| The War That Came Early |
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
|Appearance(s):|| Hitler's War|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Date of Death:||1941|
|Cause of Death:||Gun shot wound|
Harcourt was part of the initial French "offensive" into Germany in October, 1938 while Germany was subduing Czechoslovakia. However, the push was poorly supported by the French government, and the French military could not take advantage of the drain on German resources. Thus, by November, 1938, Harcourt and his unit were already retreating back into France, burning everything they could as the moved.
For the remainder of 1938 and into 1939, Harcourt was part of an ongoing battle against German forces on French territory, as he and his colleagues were advanced and retreated across the countryside. He had many scrapes with death, but survived all of them.
In April, 1939, Harcourt was part of the combined British and French counter-offensive that successfully stopped the German drive on Paris. He even killed a German tank commander. Harcourt was eventually promoted to corporal, and given command of a machine gun during the French attacks on German lines.
Harcourt eventually made sergeant and commanded the squad formerly headed by Aristide Demange when Demange was promoted to lieutenant.
Harcourt saw action in the Soviet Union. Though he was uncomfortable with the idea of forming an alliance with Adolf Hitler, he felt that his duty as a soldier was to go wherever his superiors ordered. He also believed that, with France being at war with the USSR, the Soviets would try to kill him no matter what his political inclination, so it was foolish to do anything less than his best to harm the Red Army.
Harcourt's squad was the extreme northern flank of the French army one morning when the Soviets set off thousands of green flares, a prearranged signal extending their invitation for the French Expeditionary Force to defect en masse. He was involved in a skirmish with Germans to his left flank, and made a fighting retreat to Soviet lines. During this retreat he was killed by Willi Dernen.