Paris Libere

Discussion in 'Your Completed Kits' started by Westfield Charlie, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Westfield Charlie

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    I apologize for the fact that the only winged creature's in this diorama are chickens. But I've been lurking forever without posting anything, and I just completed a WWII diorama I'd like to share with the group.
    The most celebrated moment in the Free French 2nd Armored Division’s history was the liberation of Paris. Allied strategy emphasized destroying German forces retreating towards the Rhine and considered that an attack on Paris would risk destroying the city and ineffectively expending at least two week’s vital supplies with which they could otherwise reach the Rhine. But when the French Resistance staged an uprising in the city on August 19th, Charles de Gaulle threatened to send the 2nd Armored Division into Paris single-handedly, to prevent the uprising being crushed as was then happening in Warsaw. Eisenhower reluctantly agreed to let the French armored division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division liberate Paris.

    At first light, of the morning of 23 August, General Phillipe Leclerc's throbbing, blue-fumed mass of 3,000 vehicles and 12,000 men left the line of departure south of Argentan on its march to Paris. Their tanks and armored cars were blazoned, in the French style, with splendid affirmations of homecoming: the names of the towns first liberated, the old royal provinces, famous historical or recent battles, or the winds which carry sailors to safe harbor or drive the ill found to run for shelter. On 24 August, delayed by French crowds, poor roads, and fierce combat near Paris, Leclerc disobeyed his direct superior, American field commander Major General Leonard T. Gerow, and sent a vanguard (the Colonne Dronne) to Paris with the message that the entire division would be there the following day. This column was commanded by Capitaine Raymond Dronne, who became the first uniformed Allied officer to enter Paris as part of the liberation forces. It consisted of the 9th Armoured Company, composed mainly of veterans of the Spanish Civil War, of the 3rd Battalion of the division’s infantry regiment, the Régiment de Marche du Tchad, escorting a tank platoon of the 501st Régiment de Chars de Combat They were equipped with American M4 Sherman tanks, M2 half-tracks, and General Motors trucks from the United States.

    At 21:22 hours the night of August 24, 1944, the 9th Armoured Company burst into the center of Paris via the Porte d'Italie. On entering the Town Hall Square, a 9th Company tank, "EBRO", fired the first shots against a large group of German artillery and machine guns. Civilians took to the streets singing La Marseillaise, and were surprised when they discovered that the soldiers that had turned the course of the battle of Paris were of Spanish origin.

    The diorama portrays Free French General LeClerc giving Capitaine Dronne his orders. The tank is emblazoned “EBRO” after the battle of Ebro, the longest and largest battle of the Spanish Civil War. Capitaine Dronne’s jeep is emblazoned with a saltier message, “Mort aux cons,” or “Death to the bastards.”

    The Free French 2nd Armoured Division suffered 71 killed and 225 wounded. Materiel losses included 35 tanks, 6 self-propelled guns, and 111 vehicles, "a rather high ratio of losses for an armoured division", according to historian Jacques Mordal.
     

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  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good work!
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nicely done, and always good to see a cameo diorama that tells the story of an actual event.
     
  5. Westfield Charlie

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    Thanks. The circumstances of the event were so unusual, Spanish Civil War veterans firing the first shots in the liberation of Paris, that it inspired me to make a diorama instead of the one I had planned to make.
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Great work and story behind it! :thumbright:
     
  7. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, very nice dio and story.


    Geo
     
  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I agree, well done.
     
  9. SANCER

    SANCER Active Member

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    With all!
    Interesting story...:thumbup:

    Luis Carlos
     
  10. Westfield Charlie

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  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    done good man.....
     
  12. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    That's cool Sir :thumbright:
     
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