Resident of the farm of Attilly at Donville, 16 years old in 1944
I remember that the Germans had only occupied the village of Méautis after 1941 but not our farm Artilly. They had requisitioned the forge of the town to shoe their horses.
On the night of June 5 to 6, 1944 we heard loud explosions in the sky. The next morning my father discovered seven paratroopers who were hiding nearby farm Lude, along the railway. He advised them to keep the farm away but they did not follow his advice.
To June 10, 1944 the Germans have asked us to leave the farm Artilly they now occupied. It was German infantry troop. They slept in the main house. I see him trying to strafe the hedges to find American paratroopers.
We went to take refuge at the Mare of Stones Méautis. Our farm was taken three times by the Americans. The fire was put in one of the buildings. When the tanks eventually arrived in Donville they made the household because Americans progressed with difficulty against the Germans who had more combat experience in.
I remember an incredible anecdote: we discovered on a toasting our strong arm of a German soldier who had been hanged and had probably wanted to open the door leading to the cellar! Mortar fire had cut his arm!
We saw a lot of dead on both sides in Donville in fields, homes. The roof of the chapel was Donville round at the time had been blown. We returned by way of Cantepie and the railway track which was safer. I remember that my father had picked up two Germans who camouflaged, one of whom was wounded in the foot. They came out of a hedge and asked for help from my father. He helped and locked in a farm building of Artilly that had not been destroyed. My father gave them to eat. And two Americans found them and killed them on the spot immediately. No prisoner!
We ate during the battle when we can. When an animal was hit by shrapnel we may eat almost immediately. Unfortunately this happens often!
I also remember that the Germans had made two or three mortar torpedo trucks in the field Teurcamp who remained behind after the battle. I also remember that tanks had wanted to pass through the marsh Cantepie and were stuck because there was the water-filled peat.
When we took possession of the house of Artilly we realized that the Germans or the Americans had removed the doors of our cabinets to strengthen their trenches they had dug near the house. They even let bacon cook in the hearth of the fireplace … I discovered two Germans killed in the LEMARINEL field, another on the railway line. They were brought later. Others remained for years after the war buried in fields or along roads.
Next testimony: Louis Senoville