I recently spent an extremely profitable not to mention enjoyable day at the Brighton home of Rod Kedward, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Sussex, and his wife Carol, herself an Emeritus Senior Lecturer at the University.
Rod is without question one of the foremost experts on the development of the Resistance in Vichy France, and his guidance has so far been invaluable. His various books on the development of the maquis which I have found invaluable in researching this book are hard to find outside of university libraries. However his more recent book, La Vie en Bleu, is a widely available history of France since 1900 that I would recommend to anyone.
Rod is a lovely man, and is extremely generous with his time. I am an enormous supporter of his views on the importance of oral history, and am impressed by his ongoing commitment to a centre dedicated to the preservation of worldwide oral tesimony on the subject of Resistance now inaugarated at the University of Sussex. He listened to my ideas and over the course of several hours gave me some excellent advice and guidance. He continues to provide support and encouragement over email and I remain grateful to him for that.
I also met with Patrice Rolli in Périgueux over the summer, and the twenty minute chat that we had planned became a fascinating conversation over a couple of hours. Patrice has written a number of successful and fascinating books about the Périgord during the war years.
Patrice's background is in anthropology and his approach to researching maquis groups by recording testimonies of several hundred former maquisards and eye witnesses is intriguing. His books are thorough and very popular in Southern France, and he has uncovered many contemporary photographs and documents in attics and personal collections in both France and Germany. I am indebted to Patrice not only for his expert knowledge on life in the Dordogne during the period, but also for his help in allowing the reproduction of several extraordinary photographs drawn from his personal collection.
Look out for sections in the book on the Skorpion West propaganda campaign, the Brigade Nord-africane and the Mussidan massacre which, without Patrice's work, would have never have been so expertly uncovered.