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6. The Hunt for German Spies

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Chapter Summary

The Germans, who quickly became aware of the existence of clandestine arms dumps, were looking to keep an accurate picture of the state of French military capabilities and morale in case another conflict should spark up. In this respect they were also keen to track down the former members of the French secret services and to discover the archives intelligence services that had moved from Paris during the 1940 exodus. Scrutinising public opinion in the Southern zone and the Empire was another way of monitoring the likelihood the French would engage in future hostilities. It was no coincidence that spying increased in volume after December 1940 when Pétain, in reality acting for reasons of internal politics, decided to sack and arrest his 'pro-German' Prime Minister Pierre Laval, a measure seen as an act of hostility on the other side of the Rhine.

Keywords: France; German Spies; hostility; Marseille; Southern zone



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