French soldiers in the Battle of Normandy

French soldiers in the Battle of Normandy: Commander Kieffer and General Leclerc.

 

Commander Kieffer 

24th October 1899 - 20th November 1962) - Naval Officer 

After the French debacle, ship-of-the-line Ensign Kieffer answered General de Gaulle’s appeal and left for England. He joined the Free French Forces on the day of their creation, on 1st July 1940, and was promoted to the command of a French unit which was commonly known as commando Kieffer. This unit was the only French land based force to participate in D-Day. Landing in the British sector at Sword Beach, where it was distinguished, notably in taking the Casino at Ouistreham. 

General Leclerc

 Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque 

(22nd November 1902 - 28th November 1947) - Professional Soldier.

After the campaign of May and June 1940, Leclerc left France, rallying to General de Gaulle in mid-July 1940.  He joined the Free French forces and left to take part in the North African operations. In August 1943, the 2nd Armored Division (2e DB) was formed at Temara, Morocco. In April-May 1944 the 2e DB embarked for England.  

On 1st and 2nd August 1944, the 2e DB landed at Utah Beach and was attached to the American 3rd Army under General Patton. It liberated Alencon on 12th August 1944. On 24th and 25th August 1944, the 2e DB liberated Paris abetted by a popular insurrection. Leclerc received the surrender from the German governor of Paris, Von Cholitz.

   

 

With the contribution of Remy Desquesnes                                                                       

Historian