In the Shadows of War
An American Pilot's Odyssey Through Occupied France and the Camps of Nazi Germany
By Thomas Childers
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805057522, 464pp.)
Publication Date: February 2003
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
The dramatic true story of an American pilot, a French schoolteacher, and a British-trained leader of the French underground in the climactic year of World War II
In a small village in France during the fateful summer of 1944, three disparate lives converged in an unlikely secret alliance. Just after D-Day, Colette Florin hid downed American bomber pilot Roy Allen in her rooms above the tiny girls' school where she taught. While concealing him not only from the Germans but from her neighbors in the small village, she was drawn deeper into the clandestine world of the regional underground. There she met the local leader of the resistance: Pierre Mulsant, a young Frenchman trained by the British secret service who had parachuted into France in the spring of 1944.
Drawn from extensive interviews, letters, and archival documents in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, In the Shadows of War tells their interrelated stories, following these three fascinating people from their Resistance activities in rural France, to Paris and captivity by the Gestapo, to Germany and Buchenwald concentration camp. It is a human story of love and loss, of courage and sacrifice by ordinary people who did not make policy or formulate strategy but whose lives were profoundly altered by war.
Thomas Childers is a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of four previous books on World War II, including The Wings of
Morning. He lives in Media, Pennsylvania.
Praise for The Wings of Morning:
"A powerful and unselfconsciously beautiful book."
-The Washington Post Book World