The resistance in Corrèze and Creuse

Photograph of armed resistance fighters from the Maquis of Neuvic, winter 1943-1944
Photograph of armed resistance fighters from the Maquis of Neuvic, winter 1943-1944 © Musée départemental de la Résistance à Neuvic

The Combat movement was established in Haute-Corrèze

Corps 1

From 1942 to 1943, the resistance fighters, hounded by the Gestapo and the Vichy police, had to arm themselves with fake identity papers and search for parachute drop sites.

A spot in Thamaly, near Ussel, was identified and English aircraft were able to land there in June 1942. The first resistors to the Compulsory Work Service (STO) were placed in the Maquis in Mazière-Basse and Chambon, near Lapleau. Parachute drops were carried out in Sornac and Bassignac providing arms to the covert troops. The Secret Army camps (in Haute-Corrèze) conducted several armed operations against the enemy: parachuting and transporting of arms, sabotaging power lines and rail tracks in Bonaygue, Millevaches, Neuvic, etc.

In the region of Tulle, the resistance expanded in 1942. In October 1943, parachute drops in Le Pouget and Saint-Martial ensured the Maquis were finally fully armed.

Corps 2

In the south of the département, Edmond Michelet took the helm of the Combat movement.

There were 71 Maquis based in Corrèze. The average Maquis was the size of a section although some reached the scale of a battalion.

From July 1940, in Corrèze, French communists, who did not accept defeat, formed a group to resist the occupying forces. In September 1940, Georges Guingouin was appointed commander of the VOS of Haute-Corrèze. Between June 1942 and December 1943, the FTP (Free Shooters and Partisans) in Corrèze led an impressive number of operations against the occupying forces.

In Creuse, the most influential force was the Liberation movement. The origin of the first FTP group in Creuse dates back to October 1940; cells were formed in Guéret, Lizières, Saint-Privat, La Souterraine and other places. From August to September 1942, electricity pylons were sabotaged in Eguzon and Chatelus. The first parachute drop took place in September 1942, on a field in the village of Maillat.

The FFI (Interior French Forces) in Creuse were placed under the authority of General Koenig who commanded them from England.

External websites:

Fondation de la résistance