Francs-Tireurs and Partisans

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Francs-Tireurs and Partisans


(Francs-Tireurs et Partisans Français), the largest military organization of the French Resistance movement, operating from 1941 to 1944. It was created on the initiative of the French Communist Party through a merger of the Special Organization, the Youth Battalions, and combat units of immigrant workers. Adopting the name Francs-Tireurs and Partisans in early 1942, the organization was directed by the National Military Committee and department military committees, which maintained close contact with the leadership of the Communist Party and the National Front. It united patriots of diverse political convictions, with Communists playing the leading role.

The organization waged an armed struggle against the fascist German occupation forces and their accomplices, the French collaborators. Its tactics were based on surprise, flexibility, and close ties with the population. The members usually operated in small mobile groups of three or four persons; for larger operations, they united into platoons, companies, and battalions. In February 1944 the Francs-Tireurs and Partisans became part of the united French Forces of the Interior, although they retained their political and organizational independence. In the summer of 1944, detachments of the organization, whose strength had increased to 250,000, took part in the national uprising and liberation of France.


Smirnov, V. P. Dvizhenie Soprotivleniia vo Frantsii v gody vtoroi mivrovoi voiny. Moscow, 1974.
Duelos, J. Mémoires, vol. 3. Paris, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.