Clandestine groups opposed to Nazi rule in German-occupied Europe in World War II. The groups included civilians who worked secretly against the occupation and armed bands of partisans or guerrilla fighters.
Resistance activities ranged from assisting the escape of Jews and Allied airmen shot down over enemy territory to committing sabotage, ambushing German patrols, and sending intelligence information to the Allies. Resistance groups were not always unified; in some countries, rival groups divided along communist and noncommunist lines. However, in France the clandestine National Council of the Resistance coordinated all French groups, which gave support to the Normandy Campaign and participated in the August 1944 uprising that helped liberate Paris. Resistance groups in other northern European countries also undertook military actions to help the Allied forces in 194445.