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Détail

  • Nom
    Penguerec massacre
  • Date
    1944-08-07
  • Lieu
    GOUESNOU
  • Contribution
    KilroyTrip
  • ID
    1363.1468

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Memorials
Penguerec massacre
Penguerec massacre

The Penguerec Massacre is a war crime of the Second World War. It took place on August 7, 1944 in Gouesnou, near Brest in Finistère, France.  It is a relatively specific case in the country, by its scale (44 victims), and because it was committed by the Wehrmacht and not the SS, without major preparation unlike the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre.
Since the confirmed success of the landings on June 6, 1944, notably the breakthrough at Avranches on July 30, 1944, the Allies have been making progress in north-western France. Rennes was recaptured on August 4, 1944, and troops are advancing to liberate the rest of Brittany. As Brittany is a peninsula and the seas are under Allied control, German troops will not be able to escape. Brest and its military port (surface ships and submarines) have been bombed, but remain a target for Patton's troops, particularly for supplies.

On the morning of August 6, 1944, the Americans are announced at Plabennec, less than 10 km from Gouesnou. The Germans, consisting of elements of the 3e  Brigade Marine Antiaérienne, set up lookouts in the widest vantage point in the area, on the bell tower of the Gouesnou church. They confirm the presence of American tanks in Plabennec.

Local resistance fighters, reassured by the forthcoming arrival of the Allies, then decide around midday to attack the bell tower. They killed one soldier and wounded two, but were thwarted by the Germans, who were unable to dislodge them from the church. The Germans are shocked by this attack by " terrorists " and decide to react.

Reinforcements called in by troops located in Gouesnou arrive and pass through the locality of 'Penguerec', on the road from Brest to Gouesnou. Arriving at the farm Phelep, in Penguerec, they search the farm for partisans and kill 4 of their occupants. Only 3 children managed to escape. The soldiers then arrive in the center of Gouesnou - where the church is located - which is secured. It is forbidden for anyone to approach or put their head in the window. Sébastien Le Ven (father) was killed while trying to see what was going on.

The Germans then decided to capture everyone they found in the town, as well as any travelers passing through. They then took their 40 prisoners, aged between 16 and 71, including 4 women, to Penguerec, some 15 minutes from the town center, where they shot all their prisoners and set fire to their bodies. There were no survivors.

Tensions ran high until the evening, and the curfew demanded by the Germans was respected by all. Sister Paul, a nursing sister, goes out to find out more at around 7:30 pm. It was she who discovered the mass grave. The bodies were difficult to identify, and the victims were identified from the list of missing persons in Gouesnou. Nine bodies remain unidentified, probably people on their way to or from Brest.
Source Wikipedia

Philippe Boudot photo credit

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Penguerec massacre
Penguerec massacre.
Memoriaux
Penguerec massacre
Penguerec massacre.
Memoriaux
Penguerec massacre
Penguerec massacre.
Memoriaux
Penguerec massacre
Penguerec massacre.
Memoriaux

Penguerec massacre

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