*** World War II liberation of France, Allied sweep north liberation of Chartres

The Liberation of Chartres (August 18, 1944)

liberation of France
Figure 1.-- One of the priorities after the Germans left was going after the collaborators. Quite a number of men were shot. Women who frarternized with the Germans were commonly treated like this ladt who had her head shaved. Notice the baby. Had the Gerans won the War, the babu would probanly have been taken away and raised in Lebensborn home or by German parents. Photographer: Robert Capra.

Chartres is located a few kilmoters southeast of Paris. It is an ancient Roman town and one of the most aclaimed cathedral cities of the medieval period. The city itseld was built on a hill on the left bank of the Eure River. Its renowned medieval cathedral was built on top of the hill and thus its famous two spires are visible from miles away across the flat surrounding farm lands. The plain of Beauce, the "granary of France", streaches to the southeast. Many condider Chartres to be the most beautiful of the many medieval gothic cathedrals. Chartres was not damaged in the battle for France as French authorities declared Paris an open city ad surrendered soon after (June 1940). The city was subsequentlt damaged by Allied bombing. Allied units stuck outside the city, wanted the Cathedral destroyed, American officer, Colonel Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr., doubted the need to destroy the magnificent Cathedral. He volnteered to surepticiously go into the German-occupied city and determine of the Germans were using the Cathedral spires as observation points. He managed to confirm that the Germans were not using the Cathedral. [Nordlinger] The Allies entered the city (August 18). Col. Griffith was killed two days earlier as the Allies liberated the nearby town of Leves (August 16). Er note the Resistance arriving with some of the old, now obsolete French tanks. As part of the liberation, the city population went after collaborators. The fall of Chartres further opened the roads north and to Paris.


Nordlinger, Jay. "A Colonel at Chartres". The Corner. NationalReview.com. (2011).


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Created: 8:07 PM 9/4/2012
Last updated: 3:19 PM 9/5/2012