Author(s): Paddy Ashdown
From best-selling author of 'A Brilliant Little Operation', winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone. 'The Cruel Victory' gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion.
After service as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services, Paddy Ashdown was a Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999. Later he was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006. He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2006.