Whilst the French were securing their frontier region in the Eastern Pyrenees, Patton’s 3rd Army marched on towards the German border. The first American troops entered Châlons on 29 August, and reached the city of Reims on 31 August. By this time, the Germans had largely disappeared from the immediate area, with the exception of troops who had been instructed to blow up bridges and access points behind their retreat. The Department of the Marne, which the Allies were now liberating, had experienced an intense German military Occupation. In 1940, it had been situated in Occupied France, just on the border of the north-western ‘Zone interdite’. Three large German Army bases, at Suippes, Mourmelon and Mailly, were positioned close to the principal towns of the region, making the Occupation highly visible in military terms.
KeywordsCommunist Party Private House Town Council Municipal Election American Soldier
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