1944 : Bombardment of Vimoutiers



Website map


 of Pays d'Auge


Geo Visitors Map





A few Northern American

imprints ... :


Dr Knirim, Marie Harel & camembert cheese


National Geographic magazine




About the rebuilding


2nd statue of Marie Harel 




June 6th 1944 : The Battle of Normandy (D-DAY Overlord) begins...

June 7th 1944 : Destruction of the railways

June 13th 1944 : Forty children, orphans from Epron having fled Caen, arrive at Vimoutiers. They have just spent 6 days and nights in the trenches. They take refuge in the Halle ...


June 14th 1944 : It is said that this morning, in Vimoutiers, the weather was lovely ... :


... 7h50 : "16 raiders B26 Marauder bombers drop on Vimoutiers 29 tons of H.E. bombs with excellent results - A.S.O. report " ...


A bombardment "ordered by mistake" : "Within a few minutes, the historical town is  levelled ...

Dismayed, Vimonasteriens "pick up" their 220 dead, attend the injured, and look at their houses burning ...

All the shops totally destroyed,  stocks are annihilated ... the statue of Marie Harel is beheaded, on the market place, the Church stands lonely.

AFTERMATHS : :29 tons of bombs/216 impacts = 220 deaths, 400 injuries, 376 houses distroyed, 468 families/1303 peoples disaster victims ... for a population of 2607 inhabitants."


The hospital is destroyed, aid is organized and the château de Vimer is the makeshift hospital for severely wounded persons ...

One cannot live any more in the town. The population takes refuge in farms, cattle sheds, caves ... for the whole summer ...



July 17, 6pm : Feldmarschall Erwin Rommel's Horch staff-car is strafed, 2 kms north of Vimoutiers, leaving him with multiple skull fractures.

July 17th, with Rommel



The "historic" summer which follows is lived in constant fear : bombardments, gunning, air raids, processions of refugees, convoys ... It is that the front line is approaching and the ultimate battle, the "cauldron", from August 18 to August 22, will take place in Mont Ormel, heart of the Falaise pocket, some 12 kms from Vimoutiers occupied, of which the road is the only from now on possible one for the withdrawal of troops.

Six nations (Germans, Americans, British, Canadians, French and Polish) were involved in this last fight of the Battle of Normandy that would open the way to liberation of Paris.

The pocket battle, the last battle of Normandy :


Memorial of Coudehard-Montormel

Falaise pocket


In the morning of August 22, silence … roads and paths strewn with carcasses of vehicles, materials, bodies, insupportable odors … collapsed walls, torn off hedges, uprooted apple trees…: From these few km2, many succeeded in escaping, but more than 11.000 men found death, as well as 6.000 horses.


Caen-Normandie Memorial


August 22, 1944, 10 o'clock: The first American jeeps enter Vimoutiers by the rue d'Argentan. They are led by the Canadians of the Regiment de la Chaudiere (3rd Canadian Infantry Division, 9th regiment) ... and It is told that first friendships were sealed around a jug. It is that the Allies have discovered the cider and this hard drink which is ... Le Calvados !


Le Régiment de la Chaudière


Pogress of the front and liberation of the municipalities : interactive map




Le couloir de la mort/The corridor of death




The encirclement - clic the stars :


Afficher L'encerclement sur une carte plus grande













A German Tiger tank, listed in 1975,

still stands at the exit of Vimoutiers.

In 2016-2020, a new restoration is being studied...


Association for the restauration of the CHAR TIGRE tank


1944 source archives



Vimoutiers Tiger Tank History

The Tiger tank nowadays




November 2007 :  Auctioned !  880 lots, Alain Roudeix's collection, Scrap-dealer/Collector, Vimoutiers


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Sources : - Mémorial de Coudehard-Montormel - Normandie44lamémoire - Stalingrad en Normandie, Eddy Florentin -

- Archives Normandie 39-45 - Bulletins n°29 de la Société Historique - Archives de l'Orne -  diaporama©NJGJprivateCollection