Le Havre is liberated

  • Theme - WW1, WW2 & Military
  • Year - 1944
  • Location - Le Havre
  • Filmmaker - Rémi Le Grand


To see more films of Upper Normandie, please visit the website of our cross channel partner, Pole Image Haute-Normandie at www.archivesenligne.fr

"A free Le Havre, a liberated Le Havre, but a devastated Le Havre. For more than 2 minutes, Rémi Le Grand films the liberators passing along a small country road. A carrier, overburdened with soldiers, followed by some twenty other vehicles, trucks, tanks, Red Cross vehicles overflowing with smiling soldiers, is cheered on by the few people present. A sign then announces ""Le Havre liberated"". The following images, although not great quality, offer a very moving story of the city's sacrifice, destroyed by bombings. Everything has been knocked to the ground with the exception of a large statue in honour of soldiers killed in the war between 1914 and 1918. Later, in a street of this freed city, men and women come out to celebrate the liberation. The celebrations continue at the foot of the statue seen previously, in front of which officials now gather, along with brass bands, military, police, nurses ... What a revival for Le Havre! "

* 5-11th September 1944 : extensive bombing of Le Havre by the Allies. The centre is demolished to 80%, its main monuments destroyed, and more than 2,000 Le Havre citizens killed or missing over the course of a few days. 12th September: the city is liberated.
* From 13th September 1944, the allies began delivering men, equipment and supplies to Le Havre, using amphibious crafts since the docks were largely destroyed. The Americans quickly created the liberated French "16th port", building temporary structures. Their help was crucial for the population. With regards to German prisoners, they were made to clean the beach, still closed off to the public with barbed wire, clearing up debris and weapons which could still be found.

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