Novelists, historians, and theorists have often toyed with the question: what would have happened if the Germans had occupied Britain in 1940? Based on years of persistent detective work, The Last Ditch investigates the German plans and the countermeasures undertaken through the specially formed British Resistance Organization. The very existence of this Resistance movement remained a secret for more than two decades until the silence was finally broken by Lampe. Few would have escaped oppression and inevitable gruesome consequences would have followed. There was to be mass deportation; wholesale appropriations of the country’s agricultural, mineral, and industrial produce; and widespread arrests, as revealed in the notorious Gestapo Arrest List—reprinted here in full.

Lampe captures the mood of the post-Dunkirk period, setting the tone and immersing the reader in the challenging physical and psychological environment of those critical weeks and months. Although they never went into action, the Resistance was ready and waiting: the last ditch of Britain’s defense. So successful was their organization that they became the model for the Resistance and underground movements that were to arise all over occupied Europe. Included within are chilling interviews with key players that modern works cannot duplicate. In telling their story, Lampe relates one of the best-kept secrets of World War II and presents insight into what might have been.