Paddle 14

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by paddle14, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. paddle14

    paddle14 Member


    I just discovered this forum.
    I introduce myself : I am French (from Normandy) and studying History in the University of Caen.
    I am writing a thesis about the relationships between the British Army and French civilian in Calvados (1940-1945). I hope to find in this forum some informations that would be useful for my thesis.
    I plan to visit the National Archives next October.

    SDP likes this.
  2. HA96

    HA96 Member

    Welcome to the Forum from Germany.
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Welcome from Brittany

  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From this linked post, source reference in post no. 1 of the link: Peter Alexander Rupert CARINGTON, MC, 2nd Armd Bn Grenadier Guards, GAD

    Did you have any contact with the French civilians?
    Not very much, no. We were pretty well occupied at that time and we were on the move the whole time. I didn’t really think I had much contact with them. I had contact with them when we were given - after we’d been there a bit we were given 48 hours leave to go and sit on the beach at Arromanches and have a happy weekend and I decided that would be rather a boring thing to do. This was just at the time when the breakout of the beachhead and the Americans, and the French, were just about to get to Paris. So we decided instead of sitting on a beach - David Fraser, who’s a General now, and I decided that we would go off and liberate Paris with the Americans. So we got a couple of jeeps and went off and go into Paris with the first American troops. It was very, very great fun.

    What do you remember of the liberation of Paris?
    Well they were still shooting a bit, so it was a bit more dangerous than subsequently Brussels was. But when we got to Paris we couldn’t really decide what to do so we decided we’d go and book two rooms in the Ritz, and the German Army Generals were going out the back door as we drove up and booked in. And the Ritz being the Ritz was absolutely unmoved by this; they just behaved as if this was perfectly ordinary occurrence. One lot of visitors was leaving and the next lot was coming! Then we went around Paris and talked to a lot of people but there was still a good deal of fighting going on so people were not as overjoyed as they were a week later in Brussels.

    But were British soldiers generally welcomed in France...or did you encounter any hostility?
    ...Oh yes, oh yes ... no absolutely no hostility at all. No, of course they were very much welcomed. I think the people in Normandy had a pretty rough time but I never came across any hostilities at all.

    Because Caen was heavily bombed during the fighting, did you get any reaction?
    Yes, well I don’t think we had much opportunity of talking to civilians really. We were pushed around and told to go from ‘A’ to ‘B in that awful Bocage country which was extremely disagreeable because it had all those hedges and little fields and snipers and so on. It was rather an unpleasant period in the Bocage - exactly the wrong sort of country to use a tank in, but you know, you had to use them cos there we were.
    ozzy16, Incredibledisc and 4jonboy like this.

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