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Enter the Enemy

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Enter the Enemy: A French Family's Life Under German Occupation
  • by Roland J. Bain
    • Merriam Press Military Memoir Series
      • First Edition 2014
      • 140 6x9-inch pages
      • 25 photos and documents
     Rarely-described daily life in German-occupied France during World War II as well as the dramatic military experiences of a family member, are impressively chronicled in correspondence between members of a French family. Excerpts from 45 recently translated letters form the foundation for Enter the Enemy.
     France’s surrender to Germany in June 1940 dramatically alters the lives of French Army Officer Henri Dunat, his wife, and his sister in the south of France. The essence of the letters offers unique insights into the life-changing hardships resulting from this deeply controlled life. Shortages of food and other key essentials, virtually non-existent modes of transportation, the inability to move about freely, and censorship, are expressed in hard, realistic terms in the letters. Dunat’s exemplary military achievements, including his dramatic escape from Dunkirk and his hazardous escape from occupied France, also are tracked in the letters and from his official military record. His exploits in North Africa, Italy and France earned him high international honors.
     Enter the Enemy differs significantly from other books written about the German occupation of France and other countries it invaded during World War II. Domination by a foreign power and the resulting hardships for the inhabitants leads to an intimacy with daily life in villages and small towns that is rarely touched upon other than, perhaps, in transitory terms.
     Because of the uniqueness of its origins and subject matter this book will be of wide appeal to students of history, particularly World War II history, to veterans and to all institutions housing a history department or center.
     Included in the book are two appendices, with samples of the original letters in French along with English translations, copies of each of the 45 translations, and copies of Dunat’s awards documents.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: The Dunat Family Writes of the Impending War
  • Chapter 2: May 10, 1940—Germany Invades France
  • Chapter 3: Captain Henri Dunat at Dunkirk
  • Chapter 4: June 22, 1940—France Surrenders to Germany
  • Chapter 5: The Vichy Government is Formed
  • Chapter 6: Germans Occupy All of France; Captain Henri Dunat Prepares His Escape
  • Chapter 7: The Escape
  • Chapter 8: Lieutenant Colonel Henri Dunat in North Africa
  • Chapter 9: June 6, 1944—D-Day—Allies’ Invasion of France
  • Chapter 10: May 8, 1945—War Ends in Europe; Dunat’s New Duties; Paris Celebrated
  • Epilogue: Dunat Family Reunion; Letter From President Eisenhower; Memorial and Eulogies
  • Appendix 1: Letter Samples
  • Appendix 2: Decorations and Medals Awarded to Henri Dunat

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