Monday, March 25, 2024

August 1944: Arthur and Michel meet the American Army (variations on a theme)

 Another example where Grandpa Arthur's story matches that of Dr. Michel Planas's. They both agree that on August 21, 1944, they met the American army as it attempted to prevent the German retreat:

Michel was very matter-of-fact:

We leave in a vehicle lent by the battalion and after the crossroads of La Croix in ROMANS on the RN 538 we see, before VAUNAVEYS, the first American elements, part of a platoon of PATTON tanks lined up along the road. We stop to greet them and fraternize. They fill us with food, cigarettes and give us two jerry cans of petrol. --1955

Grandpa was a bit more excited about it:

A few more days elapsed and the moment came which for ever will vividly remain in my memory. The 4th Company was marching North in an open highway. Two long lines of FFI were moving Indian-style on the two shoulders of the highway. On the pavement moving in opposite direction hurried jeeps and trucks and tanks. In endless white-star vehicles young American soldiers kept waving and smiling to us.  I felt elated. Years-long dream was finally becoming true. Somebody came to relieve me in carrying the heavy automatic rifle. Every one of us was supposed to carry it for 15 minutes, but I refused because this time I did not feel its load on my shoulders. --1974 

     Then I remember when we were walking along a highway, already on the plain below the mountains, and we were walking on two sides of the highway, and we have one heavy machine gun, which was very heavy to carry; it was not made to be carried by a man. So we carried it, for five minutes each person of the resistance, of the FFIs – changed themselves. 

     In the middle of the highway were driving American jeeps, American tanks, and American trucks and I felt a fantastic elation, to such an extent that I didn’t feel the extremely heavy load of the machine gun. Not a submachine gun, but a heavy, huge machine gun. Extremely elated after years and years of dreams. It became suddenly true. --1988


No comments:

Post a Comment

Neither spam nor mean comments are allowed. I'm the sole judge of what constitutes either one, and any comment that I consider mean or spammy will be deleted without warning or response.