Paris 1940 & 1944

Discussion in 'France' started by Owen, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    monty had already ordered allied army commanders to disregard army boundaries,that is clear.so am i the only one here to put my neck on the block or what.yours,lee.
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Can we take this debate to a Falaise Pocket thread please and leave this one to Paris itself.
    Thank You.
    .
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From History of 7th Bn Somerset Light Infantry.
    September 1944 after Seine crossing fighting was over.

    A number of men were lucky enough to get day trips to liberated Paris, where they were among the first British troops to be seen, and were given a great reception. It was strange, coming straight from the battlefields , to be in a great and busy capital city, among famous buildings and lovely gardens, gay boulevards , and pretty women; to be able to drink in a cafe, to walk the thick pile carpets of the Galeries Lafayette, choosing powder and perfume , and trying to look wise over the purchase of flimsey silken knick-knacks and fine silk stockings (at fine prices) to be sent home to war-weary England.


    Sound heavenly after Normandy.
     
  4. GrossBorn

    GrossBorn Junior Member

    Reading this thread got me thinking that I have never read a good history of Paris during German occupation (1940-1944). Can any forum members recommend a good book that covers this time period?
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Regarding the surrender of Paris, it was accepted by the Allied Powers through De Gaulle's insistence that the French as represented by Leclerc heading the French 2nd Armoured Division would take Choltitz's formal surrender of German forces in Paris. Henri Tanguy (Col Rol) the communist resistance leader who had other ideas, planned and executed the insurrection contrary to De Gaulles wishes, not that the communists took much notice of De Gaulle.Tanquy having driven the insurrection intended to take the surrender of Paris as the representative of the French people.De Gaulle, with an eye on the future of France's post war political balance was anxious to avoid the surrender of Paris falling to the communists.Hence there was a mad dash by Leclerc to get into Paris and take the formal surrender.As it was Tanguy got his name on the surrender document much to the disappointment of De Gaulle who later gave Lerclerc a dressing down.

    De Gaulle had his own agenda for the future of France and the elimination of foreign influence was part of that policy.For instance, when south west France was liberated, he met British SOE personnel in Bordeaux and gave them days to leave the country.Their task was over and he would be directing the future of France.

    Regarding the FFI,this organisation was part of De Gaulles interior forces forged when Moulin before his death at the hands of the Germans had structured the various facets of resistance to De Gaulle's overall unified plan under the Conseil National de la Resistance.The FTP, the Franc-Tireur Partisan, largely communist led and the communists themselves saw themselves and wished to be, for the future of French politics, of being outside any alliance to De Gaulle.It was the British SOE leadership in the field who strived to organise and co-ordinate the resistance activities of these irregular groups.Some success was achieved as SOE personnel leadership demonstated their clandestine skills in underground warfare with these irregular units. Some FTP were happy to don the FFI armband when the secret armies came out into open warfare, the others who had long standing communist views did not.
     
    Owen likes this.
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Reading this thread got me thinking that I have never read a good history of Paris during German occupation (1940-1944). Can any forum members recommend a good book that covers this time period?
    Is Paris Burning? by Cornelius Ryan, if you can find it. Avoid the movie of the same name.

    Before reading it though many, many years ago, I thought ill of the French for not "following the plan" and driving on into Paris. I understood after reading it why DeGaulle ordered Leclerc on in and agreed with the decision.
     
  7. Arsenal vg-33

    Arsenal vg-33 Member

    Is Paris Burning? by Cornelius Ryan, if you can find it. Avoid the movie of the same name.

    Before reading it though many, many years ago, I thought ill of the French for not "following the plan" and driving on into Paris. I understood after reading it why DeGaulle ordered Leclerc on in and agreed with the decision.


    One slight correction: "Is Paris Burning?" is co-written by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.

    The book is very well done, if a bit romanticized, but then much WW 2 history written at the time was a bit romanticized. Still a good read and an excellent reference to use while strolling through Paris looking for battle scars.

    As Slipdigit said, the movie is to be avoided - Not very good. There have been rumors of a remake, which would be nice.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Now that you mention it, it does seem that he was writing it as he was dying of cancer and they finished/rewrote or something along those lines. I remember that his name was all over my copy of it.
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    yes,films by most do not accurately depict war very well imo,except perhaps das boot with subtitles.4th wilts.
     
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Back to British troops going on leave to Paris I've just read that soon after liberation, Lord Carrington, who was serving in the Grenadier Guards, nipped down to Paris with some friends to have dinner at the Ritz.

    Although Paris had been declared out of bounds to British troops, some British troops were able to go there on leave from October '44 but there were only two hotels for them .
    However in January 1945 Paris was opened up to the British and about 700 men a day arrived for 48 hours leave.
    One Officer who spent his leave there and went to the Folies Bergere amongst other places was a certain Scots Guards officer , Robert Runcie.
    The future Archbishop of Canterbury was happy to get an eyeful of some semi-naked dancers.
     
  11. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    One Officer who spent his leave there and went to the Folies Bergere amongst other places was a certain Scots Guards officer , Robert Runcie.
    The future Archbishop of Canterbury was happy to get an eyeful of some semi-naked dancers.

    Was this her then ?

    [​IMG]


    ullstein bild

    I found this by searching 'Frankreich' and '1940' on the Ullstein link on the forum. Well, it seemed like an innocent enough search, it wasn't as if I tried 'pert' or something :))

    By the way, don't bother searching 'fall gelb' - just lots of pictures of autumn leaves - think about it !:unsure:
     
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  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just learnt about this on ww2f.
    Never knew about this before.


    AVIATION ART HANGAR - The Berlin Express Arrives in Paris by Len Krenzler (P-51 and Me109)

    http://us.st12.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/airplanepictures_2028_53022328


    Situation: This image depicts an actual event. When you have Bill Overstreet on your tail, not even a daring maneuver such as flying right under the Eiffel Tower is going to save you, as this ME109 pilot discovered the hard way. In the spring of 1944, Bill Overstreet of the famous 357th FG was hot on the tail of a German ME109G. The pilot of the 109 flew right over Paris where German anti-aircraft artillery was heavy, probably in hopes they would solve his problem by eliminating Bill and his P51C named the “Berlin Express”. Bill persisted through intense flak closing the gap with the enemy fighter. Already hit in the engine, as a last resort the ME109 pilot aimed his aircraft toward the imposing Eiffel Tower and in a breathtaking maneuver flew right under it. Even this was not enough to shake Bill as he followed right behind scoring several more hits in the process. The German ME109 crashed moments later and Bill escaped the heavy flak around Paris by flying low and full throttle over the river.

    Here is the encounter described in Bill's own words:

    "I had followed this 109 from the bombers when most of the German fighters left. We had a running dogfight and I got some hits about 1500 feet, He then led me over Paris where many guns were aimed at me. As soon as he was disabled, I ducked down just over the river (smaller target for the Germans ). I followed the river until I was away from Paris." - Bill

    When asked what was around the tower at the time, Bill said, “I'm not sure, I was a little busy.”
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Heres a couple of Afters taken this year
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great story Owen but does anyone think it happened?

    I know the tower is pretty big but for two aircraft to fly under it .......
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Well I've read of WW1 pilots flying under the Arc de Triomphe so the Eiffel Tower would be no problem.
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Fair one :D
     
  17. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  18. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Did the me109 chap survive? Given the altitude I suppose not.
     
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    mollusc just sent me this email.

    Paris in the Springtime

    A boy was upstairs playing on his computer when his grandad came in the
    room and sat down on the bed.

    "What are you doing?", Asked the grandad. "You're 18 years old and wasting
    your life! When I was 18 I went to Paris, I went to the Moulin Rouge, drank
    all night, had my way with the dancers, pissed on the barman and left
    without paying! Now that is how to have a good time!"

    A week later, the grandfather comes to visit again. He finds the boy still
    in his room, but with a broken arm in plaster, 2 black eyes and missing all
    his front teeth.

    "What happened?", he asked.

    "Oh Grandfather!", replied the boy. "I did what you did! I went to Paris,
    went to the Moulin Rouge, drank all night, had my way with the dancers,
    pissed all over the barman, and he beat the crap out of me!"

    "Oh dear!", replied the grandad. "Who did you go with?"

    "Just some friends, why? Who did you go with?"

    "Oh!" replied the grandad. "The Third Panzer Division."
     
  20. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Here's a quote from "Administrative History of 21st Army Group"
    This would refer to British MPs and may imply that there were other British troops forming his escort - any ideas who this refers to and why he had an escort??

    We also know that forum member Dr D and his RAF GCI Radar unit were in, or near, Paris at the time of it's liberation and there are photos here of AFPU bods in the parade. OK thats only a few and I agree that generally there were very few British troops in Paris.

    - Just remembered - as a teenager my neighbour was ex SOE, he told me that he managed to get into Paris for the liberation -"Best time I've ever had in my life, boy"
    Noel
     

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