Bike trip to Oradour Sur Glane

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Drew5233, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    canuck and Sgt Bilko like this.
  2. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    The massacre's been mentioned many times on here. Sapper helped wipe the ba#@ards out in Falaise. It's one of the many places I'd like to visit one day.

    Is that you in them photos Drew? Nice bike.
     
    Roxy likes this.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Yeah its me <In my leathers>

    I stayed at a friends (Ex Royal Marine) B+B for bikers near Treignac for a few days and he took me there.

    It was a secondary objective as Monte Cassino was the Primary one but the weather stopped my progress at the Med so I turned round and came back.

    As we rode around the region of Limousin we came across lots of road side memorials to Resistance members that were shot by the Germans for one reason or another.

    Apparently according to my mate the whole area was heavily Resistance country and they made their way to towns and cities from that area to harrass and kill Germans then disappear back into the hills and woods of Limousin.

    It certainly was a beautiful place to ride :D
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Nice thread lads and nice pics Drew. As Marcus said Sapper helped wipe out the buggers and its something that I will always be grateful to him for.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The last picture is the main memorial just outside the town and you can see the cemetery beyond it. There is a second memorial near the entrance to the town made of metal. Its of a naked women reaching up surrounded by flames. I believe it was erected in rememberance of the women and children that were burned to death in the church.

    The actual memorial is underground and you walk down into what I can only describe as a bunker and on the four walls are the names of all those who were murdered. It's quite humbling seeing the names with ages like 1 or 2 Years of age next to them. They also have a lot of items salvaged from the buildings too in glass cases like money, glasses, crockery and toys.

    I do feel though that the french are not particulary bothered about this site though....It did seem run down in places (glass cabinets cracked) and a lack of translations regarding infomation. You can also see from the pictures how busy the site is too. I was there around mid morning and there was hardly anyone there. Everything of note seemed to be in French too which made it difficult to understand who was where etc. regarding who lived in what houses houses and what part they played in the town ie. Baker, mechanic, Doctor etc.

    However it is a very moving place a beggars belief what happened there. I'm glad I went to see the site for myself but I think from a educational and memorial point of view it could be so much better.
     
  6. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    A number of Enigma messages, in the Breaking German Army Ciphers Project that I was involved in, carried the signature of Lammerding. These messages however were from The Russian Front in 1941. Not very interesting content, as I remember, unlike the Flossenbuerg messages found in the same location.
     
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    It was the same Das Reich that went on to the little town of Tulle, and hung 99 men from the town lampposts. They were supposed to hang 100 innocent men but miscounted. They were assisted by their Vichy French friends.

    They were going to throw the bodies in a river but with Teutonic efficiency decided that would foul the river.....So they threw the bodies on the rubbish dump. I do not know what happened to the other townsfolk they had captured?
    Every anniversary the French people hang flower baskets from the lampposts. Much admired by the German visitors!

    Now what was that about forgiving one's enemies?
    Although many of the Das Reich escaped from the hell of Falaise, many died there in the cauldron.
    It was the one place where you could walk on German dead......Not nice, the smell was ghastly.
    Sapper
     
  8. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thank you very much for posting the photo's. It is right that the younger generation should see exactly what we were fighting for, all those long years ago. One question I would ask...Did you get a lingering feeling of Evil there amongst the ivy covered walls???
    Sapper
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I have heard that there is a evil deathly silence at Auschwitz and that nothing grows there, no birds sing any erie silence falls on the place. I don't know if this is true for I have never been. But I guess it could be in some circumstances easy to liken Oradour to that description.

    Although Oradour has trees and green grass growing a plenty, a stream vigorously running past the town you can not help but feel a coldness and erie silence when you walk along the streets that must have had all the hussle and bussle that came with a town of that size from that era. I could imagine the electric trams clanking up the main street and people buying bread from the bakers. I went into the church and I didn't feel as though I was alone.......The heat must have been so intense in the church where the women and children were burned alive. It was so hot the church bell partially melted and it can be seen in the picture below.

    I don't know if it is evil in the town but there is definately something about the old town. I stopped for lunch in the new town next door for lunch that was built after the war to replace Oradour and there is a distinct difference between the two that I find hard to explain.

    Melted remains of the Church Bell
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    This is Tulle town Square where the 99 were hung. Same trip but second days riding.
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  10. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thanks Drew. Fine job my friend.
    Sapper
     
  11. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    It has been proven that birds sing at Auschwitz!
     
  12. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I wouldn't know. I've never been its just what I've heard mate
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    And a picture or two of life before the atrocity
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    http://byfiles.storage.live.com/y1pX57rrx4dpJmfBYYzLNPu57TxCSh0QbGqVg8zZFo6uDVFXHwxM1S3cyz5w8UntUNwH3pGxxdXHZE
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    A bit of a amatuer Now and Then, be gentle its my first effort :)
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  16. Sgt Bilko

    Sgt Bilko Member

    This is top of my wish list to do when we visit Tony's gaff in July '09....Wanted to visit ever since I saw it on the World at War...

    Great pics again pal...

    Interesting talk about the wildlife, or lack of it, at these sites... visited Belsen Bergen Concentration Camp last year and didn't hear a thing.... very erie...
     
  17. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Great pictures Andy,
    I have never visited the village myself, but now feel like I have after looking at your photographs.

    Thanks
    Tom
     
  18. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Don't know where that post went !!o_O
    Hopefully will get a chance to see the graves of Kampfe , killed by the resistance and Diekmann who ordered destruction of the village and its population.

    A good site on the incident.

    The tragedy which struck Oradour

    Oradour-sur-Glane 10 June 1944

    Oradour sur Glane, The Village of Martyrs. Photo Gallery by Stephen Bryant at pbase.com

    An excellent photo resource.

    DAS REICH HOME PAGE - 2nd SS Panzer Division

    One of the better internet sites on Das Reich - the "German View" is told - I don't hold with it.

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    Diekmann

    Kampfe - kidnapped and killed by the resistance.

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    The above is a biograpgy of Kampfe taken from Faces of Courage -The SS men who recieved both the Knight's Cross and The Close Combat Clasp in Gold. By Florian Berger. ( Fedorowicz, 2008)

    An interesting man but unfortunately the book did not lend itself to the scanner.
    As a book goes this one is very good - "no hero worship" on my part but a good book and worth its price.
    Also included in the book Sylvester Stadler who demanded that Diekmann be tired for his actions - Hitler quashed it, Diekmann killed in Normandy recived justice from an Allied shell, bullet or bomb.
     
  19. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  20. pzjgr

    pzjgr Member

    Excellent pics Drew. I wish I was riding when I was in Europe. That would be an awesome trip on a bike.
     

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