WWI or WWII Historical Sites

Aug 9th, 2005, 07:43 PM
  #1  
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WWI or WWII Historical Sites

We will be touring Provence, Languedoc, Dordogne and Loire Valley areas and would like to see any WWI or WWII cemeteries or museums or historical sites. The only one I've found is Oradour Sur Glane in Dordogne. Any others? Thanks
Clifford is offline  
Aug 9th, 2005, 08:49 PM
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Limoges has a small Resistance museum next to the cathedral. Sarlat has a large memorial to those who were deported, exceptionally larger than its W.W.I memorial.
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Aug 9th, 2005, 09:10 PM
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The areas you have named are inthe south or centre of France, and therefore will not have much associated with WW1, which was fought in the far north of the country. The area from Amiens to Verdun is absolutely covered with battle sites, memorials, and cemeteries. Nearest WW2 area to your named is likely to be Normandy and the D-Daybeaches.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:11 AM
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There were American troops in the center of France in World War I in support roles, at military hospitals, for example. But nothing to visit in that regard that I know of.
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:37 AM
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Draguignan, in Provence, near Frejus and St. Raphael, has an American military cemetery.
http://www.kwanah.com/txmilmus/tour/wells2.htm
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Aug 10th, 2005, 12:39 AM
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It's simply not the case that there was no WW2 fighting in the areas you're visiting.

Briefly, from August 15 to September 15, Commonwealth, US, Free French and Polish troops landed at Toulon and Marseilles and fought their way up from the South to meet the US 3rd Army on its way south. I've seen a few street plaques around Toulon and Marseilles, and you often find Commonwealth War Graves Commission signs but little else. If you're unfamiliar with the CWGC, by the way, it's almost always worth stopping off to follow the signs. Although there are some famous, huge cemeteries in the North, even the tiny ones in the most unlikely places are always impeccably maintained, and are often extraordinary clones of an English country churchyard where you'd least expect to find one. There's even a WW1 cemetery at Hyeres.

For a rather longer period of time, though, the French resisted the Germans throughout the area you're visiting, under far more challenging circumstances than even the bravest of our forbears had to tolerate.

Few monuments to what the French went through are as harrowing as Oradour, but if you keep your eyes open, you'll frequently find street plaques to a fighter summarily executed in public: there are also about half a dozen Resistance Museums close to your route, indexed at http://www.musee-resistance.com/offi...sees/index.asp
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Aug 10th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Doble_Vergasser
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In Southern France, Operation Dragoon occured a short time after D-Day. Simplified, the purpose was to keep the Germans from leaving Italy and counter attacking in France.

My father in-law took off from the Anzio area and ended up in Le Muy (using some newfangled cloth apparatus). So there are some things to see but not the density as Normandy.
 
Aug 24th, 2005, 05:19 PM
  #8  
Doble_Vergasser
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I found this reference recently and remembered your question.


Rhone American Cemetery

Draguignan, France

Unfortunately, I know nothing more than it is probably there.
 
Aug 24th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Oradour-sur-Glane, the french village whose entire population was murdered by the Nazi's near the end of the war. (The area's army command was changed a few weeks before the massacre with the replacement of a group of soldiers that had been in France for a long time, by a group of German soldiers from the Russian front: they had a different viewpoint on how you treated the occupied) The town was so destroyed that it never recovered. With very little change from how it appeared ona the day of the massacrer, it was turned into a memorial, and appears as it did on the day of the massacre, with burned out buildings, bullet marks on walls where people were lined up, etc. A little known site, it is so dramatic that you will wonder why.
Tinling is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Your won't find the large memorial sites in Provence, but there were very strong and active resistance forces in the area. I believe there were some strong reprisals by the Germans in Gordes, if I am correct. Someone else may be able to expand on this. When in the area, if you talk with some of the locals, and older locals, you will probably find a lot more information.
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