war de france


Soissons - Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes by Martin
Via Flickr:
The Abbey of St. Jean des Vignes was founded by Hughes Le Blanc for a community of Augustinian Canons in 1076. The Romanesque structures of the early years got replaced by buildings erected in Gothic style from the 13th century on. During the Hundred Year´s War, the abbey got heavily fortified. The town was looted and burned down by the troops of Charles VI of France (aka “Charles the Mad”) in 1415. About a century later the town suffered severely, when it was under siege of the armees during the Wars of Religion. Prussian troops conquered Soisson in 1814. The Franco-Prussian War (1870/71) creating a lot of damage, shell fire in WWI destroyed again most of the Soissons. The towers of the Abbey were not hit at that time. The abbey was already ruined earlier. After the French Revolution the nave of the church was used as a quarry. Other buildings of the former convent got converted into barracks. An explosion inside the ammunition dump in 1815 left the facade in the state seen (from east) today. To the left are the ruins of the cloister - and the undamaged refectory.


We kindly invite you to visit us at the Exposition de Photographies de la Waffen ϟϟ, 42 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris, France. The Waffen-SS is at the forefront of the fight against the world threat of Communism with volunteers from all over Europe. January 1944.

Thursday, March 23, 1967

  • United States officials announced plans yesterday to move B-52 bombers from Guam to Thailand starting in four to eight weeks. The principal objective is faster response to bombing requests from military commanders in South Vietnam.
  • In Saigon it was reported that nearly 900 enemy soldiers died in the fighting that raged throughout South Vietnam on Tuesday. At the same time, at least 60 American soldiers were killed and more than 250 were wounded. The most significant action took place in the Jungles 70 miles northwest of Saigon, where troops of the Fourth Infantry Division turned back an attack by a Viet Cong regiment 
  • President de Gaulle pledged that France would continue her mission In French Somaliland despite the bloody incidents that followed Sunday’s referendum. The vote, he said, showed that a majority of the population there wanted to remain under the protection of France.
  • The chairman of the Presidential Commission on the Draft said he believed virtually all student deferments were basically unfair and should be abolished. Burke Marshall, the chairman, who is the former civil rights chief of the Justice Department said in Congressional testimony that anyone with sufficient intelligence and means “can beat the draft” as it currently functions.
  • Air pollution from sulphur oxides often exceeds safe levels in virtually all major American cities and many smaller ones, a Government report declared. The report of more than 260 pages was the first nationwide treatment of the subject by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

Ladies of History 

real & fictional

from left to right, top to bottom,

  • Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom
  • Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton
  • Natalia Rostova
  • Elizabeth of York, Queen consort of England
  • Elizabeth Woodville, Queen consort of England
  • Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine, Queen consort of France, Queen consort of England
  • Alix of Hesse/Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova, Empress of All Russias and Tsaritsa of Russia
  • Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of France
  • Louise of Baden/Elizabeth Alexeievna Romanova, Empress of All Russias and Tsaritsa of Russia

- Leslie M. c. 12 : 00 AM


Members of the Leibstandarte Division experiencing the very best of Paris in the summer of 1940.

Noor Inayat Khan

(1914–1944) Radio operator 

Noor Inayat Khan joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in 1940 as a wireless operator. In 1943 she joined Special Operations and was sent into occupied France to work with the French Resistance. She provided intelligence reports from Paris until she was captured months later. She escaped, but was later recaptured and was executed at Dachau. She was awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre.

Number 213 in an ongoing series celebrating remarkable women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


November 22nd 1890: Charles de Gaulle born

On this day in 1890, French military and political leader Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille. De Gaulle was raised in Paris, and in 1909 enrolled in the prestigious Saint-Cyr military academy. In his first deployment, de Gaulle was commanded by Colonel Philippe Pétain, who would later became famous for his leadership of the collaborationist Vichy regime. De Gaulle served with distinction during the First World War, and was captured during the Battle of Verdun in 1916. After the war, de Gaulle advanced through the ranks to serve on France’s Supreme War Council, and wrote widely about what he perceived to be France’s military weaknesses, largely due to an overreliance on the Maginot Line. After the outbreak of the Second World War, de Gaulle continued to advance professionally, becoming brigadier general and undersecretary for defense and war. However, after France’s invasion by the Nazis in 1940 and the subseqeunt surrender and collaboration of Petain’s regime, de Gaulle fled to England rather than accept France’s capitulation. With support from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, de Gaulle led the Free French movement and a government in exile, urging his countrymen to resist the Nazis and organising colonial soldiers to continue the fight. After liberation in 1944, the popular de Gaulle - who received a hero’s welcome in liberated Paris - became president of the French provisional government. At the war’s close, de Gaulle successfully secured his nation an occupation zone in the defeated Germany and a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council. De Gaulle soon resigned the presidency, however, after his desires for a strong executive were rejected, and retired from politics in 1953. However, as the government crumbled, the famed leader stepped in and became president of the Fifth Republic government in 1959. A dedicated nationalist, President de Gaulle pushed for French independence from the two Cold War superpowers, even withdrawing from NATO in 1966, and asserted French military strength through a nuclear weapons programme. Controversially, he also supported Algerian independence following a series of colonial uprisings. De Gaulle retired in 1969, amid rising protests and calls for reform, and died in November 1970. Charles de Gaulle was mourned as a national hero who, even in the dark days of the Second World War, dedicated himself to the freedom and independence of France.

“Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!”
- Charles de Gaulle after the liberation of Paris on August 25th 1944


A group of about 50 people gathered in late June in the sunny courtyard of the Portuguese consulate in Bordeaux, France. It was from here in 1939 and 1940 that Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes do Amaral e Abranches issued approximately 30,000 visas to Jews and other stateless refugees.

Lissy Jarvik, who lives today in California, was one of them.

“I was a recipient of a Sousa Mendes visa,” she tells the group. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I would’ve no longer been alive 72 years ago.”

Jarvik was just 16 when her Jewish family fled their home in the Netherlands in 1940. She’s come back to France today with her two sons. They are part of a group, including visa recipients and their descendants, making a 10-day pilgrimage tracing the escape route taken through France, Spain and Portugal. It was from Portugal that they finally got out of Europe.

This group is also paying tribute to Sousa Mendes, the man who made their lives possible.

While the heroic stories of others who saved Jews during World War II are better known — such as German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved Jews by employing them in his factory — the story of Sousa Mendes, who saved the lives of 10 times as many Jews as Schindler, has remained relatively unknown.

But that is changing.

‘Portugal’s Schindler’ Is Remembered, Decades After His Life-Saving Deeds

Photos: Courtesy of Sousa Mendes Foundation and Eleanor Beardsley/NPR


Tourists. Leibstandarte Division soldiers enjoying the Paris experience in the summer of 1940. Paris is always a good idea.