French children under the Allied bombs, 1940-45

An oral history

By Lindsey Dodd

French children under the Allied bombs, 1940-45


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9704-1
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: May 2016
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, Oral History, Humanities / Second World War, France, HISTORY / Europe / France, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Military / World War II, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies, c 1940 to c 1949, Modern warfare, Second World War, History
  • Series: Cultural History of Modern War


Children under the Allied bombs in France provides a unique perspective on the Allied bombing of France during the Second World War which killed around 57,000 French civilians. Using oral history as well as archival research, it provides an insight into children's wartime lives in which bombing often featured prominently, even though it has slipped out of French collective memory. How prepared were the French for this aerial onslaught? What was it like to be bombed? And how did people understand why their 'friends' across the Channel were attacking them? Divided into three parts dealing with expectations, experiences and explanations of bombing, this book considers the child's view of wartime violence, analysing resilience, understanding and trauma. It contributes significantly to scholarship on civilian life in Occupied France, and will appeal to students, academics and general readers interested in the history of Vichy France, oral history and the experiences of children in war.


'...makes excellent use of oral history interviews to create a compelling narrative of children's experiences of air raids in France during the Second World War'
Lucy Noakes, University of Brighton


1. Telling stories
Part I: Expecting bombing
2. Expecting war
3. Preparing for bombs
Part II: Experiencing bombing
4. Being bombed
5. An evolving response
6. In the aftermath
7. The consequences of bombing
Part III: Explaining bombing
8. Explaining bombing to the public
9. Explaining bombing to children
10. Friends, enemies and the wider war
Evaluating bombing: a conclusion


Lindsey Dodd is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Huddersfield

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