2nd, 3rd, 5th BUREAU Within the French military command structure, the 2nd Bureau is traditionally responsible for intelligence, the 3rd for action planning and the 5th for counter-espionage.


ABWEHR Intelligence, action and counter-espionage service of the German army, from 1925 to 1944.


AGENT O, AGENT P1, AGENT P2 Occasional (O), regular but not underground (P1) and underground (P2) agents, as defined by Decree No 366 of 25 July 1942.


ARMÉE SECRÈTE Secret Army. The Armée Secrète resulted from the merging of the paramilitary branches of the three main movements in the southern zone: Combat, Libération-Sud and Franc-Tireur. Favoured by Jean Moulin, it was approved in London in October 1942, entrusted by General de Gaulle to General Delestraint in November, and extended to the northern zone the following spring.


AST Abwehrstelle. Local branch of the Abwehr installed in a regional capital, under the authority of the central services in Paris and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.


AUSWEIS Authorisation, pass or travel permit issued by the German authorities.


BATAILLONS DE LA JEUNESSE Youth Battalions. Active from summer 1941 to March 1942, they were the armed wing of the underground Jeunesses Communistes (Communist Youth) movement.


BCRA Bureau Central de Renseignements et d’Action (Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action), from June 1942.


BCRAA Bureau Central de Renseignements et d’Action d’Alger (Algiers Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action), from late 1943.


BCRAL Bureau Central de Renseignements et d’Action de Londres (London Central Bureau of Intelligence and Action), from late 1943.


BDOC Bureaux de Documentation (Documentation Bureaux). Successors to the Bureaux de Sécurité Militaire (Military Security Bureaux – BSMs), the BDOCs  were set up in 1944, in each military region, to investigate individuals guilty or suspected of having collaborated to some degree with the occupier.


BdS Befehlshaber der Sipo und des SD (see below)National commander of the security police and security services. Central command of the German police forces in France.


BND Foreign intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany.


CHANTIERS DE JEUNESSE Youth Works. Compulsory civilian service introduced by the French State for young people living in the Free Zone who, in view of events, were discharged from their military obligations. The key legislation instituting the Chantiers de Jeunesse were the laws of 30 July 1940 and 18 January 1941.


CNR Conseil National de la Résistance (National Council of the Resistance). Established and convened for the first time on 27 May 1943, under the chairmanship of Jean Moulin, General de Gaulle’s representative, the CNR marked a crucial stage in the unification of the Resistance. In 1944, its work and programme heralded major reforms, in particular economic (nationalisations) and social

(social security), in the postwar era.


COLLABORATIONISM Term used for the first time by Marcel Déat in November 1940, to describe those who campaigned or acted, including militarily, to promote the victory of the Reich. Collaborationists pressed the Vichy government to commit more fully to the path of collaboration.


CNCR Commission Nationale Consultative de la Résistance (National Consultative Commission on the Resistance). Commission established by Decree No 70-768 of 27 August 1970, under the authority of the Minister for National Defence, to issue opinions on the official recognition of movements, ranks and services, and all other matters relating to the Resistance.


COMPAGNONS DE LA LIBÉRATION Companions of Liberation. Title given to members of the Order of Liberation, created by Order No 7 signed by General de Gaulle on 16 November 1940, in Brazzaville, to reward civilian or military authorities and individuals who distinguished themselves in the struggle to liberate France and its empire. The title of “Companion” underlines the cohesion and unity of the group thus created.




FELDGENDARMERIE Field gendarmerie, installed in rural areas and coming under the authority of the Feldkommandant. Not to be confused with Geheime Feldpolizei (see GFP below).

As the Feldgendarmes wore a metal gorget around their necks, they were nicknamed “chained dogs” or “prize cattle”.


FFI Forces Françaises de l’Intérieur (French Forces of the Interior). Originally consisting of the Armée Secrète (AS) and Francs-Tireurs et Partisans Français (FTPF), with the incorporation of the Organisation de Résistance de l’Armée (ORA) the FFI comprised the majority of the Resistance’s military formations.


FRANCE LIBRE Free France. Organisation set up by General de Gaulle following his call to arms of 18 June 1940. In the summer of 1943, it was absorbed into the Comité Français de la Libération Nationale (French Committee for National Liberation), which comprised both Gaullists and Giraudists, but the name went on being used.


FTPF Francs-Tireurs et Partisans Français (French Irregulars and Partisans). The FTPF was born in spring 1942 out of the merging of three armed branches of the French Communist Party: Organisation Spéciale,

Bataillons de la Jeunesse and Main-d’œuvre Immigrée (MOI).


GAULEITER Governor of a province or region (Gau) under the Nazi regime.


GEHLEN Set up in 1946, the Gehlen was the predecessor of the BND, which replaced it in April 1956.


GFP Geheime Feldpolizei. Secret military field police. Operational branch of the Abwehr. Not to be confused with Feldgendarmerie (see above).


GROSS-PARIS Greater Paris. Territorial division under the authority of the German military command, encompassing the departments of Seine, Seine-et-Oise and Seine-et-Marne.


HITLERJUGEND Hitler Youth. German National Socialist youth organisation.


KdS Kommandeur/Kommando der Sipo und des SD. Regional commander of the Sipo-SD (see below) / Regional command of the German police forces. The KdSs came under the authority of the BdS (see above).


MOUVEMENTS DE RÉSISTANCE Resistance movements. Organisations set up on French soil on individual initiative, which developed into cells, then larger and larger groups. At their inception (1940-41), the movements had practically no contact with Free France.


MOUVEMENT SOCIAL RÉVOLUTIONNAIRE Social Revolutionary Movement (MSR). Collaborationist party founded by Eugène Deloncle in 1940. Many of its members were former activists of the Organisation Secrète d’Action Révolutionnaire Nationale (Secret Organisation for National Revolutionary Action – OSARN; also known as “Cagoule”), in 1935-37, and long-established supporters of fascist theories.


NSDAP Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. German National Socialist Workers’ Party, or “Nazi” for short.


PIANIST Radio operator.


PPF Parti Populaire Français (French People’s Party), founded in 1936 by Jacques Doriot. Of fascist inspiration, it was France’s main collaborationist party, with Marcel Déat’s Rassemblement National Populaire (see RNP below).


RNP Rassemblement National Populaire (National People’s Rally). Collaborationist party founded by Marcel Déat in February 1941. Its leaders mostly issued from the ranks of the pacifist left and the neo-socialist movement.


RSHA Reichssicherheitshauptamt. Central office for Reich security, bringing together all the German law-enforcement services during the Nazi period.


RÉSEAU Network. In the Resistance, a réseau was a military organisation with a command structure, specialising in action (in particular, aerial operations and sabotage), intelligence, and infiltration and exfiltration.


SECTION ACTION Action Section. Created in the spring of 1941 as part of Free France’s Intelligence Service (SR; later becoming the BCRA), it was responsible for liaising with Resistance members wishing to set up paramilitary units. Most of the agents sent to France on behalf of Free France were from the Action or Intelligence sections.


SECTION ACTION / ÉTUDES ET COORDINATION Action Section / Research and Coordination. Created in March 1942 as part of the BCRA, it was responsible for drawing up the sabotage plans to be carried out by the Resistance organisations in support of the future landings in France.


SECTION ACTION / MISSIONS Action Section / Missions. Created in March 1942 as part of the BCRA, it was responsible for the practical organisation of action missions in France, in cooperation with Britain’s Special Operations Executive (recruitment and training of agents, sending them to France and supporting their work on the ground).


SECTION CONTRE-ESPIONNAGE Counter-Espionage Section. Created in December 1941 as part of Free France’s Intelligence Service (SR; later becoming the BCRA), it was responsible for protecting agents and organisations in France against the actions of the occupier’s and Vichy’s law-enforcement services. The section interrogated volunteers and escapees from France on their arrival in North Africa or London, to build up its records of those who were hostile or sympathetic to the Resistance in France.


SECTION ÉVASIONS Escape Section. Section of Free France’s Intelligence Service (SR), and later the BCRA, responsible for establishing escape networks in France in collaboration with Britain’s MI9.


SECTION RENSEIGNEMENT Intelligence Section. Section of the BCRA responsible for agents, from their recruitment to their departure on missions. It also ran the intelligence networks, organised aerial and maritime operations with Britain’s SIS (MI6), and handled correspondence addressed to agents on the ground. Most of the agents sent to France on behalf of Free France were from the Action or Intelligence sections.


SIPO-SD The Sicherheitspolizei (Sipo) was the German security police, comprised of the criminal police (Kripo) and political police (Gestapo). In 1939, it was combined with the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the Nazi party’s security service (see above).


SONDERKOMMANDO Commando trained for special missions.


SS Schutzstaffel. The Nazi party’s protection troops.


STASI Created in 1950, the Ministry of State Security had the roles of political police, intelligence, espionage and counter-espionage in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).


VERGELTUNGSWAFFE Retaliation weapons. Nicknamed “V-weapons”, they were used mainly against Britain in 1944-45. There were two types: the V1 flying bomb, an aircraft without a pilot; and the V2 rocket.


WUNDERWAFFEN “Miracle weapons” intended to turn the tide in the Wehrmacht’s favour towards the end of the war.


ZONES During the German occupation, France was divided into “zones”. In June 1940, there was the “occupied zone” (north of the demarcation line) and the “free zone” or “unoccupied zone” (south of that line). From 11 November 1942 onwards, when the occupation was extended to the whole of France, the terms “northern zone” and “southern zone” were used.