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Showing posts from October 19, 2016

Hemingway, Patton and Leclerc - France and Paris 1944

The city of Paris may have been wide open, but the period between the 22nd and 24th August 1944 was one of intense information gathering, and it has to be said, utter confusion in Rambouillet. Bruce, Hemingway, and Michel Pasteau - a French intelligence officer assigned to Bruce - continually interrogated German prisoners, many of whom were Polish - invariably elderly, or very young - who were keen to pass on what information they could about the retreating German divisions, and the German officers and NCOs who had made them fight at the point of a gun.
It was Bruce's job to get General Leclerc and his French armour into Paris first, but where the hell was he? Bruce had received reports that Patton's Third Army was already in the outskirts of Paris, with several units across the Seine and heading north toward Belgium. Patton had agreed, reluctantly, not to enter Paris until Leclerc had done so, but good fighting time was now being wasted for the sake of diplomatic niceties. Pat…