Fortunately, it will never be known how effective the Auxiliary Units would have been in practice, but it is possible to speculate, based on the knowledge gained from the experiences of the European Resistance Movement. Certainly, Auxunits had a head start on these, they were well organised, well trained and well supplied with the necessities for underground activities. It is generally considered that their effectiveness would have been high in comparison with their numbers, although the patrols themselves thought that their active life would not last longer than a few weeks. Whilst casualties would have been serious and inevitable, there is no doubt that some members would have survived the initial actions and that these would either have gone to ground or returned unobtrusively to their homes, during the confusion of the early occupation. These men could have formed the nucleus of any National Resistance, acting as leaders to recruit and train the population as the harshness of the occupation became felt. Once the hidden stores of arms had been used up, patrols would have depended upon captured weapons. Like their European counterparts, any movement would have suffered from the activities of collaborators and informers, and all Auxiliaries were aware of the possible effect that their actions would have had on their families, friends and neighbours if reprisals were inflicted. Hopefully, resistance would have continued, even although occupied Britain became part of Greater Germany. As Steinbeck wrote of the Norwegian Resistance: 'Can the flies conquer the flypaper?'



This article has been prepared from the author's own knowledge and experience, but acknowledgement must be made to David Lampe, author of The Last Ditch, published by Cassell in 1968, whose painstaking research uncovered most, if not all, of the secrets of the British Resistance Organisation and which is commended to any serious student of this subject.



All-in Fighting, by W. E. Fairburn.

Secret Warfare - Arms and Techniques of the Resistance, by Pierre lorain, adapted by David Kahn. Orbis Publishing.

A Nation Alone, by Arthur Ward (Osprey).




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