The French Forces of the Interior (FFI)

The French Forces of the Interior (FFI) is the generic name given in 1944 to all military groups of the French Resistance who had formed in occupied France as the “Secret Army” (AS) (grouping “Combat”, “Libération-Sud”, “Franc-Tireur”), the “Organisation de résistance de l'armée” (ORA), or the “Francs-tireurs et partisans” (FTP), etc.

This is the prefect Jean Moulin who will gather resistant interior around General de Gaulle.

Before leaving for London, Jean Moulin had made contact with some of the heads of the  first resistance movements, and in particular with  Henri Frenay, the leader of the "Combat" group, whom he had met in Marseilles at the home of Dr. Recordier. His objective was to rally the resistance in France behind General de Gaulle. Laval's return to power in 1942, the persecution of the Jews and the creation, after the failure of the "Relève" scheme, of a forced labour department, the "Service du Travail Obligatoire" (STO), had begun to undermine public opinion. The STO in particular was to act as the catalyst for the "maquis" movement in which many rebels against authority would find a home.

After the USSR and the United States joined the war in 1941, the reversal of the military situation in 1942 would also open the eyes of those who had until then believed in a Nazi victory. Allied victories had a major influence on public opinion, as people began to realise that General de Gaulle had been right from the beginning. The occupation of the Southern zone in response to the landings in North Africa on 8 November 1942, coupled with the dissolution of the armistice forces, was to bring together the initial resistance forces and groups such as the Army Resistance Organisation or "Organisation de Résistance de l'Armée" (ORA) which had believed Pétain to be  playing a double game. For so long a minority, from now on the resistance movement was to grow by leaps and bounds until by August 1944 it included most of the population. Leaving aside the Communists, who had their own specific war aims which would make it more difficult to incorporate them into the overall movement, grassroots Resistance members, whatever the movement they belonged to, shared the same reactions: a desire to see France play a part in her own liberation and to contribute to the defeat of Nazism, hostility towards the Vichy regime and the "temporary expedient" of Algiers (to quote Roosevelt), a wish for a government of national unity headed by General de Gaulle, and the desire to merge the different resistance movements into one.