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Le Monument aux Morts, Trévières, Normandy.
This was a 1914-1918 war memorial to the dead of Trévières.
On D-Day (June 6th 1944) the memorial was damaged, possibly by shells from the 14 inch guns of USS Texas.
The locals later re-erected the fallen statue but did not repair her as a further memorial to the tragedy of war.
Trévières was liberated by US infantry after a tough 2 day battle with the defending German infantry, 9th/10th June 1944.
This is another old one from the archives, it’s 8 years since we visited the Normandy battlefields.
Photo taken after the Battle for Trévières. The body of the dead German infantryman lies in what is now a car park. The Military Police are in front of buildings which still stand (see Google street view below).
Google street view. Because the Google camera car did not actually go into the car park this is about the best angle I could find. Over to the left is Church of St. Aignan, on the other side of which is the damaged memorial pictured above. Street view will open in new tab
This aerial view shows the same place. From the repairs and material covering the roof tops, this appears to have been taken some time later. The Church of St. Aignan, with its damaged spire, is top right, while the buildings in the first photo are along the right side of the triangle.
Bing aerial map showing this view now. Opens in new tab
Wikipedia Commons photo sources. Click on either to view the images at a larger size
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Time for another visit .
we have been pricing it all up but its so bloody expensive …..even doing it ourselves is dear ….even had alook at a gite for a week but it would come in at around a grand with fuel on top !
Such a lot to see around there though (not all war either) , bayeaux tapetry and Mont St Micheal too !
We have stayed in two gites, one was lovely (if full of spiders) the other was grimy. Decided there and then, never another gite, it is a hotel for me next time. Bayeux is lovely place, best Beef bourguignon I ever had was in a restaurant there. We could do a long weekend in Normandy this summer, wives permitting….? Me and thee could share fuel costs? But not a hotel room. Poss fly down and hire a car? Just a thought.
Fabulous history again..you really are the master of this.
that statue speaks volumes
interesting story, Ian. very poignant.
Great Historical interest.. Great work.
Superbly composed image Ian with such an added poignancy! The damage to the statue is in a way quite perverse and I can see perhaps why they decided to leave it be, though if it was me I think I would have it repaired – maybe in a different metal?
Again, an interesting study of history.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/25305713@N04] Wholeheartedly agree!
The statue is really prophetic, left like that. I am learning more about modern history than I ever did before
Fantastic Ian, the damaged statue is amazing.
that gaping wound to the lady statue offers value in the form of shock factor as well as an insight to how terrible it must have been to be ‘on the ground’ there during the invasion. i like the perspective, with the arm up to the blue sky – the second shot of her, is her other arm resting on a cross? that’d be nice if it were, great memorial and excellent that she was left as is as a tribute to what went on. love those aerial shots, i’m sure i was in photo-recon in a last life [either flying it, or researching them with a magnifying glass].
nice info again ian
The victims of war cannot speak out, the image of the damage to this statue seems to bear this out.
Sure does make you stop and think…. top marks to the locals for not repairing her. Makes a huge statement as it is.
Great history about the damage Ian
Agree with the above – yes full marks for not repairing. Great shot
Agree, the statue has such impact in its current state, and the angle here shows it perfectly (I don’t think it has quite the same impact from the side)
Beautiful capture !!
Take care and have a great week ahead !!
the statue is somewhat horrific and does symbolise the horror of war. Reminds me of the horrific injuries sustained during trench warfare
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/reflectionsreturn] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/29288836@N00] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/greycopse] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/janspencer] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/angwickham] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/stopherjones] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/amybigkiss] Yes that is how I see it too. A hideous facial wound, shocking even though it is a bronze statue because we can imagine these wounds being inflicted on flesh and bone. It is an arresting sight.
It gives a horrifying effect indeed. The WWII damage has made this statue far more meaningful amd striking that its author might have ever intended.
Now "The Hero" drawing by Georg Grosz comes to my mind: 25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mda57eprHL1qzmy2bo1_1280.jpg
You mentioned Siegfried Sassoon recently. There’s some likeness between both the artists. Georg Grosz had volunteered to the German Army in 1914. He was released in 1915 as unfit for duty, but in 1917 he was conscripted again when Germany was desperate for soldiers. Soon after he attempted a suicide. After a hospital stay, he was court-martialed for insubordination and sentenced to death, only being saved from the exceution by his artistic patron, a powerful person in the German Empire, Harry Graf Kessler. Diagnosed with the suffering from shell-shock, Grosz was luckily discharged from the army and survived the war.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/bazylek] Thanks Robin. I see what you mean re; that sketch.
The way we treated combatants during WW1 was shocking but I am left with an odd feeling about the way RAF airmen were treated during WW2; if for instance a bomber crew member refused to fly again after 20 odd missions, because he might quite reasonably feel his chances of being killed were too high, he would be shamed and drummed out of the force. Lack of Moral Fibre would be the verdict.
On the one hand it is tempting to think maybe he could have been put to use as ground crew….? But then ALL airmen were shit scared and if they had all refused to fly then the bombing of German cities would not have happened and consequently either the war would have turned in Germany’s favour or at the very least it would have dragged on for years longer.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/maycontaintracesofnuts] I read some memoirs from the Luftwaffe pilots. How they were shit scared when they had to attack RAF and USAF bomber formations. How many of them were vomiting by the tails of their Messerchmitts and Focke-Wulfs just before the daily scramble. And how everyone felt it was only a matter of time to be torn to pieces, burnt alive, when they had to attack bombers day in day out.
Shit scared animals on each side, trying to kill each other. Homo sapiens, the crown of creation! Sometimes I wonder what is so appealing in the history of warfare. Where does our morbid fascination come from?
On a lighter note, what you wrote about refusing to fly again after a certain number of missions makes me think of Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch-22′ Among my top ten books!
Sorry Robin never replied. I knew you had mentioned Catch 22 somewhere, couldn’t recall where though! Anyway the morbid fascination thing is a very human response I think. It is the same with road accidents, people slow down to look. That always annoys the hell out of me and I wish in the UK the police would do more to move people along and not rubber-neck. But the rubbber-neckers’ fascination is natural, we put ourselves in that position and consider our own mortality… and thank god (or whatever) it isn’t us. War – especially WW2 – is that plus more. The crimes committed by the various forces, the technological advances, the machines, the tactics and battles, the pride we have in our own history, perhaps feeling that it was our finest hour etc… All those elements combine to make the two world wars the best known historys in the world. But it is morbid, I agree.
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