Page 329. " ‘I’m English,’ he said in his own language. ‘For God’s sake help me.’ "

Escape lines were developed by MI9, a new British intelligence unit set up in 1940, to ensure the safe return of as many RAF airmen shot down in France as possible.

The British Government was motivated by financial as well as moral and human imperatives: it was very expensive to train airmen, and they needed to recover as many as possible. The escape lines included ‘safehouses’ where airmen could be hidden by French sympathisers, at considerable danger to themselves.

ELMS (Escape Lines Memorial Society)

Page 339. " the bread was caked in filth "
French soldiers eating soup on march WWI (date unknown)
Public DomainFrench soldiers eating soup in WWI - Credit: World War Pictures

It was not unusual for food supplies in the trenches to be almost inedible.  In some places it took eight days for the food to reach the front, so the bread was stale and fresh provisions were rotten.

Trench Food


Page 346. " Perfidious Albion "

This expression was coined as far back as the 13th century by a French bishop regarding Britain’s lack of faith and loyalty to Catholicism: "la perfide Angleterre".

Page 349. " I work for the Inquiry and Control Section. "

Pétain drafted in the Jewish Statute on 3 October 1940, then revised it in 1941.  In March 1942, Vichy established the Commissariat Général aux Question Juives. The CGQJ was led by Xavier Vallat at its formation in March 1941, who was then sacked and replaced by Louis Darquier de Pellepoix on 19 March 1942.

Jewish Statute