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4 - 08/06/2019

A Sherman tank decorated by Jef Aérosol will be exposed in July 2019 in front of the Caen Memorial

A Sherman tank decorated by Jef Aérosol will be exposed in July 2019 in front of the Caen Memorial

As part of the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings and the Battle of Normandy, a Sherman tank decorated by the street-artist Jef Aérosol, becomes a work of art in tribute to the victims of war.

Made available by the Ministry of the Armies, this old armored vehicle bore the stigmata of the battles with its bullet holes and its larger hole caused by a mine. It is a reminder of the fighting that raged in the region of Caen where the two largest tank battles of the Second World War played out.

The legendary Sherman tank, symbol of victory and liberation, is the most famous of the Second World War. 25 tons for this lightly armored, simple and functional heavy weight, inferior to German tanks but whose mass production was decisive.


Operation Goodwood (July 18-20, 1944)

In mid-July '44, the city is still not released. The North of the city is still occupied by the Germans while the South is free. General Montgomery launches Operation Goodwood to attract the Germans to the East with 1,350 armored vehicles. On July 18, 44, the British Air Force bomb the plain of Caen with a carpet bombing of 7,800 tons of bombs and 2,500 rounds fired.The Allied tanks are pushed back by the Germans to Bourguébus, strategic village located in the heights. After two days of bloody warfare, the operation is a failure, causing the British to lose 400 tanks and 5,500 men.


Operation Totalize (August 7-11, 1944)

After the failure of Goodwood, the Canadians, English and Polish launch Operation Totalize. General Simonds decides to attack at night and use the mechanized infantry. On August 7, '44, the Canadians confront the German forces west of the Caen-Falaise road. Even though a bad trajectory of the allies causes the mission to fail, Totalize makes it possible to attract the Germans towards Falaise. In this bloody battle, the Allies lose 1256 men and 146 tanks.


Operation Jef Aérosol

Armed with his spraycans and his stencils, the aptly named Jef Aérosol attacks the restored behemoth. Its wounds have been dressed and the tank is varnished. With the help of archival photos from the Caen Memorial, civilians and military lend their black and white faces to the stencils that carry the memory of the victims of the conflicts of the past 75 years. Peace is written in all colors and languages. Men, women and children are painted in public in front of the Falaise Civilians Memorial. Exhibited in Arromanches on June 6 for the commemorations of the D-Day, it will stand in front of the Caen Memorial in July before carrying its message of peace to Belgium this winter with the verses of Jacques Prévert ...."War is such bullshit."

To visit:

Village of Bourguébus: Vestige of the partially destroyed former church Saint-Vigor. Memorial of July 20, 1944 in tribute to the allies who liberated the village and liberators memorial in front of the town hall of Grenteville.

In Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil, liberated August 8, 1944, the Northamptonshire Yeomanry plaque is a tribute to liberators.

Photo: Facebook capture

Related reading:

- World War II veteran Jim Radford makes a buzz on the Amazon platform with his folk ballad "The Shores of Normandy"

- Celebrations for D-Day set Calvados abuzz

- Norman Rockwell is the very special guest of the Caen Memorial from June 4th to October 27th, 2019

The housing solution in Caen

The Smartappart residential hotel has just opened its new establishment in Caen. Located in the very center of town, at 17 place de la république, it offers 14 furnished and fully equipped apartments, from studio to one-bedroom, that are suited to any type of stay. Reduced rates starting from two nights.

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