France in 1940 as a Parallel to a Modern-Day Golden Horde on the Highways

Dear James:
I recently purchased a book that may be of interest to my fellow SurvivalBlog readers: Hanna Diamond’s book Fleeing Hitler: France 1940. This book is currently being remaindered at the Canadian Internet bookseller The jacket copy states: “In June 1940, as Hitler’s armies advanced on Paris, the French people became refugees in their own country. This is the story of their tragic flight”.

It describes what’s probably the largest, best-documented mass evacuations of a major Western city in modern times. Invasion by Germany certainly constitutes the Schumer hitting the fan in most people’s opinion; the French certain thought so; millions of them bugged out ahead of the Wehrmacht. In a nutshell, their experiences validate current survivalist thinking about bugging out; the importance of getting out early, what to bring and what to leave, having a reliable Bug-out vehicle (BOV), Bug-out location (BOL) a well-planned route, etc.

The French experience in 1940 is also an interesting contrast to what might happen under similarly desperate circumstances in modern-day North America; there’s be far more motor vehicles and guns, and fewer draft animals. It’s a sobering prospect. Diamond also highlights the ineptitude and helplessness of a government in turmoil; in 1940, waiting for help, let alone useful information from the French government was not a viable option, and notes the surge in lawlessness as the refugees became increasingly desperate.

I’d recommend the book to anybody contemplating or planning an eventual bug out. Sincerely, – R.E., A Somewhat Prepared Canadian