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Infos pratiques: Inventaire
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If you arrive in Alençon via the Pont-Neuf bridge, you cannot help but notice the statue of General Leclerc erected right next to the building at 33 Rue du Pont-Neuf, where his general headquarters were.

This is a worthy tribute to the illustrious character who left his mark on the town’s history forever... 


A little history...

On 12th August 1944, the General and his 2nd Armoured Division delivered Alençon from German occupation.

In fact, this was the first town in France to be liberated by the French army. 

For history buffs interested in the D-day landings, or if you’re simply curious, you can take Route Leclerc,

the road out of Sarthe from Alençon, to the town of Argentan. 

The route is dotted with memorials to those who died in the fighting between German tanks and

the 2nd Armoured Division, such as Fyé, La Hutte, Champfleur, the Gateys necropolis,

La Croix de Médavy, Chahains and Ecouché. This troubled history also features the hunting down of Resistance members. A number of sites in the region bear testament to their imprisonment, torture and execution, such as Alençon Castle, La Galochère quarry in Condé-sur-Sarthe, Les Aunais quarry in Saint-Germain-sur-Sarthe, and

the firing range memorial stone in Radon. Every year on 12th August, Alençon celebrates its liberation.

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The 2nd Armoured Division was a military unit formed by General Leclerc in 1943.

On 1st August 1944, the Division landed on Utah Beach amidst General Patton’s Third American Army. 
During the Battle of Normandy, its soldiers demonstrated incredible bravery and

performed some remarkable strategic manoeuvres.

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Occupied by the Germans during the Second World War, the prefecture was an administrative stronghold for 
the Resistance. Here, French civil servants courageously forged documents to the detriment of the enemy.

©M.A. Thierry, Normandie Tourisme

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