The Liberation of Lille - September 1944

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Ramiles, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The Liberation of Lille - September 1944

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    Métropole de Lille - La Libération de Lille -

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    Images made by Roger Cadet, of the Liberation of Lille from September 2 to 4, 1944. We are witnessing the various events that have taken place during these days. French flags fly on public buildings, helmeted and armed men, cars with FTP or FFI resistance fighters, roam the streets. Place de la République, the crowd gathered around the Prefecture.

    IWM Photo series - Lille Liberated...



    Lille during World War II - Wikipedia

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    "The liberation of Lille
    From August 19 to 25, elements of the F.F.I. in Paris, aided by General Leclerc's 2nd Armored Division, liberated the capital. On September 1, the British front lines were approaching the city of Arras.
    Signs of retreat could be observed as early as August 20.[38] German soldiers were attempting to return to Germany, and equipment stored in the Lille barracks, along with heavy tanks, began to be evacuated on September 1 via the Rue Esquermoise in the city center. The Gestapo and the GFP military police were evacuating their offices on the Rue Tenremonde and the Avenue Saint-Maur in La Madeleine.[29] On August 31, the Germans blew up a munitions and fuel reserve depot. Despite this emerging unrest, as of September 1 the OFK 670 was still in operation, as were the tramways and the electricity and water supply services.[39]
    On the night of September 2, police cadets who were also members of the Resistance liberated the Citadel, seizing 100 crates of grenades, 1,800 rifles, and 4 heavy machine guns.[40] By the end of morning that same day, the order was given to withdraw from Lille, and the last of the military staff were in the process of leaving the city. The French Forces of the Interior (FFI) received instructions to occupy city hall, the telephone center, and the Lille Chamber of Commerce, former headquarters of the OFK 670. That afternoon, four heavy tanks, isolated and without escort, had been left to guard the rear in the city center and were progressing down the city's main arteries (Rue Nationale, Rue Faidherbe, Rue Artois, and Rue des Postes). A unit of a dozen tanks, escorted by camouflaged cyclists, was evacuated via the Boulevard Victor Hugo while sustaining fire from members of the FFI, who were firing from behind windows in the surrounding homes.[41]
    On September 2, at 6 pm, Lille was largely liberated from the Germans and would be definitively so by the end of morning on September 4 when British tanks and armoured cars rolled through. All told, approximately 50 people were killed and 600 wounded during the liberation."

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    SRY - War Diary -

    3rd September 1944

    Orders came through at 0600 hrs that we should move with the rest of the Bde to a posn a few kms North of LILLE. Just before we reached our destination, 4/7 D.G. who were leading the Bde, met a determined pocket of enemy resistance and lost 2 tanks. C Sqn was detailed to sp a Coy of D.C.L.I. to deal with a threat by an enemy coln advancing from LA BASSEE. All these Ops took place in a built up industrial area. The Regt, with 2 Coys of 12 K.R.R.C. found an open field in which to leaguer, and fuel before last light. A + C Sqns entered LILLE to ensure the S.E portion of the town was clear of enemy. Covered 65 miles today. The tanks are suffering from extremely little mechanical trouble, except that the hard roads have a rather adverse effect on bogies.
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