Paris and my Camino

Yes my darling sorry for not continuing to keep you abreast of my activities since completing the Camino Francés.

Since I now have just two more recuperating days left before my journey back to Los Angeles here is a down and quick tour of what I can share in the interim of what interests me – war and adventure. First the adventure part.There are four main camino routes in France. Here they call it the Chemin St. Jacques Way.Back when most of the pelegrinos were French – which possibly explains why the camino I walked on is called the French way.

The Paris Camino route I found today.

It is also a designated monument for the liberation of Paris. How appropriate. As best as I could make out this is also the start point for this Camino.

Quite impressive and to also think that Hitler had ordered Paris defended to the last man, and demanded that the city not fall into Allied hands except as “a field of ruins.”

German General Choltitz dutifully began laying explosives under Paris’ bridges and many of its landmarks, but disobeyed an order to commence the destruction.

He did not want to go down in history as the man who had destroyed the “City of Light”–Europe’s most celebrated city.

On August 22, Eisenhower agreed to proceed with the liberation of Paris. The next day, the 2nd Armored Division advanced on the city from the north and the 4th Infantry Division from the south.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the forces of German General Dietrich von Choltitz were fighting the Resistance and completing their defenses around the city.

The French 2nd Armored Division was formed in London in late 1943 with the express purpose of leading the liberation of Paris during the Allied invasion of France.

In August 1944, the division arrived at Normandy under the command of General Jacques-Philippe Leclerc and was attached to General George S. Patton’s 3rd U.S. Army.

By August 18, Allied forces were near Paris, and workers in the city went on strike as Resistance fighters emerged from hiding and began attacking German forces.

The 2nd Armored Division ran into heavy German artillery, taking heavy casualties, but on August 24 managed to cross the Seine and reach the Paris suburbs. There, they were greeted by enthusiastic civilians who besieged them with flowers, kisses, and wine.

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1899 as part of a worlds fair. exhibition and later scheduled for demolition. If Hitler had not relented it would’ve been destroyed during WWII.

But, since the tower served as a useful German communications antenna relaying point it was spared destruction – a second time.

Still as popular as ever.

And the rest as they say is Paris history.

Buen Paris

Rafa

About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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