Original WWII Free French Resistance FFI Armband with Maquis Guerilla Patch
Original Item: Only One Set Available. This is a lovely USGI bring back set from WWII France, most likely received from a member of the French Resistance during the German occupation. It features a lovely linen F.F.I. marked Tri-Color armband with two embroidered "Cross of Lorraine" markings, along with a rectangular MAQUIS patch.
The armband measures approximately 14" x 4 1/4", and is made made of three pieces of fabric sewn together. It looks to have been on display for quite some time, as the front side is somewhat faded, while the inside and rear still shows clear colors. It comes complete with the original safety pin for attachment.
The patch measures 4" x 2" , and is made from white canvas, with the "MAQUIS" stamped on with black paint. It shows a bit of age toning, but does not look to have been installed on a uniform.
A great WWII French resistance set, ready to add to your WWII collection!
The FFI or French Forces of the Interior (Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur) refers to French resistance fighters in the later stages of World War II. Charles de Gaulle used it as a formal name for the resistance fighters. The change in designation of these groups to FFI occurred as France's status changed from that of an occupied nation to one of a nation being liberated by the Allied armies. As regions of France were liberated, the FFI were more formally organized into light infantry units and served as a valuable manpower addition to regular Free French forces. In this role, the FFI units manned less active areas of the front lines, allowing regular French army units to practice economy of force measures and mass their troops in decisive areas of the front. Finally, from October 1944 and with the greater part of France liberated, the FFI units were amalgamated into the French regular forces continuing the fight on the Western Front, thus ending the era of the French irregulars in World War II.
Due to lack of uniforms and equipment FFI fighters created armbands many with the Lorraine cross, colors of the French Flag and FFI in order to properly identify themselves to the various allied fighters moving throughout their country.
The Maquis were rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters, called maquisards, during the German occupation of France in World War II. Initially, they were composed of young, mostly working-class, men who had escaped into the mountains and woods to avoid conscription into Vichy France's Service du travail obligatoire ("Compulsory Work Service" or STO) to provide forced labor for Germany. To avert capture and deportation to Germany, they became increasingly organized into active resistance groups.
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