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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rtwdoug, Jun 1, 2019.
Awesome trip and pics. Thanks for sharing!!!!
A little historic information :
This was the d-day celebration. Because Roosevelt did not trust De Gaulle, he did not tell him about the landing only after it happened. De Gaulle was furious...
That is why reenactors of d-day wear US uniforms. It is also a tribute to the US army which liberated France.
For that reason, the only french soldiers invading France on d-day were the 177 men of commando Kieffer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1er_Bataillon_de_Fusiliers_Marins_Commandos
There were part of the British Special Service Brigade and so wore British uniforms.
There is still 1 single living veteran from these 177 men and he was at the d-day celebration in Normandy.
Nowadays, for this historic reason the current French navy special force commandos https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commandos_Marine are the only French army units to wear their green berets the British way (tilted to the right).
When the Free French army was created in UK, there were equipped with US equipment and uniforms. After North Africa invasion the previous French Vichy army mixed up with the Free French and then the uniforms were a mix of US and french uniforms.
Doug, thanks for your report. I enjoy it very much.
Yes Olirider is right, and I would just like to add one or two little things.
For the French army, the war was lost in june 1940 on the european french territtory. At that moment, all those who could had to escape as they could, either by crossing the Channel and stay faithfull to De Gaulle, or escape to avoid being made prisoner and deported. What my paternal grand-father did, it took him 6 months to come back home from the eastern front close to Dijon. Once home, he had a little information activity for his brothers in the Resistance. My maternal grand-father was not so lucky to escape on time, he was made prisonner and sent to eastern Germany close to the Czeck border in Stalag IV A, and came back only 5 years later liberated by the Russians ...
What I mean is from that moment in june 40, the French army didn't exist anymore, it was completely dismantled and France was occupied by the German occupation forces. The only real French troops remaining at that moment were in Algeria and Tunisia, and those who could take refuge in England to try to rebuild a new force. And as they left all their weapons and equipment on the Pas De Calais beaches to embark to England, of course they had to be re-equiped with new US and British uniforms. On the other hand, I must admit that in 39-40, French equipment and rifles were already dating, for not saying completely overtaken by technology ... so I don't know what we could 've done on the landing beaches the D-day with our Lebel rifles and our blue coats from WW 1.
Yes june 6th, France is celebrating the allied armies that liberated it from the nazi occupation, and despite (I must admit it) I'm not very very fan of the reenactors thing, it's a way to say thank you and to pass the baton to the next generation for never forgetting those boys.
Wearing a german uniform that day would not be a very good idea. Since there are restored German vehicules, which for me is normal, because they are also pieces of History in the same way as British and American vehicules, I would consider normal to see some guys dressed up in the Whermacht uniform driving them, but most of people wouldn't understand and would consider it as a provocation. It's still too soon ... later maybe. Oh, when I say Whermacht here, I'm talking about the regular army, normal guys who hadn't the choice, don't make a confusion with the SS divisions, and by the way let me remind you that wearing SS and nazi signs is strictly FORBIDEN anywhere in Europe.
Thanks Yannick, the allied invasion had men from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Czech, France and Norway and all helped liberate France.
Omaha beach and the US military cemetary
Then we headed to Aromanches and saw a pretty nice air show on Gold beach
We spent the night in Caen, and headed east towards Bastogne the next day. There was alot of rain. It pretty much sucked.
Finally we hit Belgium. Those of you who know me will know how happy I was to get out of france.
It's such a pain in the ass to buy gas there, alot of stations are credit card only, and a US card wont work. Luckily, most of the Total brand stations are open, and will take cash.
Tournai, Belgium, the 1st Belgian city liberated in 1944.
If you water your cat, they grow faster.
Problem is, they dont like being watered.
tremendous as always Doug. thanks
Fantastic report Doug, thank you.
At the end of WW2 Canada had the 4th largest navy on earth in a nation of only 15 million people at the time. Some often overlooked allies made tremendous contributions.
No one from Great Britain then?
Great report Doug, looking forward to the next instalment. Are you going into Germany too?
Thank you for taking us along, Doug. Wonderful pictures.
Looks like Matlock Bath in one of your first photos? Been following a little on facebook, nice to see a full-on RR man.