By Philip Beck
The destruction of the French village of Oradour and the bloodbath of its inhabitants in June 1944 by way of the SS Das Reich department ranks as probably the most infamous atrocities of the second one global conflict. The scars that have been left won't ever totally heal and there are those who could argue that they need to stay as a lesson to destiny generations. The ruins of the village were preserved as a memorial to the sufferers and a brand new museum has lately been opened via President Chirac. absolutely illustrated in precise Battleground variety, this great account unearths the total horror of this outrage.
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Additional resources for Oradour: The Massacre and Aftermath
The First World War had shown the disadvantages as well as the advantages of the opening bombardment from fixed positions: it might have wrought destruction and panic on a massive scale but it also gave warning of the intention to attack and, besides, it could plough up the terrain which advancing troops needed to cross. Both drawbacks could be fatal to Panzer divisions whose best chance of success lay in surprise and speed. Mobile anti-tank guns supporting the tanks would help, thought Guderian, since he always regarded the tank as the most dangerous enemy of the tank.
His first declaration 23 The Fall of France and the Path of Collaboration on taking over was to tell Reynaud that, far from being able to promise victory, he could not offer even the hope of victory. TSitzkrieg. HE RErcH, in contrast, was ready for Blitzkrieg rather than It had new men, new weaponry and new tactics - a new battle plan with the means and the will to carry it out. Ernst Udet, Ernst Heinkel and Willy Messerschmitt, Gerd von Rundstedt and Heinz Guderian: even the mere roster of its technicians and soldiers is a tribute both to Hitler's shrewdness in surrounding himself with first-rate advisers and to the professionalism of his armed forces.
France did little or nothing to open a front against Germany which might have relieved the onslaught on Poland. The so-called Saar offensive in September was just a token manoeuvre; British proposals for bombing raids against Germany were vetoed on the grounds that they might provoke retaliation against Paris. Inevitably France took refuge behind her national bulwark, the Maginot Une, though even here reservists only trickled in to rein force its garrisons and settled down in a relaxed, if not openly bored, fashion to play football or grow roses.
Oradour: The Massacre and Aftermath by Philip Beck