THE WHOLE REGION OF CREIL SUFFERED GREAT DAMAGE

The German headquarters for assembly lines were settles in the current Town hallof Saint-Leu. Barracks had been built for the troops, near the H.Q. Because of the nearness of the stone-pits, the city of Saint-Leu was bombed many times, between march and  august of 1944. Inhabitants sheltered, in daytime or nighttime, in their caves or, for more security, in the pit-holes of the street “du dernier bourguignon”. Some, in the downtown, used to go to the “Prieuré”, where Mr and Miss FOSSARD received them in the underground galleries of their property.

The VI base, dug under a natural 25 to 30 meter-thick vault, made of hard rock, resisted the bombings; a single secondary entrance suffered important damages. The approaches became more and more inaccessible, due to the big-size bomb impacts. The Little town of Saint-Leu, being destroyed for 85 percents, got after the war the “Croix de guerre” (Cross of War. a distinction) with a mention for the regiment.The store and the rail viaduct at Petit-Thérain, the airfield of Creil and its equipment, the fuel store and the material in Creil, the town of Saint-Maximin, where German soldiers were quartered, the town of Verneuil-en-Halatte next to the airfield, the material and fuel sore of “Bois aux Bouleaux” at Montgrésin, the town of Montataire in which the occupying forces had requisitioned the factories, the cities of Creil and Nogent-sur-Oise where were some important railway junctions: all theses spots were bombed.

The bridges over the Oise river were destroyed to block the way of the barges which carried the military equipments and the coal from northern regions of France: Nord, and Pas-de-Calais.

Germans stood on the defensive night and day! Anti-aircraft batteries were set near the stone-pit and the bridge of the Précy town, in the “Camp de César” (Caesar’s camp) in Gouvieux and around the airfield of Creil.

SOUTH OF THE OISE , A SPOT RESISTER OBSERVED WELL

Resister of the Creil region marked all the German installations and sent to Londonmessages about troops and their movements, VI factories in the region, expeditions toward the rocket-launchers, carryings of troops and materials. They also transmitted to London the sites of the anti-aircraft batteries, of the blockhaus and of the different military equipments around the underground base, and the material and ammunition stores in all the region of Creil.

It has been a pleasure for the allied nation’s planes to break these spots to pieces during the first half of 1944. Unfortunately, many of the planes never got back to their base in England!

The Saint-Leu’s bridge over the Oise river having been destroyed in June of 1944 by French forces, the crossing of the river had to be done on barges which left Saint-Leu at the “Hôtel de l’Oise” (Oise river Mansion) and arrived in Saint-Maximin at “L’Auberge du Pont” (Bridge Inn). Everybody, French or German used this way for crossing. It gave the resisters a source of information about troop and material movements, military works etc… and permitted them to join together in little groups at the Hôtel de l’Oise, its owners being resisters. That’s the way they used to send to London the information they gathered.

Let’s notice that GOERING often came to Chantilly, maybe he also came to the Rotschild’s Castle in Saint-Maximin, where was the German aircraft H.Q., to meet the commander of the “Underground VI Base”. But even now we cannot be sure of that.

The study and information in this historical account, which are based on photographs, texts and slide about the reminded facts, made for ancients who lived during this war and for the youngs who have to know the pain of their elders, have been gathered thanks to the help of these “Living Memories” of the last war : Resisters, War Prisoners,

Internees and Self-Willed of Freedom, who I sincerely thank.

Paul MERCIER

Academic Society of History and Archaeology of Oise

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