In any war different groups attract different labels depending on which side you are on. To the occupying forces they were simply terrorists, but to the Allies they were Partisans or simply the Resistance. They are a popular subject for movies, and at a time when the Allies seemed unable to intervene in much of Europe they were almost the only way a population could fight back against their oppressors. Many acts were non-violent such as misdirecting trains, assisting downed aircrew or providing intelligence, but plenty involved the destruction of communications and supplies, the killing of the occupation forces and those of their countrymen considered collaborators.
Such fighters would often include members of the defeated national army that went into hiding rather than surrender, and civilians who either joined them 'in the hills' or who perpetrated acts of violence while still remaining in mainstream society, and these figures are a fair reflection of that. Of course there were no rules governing appearance (although some organised units tried to adopt uniform), and clothing could be old military uniform, captured enemy stock, items supplied from outside or simply everyday wear. These figures seem to be mainly dressed in civilian clothes, which is fine, and it helps make them suitable for many different countries. Some wear armbands, which was a common way of identifying some partisan groups. The woman's hemline is well above the norm for the day, but not necessarily inappropriate, particularly in view of clothing shortages.
The poses are OK, although to us such people conjure up images of crouched figures ambushing vehicles and blowing up railway lines - in short more surreptitious and less standing around - so poses such as the woman, while a welcome recognition of the part women played, could have been more active in our view. Poses like the kneeling man with binoculars are great, but one of our favourites is the last figure, wearing a long coat. Hardly dressed for running around the countryside, he seems to be performing an assassination, having concealed his pistol in that coat.
Like their clothes, partisans got their weaponry from anywhere they could, including abandoned army guns, guns stolen from the invaders and civilian weapons like hunting rifles. Most in this set seem to have German weapons, particularly the excellent submachine guns such as the MP40. One man (second row, third figure) looks to have the equally good British Sten, presumably supplied by the British for the purpose, and our long-coated 'assassin' is holding up a short-barrelled pistol. This is an extremely small weapon - ideal for concealment - and while it is hard to see it may well be the American single-shot Liberator, a weapon that was sent to partisans in vast numbers. If all else fails of course you can always make your own weapons, and the man with the Molotov cocktail has done just that.
Caesar are remarkably consistent with the sculpting quality of their figures, and as with their previous offerings these are very nicely done with good detail, realistic proportions and no flash. A few of the poses seem to have been inspired by the old 1/35 scale Esci kit. Caesar need to be careful with the appropriate height of their figures, and while those in this set are fine the man with the Sten gun would be a giant if he stood up. We had no problems with accuracy, although we did feel the detonator was rather small. However these are really useful figures, and their mostly civilian appearance makes them suitable for very many scenarios, not necessarily just World War II. For example, several could make very passable gangsters (if you overlook the weapons). A very nice effort with bags of possibilities.