Graye-sur-mer

×HISTORICAL FACTS

The Liberation of Saint-Aubin, Graye-sur-Mer, Langrune-sur-Mer and Douvres-la-Délivrande
Saint-Aubin was liberated by troops of the North Shore Regiment (8th Canadian Brigade) overcoming resistance from German troops of 736th Infantry Regiment. Graye-sur-Mer was conquered by the Royal Winnipeg Rifles (7th Canadian Brigade) after assaulting a strong point at a sanatorium, to the west of the town, which was very heavily defended by German gunners. At 2200 hours, two Troops of 46 Royal Marine Commando, advancing from the Petit-enfer strong point through Luc-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, entered Douvres-la-Délivrande, without any resistance from the Germans who had been liberally shelled by naval gunfire the previous day.
At Langrune-sur-Mer, the combat, which had begun on 6th June, doubled in intensity between 1130 hours and 1530 hours as 48 Royal Marine Commando attacked a German strong point. Langrune was finally liberated by Lieutenant Colonel Moulton’s troops but, by the end of the battle, Moulton had lost half of the men who had landed the previous day to the east of Saint-Aubin.

De Gaulle Arrives in Normandy
At 1300 hours, off the coast of Graye-sur-Mer, General de Gaulle left the bridge of the destroyer, La Combattante, of the Free French Naval Forces and landed in Normandy. Four years after his departure for London, de Gaulle finally returned to France accompanied by 18 of his principal civilian and military staff. After difficult negotiations with the Allies, the head of the Free French Forces had received authorisation to come to Normandy. On landing, he was met by Major Sanderson who had been sent by Montgomery. De Gaulle immediately visited Montgomery’s headquarters at the Creullet chateau for discussions while the rest of his staff, led by François Coulet and Colonel de Chevigné, headed for Bayeux. Little time was taken in informing the population of a visit by the head of the Free French.
De Gaulle entered Bayeux at 1530 hours and was welcomed by François Coulet and the town council. At the Sub-Prefecture, where the portrait of Marshal Petain was still displayed, he appointed François Coulet as the Premier Commissaire of the Republic and Colonel de Chevigné as military representative of the liberated zone. De Gaulle held a brief meeting with the Sub-Prefect Rochat, to inform him of the situation in the bridgehead, before touring Bayeux on foot. De Gaulle subsequently made his first speech in the liberated zone to a large crowd in the Place du Chateau.
General de Gaulle, left for the front line at Isigny-sur-Mer and Grandcamp-les-Bains before returning to Courseulles by the coast. At nightfall, he embarked, his mission accomplished: to restore, in Normandy, French republican legitimacy, despite the Allies who had kept him at a distance concerning Operation Overlord and a future liberated France.

+PHOTO GALLERIES