FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial
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In 2014 two significant anniversaries will take place in Europe: 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War (World War I) and 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy France that marked the end of WWII . This World War Memorial page is a forum for oral and photographic histories by survivors of the events and is inspired by Martyn Cox, an amateur oral historian, film maker and Francophile is to provide a reference point for all who wish to keep the memory alive. World War Memorial Page http://bit.ly/17AP6au
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Australia bars British families from WWI battle commemoration

Australia bars British families from WWI battle commemoration | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

Australia has been criticised for the banning families of fallen British soldiers from the First World War Battle of Fromelles centenary commemorations. 

The Battle, which saw 1,000 UK soldiers lose their lives, involved British and Australian troops who attempted to divert the Germans from the main action at the Somme 50 miles away.

But it turned into a bloody massacre with more than 7,000 Allied casualties and it went down in history as the worst 24 hours in Australian military history.

Relatives of the British men had hoped to pay their respects at a special service to mark the 100th anniversary of the event later this year only to find they are not invited.

The Australian Department of Veterans' Affair are organising the event and are only allowing Australian passport holders and the French to attend.

More than 3,000 seats will be set up for Australian and French families and VIPS at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, which was built in 2009 after the bodies of 250 Allied soldiers were discovered in a war grave nearby.

But visitors from other countries, including Britain, will have to make do with viewing the ceremony on large TV screens in the town itself.

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See more on our World War Memorial Page http://bit.ly/17AP6au

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November 11: A Moving Search for A Great Uncle Lost Ahead of the Battle of the Somme

November 11: A Moving Search for A Great Uncle Lost Ahead of the Battle of the Somme | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

“At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.” Toronto writer Phillipa Campsie sets out to find how her great-uncle lost his life in a corner of a foreign field ahead of the Battle of the Somme.

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Remembrance Day to echo efforts in renovating French school

Remembrance Day to echo efforts in renovating French school | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
A campaign this Remembrance Day will echo the efforts of Australian children in the 1920s to rebuild a war-torn school in France.

"War pennies" collected by Victorian school children some 90 years ago helped to replace the school building at Villers-Bretonneux, destroyed in War War I.

The not-for-profit group Camp Gallipoli wants to do the same: to repair a dilapidated school at the site of one of Australia's deadliest battles.

"7,000 Australians perished at Pozieres, not far from Villers-Bretonneux, and nearly as many that perished at Anzac Cove," Camp Gallipoli director Christopher Fox said.

"Two thirds of those bodies still lie in the mud."

Mr Fox said Australia's campaign to liberate Pozieres in 1916 is widely celebrated there, even today.
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D-Day landings and a plan to have Tour de France start from Portsmouth in 2017

D-Day landings and a plan to have Tour de France start from Portsmouth in 2017 | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

PORTSMOUTH’S role in the D-Day landings is the centrepiece of a masterplan to bring the Tour de France to the region Town leaders want to prepare a bid to the organisers of the world’s greatest cycling race to bring the opening leg to Portsmouth in 2019 – the same year as the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings is significant for us as a city because a number of the naval vessels left from Portsmouth, and this was the biggest contingent that went over and sent troops to the landings.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council
It is hoped Tour bosses will see the attraction of elite cyclists riding from the city to the South Downs before heading to the beaches of Normandy where troops – many of whom from this area – landed.
Tory council leader Donna Jones hopes Portsmouth’s connection to the historic landings during the Second World War will give it the momentum it needs to be selected.

Cllr Jones, who is leading the proposal with Portsmouth’s twin city of Caen in France, said: ‘The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings is significant for us as a city because a number of the naval vessels left from Portsmouth, and this was the biggest contingent that went over and sent troops to the landings.

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Europe - From Hercules to Hemingway, Greece's debt tragedy gets scholarly – and silly

Europe - From Hercules to Hemingway, Greece's debt tragedy gets scholarly – and silly | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

The Syriza government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has delved into mythology to find the most appropriate description of the country’s predicament. In a March op-ed in the Financial Times, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis appealed for help to escape the “Sisyphean trap” that is “condemning an entire generation to a future without hope”.
...
Ultimately, the eurozone is deceiving itself, says the BBC’s Robert Peston. Pointing out that an economy as weak as Greece's cannot possibly pay its debts back, Peston writes: "The only rational conversation for Greece's creditors to have with Greece is the one they refuse to have - which is on the scale of a write-off necessary to take the country off an inevitable road to dangerous penury."...


In a hard-hitting article published by French daily Le Monde last week, Greece’s prime minister slammed the creditors’ “absurd demands” and warned of dire consequences for all if Europe continues to ignore Greece’s pleas. “If some (…) think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake,” Tsipras wrote. “I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’."

 

Since Hemingway’s novel is a bleak account of the Spanish civil war, the prelude to Europe’s darkest hour – i.e., World War II –, we can only hope that the Greek leader was not possessed of Cassandran powers of prophesy when he uttered those words.

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Here’s Why the Greek Crisis is Turning into a Strategic Issue for Europe

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A 1960s archive account of the horror of DDay landings - First Wave at Omaha Beach

A 1960s archive account of the horror of DDay landings - First Wave at Omaha Beach | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
When he was promoted to officer rank at eighteen, S. L. A. MARSHALL was the youngest shavetail in the United States Army during World War I. He rejoined the Army in 1942, became a combat historian with the rank of colonel; and the notes he made at the time of the Normandy landing are the source of this heroic reminder. Readers will remember his frank and ennobling book about Korea, THE RIVER AND THE GAUNTLET, which was the result of still a third tour of duty.
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'France 1940' - Fascinating Account of the Battle of France

'France 1940' - Fascinating Account of the Battle of France | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
Despite its shortcomings, the army fought hard, suffering more than 90,000 killed in action. The British air force also fought hard, losing more than 900 fighters in the campaign. The French army certainly had modern weapons, but it did not use them as effectively. After the failure of the French attacks on May 15, they were unable to stop the German advance. Gen. Charles De Gaulle defeated the Germans at Monteomet (40 miles west of Sudan) but was forced to retreat when the divisions on his flank gave way.
Prime Minister Paul Reynaud turned the government over to Marshal Pétain on June 16, and he signed the armistice with Germany six days later. Shortly afterward, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate voted 569-30 with 20 abstentions to give Pétain the power to draw up a new constitution and a free hand to govern France in the interim. The Third French Republic was no more. A plan to transfer the government to North Africa was aborted, and instead they loaded up all the government files on trucks and drove to Vichy, a resort town full of hotels, and took up residence and began a dismal period of collaboration with the Nazis.
Presenting a revisionist point of view, Philip Nord in “France 1940” disputes the idea that the fall of France was because of French unpreparedness and a lack of national will. Certainly the French high command bears much of the responsibility for the defeat. A lot of mistakes were made by Gens. Gamelin and Maxime Weygand, but neither the Polish, British, Belgian, Dutch nor Norwegians did any better. It should also be considered that the German army performed very well.
Before the war, the French may have been slow to perceive the danger that Nazi Germany presented, but so was everyone else. Nor were the British, Americans or Russians any better prepared for war. In the end, it was the military and political elite that abandoned the Third French Republic, not the people of France. It was they who collaborated with the Nazis while many more Frenchmen joined the resistance and fought to liberate France.
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The WW2 soldiers France has forgotten - BBC News

The WW2 soldiers France has forgotten - BBC News | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
The fall of France 75 years ago is conventionally seen as a moment of abject national disgrace. But today some insist the French military has been wronged - and that the hundreds of thousands of French troops who fought in the Battle of France deserve to be honoured, rather than forgotten.
It all took less than a month. Faced by the onslaught of Hitler's tank divisions - the notorious Panzers - the French army collapsed and Prime Minister Philippe Petain capitulated.
"After the war, as we all know, de Gaulle wanted to wipe out the memory of the debacle," says historian Dominique Lormier, author of several books on the period.
"So the focus was on the Resistance and on the Army of Africa, which fought the Germans from 1944. The sacrifice of the soldiers who fought in 1940 was forgotten."
Lormier is one of a number of historians who are reinterpreting the events of May-June 1940, using French and German military archives. And the picture they paint is not the Nazi walkover that has commonly been represented.
Five million men were mobilised in France at the start of World Wa
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France, Germany unveil stained-glass symbol of friendship

France, Germany unveil stained-glass symbol of friendship | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
REIMS, France (AP) — In stained-glass symbolism of postwar friendship, Germany has donated a set of colorful new windows to France's famed Reims cathedral that was devastated by German bombs during World War I.
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Critics Attack France’s Largest Ever Restoration Work: The Majestic Chartres Cathedral

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Europe - 'Victory in Europe Day' marked under shadow of new threats

Europe - 'Victory in Europe Day' marked under shadow of new threats | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
Europe held sombre ceremonies to mark 70 years since victory over Nazi Germany on Friday as leaders warned of modern-day threats such as the war in Ukraine and Islamic extremism.
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V-E Day, 70 years later, and memories abound in France

V-E Day, 70 years later, and memories abound in France | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
When French President François Hollande lays a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe on Friday, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II, 90-year-old veteran Rene Roché will be there.

Roché was a 20-year-old sergeant stationed in the southern German town of Constance when the war ended. Asked about his memories of V-E Day, Roche kept it simple: "The war was over. I was just happy to be able to get out of there."

Veterans and civilians will reminisce about V-E Day, a holiday here in France, with events around the country.

In Reims, a city of 180,000 about 80 miles east of Paris, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley is scheduled to make an appearance. This is where German Gen. Gustav Jodl signed the unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945 — the eve of the victory announcement — in a red-brick schoolhouse that U.S. Gen. Dwight Eisenhower called his headquarters.

And in Grenoble, in the Alps near the Swiss border, a 10-kilometer race will take runners past historical sites related to the French resistance.

With this year's special commemoration of the end of World War II, and last year's 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, Hollande has been making the rounds of battle memorials. About 10 days ago, he visited Natzweiler-Struthof in Alsace, the only Nazi concentration camp on French soil.
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World War Memorial-

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Why we don't hear about the 10,000 French deaths at Gallipoli - This French Life

Why we don't hear about the 10,000 French deaths at Gallipoli - This French Life | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
A group of unidentified French gunners posed with a howitzer in the Dardanelles, 1915. Among them are a couple of Australians. Athelstan Markham Martyn/Wikimedia Commons. By John Horne, Trinity College Dublin With almost the same number of soldiers as the Anzacs – 79,000 – and similar death rates – close on 10,000 – French participation in the Gallipoli campaign could not occupy a more different place in national memory. What became a foundation myth in...
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WORLD WAR MEMORIAL

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France's battlefields: Forgotten heroes all along the Western Front

France's battlefields: Forgotten heroes all along the Western Front | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

Opposite a typical northern French café dispensing beer and frites on the edge of the village of Richebourg, two stone tigers stand guard over a column inscribed with Sanskrit words and a curving screen redolent of a maharajah's palace....

Over the next three years, millions of Britons will mark the centenary of the First World War by crossing the Channel to tour the battlefields where some 890,000 soldiers from these islands fell, amid 13.5m casualties on all sides throughout the conflict. In the Southern Hemisphere, today's Anzac commemorations take on added significance, marking 100 years since the Gallipoli campaign.

On a 100km stretch of the trenches – from the so-called "Forgotten Front" of Artois, to the west of Lille, to the industrial slaughter of the Somme – some of the most totemic names of the conflict fell: Wilfred Owen and John Kipling, whose father, Rudyard, never forgave himself for encouraging his 18-year-old son to sign up.

French-News-Online.com's insight:

Full coverage of three years of commemorations related to both World Wars here: WORLD WAR MEMORIAL 
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?page_id=26945#ixzz3YQP0z3rR 

 

70th Anniversary of the Allied Landings in the South of France ,
The Forgotten Campaign

Vandals Violate Memory of Battle of Verdun, Defile Markers Along La Voie Sacrée

The Hiller Story – a Tale of Liberation July 1944, by Rudi Lea
Parachutes Over Quercy – Seventy years Ago on July 14 1944 Skies Darkened Above Loubressac

So the Memory Never Dies, American OSS Agents and Operation Emily Summer 1944 

Outbreak of WW1 Was 100 Years Ago – French Centenary Mission Keeps Memory Flame Alive

Dunkirk – 75th Anniversary of Largest Evacuation in Military History

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French-News-Online.com's curator insight, April 26, 2015 10:24 AM

Full coverage of three years of commemorations related to both World Wars here: WORLD WAR MEMORIAL 
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?page_id=26945#ixzz3YQP0z3rR 

 

70th Anniversary of the Allied Landings in the South of France , 
The Forgotten Campaign

Vandals Violate Memory of Battle of Verdun, Defile Markers Along La Voie Sacrée

The Hiller Story – a Tale of Liberation July 1944, by Rudi Lea
Parachutes Over Quercy – Seventy years Ago on July 14 1944 Skies Darkened Above Loubressac

So the Memory Never Dies, American OSS Agents and Operation Emily Summer 1944 

Outbreak of WW1 Was 100 Years Ago – French Centenary Mission Keeps Memory Flame Alive

Dunkirk – 75th Anniversary of Largest Evacuation in Military History

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Crumbling walls are all that remains of Hitler's command centre

Crumbling walls are all that remains of Hitler's command centre | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

These pictures capture the decaying conditions of what is believed to be Hitler's last bunker where the Nazi leader plotted the invasion of Britain. 

A series of images show shabby tunnels stretching along six miles and as far as ninety-eight feet underground. 

In a cold reminder of World War Two, the photographs show rusty vaulted doors which lead to the corridors and dark concrete grey rooms. 

Parisian photographer Marc Askat braved France's annual hunting season to walk through thick forest, spurred on by his love of Second World War history. 

He eventually reached the location, which must remain undisclosed because of its use as a secret training ground for France's elite Foreign Legion military, to capture extremely rare pictures of Hitler's last command centre outside Germany.

In one of the shots show moss and weeds growing around the bunker and rusty vaulted doors at the entrance of the building. 

Another image - taken from the inside of the bunker - shows a decaying roof and shelves that are eroding. 

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Women at war. The British sisters who nursed the French army in WWI

Women at war. The British sisters who nursed the French army in WWI | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
Over the past century, the bravery, suffering and sacrifice of World War I veterans has been hailed and lamented in countless memorials, books and films.

But the Great War was also a woman's war. Back home, women worked around the clock on farms and in factories, all the while praying that their husbands, sons and brothers would return alive from the trenches. Thousands of young women who volunteered as nurses experienced the horror of war firsthand. Their selfless dedication has for too long been underestimated.

Among them were Marcia and Juliet Mansel, two sisters from an upper class British family. For four years they nursed and comforted wounded soldiers from the Western Front, sometimes only within a few kilometres of the enemy
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Tailor's WWI medallion heads back to France | NT News

Tailor's WWI medallion heads back to France | NT News | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
FRENCH soldier Corporal Alexandre Patte lost his life in Belgium during the brutal frontier battles of 1914, along with his prized top-of-class medallion from the Amiens tailoring school.

SOMEHOW that medallion, encrusted in mud, came into the possession of Australian soldier Lance Corporal Benjamin Smith, possibly during fighting there in 1917. It then found its way back to Australia.

Now it is heading back to France to be returned to Corporal Patte's sole surviving relative, his great-granddaughter.
In a ceremony at parliament house on Tuesday hosted by local MP Barnaby Joyce, 22 members of the Inverell RSL sub-branch in northern NSW handed the brass medallion to acting French ambassador Cedric Prieto.
This was the culmination of a four-and-a-half-year detective story.
Smith's relatives in Inverell passed the medallion to the RSL, which set about finding the owner's descendants.
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Verdun: The dark secrets of the French forest blocked off 100 years after WW1

Verdun: The dark secrets of the French forest blocked off 100 years after WW1 | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

The Battle of Verdun, which claimed more than 300,000 lives over the course of 10 months, has left behind a lasting scar across the landscape where the battle once raged...

Clearing the land of the detritus of the war in the worst affected areas is a 'near impossibility', Henri Belot, who was responsible for 'de-mining' the area, said a number of years ago.
Indeed, the entire forest would have to be destroyed, and at least a metre of soil dug away to find unaffected ground.
A study, published in 2007, claimed the levels of arsenic, used in the detonators, were between 1,000 and 10,000 times the level usually found in the ground.
It is so high, only a handful of plants are able to survive in some areas.
'It would be another disaster for the environment, and also for the finances of the state,' Belot said simply.
In 2008, it was decided to fence off the worst-affected area for good. Known as the Place-a-gaz, in the Spincourt Forest, it was the site where 200,000 unexploded chemical bombs were destroyed.
However, they have made some progress: swathes of land around the edge have been returned to the local population, and walking tours now show off the amazing variety of orchids and amphibians which have flourished on the pockmarked battlefield.
And there are now farmers making their living from the land - although every year their ploughs turn up more and more of the shells in the so-called 'iron harvest', which means it is not unusual to find piles of metal at the side of a field.

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France forever grateful to WWII diggers

France forever grateful to WWII diggers | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
Eighteen Australian WWII veterans have been bestowed France's highest award for their service more than 70 years after the liberation of that country.

French ambassador to Australia Christophe Lecourtier said he was impressed with how the men had faced their destinies as he presented the accolades at the Coorparoo RSL, in Brisbane's east, on Friday.

The Legion d'Honneur was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802.

"This medal is the most solemn and perhaps the most moving manner for France to pay tribute to remarkable men or women, citizens of France, all over the world," Mr Lecourtier said.
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Read more tributes and memorial commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War and the 70th anniversary of the DDay landings in WORLD WAR MEMORIAL here: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?page_id=26945

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D-Day anniversary in France marked by veterans, visitors at Normandy

D-Day anniversary in France marked by veterans, visitors at Normandy | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

Allied veterans and families of their fallen comrades gathered Saturday at the U.S. cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach to mark the 71st anniversary of the D-Day invasion that helped defeat the Nazis in World War II.

Visitors and cadets from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, watched as a bagpipe band paraded at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, amid the thousands of white marble crosses and Stars of David of servicemen and women who lost their lives during the invasion.

The invasion began shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944, with a perilous airborne operation led by paratroopers of the "Screaming Eagles" 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne divisions.

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Congressman Fortenberry visits France to honor D-Day

Congressman Fortenberry visits France to honor D-Day | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

Saturday marks the 71st anniversary of the allied D-Day invasion of Normandy.

The day marked the beginning of the end of World War II, and it was the first step to liberation for many of the war's victims.

More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. More than 9,000 allied soldiers were killed or wounded that day. Their sacrifice led to the defeat of Adolf Hitler's regime.

U.S. Rep. Congressman Jeff Fortenberry will visit Utah Beach, in Normandy, France, as a dedication is made to a new World War II memorial. Other guests to join will be America's ambassador to France, members of the community from Columbus, Nebraska, and French officials.

Here is the speech Fortenberry will deliver at Saturday's ceremony:

On the night of June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt came on the radio to tell Americans that the greatest battle of their time had begun. He led our country in prayer. America held her breath and her people lifted their eyes to heaven for those who were hitting these beaches, an ocean away.
Along this coastline, the future of civilization hung in the balance. Young soldiers were given the assignment to land in the face of a ruthless, well-trained Nazi enemy. As their Higgins boats opened, machine guns fired and mortars fell from well-concealed German bunkers. Some soldiers drowned before making it ashore. Others died instantly in the hail of gunfire. As General Omar Bradley said, “Six hours after landing we had ten yards of beach.” But somehow, inch by inch, these brave young men, fighting through the storm of bullets, managed to secure the beachheads.
Last year I was privileged to represent America at the 70th anniversary of the great battle

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Special Operations Forces commemorate liberation of France > U.S. Air Force

Special Operations Forces commemorate liberation of France > U.S. Air Force | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
In the first events commemorating the 71st anniversary of the liberation of France, Special Operations Command Europe operators performed military free falls into U.N. designated world heritage site in Mont Saint-Michel, and participated in a wreath-laying,
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Limoges To Pay VE Day Tribute To ex-SOE Agent Robert Maloubier

Limoges To Pay VE Day Tribute To ex-SOE Agent Robert Maloubier | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
Limoges is to pay its own special VE Day tribute on Saturday afternoon (May 09) to a highly decorated former SOE agent Bob Maloubier who died at his home in Houilles, north of Paris on April 20th, ...
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The Last Spy: An Interview With Churchill's French Secret Agent | VICE News

The Last Spy: An Interview With Churchill's French Secret Agent | VICE News | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

Each year on May 6, Marcel Jaurant-Singer travels from his home in the northern French region of the Yvelines to the central town of Valençay, to attend a commemorative ceremony for the fallen French agents of Special Operations Executive (SOE) — the secret organization set up by Winston Churchill in 1940 to support the resistance efforts in France during WWII.

About to turn 94, Marcel is the last living former agent of what was also dubbed "Churchill's Secret Army," "The Baker Street Irregulars" — after the group's offices on Baker Street, in London — and the "Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare."

In March 1944, aged only 23, Marcel was parachuted into France with nothing more than a portable radio and the mission to establish a resistance network in the eastern French region of Chalon-sur-Saône, as part of Churchill's plan to "set Europe ablaze."

During his time as an SOE French division agent, Marcel carried out numerous attacks and acts of sabotage, including firing tiny bombs onto Nazi convoys with a blowgun, blowing up bridges, and injecting sulphuric acid into telegraph cables. VICE News interviewed him at his home last week.

VICE News: How did you end up working for Churchill's Secret Army?
Marcel Jaurant-Singer: I was born in [the Paris suburb of] Neuilly-sur-Seine and I spent my entire youth in Auteuil, in the 16th Arrondissement of Paris. My father was a stockbroker. For him, not getting into Polytechnique [France's most prestigious educational establishment] meant you'd failed in life.

I turned 18 in 1939 and the patriotism I'd been brought up with naturally led me to join the Resistance. Something had to be done to get rid of Hitler. I started off by being a messenger for resistants in Lyon, and those people said I would be more useful if I trained in Britain. In 1943, we decided I would leave [for London].

 

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Full coverage of three years of commemorations related to both World Wars here: WORLD WAR MEMORIAL
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How World War II shaped modern France

How World War II shaped modern France | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it
In the latest in a series of articles on how World War II changed forever the countries that fought it, Vincent Coste looks at France, occupied and on the front line of the Western Front of the world’s deadliest conflict.

A country re-starting from scratch
France was on its knees in 1945. The Nazis, the Allies and the French resistance had between them assured the destruction of 400,000 buildings with five times that number damaged. Industrial and agricultural production was running at just 40% of what it had been pre-war. The pitiful state of ports, train tracks, roads and bridges meant that those supplies that were available could not be easily distributed in a country where half a million hectares of land still needed to be de-mined. The French population was sick and very, very hungry: rationing would continue until 1949 and two thirds of children were suffering from rickets. One child in 10 did not survive childbirth. A summer drought and a bitterly cold winter also conspired against the French in 1945.

Help could only come from the state. De Gaulle’s government put in place a massive nationalization programme, funneling investment into heavy industry, as well as the finance, energy and transport sectors. Social reform was the reward for personal sacrifice; women were granted the right to vote in 1944, social security followed a year later. The post-war years provided a blueprint for the modern French state.
French-News-Online.com's insight:

Full coverage of three years of commemorations related to both World Wars here: WORLD WAR MEMORIAL 
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Australia unveils plans for new Anzac memorial in France

Australia unveils plans for new Anzac memorial in France | FrenchNewsOnline-World War Memorial | Scoop.it

A new $100 million-dollar war museum at the Australian memorial in Villers-Bretonneaux will have a 'foreign field' as its roof, and take inspiration from old sacrifice and new technology to tell the story of the Anzacs on the Somme.
Prime minister Tony Abbott revealed details of the design of the interpretive centre, to be known as the Sir John Monash Centre, on a visit to the fields of the old Western Front on Sunday.
About 290,000 Australians fought on the western front, ten per cent of the Allied forces. 
"The story of Gallipoli is very well known indeed but the story of Australia on the Western Front should be much better known and that's what the Monash centre will be all about," Abbott said.
An artist's impression of the new Sir John Monash centre at Villers-Bretonneaux.
"It was an extraordinary story… valour and indomitable commitment but it was a story of success as well. Gallipoli was a splendid failure but the Western Front was a terrible victory and we should remember our victories as much as we remember our defeats."
The museum would be a lasting legacy of the centenary of Anzac commemorations, he said.

French-News-Online.com's insight:


Australian Army’s Single Bloodiest Day of War
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=29239

Deep Australian Link to Villers-Bretonneux
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=10129

Read much more coverage of commeorations here
WORLD WAR MEMORIAL
http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?page_id=26945

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French-News-Online.com's curator insight, April 26, 2015 1:04 PM

Australian Army’s Single Bloodiest Day of War
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=29239

Deep Australian Link to Villers-Bretonneux
Read more: http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?p=10129

Read much more coverage of commeorations here 
WORLD WAR MEMORIAL
http://www.french-news-online.com/wordpress/?page_id=26945