Patrick G. Zander, PhD, is associate professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College. His published works include ABC-CLIO's The Rise of Fascism: History, Documents, and Key Questions as well as the forthcoming The Rise of Communism: History, Documents, and Key Questions. Zander was awarded the Duncan C. Tanner Prize in 2009 from Oxford University Press for an article published in Twentieth Century British History. He received his master's degree in European history from Georgia State University and his master of science and doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology.



"Like most aspects of this global war, the scholarship on the resistance is enormous but relatively difficult to access. Zander provides an excellent overview of this complex topic. Based of necessity on secondary sources, Hidden Armies provides an excellent introduction and starting place for further study. . . . An important acquisition for modern history collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."Choice


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