Normandy will bear the scars of war for a long time

© Nomandy Tourist Board
During the summer of 1944, the people of Lower Normandy found themselves caught in the midst of a gigantic battle. During the month of July, when the fighting was at its worst, over two million soldiers were in the fray (twice as many as the number of inhabitants of Calvados and Manche). Civilian victims were numerous; to escape the bombs, people took refuge in cellars, quarries and trenches. Some decided to flee along roads which had become dangerous due to aerial strafing.

La Libération tant espérée...

The battle of Normandy lasted nearly three months, a lot longer than Allied strategies had allowed for. The liberation of communities took place only slowly and progressively. Then at last the people of Normandy encountered the liberating soldiers for whom they had waited so long. But the fighting and bombing had created too many ruins and cost too many lives for them to celebrate their liberation without reserve. The liberators were welcomed everywhere by the local population and the Allies tasted cider and calvados, whilst the locals could savour the taste of chocolate and tobacco once more.

...the people of Normandy encountered the liberating soldiers for whom they had waited so long.

Due to the length of the Battle of Normandy many communities far from the coast had to wait a long time for the arrival of the troops. The department of Manche was only completely liberated on August 15th. On August 21st department of Orne was also liberated. In Calvados, the last place to be freed was Honfleur on August 25th. The towns of Vernon and Rouen were liberated at the end of August, Dieppe on September 1st 1944 and Le Havre on the 12th.

 

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