For the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, the cavalry will parade at Montormel

The association "Living History of the German Cavalry" revives a little-known episode of the Battle of Normandy by paying homage to the horses used by the German army.

We often imagine the Wehrmacht as being the fully motorized. But its structural problems of oil supply led it to use horses heavily during the war. Horse traction is used by infantry divisions and units attached to the army corps or the army, representing 70% of the German army. Historical paradox: the superiority of the German army is linked to the quality of its armored vehicles: Tiger and Panzer tanks. Yet the reality is much more modest and the massive use of horses is common.

In June '44, with the loss of the Romanian oil and the economic blockade of the allies, the German war industry is threadbare. The manufacture of oil from coal and synthetic rubber is no longer enough. The Germans are struggling to support the war effort, exhausted by the sheer size of the fronts they face. To engage the battle of Normandy against allied forces, horses from all over occupied Europe are requisitioned to counter the enemy. During the Battle of the Falaise-Chambois enclave, 20,000 to 30,000 horses are surrounded and thousands of animals lie dead or wounded on the ground after the fighting.

The association "Living history of the German cavalry " brings this unusual episode to life. Painstaking work of ant for these enthusiasts, requiring research and rehabilitation of wagons and leather harnesses for the team. The convoy of a dozen wagons, with mobile canteen and gun, will traverse the hill around the memorial on Sunday, August 18.

- Departure from the town hall of Coudehard around 10 a.m. towards the Polish memorial

- Arrival at the Montormel Memorial around noon.

- From 1 to 2:30 p.m.: exhibition on the parking of the Memorial

- 2:30 p.m.: departure to make a loop along the 262 North coast

- 4:30 p.m.: return to the memorial car park

- Then departure towards Coudehard around 5:30 p.m.

Signs will describe the equipment as well as the role of horses in the army.

Photo: Montormel Memorial

Related reading:

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

- https://www.smart-appart.fr/en/news/post/348/in-calvados-mondeville-schedules-festivities-all-summer-long-to-celebrate-the-75th-anniversary-of-d-day

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

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4 - 02/07/2019