Last update: 7 February 2020 - Dernière mise-à-jour: 7 février 2020
1914 - 1943
This site is dedicated to the memory of Michael Trotobas.
Michael (Alfred) Trotobas was born on May 20th 1914 in North Place, Brighton, to a French father and Irish mother.
Michael Trotobas was recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the UK. On 6th September 1941, Trotobas and Victor Gerson were dropped by parachute into
occupied France. After being met by SOE's advance party in Chateauroux he toured France to help assess the possibility of organizing subversive networks in the country.
On his return to London he suggested to the SOE that he should build a network in the Lille area. On 28th November, 1942, Trotobas and Gustave
Biéler, were dropped in northern France. Over the next few months Trotobas established the Farmer Network.
In February, 1943, Trotobas and his group achieved its first successful train derailment. Forty trucks were badly damaged and the Lens-Bethune line was closed for two days.
On 27th June he was back in Lille and leading a group of twenty men he attacked the locomotive works at Fives, one of the largest and most important in France. During
operation four million litres of oil were destroyed and twenty-two transformers damaged and the works were out of action for two months.
In October the Farmer Network caused four derailments in five days. The following month he also successfully sabotaged several factories in Lille. On 28th November,
the Gestapo managed to arrest one of the leaders of the group. After being tortured he gave the address where Trotobas was living. That night the flat was raided and
during the gun battle that followed Michael Trotobas was killed.
Sources of information and photos:
We can find numerous publications with entries which describe the distinguished service and ultimate sacrifice by Michael Trotobas:
- S.O.E. Archives File on Michael Trotobas at the UK's National Archives;
Trotobas and SOE in Northern France" by Stewart Kent and Nick Nicholas (2015 - ISBN 978-1-47385-163-4);
- Sabotage in France
During World War Two by Bernard O'Connor - (2015 - ISBN 1291592334);
- Story of War Hero Michael Trotobas" which is an article from "The Argus"
- Wikipédia entry for Michael Trotobas (in French);
- Book titled "Scarlet to Green by R.S. Elliot - (1981 - ISBN 096905470X).
Collection - Display - Michael Trotobas
In the left photo, on display is Michael Trotobas' personal log/journal covering early military training including personal photos.
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