War Diary: 20 July 1944. Bombing raid on Resistance camps in the Montagne Noire.
'06.45. It was scarcely daylight. The men were rubbing their eyes before getting up. A noise in the sky grew louder and then became deafening. Eight aircraft, six Junkers 88s and two reconnaissance planes, flew over La Galaube. In the tight valleys of the Montagne Noire the roar of their engines was terrifying. The planes were at around 200 metres and there was no doubt about their identity or the intentions.'
In the departmental archives in Albi, I found a report of the battle filed by the gendarmerie in Mazamet a few days later. It has little to say about casualties among the ‘dissidents’ or the German troops, but notes the deaths of two civilians. The first was an infant killed in the arms of its mother by a stray bullet near Arfons, presumed to be fired by the Resistance. The second was a 48-year old man killed by a burst fired from a German submachine gun through his window in Les Escudiès.
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Colin Duncan Taylor
"I have been living in the south of France for 20 years, and through my books and my blog, I endeavour to share my love for the history and gastronomy of Occitanie and the Pyrenees."