Les Assassins reviennent toujours sur les lieux de leur crime

Destruction of Caen 1944
Top image: The RAF bombed Caen twice, once on D-Day and again a month later on July 7 1944. A huge formation of 467 British Lancaster and Halifax bombers missed virtually all the German positions on the edge of the city and instead reduced the centre of Caen to rubble. Public domain.
Second image: French Poster: Criminals always return to the scene of the crime.  Allied Bombing during the Normandy invasion destroyed 96% of Tilly-la-Campagne, 95% of Vire, 88% of Villers-Bocage, 82% of Le Havre, 77% of Saint-Lô, 76% of Falaise, 75% of Lisieux and 75% of Caen. The military value of these bombings was highly debatable. As for the destruction of Caen, known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, it has long been admitted that it was militarily useless. According to the famous French historian and former member of the French Resistance Movement Henri Amouroux (awarded Croix de Guerre 1939-1945) 20,000 civilians were killed in Calvados department, 10,000 in Seine-Maritime, 14,800 in the Manche, 4,200 in the Orne and around 3,000 in the Eure. All together, that makes more than 50,000 French civilians killed by Allied bombings in Normandy alone.

Posters Normandie 1944 (Jeanne d'Arc)
The scale of destruction is already well-established. Hundreds of tons of bombs destroyed entire cities and wiped out families. In some areas, barely a building was left standing and the liberators had to walk over banks of human corpses. The exhibition at the Caen memorial displays the diary of Cpl LF Roker of the Highland Light InfantryIt was rather a shock to find we were not welcomed ecstatically as liberators by the local people, as we were told we should be... Another Allied serviceman, Ivor Astley of the 43rd Wessex Infantry, wrote: If we expected a welcome, we certainly failed to find it. But the suffering of civilians was for many years masked by the over-riding image, that of the French welcoming the Allies with open arms. References: Jean-Claude Valla (La France sous les bombes américaines), Henri Amouroux, Roger Céré and Charles Rousseau, William Hitchcock and Christophe Prime. Credit: Wikipedia. Image Source: Axis History Forum (Origin U.S. National Archives). See Original Poster.

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