1944 : Bombardment of Vimoutiers

 

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VIMOUTIERS

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in  NORMANDY

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A few Northern American

imprints ... :

1926

Dr Knirim, Marie Harel & camembert cheese

1939

National Geographic magazine

1944

bombardment

1945-1955

About the rebuilding

1953-1956

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 : "36 raiders B26 Marauder bombers drop on Vimoutiers 29 tons of H.P bombs with excellent results - A.O.S. 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.

 

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 ...

Casualties

 

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

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, 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

Auction

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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

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