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Position Bas

Détail

  • Nom
    Valchevrière
  • Lieu
    VILLARD-DE-LANS
  • Contribution
    KilroyTrip
  • ID
    1851.1964

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Historic Places
Valchevrière
Valchevrière

Prior to the inter-war years, the hamlet traded extensively with neighboring villages and hamlets. At the time of the war, the hamlet was no longer regularly inhabited, but only occupied in summer by a few farmers or herdsmen with their flocks. In early summer 1944, Valchevrière served as a camp for maquisards commanded by Lieutenant Chabal, himself under the authority of capitaine Goderville, whose real name was Jean Prévost, a renowned writer and journalist living in Sassenage and considered one of the few French intellectuals to have taken up arms directly against the occupying Nazi.

It was during the German attack on July 22 and 23, 1944, that this village was destroyed by the Germans. Stationed on the lookout overlooking the village, Lieutenant Chabal and his men sacrificed themselves to delay the enemy advance and died with their weapons drawn. The houses were then set on fire by the enemy. The village remained as it was, with its beams charred, its stones bare and blackened.

After the battle of Valchevrière, the Vercors was on its knees. Huet, alias Hervieux, the last leader of this maquis, gives the dispersal order. On July 27, the enemy raided the massif and exterminated the "terrorists". The survivors will try to escape through the forests, notably that of Lente.

Valchevrière is one of the symbols of the heroism of the French resistance fighters.

Today, the ruins of the hamlet have been cleared of undergrowth and consolidated to allow a particularly moving path of memory as they bear witness to the harshness of the fighting. The chapel at the bottom of the village is the only building to have escaped destruction.

Chronology of events

July 21, 1944: General Pflaum (157th division) launches the assault against the Resistance in the Vercors (this is the "Aktion Bettina" plan).
At the end of the day, almost the entire canton of Villard-de-Lans is under German control.

July 22, 1944: Early afternoon: 300 German soldiers attack the compagnie Chabal, which was positioned to block access to Valchevrière, a strategic location as it allows passage to La-Chapelle-En-Vercors. Abel Chabal's men fight one against five.
The peloton Bouchier comes to support the Chabal company.
5pm: The Germans are temporarily pushed back.

July 23, 1944: During the night, the Germans infiltrate the defenses of the Resistants.
5am: The German mortars start firing all along the front, from Pas de l'Âne to Valchevrière. Added to this are reinforcements from the air force.
The Chabal company retreats to the Belvedere overlooking the village.
The Germans also attack the Pas de la Sambue south of Valchevrière, where Jean Prévost (Captain Goderville) is positioned. German alpine hunters arrive at Belvedere from above: the Chabal company is almost surrounded. Chabal sends a message to Prévost: "I'm almost completely surrounded, we're getting ready to make Sidi-Brahim. Vive la France."
Early morning: Lieutenant Chabal and his deputy are killed.
13h: The survivors retreat to Herbouillyat Jean Prévost's command post.
16h: Prévost receives the dispersal order. The plateau is surrounded, the battle having lasted 56 hours.

The Germans burn down the empty village, the villagers having taken refuge in the woods.
Source Wikipedia

 
Valchevrière
crédit photo Eric Lapeyre.
Lieux Historiques

Valchevrière

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