Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Borne de la 2ème DB

Borne de la 2ème DB Versailles
While we're on the subject of war, this distance marker outside the Town Hall is fairly new and was inaugurated in front of the war memorial in September (while VDP was away gallivating on the other side of the big pond), during the 70th anniversary of the Liberation of France commemorations this year. Like Paris, Versailles was liberated in August 1944 by the famous 2nd Armoured Division commanded by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque. Markers like this one have been erected on their blazing trail from the Normandy region in the West of France to Alsace in the East. On the side of the marker, there is also a reference to the Kufra battle oath. On 2 March 1941, after the fall of Kufra in Libya, Leclerc and his troops swore an oath to fight until 'our beautiful flag flies over the cathedral of Strasbourg', the Alsatian city on the German border. They were faithful to it on 23 November 1944.
Update 13 November: there seem to be markers like this one in the USA too. See one in Tallahassee, Florida, by clicking here.

Puisque nous parlions hier de la Grande Guerre, avançons de quelques décennies. Cette borne installée devant le monument aux morts à côté de l'hôtel de ville a été inaugurée en septembre (pendant que VDP se promenait Outre-Atlantique), à l'occasion des commémorations du 70ème anniversaire de la libération de la France. Comme Paris, Versailles fut libérée par la célèbre 2ème Division Blindée commandée par le Général Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque. D'autres bornes telles que celle-ci ont été installées dans de nombreuses communes sur la voie de la 2ème DB depuis la Normandie jusqu'à l'Alsace. Sur le côté, référence est faite au serment de Koufra. Le 2 mars 1941, après la bataille de Koufra en Libye, Leclerc prête avec ses hommes le serment "jurez de ne déposer les armes que lorsque nos couleurs, nos belles couleurs, flotteront sur la cathédrale de Strasbourg." Ils tiendront ce serment en libérant Strasbourg le 23 novembre 1944.
Mise à jour le 13/11/14 : il semblerait qu'il y ait des bornes comme celle-ci aux Etats-Unis. Vous pourrez en voir une à Tallahassee, capitale de la Floride, en cliquant ici.
2ème division blindée Versailles
 2ème division blindée Versailles
 Below is a picture of Versailles on 24 August 1944 (Paris was next on 25 August). On the left is Charles Le Gall, a soldier from Versailles arriving in the city with the 2nd Armoured Division...

24 août 1944. L’enfant du pays Charles Le Gall (à gauche) figurait en tête de la 2e DB sur les pavés versaillais. La route allait le mener jusqu’à Paris via Chaville, Sèvres, Saint-Cloud et le bois de Boulogne. (Photo LP/S.B. et archives municipales de Versailles via le Parisien.)
2ème DB Versailles 1944

22 comments:

William Kendall said...

Quite a marker, and an amazing setting for it!

Revrunner said...

Glad you told me, otherwise I might have mistaken it for R2D2. I mean, don't you think . . . :-)

RedPat said...

It looks so new against the old features of Versailles. Love that old pic.

Michelle said...

A great marker, but I agree with RedPat. It does look a bit out of place.

Randy said...

Nice marker. I like the statue of the angel.

Dina said...

A strange looking marker but it has good information.
I like that old photo best.

Halcyon said...

I have always loved these "bornes"... it's always special when you see one. And the old photo from those times is a nice touch.

Dave said...

Its the first time I have come across a new marker. Its usually old ones that have been in place for ages.

Olivier said...

tres belle borne, cette flamme est tres vivante, un tres beau choix

Tahiti Daily Photo said...

C'est une très belle borne. J’adore aussi la photo du 29 août 44.

LOLfromPasa said...

Those markers are wonderful. Great idea.

Stefan Jansson said...

I like the idea of the markers, but the design not so much. Still it's important to remember.

llandudnopictures said...

Fascinating, are the markers new or just exceptionally well maintained?

Tanya Breese said...

i really love that old photo!

VP said...

I didn't know of the markers: I have to find one next time we will be over there. The old photos of the Libération always remind me of Les Uns et les Autres...

Sharon Anck said...

I'm struck by the huge contrast between that marker and its surroundings.

Lois said...

It is such a coincidence for me that you posted this today after I just took a picture of a similar marker I saw yesterday on my walk! I found out a little more about the history of our marker:

Located in Lake Ella Park, between the American Legion Post and the lake, the monument came to the citizens of Florida from the people of France in 1949 as an expression of gratitude.

Following the Allied victory over Germany in 1945, and gifts of food to French citizens by generous Americans in 1948, the French responded with forty-nine rail cars of gifts, one for each state and Washington, D.C. This monument, actually a marker from “Liberty Way” road, was included in the Florida car received on February 11, 1949, by Governor Fuller Warren. Inscribed on one side of the monument is “Merci aux soldats et au people Americans.”

EG CameraGirl said...

The marker stands out looking so different from the building it stands in front of.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

The marker really contrasts the town hall, are those names inscribed on the wall behind the marker? I think the marker is a good idea to remind us of the history.

cieldequimper said...

@ Wayne: it's the war memorial (link in the post and those are the names of the fallen).

Lois said...

Thanks for the link Ciel!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh la! I thought for a moment Versailles was being attacked by the 'daleks', where's Dr Who when you need him :)