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Home > History > war 39 - 45



World war II


A world conflict taking place from 1939 to 1945. This war was called "droll war" in France, "phony war" for the English people and "seated war" for the Germans.


- Local situation
- Behind the front lines
- Key dates



Local situation

- Food restrictions, (food ration tickets and ration cards),
- 18 June 1940 appeal.
- Resistance,
- Road, rails, bridges, and houses to rebuild.

From June 14, 1940, a significant exodus of populations from the north and the Paris region to the south began. The German aviation confused these French with the army columns, the death toll has reached 100,000 civilians.

On June 22, 1940, France was divided into two parts: the free zone to the south and the occupied zone to the north. The regions of Alsace and Lorraine in eastern France are annexed to Germany.


V1 was transported by the trolley on the launch pad

V1 was transported by the trolley on the launch pad,
photographed after the liberation,
Photo courtesy of M. Laurent BAILLEUL www.armes-v.com


Behind the front lines

Terrible aerial bombardments in France, allied bombs had fallen on Vignacourt with the aim of destroying German armaments. Several houses had been destroyed like those on "rue des Déportés" deportees' street.

At the end of June 1940, the Royal Air Force has shelled Vignacourt and Abbeville, by surprise. Facts are specified in the newspaper "Le Matin", dated July 1, 1940, in the evening edition, of Paris. Other bombings will take place.

In January 1945, a plane of the RAF had fallen on the night of January 14 and 15 in the Vignacourt sector. The crash site was refound by a local association, composed of passionate people by aviation led by Mr. Ben. The exact location of this plane, was possible thanks to the English pilot family and the testimony of several local people. One article was published in the local press in 2009 with a return on this site in attendance of the different witnesses.

The kommandantur was billeted in the village such as in the park castle, it was also a place where prisoners were locked up...


A plane piloted by Americans crashed alongside Vignacourt

Illustration photo for the plane piloted by Americans on 27th May 1944


Key dates

1st Sept 1939: Germany invaded Poland.

3 Sept 1939: France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany.

May 10, 1940: The Wehrmacht attacks Belgium and Holland.

20 May to 8 June 1940: Battle of Amiens, the bombing of the city. Miraculously, the cathedral remained standing. Amiens was largely burnt during the second world war.

May 21, 1940: Battle of Arras.

May 26 to June 04, 1940: Battle of Dunkirk.

May 27 to June 04, 1940: Battle of Abbeville.

June 10 to 25, 1940 - Battle of the Alps.

18 June 1940: General de Gaulle made a speech in London BBC, he launched an appeal for resistance.

22 June 1940: Marshal Petain signs the armistice with Germany.

The English army had bombed at the beginning of July 40, the French battleships positioned near Oran in Algeria. The operation resulted in the death of 1,500 French sailors and the loss of 4 ships. The controversial order had been given by Churchill, who feared that the Germans would take control of our fleet.

22 June 1941: Hitler has declared war on Russia.

July 17, 1942 to February 2, 1943: Battle of Stalingrad.

16 February 1943: Establishment of STO (Compulsory work service), French people forced to go work in Germany for the labor shortages.

27 May 1944: A plane piloted by Americans crashed alongside Vignacourt. There were parachuted out but were taken prisoner by Germans. The information had been mentioned in the press.

June 6, 1944: Normandy landing.

25 August 1944: Liberation of Paris.

31 August 1944: Liberation of Amiens. The British tanks entered the city at the dawn. The bells of the cathedral rung at noon.

1 to 22, October 1944: Battle of Aix-la-Chapelle in Germany.

27 January 1945: Liberation of the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

11 March 1945: Proclamation of Independence of Vietnam.

11 April 1945: Liberation of Buchenwald camp by the Americans.
A special thought for Mr. Colignon.

8 May 1945: Germany capitulated.

August 6, 1945: The USA Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima.

August 9, 1945: The United-states dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

Sept 2, 1945: The Japanese surrender.


General de Gaulle poster

General de Gaulle poster