Maquis of Glières
Located on the Plate of Glières in the Massive of the Terminals in Haute-Savoie, created by the secret Armed on January 31st 1944, it is ordered by the ex-officer of active Tom Morel and is framed by the old ones of the 27e B.C.A. of Annecy. It is the first large German maquis to have faced the .
On Sunday, March 26 1944, three battalions of hunters of mountain of the Wehrmacht, as well as a formed grouping of militiamans, of GMR , French mobile guards and German pomegranates, prepare to attack the plate where approximately four hundred and fifty men of the maquis armed by English parachutings cut off themselves. Almost deprived of heavy weapons, bombarded by the Luftwaffe, rammed by German artillery, the defenders deliver a last-ditch struggle against the French Milice (collar of the Enclave) and two German sections of attack which launch an offensive recognition (Lavouillon and Monthiévret), then they evacuate the plate in the night from March 26th to 27th. Many men of the maquis are captured at the time of the fold and much are tortured, shot or off-set. The event knows a great repercussion within the framework of the war of the waves which makes rage between the French of Vichy and those of London. While Radio operator Paris TAIT the German intervention and glorifie victory of the police force over a " bunch of communist terrorist cowards and étrangers" who would have gone without fighting, Maurice Schumann declares, inter alia, with BBC on April 6th 1944: Is Hero of Glières, which your more great victory? … For all to say, to have already brought back Bir-Hakeim to France. the epopee of Glières was born…
The Plate of Glières having been approved as zone of parachuting of weapons by a Franco-British mission made up of a Officer English and a Officer French (the Captain Rosenthal known as Canteen-keeper ), this last, representative of the free France, convinces, at the beginning of February 1944, the departmental chiefs of A.S. (captains Clair and Anjot) there to establish a base of operations in order to badger the German at the time of the awaited unloading of the Alliés and to show with those that the French Résistance, under the direction of the Général de Gaulle, is capable of actions of great scale.
Pursued by the forces about the Vichy government which put the Haute-Savoie in state of siege at the end of January 1944, of many combatants of A.S. gather on the Plateau of Glières under the command of former executives of the 27e battalion of Alpine hunters of Annecy. They are soon joined by two groups of F.T.P. (approximately eighty Franc-tireurs and partisans, of communist obedience), which want also weapons, and by about fifty Républicains taken refuge Spanish. Besieged, starting from mid-February the 1944, by hundreds of mobile guards, police officers and of militiamans French, the four hundred and fifty men of the maquis of Glières take delivery of three parachutings of light weapons of infantry, of which the most important on March 10th 1944.
Unfortunately, the night before, the prestigious chief of Glières, the lieutenant Tom Morel, remarkable trainer of men, is killed during an attack of the Maquis against a village held by a G.M.R. (mobile Group of reserve of the police force of Vichy). Two days later, German aviation starts to bombard the country cottages and the French Milice lance some attacks, but without success.
The Wehrmacht starts then the operation Hoch-Savoyen (" Haute-Savoie ") : mainly, three battalions of hunters of mountain and two artillery batteries of the 157e division of reserve give an opinion to the foot of the plate on March 24th 1944.
For the Captain Anjot, which replaced Tom Morel, the reason would order to be folded up while it is still time. However, on the initiative of Canteen-keeper which, in the name of the free France, want a combat exemplary, a duel on the waves opposes Radio London to Radio Paris about the Maquis of Glières. This one acquires an international repute and becomes an important component of the psychological warfare carried out to conquer the opinion. This is why Anjot decides to fight in order to safeguard the honor, but while trying as much as possible to save the life of its men. Consequently, the Maquis of Glières is on the way to fight the first battle " rangée" Resistance against the Vichyist and German enemy, before the Vercors… and well of others reduced.
March 26th 1944, while aviation sets fire to ten country cottages and that the French Milice fails again in its attempts, the German command sends two sections to the attack in order to touch the unfavourable defense system: the first is easily pushed back since the rocks (Lavouillon), but the second, in a sector less easy to supervise (Monthiévret), manages to turn an outpost and to oblige the men of the maquis to fold up itself with the favor of the night. Two men of the maquis are killed and several are wounded, including one seriously.
Learning that the German opened a breach, the Capitaine Anjot, which considers the honor safe, orders the exfiltration of the battalion of Glières. The following day, the German , which captured some men, realizes and gives of it the general attack initially planned for on March 28th, but do not obtain the anticipated result, the plate having been promptly evacuated.
Nevertheless, tracked and often denounced by the Collaborator French, the men of the maquis undergo heavy losses: two thirds are made prisoners; approximately a hundred and thirty (and twenty sedentaries) will die (killed with the combat, under torture, shot or off-set like terrorist franc-tireurs and ). Practically all the parachuted weapons and ammunition are destroyed or fallen to the hands from the enemy… On their side, the German have only some casualties and one killed accidentally.
However, the event knows a great repercussion within the framework of the war of the waves. Défaite weapons, but victory of the hearts (Novel-Small Henri), the epopee of Glières occurs quickly and persuades the Alliés that the French Résistance is able to fight with face discovered. Thus it receives an increased help: in particular, the great Anglo-American parachuting of August 1st 1944 on the Plateau of Glières makes it possible resistant to prevent most of the German (police, customs and soldiers, majority hospitalized), constrained with the fold by the allied advance, to leave the department.
According to the historian Jean-Louis Crémieux-Brilhac:
" A defeat of the weapons can be a victory of opinion. the combatants of Haute-Savoie defined and as projected towards outside the image which they wished to give of themselves; they could, with the listening of the BBC, to follow the construction of their own legend.
This legend, which knows if they would in the same way have lived it and until the end, as they did, if they had not known - or believed - what whole France looked at them? "
Terrestrial forces of attack of the plate of Glières on March 26th, 1944
1. A tactical grouping of the 157. Reserve-division of the Wehrmacht:
Three battalions of hunters of mountain of reserve of Reserve-Gebirgsjäger-Regiment 1: Btl. I. /98 (Stöckel), Btl. II. /98 (Geier) and Btl. 99 (Schneider), less forces ensuring the immediate safety of the frontier collars;
- a company (two sections and heavy weapons) of the pomegranate battalion of reserve 199 or 179 of Reserve-Pomegranate-Regiment 157;
- Two batteries of the group of artillery of mountain of Res.Geb.Art.Abt reserve. 79 of Reserve-Artillery-Regiment 7.
2. French auxiliary forces of first line following:
a troop (three hundreds) of permanent franc-guards of the Militia (with a section of machine-guns and one of mortars);
- a section of machine-guns of the mobile Guard;
- Two sections of GMR .
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