The Allies and the Resistance
In Europe the Resistance’s role in the battle against the Third Reich was weak. Three periods of the relationship with the Allies may be defined: the first covers the Wehrmacht’s victories, during which the Resistance fought a rearguard war; the second refers to stopping the German advances and the Resistance became something of an advance guard; the third encompasses the period when victory was in sight and when postwar problems began to override all others. The Resistance was helped or abandoned as needed, or not. In general the Resistance contributed little to the final outcome of the war. However, it did supply important information; it carried out effective guerilla warfare and it often managed to demoralize the enemy. In effect, the Resistance was often sacrificed; it was badly equipped, it was not informed of Allied plans, which did not make the best use of the Resistance. All the Allies kept it in a tight rein, and political considerations invariably overruled their decisions. Occasionally the Resistance was tactically used, e.g., the Arnhem airlift and the counter-offensives of the Red army. In general this was not so and the case of the Warsaw uprising is the most tragic example. Initially Britain was the main supplier to, and contact with, the Resistance. Later, the USA slowly replaced the British. When it became obvious that the Western powers wanted to restore Europe to its prewar condition, the Resistance movement changed its allegiance to the myth of the World Socialist Revolution proclaimed by the anti-Fascist USSR.