The Massacre at Graignes
To the south of Carentan, the village of Graignes had been occupied since 6th June, by 150 American parachutists of 82nd and 101st Airborne who were dropped off course, at night, in this sector. Over four days, the troops were taken care of by the villagers and, on 10th June, the Americans fought off a German assault. However, the following morning, while the congregation was at mass in the church, elements of 17th SS Division, supported by heavy artillery fire, attacked the village and surrounded it. Several Americans managed to slip through the cordon and make their way across the marsh towards Carentan while others were forced to surrender after putting up stiff resistance throughout the day. Over 100 parachutists were out of action. In the evening, after the American withdrawal, the Germans carried out a series of executions: seven wounded parachutists of 507th Regiment were shot and, as a reprisal for helping the Allies, the Germans also shot four of the inhabitants of Graignes, including the local priest.