Searching for a book of resistance stories.

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by LenNeal, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. LenNeal

    LenNeal New Member

    I'm looking for a book.

    I lost it in a fire a long while back and would like to replace it, and am having no luck at all. It is a compilation of first-person (?) resistance/partisan stories. The copy I had was in a library binding, blue, with diamonds on the cover, and had a title that was not the original title: it had been applied for the Dewey System and wasn't the actual title of the book, so I'm not going to post it. In my copy all the main title pages were missing. I lost the book a long time ago, but several of the stories have stayed with me through more than twenty years.

    NOTE: It's not the Reader's Digest book, Secrets and Spies. It's something else, and may have been a wartime publication rebound. If I recall none of the stories post-dated 1944. I think. There was a distinct sense of the book not encompassing the end of the War.

    It has a specific story in it that I want to recapture and share with my daughter. The story I'm describing is of a male Allied agent with partisans/resistance ambushing a German (Italian?) truck column on a mountain pass; nothing special, I know; but this specific story describes a female machine gunner who is killed during the fight: she is Jewish, I believe, and there is a description of her being admired by the heavily male group as being the best machine gunner: I remember a quote: "She can put a burst through a pie plate at X meters!" She is buried with a cloth over her hair as the otherwise tough-guy men can't stand the idea of her hair getting dirty. The story could have been in Crete, somewhere in the Balkans, and possibly Italy.

    Another, long-remembered quote from the story, she asks, "Is it over?" and lifts herself up over a ridge; the man yells at her, "Stay down!" and she is shot in the chest.

    Also in the book is a story of a French Resistance member escaping from a Gestapo prison in a way he cannot remember, after seeing the body of a friend dragged past his cell missing the lower jaw from dentist drilling.

    Also in the book is a story about a non-French resistance member and originally a civilian, a man, possibly US or British, who is compelled to kill his own wife when she is seriously wounded; he shares a bit of advice to an interviewer, which I have never forgotten: "Never shoot anyone in the head with a small-caliber pistol."

    I know this is really vague. I'm sorry and apologize profusely, but I've looked through a number of books from OSS/SOE sources and have not found the story of the female machine gunner. I'm thinking Crete, but...??? I'm specifically looking for that one story, the machine gunner. The others, not so much; but if I can find the book again, I will buy it.

    I am looking SPECIFICALLY for that story of the female machine gunner. Like I said, Crete? Balkans/Montenegro? Greece? Northern Italy? Anyone? Is this book short stories that are fiction, maybe excerpted from magazines, or from factual books?

    (It took me years of hunting to find another example of some lost stories from a lost book from a cheap mail-order compilation of stories from some cheap pulp magazine, that turned out to contain riveting stories from Karl W. Dexter's TRUE TALES OF THE DCI. The problems of getting books at thrift stores and library book sales. I think this remembered book is not fiction, mostly because the stories in it are so crazy/improbable nobody could make them up. Think SLEDGE PATROL. Really! Can't make it up.)

    (Ben Stein voice): "Anyone, Anyone?

    I'm not a total tyro; I've read a LOT of books on WW2; I've really LOOKED. Anyone? I'll wait a few days before checking back in, and see if anyone has any idea. Thank you so very very much.

Share This Page