Gang des Tractions Avant
In France, the Gang des Tractions Avant was a criminal gang in the Pigalle quarter of Paris, made up of surviving members of the Carlingue militia, lapsed police officers and criminals from the French Resistance. Most of them had moved from collaboration with the German occupiers to Resistance, and then moved into organised crime - though even if their milieu changed, their behaviour and methods remained the same. The gang was known after its preferred vehicle, the Citroën 11CV "Traction", used for hold-ups as violent as they were audacious.
Its methods were largely derived from those of the Bonnot gang, and were mostly continued by a number of other gangs, notably the gang des postiches. The Gang des Tractions Avant gave rise to the writings of Alphonse Boudard, Roger Borniche, the films of Jean-Luc Godard (in which the character was played by Jean-Paul Belmondo), of Jacques Deray (Le Gang with Alain Delon) and Claude Lelouch (Le Bon et les méchants with Jacques Dutronc), a TV series by Josée Dayan and a board game by Serge Laget and Alain Munoz.
Its most famous members were
- Pierre Loutrel (1916-1946), known as "Pierrot le Fou", France's first "public enemy number one" ;
- Émile Buisson, or "Mimile" (1902-1956 guillotined), Loutrel's lieutenant, and his successor as "public enemy number one". He was finally arrested by Roger Borniche ;
- René la Canne, or René Girier (1919-2000) nicknamed "the king of évasion" ;
- Abel Danos known as "le Mammouth" (the Mammoth) ;
- Georges Boucheseiche, later became embroiled in the Ben Barka affair ;
- François Marcantoni (1920-2010) known as "Monsieur François", suspected in The Markovic affair ;
- Jo Attia, also became embroiled in that affair.
- Charles Bacelon, Max Clos, etc. Histoire du banditisme et des grandes affaires criminelles, Genève : éditions Famot, 1974. OCLC 77615747