What was the French Gestapo in WW2

William Stephenson wrote a book called ‘the man called intrepid’ that I read a while back who said that France created their own Gestapo during world war two. Where is info on the French Gestapo and what they did during the war?

Try a book on the French Resistance as a jumping-off point.

A good bibliography will have a title or two.

The Vichy regime’s secret police was called the Milice. Lots of material online about them.

I am pretty sure he was referring to a pro-allied force in the south, not a frence force from the Nazis.

I’m confused by your post, Wesley. The Vichy government was in the south. The northern part of France, including Paris, was under German occupation. Vichy France was officially neutral although it leaned towards Germany during the war.

Yeah I know, but from what I remember from WW2 diagrams the north was occupied by the Nazis and the south was not, so I assumed the Gestapo was based in some pro-french area in the south, Either way, i’m still pretty sure he was referring to a pro-allied Gestapo working in France, not a pro-Nazi Gestapo.

nevermind, it was probably the Milice that he was referring to.

I think I might know what he was on about . This is to do with the French Secret Service that operated within the Vichy Government . This from a web site reviewing a book about the subject.

*Bill Howard

Vichy France Revisited
Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to let you know that my new book ‘Vichy et la chasse aux
espions nazis’ is now out with Autrement of Paris. This book deals with
the previously neglected area of anti-German counter-espionage under
Vichy. Around 2000 individuals were arrested by the Vichy police between
1940 and 1942 on charges of spying for the Germans in the unoccupied
territories. Around 40 of these were executed by the armistice army. The
findings of this book are based on very extensive archival research in
the recently released French Secret Service archive (fonds de moscou)
together with Ministry of Justice, Armistice Commission and various
other governmental sources. Although it has long been known that the
Vichy secret services continued to operate against German agents
(historians ranging from Paxton, Kedward, Guillon, Cointet to Dreyfus
acknowledge this) my study is the first to attempt to put this back into
its context. The results of this enquiry are often surprising. This
study does not in any way rehabilitate the Vichy government. Instead it
highlights how Vichy was torn between a very sincere policy of
collaboration (particularly against Jews and communists) and a genuine
desire to preserve its independence from the Germans. Ultimately the two
aspects were difficult to reconcile and Vichy’s desire not to compromise
on collaboration often led to concessions in the area of the defence of
sovereignty. Worse still the desire to defend administrative sovereignty
often led it into doing the Germans dirty work for them. Hopefully the
text will serve to underline the complexity of the period. There are
many surprises in the book including the fact that the first head
shavings for horizontal collaboration took place in 1941 and were
organised by Vichy, not the resistance.*

In addition to this I have read that some of the French Secret Service agents and officials were still in contact with the British Secret Intelligence Service and provided useful information helpful to the Allies.

I have just thought of something else. Some of the stay-behind French Secret Service officials had knowledge of the " big secret". This was to do with the transportation of Enigma machines , plans for the Bombes and Polish code breakers from Poland to France and then on the Bletchley Park. They never told Germany about this . If they had it could of severely compromised the Allied code-breaking efforts.