Members of the resistance faced many dangers: discovery, betrayal, and the direct danger of violence while carrying out their duty. Many resistance fighters were not even armed. For most it was a significant risk to just obtain weapons and ammunition, even before other acts of resistance could be contemplated.
As the Allied army approached Paris in August 1944 the population of Paris, led by the French Forces of the Interior, rose up in rebellion. One of them was Georges Loiseleur, an ex-soldier and active member of the army of the interior. Like many, he went out onto the streets to find a weapon.
A German truck was attacked with a grenade as it drove along Quai des Grands-Augustins, which runs along the left bank of the Seine. Scrambling through the wreckage to salvage a weapon, not all the Germans were dead. Instead of finding a rifle to join the liberation, George was shot dead by a German armed with a pistol.
Georges Loiseleur died August 1944, age 28, and is commemorated by a small plaque near the spot where it happened.
To capture some of this in Bolt Action I propose being able to add unarmed fighters to late war partisan squads. The unarmed fighters have the special rule Rise Up! that provides a chance to obtain a rifle during the game. This rule reflects the risks taken by people like George during those frantic days of liberation in the final months of the war.
Special Rule: Rise Up!
A regular Partisan Squad (Late War) or an inexperienced Partisan Squad can add 0 to 3 unarmed fighters for +5 points (inexperienced) or +8 points (regular) per unarmed fighter. The quality of the unarmed fighters must be the same as the rest of the squad.
If an enemy infantry or artillery unit takes at least one casualty within 12” of a unit with an unarmed fighter, roll a d6 for each unarmed model up to the number of casualties:
4-6: weapon acquired. Replace the unarmed model with a model armed with a rifle.
2-3: no weapon found. The unarmed fighter may try again if the opportunity arises.
1: tragedy strikes. The unarmed model is killed or wounded attempting to find a weapon and is removed from play (this doesn’t cause a pin).
While unarmed, models cannot shoot or attack in close combat, but can be removed as casualties.
The sort of early war actions of obtaining war material is a story outside the scope of Bolt Action.
These unarmed fighters cost on point more than unarmed fighters in Soviet penal squads. This reflects the chance that some will survive long enough to obtain a weapon.