Operation Bluecoat - Museum "La Percée du Bocage"

Discussion in 'WW2 Museums. Events, & places to see.' started by Bleblond, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. Bleblond

    Bleblond Member


    Operation Bluecoat: July 30 to August 7, 1944:

    Operation Bluecoat, better known as "The Breakthrough in the Bocage", was launched from Caumont l'Eventé on July 30, 1944.

    His goal was to take advantage of the departure in the area of Caen of he 2nd Panzer, during the operation "Goodwood", to penetrate the center of the enemy and also help the progress of the American breakthrough south of Saint-Lô (operation Cobra). One of the objectives of this "Breakthrough the Bocage" was the taking of Hill 309, east of Saint-Martin, by the VIII British Corps, while XXX Corps was to ensure the heights of "Bois du Homme" south-west of Jurques, and that the XII Corps would launch an attack on Villers-Bocage.

    The Liberation of St-Martin-des-Besaces:
    The main breakthrough was carried out by the 15th Scottish Division which managed to seize Hill 309, and by the 11th Armoured Division, of which a reconnaissance unit, by a fabulous contest of circumstance, penetrated 9 kms inside the German lines to a undefeded bridge over the Souleuvre river ... which allowed General Roberts to take advantage of this infiltration and thus to be able with the elements from the west, to free Saint-Martin on July 31st. The importance of this prodigious breakthrough was such that the whole battle plan of the VIII Corps was immediately modified.


    The museum:
    Most of it is devoted to the battles for the Breakthrough and the liberation of Saint-Martin-des-Besaces and its surroundings. Thanks to 250 photographic documents presented on a panoramic map and period maps, it is possible to relive step by step the progression of the different battalions, from July 30 to August 4, 1944.
    A gigantic diorama representing the fighting in St-Martin in which you can observe 60 models of vehicles and equipment.
    Inaugurated on June 12, 1983 by General Roberts and the veterans, it's a museum without weapons, because we rather prefer men and their stories; many memories evoking their history bring a comment rich in anecdotes.
    Who better to explain that Jean Ménard himself in this video subtitled:


    Musée de la Percée du Bocage,
    5, rue du 19-Mars-1962
    14350, Saint-Martin-des-Besaces
    Musée de La Percée du Bocage
    Juha, SDP, stolpi and 1 other person like this.
  2. Bleblond likes this.
  3. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    It was great to meet you guys and see your brilliant Museum a couple of weeks ago.
    Well worth a visit.
    Best regards
    Steve Pannell
    Bleblond likes this.
  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    I've been contemplating buying these two books. Would anyone recommend them? (... and yes, I know they are written in French)

    Percee 1.jpg Percee 2.jpg
  5. Bleblond

    Bleblond Member

    I strongly recommend them, these books are real Bibles, about Operation Bluecoat. History but also in terms of photographs and objects. Stéphane Jacquet was able to regroup the works of several authors in this two books
    stolpi likes this.
  6. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Does Vol 1 cover 30 Corps and Vol 2 cover 8 Corps?


  7. Bleblond

    Bleblond Member

    Yes that's it Tom
  8. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    While in Normandy last June, I bought Volume 2. Even though I have not yet finished the whole text (I need to keep a dictionary at hand when reading it), I can most certainly recommend the books!!! The same goes for Musee la Percee du Bocage at Saint Martin des Besaces! I had the pleasure of visiting the museum (again) and the area (again) last June, together with Simon and Martin Gillate, sons of the late Don Gillate, 8th Rifle Brigade veteran and author of "With the 8th Rifle Brigade from Normandy to the Baltic", which appeared earlier this year. What a joy!

    St Marin + Book - 2019.jpg

    Photo top left: Martin Gillate, me, Jackie Ames (daughter of 1st Herefordshire veteran), Simon Gillate and Billy Leblond of the museum at the museum.
    Photo below right: me and my Royal Enfield at St. Martin des Besaces.
  9. Bleblond

    Bleblond Member

    As part of the drafting of volume n ° 3 of the book La Percée du Bocage co-written by Stéphane Jacquet and Marc-Henri Barrabé, the Musée de la Percée du Bocage (Saint-Martin-des-Besaces), is looking for photos, objects and documents to complete the elements already available to the authors.
    This third opus is due to be published by Editions Heimdal in the first half of 2022.
    It will deal with the events of the summer of 1944 and particularly with the liberation by the British army of the sectors of Vire-Normandie and Condé-sur-Noireau, from Tinchebray to Argentan, via Flers, Briouze and Putanges.
    If all the documents gathered cannot be published, they will be used in the future for future temporary exhibitions or as part of other works.
    If you have documents to illustrate the fighting in the area (photos of wrecks, destroyed houses, reuse of materials, etc.), you can contact the president:
    Billy Leblond at 06 28 36 47 39 or by email at contact@laperceedubocage.fr or directly Stéphane Jacquet by email at sjacquet@gb2a.fr or at 06 07 59 46 02
    Marc-Henri Barrabé
    Note that the documents will be indexed at the end of the book and the originals returned to their owners, but may not be subject to copyright.
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