Novelists, playwrights, and theorists have often toyed with the question, what would have happened if the Germans had occupied Britain in 1940? Based on years of persistent detective work, Last Ditch investigates the German plans and the countermeasures undertaken through the specially formed British Resistance Organization. The very existence of this Resistance movement remained a secret for more than two decades until the silence was finally broken by Lampe. Few would have escaped oppression. There was to be mass deportation, wholesale appropriations of the country’s agricultural, mineral, and industrial produce, and widespread arrests, as revealed in the notorious Gestapo Arrest List-reprinted here in full. Although they never went into action, the Resistance was ready and waiting: the last ditch of Britain’s defense. So successful was their organization that they became the model for the Resistance and underground movements that were to arise all over occupied Europe. In telling their story, Lampe relates one of the best-kept secrets of WWII and offers insight into what might have been.
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After serving with the U.S. Army in Europe during WWII, David Lampe returned to Great Britain as a USAF reservist. His first book was an account of the Danish Resistance movement, The Savage Canary: The Story of Resistance in Denmark.
Gary Sheffield is the author of Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters, 1914-1918 and is currently writing a biography of Field Marshal Montgomery.Review:
Stone & Stone Second World War Books, April 2007
“Despite or because of that changing context, the book performs a splendid job of capturing the mood of the post-Dunkirk period, setting the tone and immersing the reader in the challenging physical and psychological environment of those critical weeks and months."
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