blog - The Falaise pocket

NormandyToday we follow the same route the Seventh Army followed to make it contribution to the encirclement at Falaise. We started from Clécy and drove towards Argentan and finally St. Lambert sur Dive.

Driving through the countryside it is clear what kind of hurdles the hedges have been to the allies. The first stop is Putanges Pont Ecrepin and the bridge over the Orne. Putanges Pont EcrepinWe have drank a coffee drink in the hotel restaurant ‘Le Lion Verd’ and had a discussion with the waiter over where the picture of the bridge was taken. On the wall in the lobby and bar are pictures of the temporary Bailey bridge and photos of various combat actions during World War 2. According to the waiter the specific photo was taken right of the bridge seen from the square, but we believe it was taken right from the waterfront terrace of the hotel itself. On the wall there is a picture of the Hotel veranda which we believe corresponds to a part of the photo. It would also be more consistent with the building across the street. The only thing is that the Bailey bridge would have been at the spot of the walkway... At the end of the village there is a famous photograph of a German tank that just stopped in front of a house.

Further on the road to Argentan. Again, a famous photograph of a Panther tank in front of a house where a German recruitment agenecy was stationed. We had no specific street name, and for us almost all the streets resembled the streets of the photo. Finally we went to the Tourist Information in hope they could help us. A few minutes later we came back out, with a surprised feeling. The girl behind the counter, with a quick glance at the photo, could identify the street as the 'Rue de la Poterie'. It turned out to be a street behind the church where we had parked our car! Nowdays no more travel agency but a greengrocer, and on the place of the Panther tank there is cafè ‘La Brazza’. A picture from another angle also shows the still hanging medallions.

Saint Lambert sur DiveFinally the hamlet of Saint Lambert sur Dive where the "corridor of death 'was. The road to this village housed the last escape for the Germans. Eventually, a gap of a few 100 meters to where the huge amount of Germans had to escape the encirclement. For the Allies the opportunity to make a decisive but dramatic blow to the German army. It is almost beyond comprehension that this nice little quite spot on the river "Dive" perhaps symbolises the turning point for the Battle of Normandy and the effort taken by the Allies to make a successful invasion and provide a basis for the further liberation of Western Europe. Exactly a memorable point to end the visits to the various sites from the period 1940-1945. Tomorrow from Clécy back home with enough material collected to last the summer and to publish on the website.