71 years ago, on June 14, 1944, General Charles de Gaulle set foot on French soil for the first time after four years of exile.
He landed on Juno Beach, between the towns of Graye-sur-Mer and Courseulles-sur-Mer, having traversed the English Channel on La Combattante. After “landing”, he travelled to Bayeux where he gave a public speech, proclaiming his return. His journey from Juno Beach to Bayeux was a joyous one, and was recorded in the film below:
From Courseulles to Bayeux, General de Gaulle, accompanied by Generals Valin and Koenig, as well as Maruice Schuman, passed large groups of surprised and happy French citizens, who saluted him. Some on bicycles; a woman with her child her arms, rushed to greet him in the jeep. A crowd formed all around him with applause, following the motorcade, women rushing to embrasse him, all the while showing the sign for Victory, which they could see was near. After his speech, he met with General Montgomery.
A Lorraine cross was installed on the spot with de Gaulle first landed on Juno Beach, between two humble villages, commemorating this important turning point during the Normandy Campaign and the Second World War.
Video par l’Institut national audiovisual de France.
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