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  • Chris Barson

They called it Little Russia


During the German occupation, the French resistance movement known as 'the Maquis' launched their first operations in the Limousin around 1942. With more than 20,000 armed men, including 8,000 guerrillas in Haute Vienne alone, Limousin was by 1944 named Little Russia by the Germans.


With continual attacks and harassment, the area became a virtual 'no-go' zone for regular German troops. This led Hitler to commit the 2nd SS Panzer Division, "Das Reich", to suppress the population and many acts of atrocity were perpetrated on the people of the region.


The area today has much to offer visitors with an interest in this important history. You can visit Resistance museums in Peyrat le Chateau and Limoges, and a special map has been commissioned locally to record important sites that played their part in this heroic story. Chief among these is the Oradour-sur-Glane Memory Centre.

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