Wüstenfuchs "the Desert Fox"

" Believe me, only, the first twenty-four hours of the invasion will be decisive… The fate of Germany depends…For Allies, as for us, it will be the longest day. »

Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel.

In his aide, the capitaine Helmuth Lange, 22 avril 1944


Le partage c'est la liberté

I take my suitcase

Here is a song, somewhat diverted, that & rsquo; loved to sing my grandmother in years 40 in Normandy ! I kiss the way.

I take my suitcase,
My cane and my seed,
My big, gray trunk and my p & rsquo; tit handbag.
And I go to the station saying j & rsquo;'m sick of the shit Petain !

Le partage c'est la liberté

La Marseillaise

De many testimonies evoke the Marseillaise sung lustily as the ultimate form of resistance, of rebellion and solidarity when otherwise impossible. Even in German prisons, as Montluc, in the spring 1944, when the Gestapo came regularly take hostages : “For this time*, our cell was lucky, because no one has been appointed to this new adventure. The command to start was repeated by all supervisors. Unforgettable moments. All starters sang the "Marseillaise". More raw Gestapo and soldiers of the escort were shouting and threatening to silence, our comrades sang more loudly. There were fists and rifle butts. We, in cells, to tears, we approve the hitting as we could with our hands and feet against the door. I never heard him sing our national anthem with conviction. Then it was the "Song of Farewell". We could hear them go ".

*Testimony of Rene Bronner. Excerpt from The Tortured France Gérard Bouaziz (Preface Lucie Aubrac, a difficult book to read but absolutely)

Le partage c'est la liberté

Bloody Omaha


Le colonel George A. Taylor, commander 16 th regiment the famous 1 ère division d’infanterie « The big red one », yells to his troops on Omaha beach : "There are two kinds of people staying on this beach: those who died and those who will die. Now, go out d & rsquo; here. »

Le partage c'est la liberté

Let us be firm

"Let us be firm, proud and loyal ; the end of our troubles, there the glory of the world, that of men who have not surrendered. »

Charles de Gaulle, 14 July 1943


Le partage c'est la liberté

Louis de Cazenave

« La guerre ? Hay hay hay ! An absurd thing, inutile ! À quoi ça sert de massacrer des gens ? Nothing can justify the, rien ! »

Louis de Cazenave (1897-2008) Last survivor of the Chemin des Dames and penultimate hairy alive.

Le partage c'est la liberté

Marcel.P 6 June 1944

My paternal grandfather was studying medicine in Caen on landing.
He lived in the city center, Jail street right next to the castle walls.
On the morning of 6 June, it goes up on the roof where he hears and sees off the shooting of the Allied navy, Then the bombing of the & rsquo; Allied aircraft… C & rsquo; is landing… He decides to go with two suitcases…

Here is his course :

– The “traced back” to the botanical garden in Caen.

Garden plants destroyed 1944 after bombing (Col. Please.)


– Then he left for Maltot (southwest of Caen) and retrieves a wheelbarrow…

Village Maltot after fighting.

– Then Esquay-Notre-Dame where there is not, because seeing the & rsquo; & rsquo installation; d & rsquo a battery; German artillery, he prefers from : Indeed the village (cote 112) will undergo heavy fighting, the village was totally destroyed…

Esquay Notre Dame – Cote 112


– then Evrecy.


The 15 June during the night, At about three o'clock in the morning, Allied bombs rained down on the town of Evrecy. In twenty minutes, the village is razed : 130 deaths 400 inhabitants !

– He returned to Caen to get his album, the streets are deserted and in ruins…

Gaol street – Caen- 1944

It will take several days to reach the Paris region, Sartrouville, where his parents live…

During his journey, he meets some fighters, including the Canadian.
L & rsquo; a two, he woman are canif… Here aujourd & rsquo; hui :

He currently lives in Paris soon 97 years…

Le partage c'est la liberté

True False veteran : Howard Manoian


Here is the story, or more precisely the Roman d-day Howard Manoian.
Why the term novel, not history ? The following story actually totally out of the imagination of this veteran who has never been, as he cried loudly, in the prestigious 82 nd US Airborne Division and was not involved in “jump normand” !
Indeed it was part of the “33rd Chemical Decontamination Company” which has landed in Normandy on Utah Beach, he even injured ! His lie remained convincing for some time, the first to express doubts about her story was a true member of the 82nd airbone : Bill Tucker, a 2001 !
A few years after theBoston Herald Tribune reveals to light the true story of this veteran. Later, other research, supporting evidence, confirm the log information.
However, Howard Manoian is suffering from compulsive lying or something, it will remain a veteran who landed to liberate Europe from the NAZI grip !

Here is his “history” :

Howard Manoian : "Gone а 44, we go back to 18 "

He chose France. Master Corporal infantry paratrooper, Howard Manoian a 19 when he was parachuted above the small Normandy village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Le Figaro found him after sixty years in this village of Cotentin, where he established his main residence since 1992. Of Armenian origin, Massachusetts admit this child enjoy the peace of the Normandy countryside, а except the day before each anniversary of the landing. His memories of
Battle of Normandy are intact. He gives us here the newspaper these hours and these historic days.

4 and 5 June

"The tempest rages. The wind and rain sweep across the tarmac of the airfield located а few miles of Leicester, in England. The weather is not part of the. This is not so much the rain that worries us, the gusts of wind that amplify gradually а measure of the Day 4 June. The wind, this is probably the worst enemy paratroopers. Yet we are ready to go а. The maneuvers, we know them by heart to be repeated for months, right here, on the other side of the Channel. But the decision falls, D-Day was postponed from 24 hours. One more day to wait а, а imagine the worst, а rehash the instructions in our head, а flick, without real motivation, English-franзais dictionary logistics handed us our package. Fear s there. We all know the statistics, a paratrooper in two dies before having set foot. In his great "generosity", the US government also gives us a kind of monthly risk premium 50 dollars.

The 5 the evening of June, as expected, a slight improvement emerges. This time, it's the right one. In few hours, we will fly over the English Channel, then cфtes Norman. In my mind,
in that of my comrades, this must кtre short. No way to dwell in France. The complete landing, we foncerons Berlin, our ultimate goal.

night 5 the 6 June

The plane took off around 1 am and is rapidly gaining the Cotentin, Remote а penalty 200 kilometers from our base. my battalion, the 505th regiment, main objective to take a bridge over the small river Merderet, a tributary of the fluke, located а 3 or 4 kilometers of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. The plane begins its descent, he planned to blow us up at the lowest, that is а а say 200 meters of maximum altitude.

I jump from the last. Bad omen, or random imprecise steering, I landed in the middle of the cemetery of the village church. I quickly picked up my pack and decamped
This inhospitable place. I find happiness with three of my classmates. But the joy of reunion was quickly erased by the German response. The alarm was raised, the batteries of the Wehrmacht run. I try to make contact with the rest of my company, but the connection to my radio is faulty.

The position battle rages in the streets of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. On
progresses very slowly, Street after street, district by district.

6 June

The sun rises and sets light а bare the harsh realities of war. The bodies are piling up in the streets déjа, the wounded are dozens. Farms turned into makeshift hospitals welcome the lame.

An American officer comes to me. He needs reinforcements to take the castle of Fauville, headquarters of German officers. This solid bвtisse а is located outside of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, on the road to Carentan. Taken by surprise, in his sleep, the enemy opposes passive resistance а our assault. In half an hour, the case is closed, and the 40 officers are under our control. Six paratroopers assigned а monitoring castle.

For my part, I returned to the north of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, where one prevalent resistance pocket. We leave а 44, we return, the 7 in the morning, but 18 this bloody butchery. The battalion commander, le sergent Robert Nyland, who had landed a few hours earlier а Utah Beach, is dead.

7 June

The whole day is devoted а release of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. The street fight is intense.

Soon, а city resembles a field of ruins. It's been almost two days since I parachuted. Two days without any news from the rest of my company, based а 4 kilometers from here, open country. However, we are trying to establish communication but our radios have been misapplied and nothing works. It was not until the end of the day 7 June so we can finally realize the situation we maоtrisons. German resistance is more
stronger than we imagined. Tomorrow, we can finally reach our comrades.

8 June

We leave Sainte-Mere-Eglise in the morning. But before leaving this town behind us, we must absolutely find a water point. More than hunger, we desperately thirsty. I did not drink for three days. I hit a door а. I do not speak a word of franзais. A man opens me. I show him my American flag а shoulder reassuringly. I turn the pages feverishly my dictionary to find words that give me а drink. "Is
want to drink…», I do not have time to say water that man brings a bottle wrapped in newspaper so that I am unable to distinguish а good content. It serves me then
generously its liquid, which has a good color jaunвtre. I remember when we had the logistics warned that water, in most villages in France, is not potable.

I go out when two purification tablets. I expect them to do their effect, and swallows а large gulps the drink. А I barely have time to realize that it was a hard liquor that I gasped and choked lack of. I understand that this man sought а poison me. I point my gun at him, but he explains that somehow he served me a kind of brandy called calvados apple а. To apologize, I offer him my cigarettes.

We arrive early in the afternoon а destination and find joy with the rest of my classmates. but soon, I note that our company blames heavy losses. The record is appalling. Two hundred soldiers jumped on the bridge 6 June. Two days after, the fact remains that 60 standing. 80 seriously injured, 60 died in battle. Posted on the opposite bank of the river, three German tanks returned fire for two days without stopping. This is gear
French Renault brand, the Germans have purchased from 1940. Two of them exploded а result of bazooka fire, the third fled to circumvent our front and we
attack from behind. He has not had time to make dégвts because we have intercepted and destroyed before it takes its first salvo.

9 June

First big win, We finally manage а cross this little stone bridge and а reach the other side of the river, the Merderet. We can now continue our full Advanced
contrфler west and a significant part of the Cotentin peninsula. We actually finally gaining ground. We can now consider that the landing was completed to make way а the Battle of Normandy ".

Howard Manoian is seriously injured for the first time 17 June, а Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte. A ball passes through the palm of the hand, so "you could see through а". It is also affected in both legs. He was transferred in a converted field hospital
on Utah Beach. The tragedy struck again on а him his release from hospital. A German fighter scrap the beach at low altitude and hurt а other hand. While the 505th regiment releases the south of the Channel, including the Haye du Puit, Howard Manoian is transferred to England by hospital ship, and placed in convalescence to 13 September. He participated а Holland campaign, а and the Ardennes, particularly
stressful. "I've never been so cold", He says.

Howard Manoian will not work on Berlin, he was arrested again in its race by a serious injury in March 1945, which obliges а definitely return to the United States. The crowd on American soil 10 May, and relishes six weeks of leave.

After the war, Howard Manoian left the army. It becomes a prison guard, function in which he "bored а die". He left the prison administration to perform police work during 32 years.


Howard Manoian.
By Lisa Bryant/Special to The Chronicle.

Le Figaro
Interview by Thibault Dromard
(02 June 2004)

Le partage c'est la liberté

Bernard Dargols S/SGT 2eme division d’infantrie U.S

2 th US Infantry Division “Indian Head” landing at Omaha beach

“Internship in the United States for two years and, as born in Paris, I was summoned with eight other French Consulate of France in New York on 5th Avenue. He was to spend the review board.

In June 1940, I had 20 years. After its review, the doctor told me “fit for service”. An official then assured me that, soon, I will be repatriated to join the army of Marshal Pétain, me stating "And wait our orders".
France and the United States still had diplomatic relations. By Ambassador Leahy, we had a pretty good knowledge of what was already happening in France. The collapse of the French army in June 1940 caused stupor in the US. The Petain agreement – Hitler, the collaborators, militia, shameful laws etc.. proved more than enough to think for a moment back to France put myself at the service of a hateful ideology.
A few days later, still in New York, I contacted Colonel De Manziarly, friendly representative of De Gaulle. After a warm interview in his office, he told me – if I accepted – he would carry me to London, without delay, to be an officer in the Free French Forces.
General de Gaulle, then little known, going to have character. His contacts with President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill were rather tense. The image of France deteriorated by various incidents. A New York, we witnessed the docking, for several days, French ships to refuel. The crew, Once ashore, offered a sad spectacle : seamen, generally Gaullists, fighting against officers, rather pro-Vichy.
These events and others have turned away the choice that I planned : From London.
The last option available remains a commitment in the US Army. All my friends were able young American, without much trouble, to convince me that I would be more useful, to fight the enemy, under the Stars and Stripes that under the tricolor decorated with the Cross of Lorraine.
Thereby, in April 1943, a military truck transported the Dargols soldier to a court, Spartanburg, South Carolina, or, in a few minutes, American citizen is declared to me. I could have as was proposed to me, Americanize my surname. I imagined, thinking of jokes, the surprise of my family and friends, on my return to France, if they knew that I was calling now, Bernard Roosevelt. Finally I kept my name.
Since arriving in the United States 1938, and during my participation with the 2nd US Infantry Division, until this day, I was the object of so much kindness, sympathy, I shared their sense of humor, and, I confess I have never regretted my decision.
The following pages, I hope so, a brief overview, months that deeply affected me.
They are dedicated to Françoise I had met in New York and where, after my demobilization we married.
By his regular letters, it was a constant moral support.
II a few years ago, I heard on the radio a French university say that the extermination camps and the gas chambers were never exist. This man used his fame, but also its credibility as a historian and specialist, to deny reality. Until I hear the words of this denialist, he had never seemed useful to me to tell what I had experienced, difficulty of moving such memories ? Fear of not being understood ?. But that day, by so much bad faith, it occurred to me that witness became an obligation. If we did not do this duty of remembrance, we leave, our lifetime, instead those that revisit the story in their own way.
When no veteran is no longer of this world, not do we will flourish books certifying “evidence” to support the Allied landings in June 44 Normandy has never existed ? Does it make us to believe that this is a great Hollywood production ? Do not we go to read that the Nazis were never beaten, but they withdrew to their country after completing their mission ?
In this period, I kept a lot of notes and pictures that added to very vivid memories today help me to write these few lines, for it is as Gi I participated in Operation Overlord.
The “basic training” – the base drive – aimed to integrate 12 weeks, a civilian in his military life.
It's at Camp Croft, Caroline from the south, I've done mine. He had the reputation of a very severe discipline : thrust gymnastics, daily, long night marches, courses d’obstacles, maneuvers in Tennessee, crawl under a horizontal array of barbed son, while a machine gun fired real bullets just above the back. Skewer the enemy, personified by the sandbags, with bayonets fixed to the end of his gun, requires some technical. The exercise seems simple until the instructor reminds you that this bayonet is sometimes planted in the body, blocked by bones and muscles. It is difficult to disengage quickly. The procedure then is to build on the back leg, push forcefully bust the wounded soldier with the other leg, and, simultaneously, remove as soon bayonet.
You really can not imagine how, three months “basic training” enough to turn a peaceful civil and nonviolent in a hard and ruthless soldier.
Training for disembarkation began in the US in November 1943 and continued in early June 44 in a camp removed and well camouflaged, in Wales. I was part of M.I.S. – Military Intelligence Service – replace “Intelligence” by “Informations” seemed more appropriate to me more often.
Our team of experts was made up of six men, two officers and four noncommissioned officers. All spoke French more or less well and had some knowledge of German. Our equipment consisted of two jeeps, compasses, cards and watches…Each had a helmet, a machine gun “your best friend” – your best friend – and a pistol. A bulky gas mask completed this gear.
An anecdote about the allocation of shoes always makes me smile sixty-one years later. We were at Fort Dix, in the State of New Jersey. We had to be incorporated into the US Army and I see us dressed in civilian clothes for a few moments, in single file and socks, our ride each ride on a scale tray on the floor. We were asked to make two buckets full of sand, one at the end of each arm. Under the weight of our feet were taking their full form in both length and width. The military officer then shouted a number, the length, and a letter, the width, which could be broken up 4 different sizes. For me, Why fuck 9,5E. Never my feet were found as comfortable.
Today, we still do not find in France outside the luxury shoe, stores where one takes into account the width of your foot !
We were in good shape. Every detail had been checked. A ramp was even installed so that we can exercise the drop accelerating strongly to prevent the jeeps not bogged down in the sand of the beach. Their lights were surrounded by a waterproof sealant.
My fear, my obsession was to be, without warning, shipped to the Pacific Theater of Operations, where the Japanese were rampant, longtime enemy of the United States.
As part of our thorough preparation landing, I had been ordered to assemble the men of the division, 13 000, groups of 500 about telling them about France and to best respond to their questions. Sitting before me in a field, I tried to let them know what could be the French of 1944 : their multiple difficulties, food problems, clothing, transport, etc…I insisted that it was necessary to consider the French, not as enemies, but as allies, despite what we already knew collaborators. They wanted to know the place of landing, the distance between the coast and Paris, they wanted to know if the milk was homogenized, if the population was favorable to them and, of course if the girls were pretty…
That France is smaller than Texas and much astonished them 200 announced miles between the coast and Paris were the dream ! They already saw the Eiffel Tower !
During the maneuvers, I often played the role of the French Civil. My comrades interrogated me, in French, to try to obtain information about the enemy.
The mission for which the army had trained us in Maryland could be summarized, in short, in the interrogation of the closest civilians in the frontline or, better, beyond. The goal is to gather tactical information about the enemy that made us immediately face, that is to say, their exact position, the name of their unit, their number, their type of equipment, the location of mines and ammunition depots, etc…
For us to quickly interpret and verify the accuracy of the information obtained. According to their importance we transmit them immediately to Colonel Christensen, our G-2, 2th office, of the 2nd division of infantry. No attack or against attack, however insignificant it, may not proceed without the addition of military information possible about the nearest enemy.
fine May 1944, landing became a joke between us, because there were rumors every day that D-Day was the next day.
But we were still there. The food began to improve. For us it was a clear sign that the landing would finally become a reality. We had to be at our best shape to face trial.
Finally, details prepared, we learned and repeated reassuring : we felt ready mentally and physically.
It's in Cardiff 5 June 1944 our team has finally embarked, or rather crowded, in a Liberty ship, boat designed for the transportation of troops. We then knew every nuance of fear. But we were together… and calm. No sea.
The equipment, delayed by poor unusual time really seemed endless. then slowly, the boat started the race to get around Wales, then stop, then leave, always tossed, and skirt the south of England. Almost all GIs suffered from seasickness. We were shaken, tired from three days at sea. We only had a wait, that leaving this Liberty ship. I admit I wished at times to be the driver of our boat in order, as with our jeeps, run a fast reverse.
Gradually, as we approached the French coast, our boat was first joined by dozens and by hundreds of other boats of all kinds, small boats, major warships and troop transports.
Well above some ships, floated, almost motionless, the “sausage-balloon-barrage”, these shaped balloons big cigars from which hung vertically a metal cable. Ces filins dissuadaient l'approche de l'aviation ennemie et étrange ajoutaient an aspect to this armada. To our surprise and relief, very few German planes approached our convoys during this disturbing cruise.
On the evening of 8 June,Coast finally appears. We are approaching the middle of the deafening roar of shelling and air strikes. The shells whistling over our heads and come from our ships that pull towards the beaches.
France is less than 100 meters !
In our starboard was already a “landing craft VP” – barge plate -. Our boat was hanging dangerously unstable rope ladder. It led to the barge. Achieving the latter with all our stuff on the back, by this scale stubbornly move, was an exercise that I did not like at all.
Our two jeeps were waiting on the moving platen. I sat with Wrenn and McCormick in the one I had known “The Bastille”. I remember very well have tried to assess at this time the percentage chance that we had to arrive intact on French soil. Short… it bothered me to die so close… drowned and more ! On the other hand, I do not know why, I was convinced that if I could land safely, I'd shoot me.
“The Bastille” dark on a beach that turns out to be Saint Laurent sur Mer, “Easy Red” according to our code, in the sector known as Omaha Beach.
A multitude of military vehicles covers the whole range of Ruquet. What activity on this beach ! Soldiers busy amidst crackling of bullets and shells rumblings. They ride in single file and run along a blockhouse already neutralized by our troops. The order is to reach our first headquarters, Formigny. The infernal noise of the big guns resonates into our bellies. The shells go constantly over our heads, but facilitate our advanced inward.
At least stop, we had to dig with a shovel our “fox-hole” – fox hole -d'environ 50X150 cm, deep 30 cm to dive there, and thus be protected in case of air strikes.
The first wounded were quickly evacuated to the beach and I think that “medics” make a hard job ! I see for the first time dead men. At that horror, adds the foul and unbearable smell of punctured livestock, swollen, that surrounds us.
It is true, I had hoped to land the first day, not by bravery, but to take the enemy by surprise, before he made the call for reinforcements following days.
As expected, we collect information that confirm the positions of the enemy. Thousands of leaflets 10×20 cm had been launched in recent days along the coast from Dunkirk to Cherbourg urging civilians to move away.
We move on Trevieres carefully because we know the “hedgerows”, these hedges 3 at 4 meters high which easily conceal the Germans. We also are wary of “snipers”, these snipers and “booby traps”, small traps placed behind the knob of a door, for example, exploding the slightest contact.
Our raids are increasing in the No Man's Land, land that separates our troops to those of the Nazis. The “pinching the guts” before each output is gradually fade with routine. These getaways are however not recommended for heart ! Each output, I was accompanied by MP – Military police -. Before boarding the jeep, we had to offload any documents, letters, Photos in case we caught, because only our name, rank and serial number should be disclosed : nothing more.
Between Formigny and Trévières, near the hill 192, weary, sales, a surprise awaited us : hidden in the fields, a field shower a dozen meters long was erected. Rid of our clothes, is entered at one end, and emerged in the other after passing under a hot shower.
We then we distributed an assortment of machine, New shoes and mesh ! What joy ! It was time for we began to fear that the enemy does not mark us the view but the smell !
In late June 1944, in Normandy, Gi's walking behind each other, column, each side of the road. I am fortunate to be in a jeep. The expected order arrives : “take ten” – ten minutes break -.
Some lie on the ground to take advantage of this welcome rest, other relax by sending a lease base ball. A comrade fate of boxing gloves from his jeep and propose to initiate a quick round with him. Our struggle has barely begun a jeep stops beside us. In a down MG Colonel – Military government – to ask my “opponent” to lend him his gloves for a few exchanges with me. The Colonel, I do not remember the name, presents. I then outline a guard position to you and present my turn : “Sergeant Bernard Dargols”. This worries me because the mere fact of hands of an officer is punishable by court martial especially in wartime. No question of refusing his proposal. In fact, It's an order.
My father was right, he thought boxing would help get rid of a crippling shyness. So I had behind me, amateur, several years of practice. The colonel, a “old” forty years and I, young 24 years, were about the same size. thickset, it belonged to a heavier class and one who knows this sport knows how much weight is a distinct advantage. I compensated by a higher lengthens. For two minutes, while it was my face without restraint, I limited myself to hit the body carefully. Despite the respect due to a higher, there comes a point where you can not resign itself to cash blows without reply. There was no question of dose the next shot. To help me overcome my respect for hierarchy, I imagined his face swastika. So I fired him a single direct support in the face, which immediately made me fear the worst. Fortunately for both of us, this is the moment chosen by the colonel to stop this friendly fight. Before leaving in his jeep, he gave me a “Well done” – good game – and one “good luck Bernard” – good luck -. Everything lasted 3 of minutes.
My cousins ​​and friends, militaires français m'ont assure qu'une telle scene n'aurait can if Produire, at the time in their army. It well reflected one aspect that I enjoyed in the US Army : human relations, both casual and friendly.
Aided by a few meetings with resistant, we liberated several villages : Saint Clair on It, Littry, Bérigny, Vire and other, not to mention Saint Georges d'She lost resumed.
Our headquarters moved to La Boulaye near Cerisy-la-Forêt that we have free. The front has stabilized but continue our activities from this base, contacts, information…
We are two months in Cerisy when alarming information reaching us through civil : enemies, by unusual activity and their preparations let us glimpse a possible surprise attack against. I still had the head of St George that we released it in sorrow and joy, then abruptly lost and re-released. What tragic consequences if such a situation happened again in Cerisy-La-Forêt ! Sergeant Thierry Mc Cormick “This” and I decide, not to alert the population of this potential danger, to make rounds in the village. We patrol side by side, calm and reassuring, chatting happily as possible,, but obviously armed. Our attitude leaves at no time reflected the event of imminent danger. The cons attack never took place, on the contrary, is our division that took the initiative and started the breakthrough that would lead to the defeat of the Nazis.
In the series of great fears, there was one that, when lying in tent, In the middle of the countryside, and, in the silent night, a very slight rumble is heard. There is growing slowly. No doubt, tanks, the trick is to quickly discern whether it is ours or the enemy.
As part of the Franco-American cooperation was enriched our team of two officers, course Gaullists, Christophe Fouquet and. Called to other duties, they remained too little time. However, I kept subsequently friendly contacts with the son of Captain Fouquet.
My mission was soon released Cerisy put me in with the pharmacist of the village, Dr. Champain. This last, resistant shade, was providing me with reliable information. But entering the pharmacy, I found her daughter dressed all in black : his father had been killed the day before in an allied bombing. I understood her misfortune but what a shame, in hindsight, is that it was she who sought to comfort me : she went in the back room and brought in a small vial of paregoric. "Mix it with water, you will get some kind of pastis and it will do you good, "she said.
I see from time to time the doctor's daughter Champain, brother and sister. As with Champain family, I kept bonds of strong friendships with several people, some mayors and their families. Many of them were kids of ten years which I distributed chocolates and chewing gum in their town released. They were so happy to speak French with a Gi and get into his jeep, they tell me 60 years later these moments are still etched in their memory.
How to measure the dose of emotion that came over me when I meet these older children now 70 and over, they affectionately shake my hand, Kiss me or invite me into their family.
While we were based in Cerisy-La-Forêt Signal Corps sergeant, photographic service of the army, contacted me. He wanted me to find a young farmer clogs. A few days later, Marie-Jeanne Brassard accepted to pose with two GIs on behalf of the French-American friendship. We had to help this young woman to fill with water two empty buckets she wore hanging from a yoke.
On July 1 1944, this photo made rose to an almost all American newspapers. The accompanying text gave my name and address in New York and stated that she had been taken somewhere in France. So family and friends have finally learned that I had landed and was unharmed. Indeed, since the beginning of June, censorship which wanted to prevent anything that may alert the enemy, blocked the military mail. This moral support we needed much.
On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the landing, and thanks to the newspaper Ouest-France, I met Marie-Jeanne, we put before the same bread oven. There is 5 years, she told me how she had struggled to persuade her mother could not see at all favorably it follows these GIs she did not know and who insisted on the picture taken !
When the Allied breakthrough started in August 44, I received orders to go to Brest. This city was then known as the 'Brest pocket’ because it was the only part of Britain still in the hands of the enemy. Once there, I returned regularly to our rear to reflect information gathered. During these repeated trips, I happened to come across prisoners of all ages, head down, guarded by MP Guipavas, village near Brest. The arrogance of their attitude and their look was gone. I admit I felt a great inner jubilation ! I even made myself a malicious pleasure to appoint two prisoners who had good scrub my jeep. So it is with the cleanest Jeep Division I returned to Brest, still occupied by the Nazis.
Autograph Bernard Dargols during a meeting in Omaha Beach 2008
Once Brest taken by Americans, I have traveled many kilometers, Vésinet : the Ibis, St. Vith and Bastogne in Belgium, advanced in Germany, to be recalled to Paris (see map). In the capital released my mission was to exclude persons seeking employment with US forces and whose behavior was not perfect during the occupation. I received them and interrogated on the premises of the former kommandantur, Opera Square.
In both palaces of the rue Castiglione, Meurice and Lots, my mission was different. Both hotels were requisitioned and occupied by senior Nazi officials. I was responsible for determining the nature of the relationship of these tenants.
So I set up an office in the lobby and did scroll all staff including management. In both cases, identity documents checks and interrogations ensued. Before closing this circuit Chalons-sur-Marne, Today Chalons-en-Champagne, in an anti-terrorist unit, CIC – against espionage -, I made a short stay at the Embassy of the United States to sort of classified documents secret.
The boat that brought me back to the United States went to Marseille in January 1946. I was demobilized at Fort Dix, New-Jersey, a few days later. Full circle.”
Bernard Dargols
(Source: 6juin.omaha.free.fr)
Le partage c'est la liberté