Author Topic: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger  (Read 518 times)

Online Minion

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French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« on: June 12, 2019, 07:40:23 pm »
I'm driving to Austrans for the Berger trip later this month, but have 2.5 days to drive from Calais to Austrans and was thinking of taking in some WW1 and WW2 sites along the way.

Info/suggestions welcome!

Thanks

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2019, 08:46:59 pm »
The Vercors was an important centre of the Resistance  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_du_Vercors  and some wandering around before heading south may pay dividends  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Normandy
don't know much about things between the two though.

Offline Wayland Smith

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2019, 09:45:39 pm »
Depends what you want to see.
You could visit one of the cemeteries. A big (British) one is Tyne Cot.
Or the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge. There was a lot of tunnelling in that area but I don't know if anything is open.
Another possibility would be one of the Maginot line fortresses.
Also LA COUPOLE : World War II bunker Museum. The V2 launch bunker.

Offline Boy Engineer

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2019, 10:05:22 pm »
Quote
Or the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge. There was a lot of tunnelling in that area but I don't know if anything is open.

You can go down the tunnels at Vimy, on guided tours led by Canadian students. A glimpse of how awful it must have been back in the day. One interesting artifact is a shell wedged in the roof of a tunnel, that didn’t go off.
If you fancy something more uplifting (but not WW1 or 2 related) I can recommend the ‘new’ castle build at Guedelon.

Offline Keris82

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2019, 07:21:30 am »
We are going to Vercors next month and plan to visit Scialet Michelier. We drove past it last year. It's a cave under a WW2 cemetary near the road. If you visit it please let me know what it's like!

Offline Fulk

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2019, 09:51:44 am »
Quote
If you visit it

By 'it' I assume that you mean the cave?

Well, we went there about 13 years ago. It's a fine cave – a series of shafts drops you into some big old phreatic stuff, which is well decorated. The shafts  are:

P1 – 29 m; P2 – 19 m; P3 – 10 m (this was actually our spare rope); P4 – 35 m

the last one being a more-or-less circular hole about 1–1.5 m in diameter, with lots ofchert nodules sticking out of the walls. Near the bottom of P-1 you have to swing into a window to continue. The first three pitches are close enough to rig with one rope; I don't have notes about the rope lengths we used (I assume that the depths I've given are depths rather than rope lengths). At the botom of P-4 there is an easy crawl (blown up by the French, I believe) that leads to the 'big stuff'.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2019, 11:01:21 am »
We are going to Vercors next month and plan to visit Scialet Michelier. We drove past it last year. It's a cave under a WW2 cemetary near the road. If you visit it please let me know what it's like!

Last time I went down there it was in a cornfield with no cemeteries in the vicinity. Or is there another one?


Offline Keris82

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 04:23:11 pm »
Last time I went down there it was in a cornfield with no cemeteries in the vicinity. Or is there another

Oh perhaps I am mistaken on the location as it was a year ago! I'm sure my friend pointed out a cemetery saying that there was a cave there

Offline langcliffe

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 04:36:08 pm »
Last time I went down there it was in a cornfield with no cemeteries in the vicinity. Or is there another

Oh perhaps I am mistaken on the location as it was a year ago! I'm sure my friend pointed out a cemetery saying that there was a cave there

I think I was wrong - it looks like a wheat field.


Offline langcliffe

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 04:52:52 pm »
I'm driving to Austrans for the Berger trip later this month, but have 2.5 days to drive from Calais to Austrans and was thinking of taking in some WW1 and WW2 sites along the way.

Great minds (almost) think alike.

I'm going to Chartreuse tomorrow, and we're planning to spend Saturday meandering through northern France visiting and photographing some graves of men from our village that died in the first world war. I am involved with a website dedicated to the men from the Craven area that died in that war, and including photographs of their graves where possible seems appropriate.

It will be a sombre day, but I hope that Chartreuse will get me cheerful again!

Offline Fulk

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 05:21:32 pm »
Snap! (well, sort of):


Offline langcliffe

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2019, 05:26:44 pm »
Snap! (well, sort of):

Yours is better looking...

Offline Keris82

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2019, 06:59:35 pm »
Last time I went down there it was in a cornfield with no cemeteries in the vicinity. Or is there another

Oh perhaps I am mistaken on the location as it was a year ago! I'm sure my friend pointed out a cemetery saying that there was a cave there

I think I was wrong - it looks like a wheat field.



Double checked with me mate and he says michelier is near a cemetery. At least it was when we went past!

Offline FionaH

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2019, 07:09:44 pm »
There is the Memorial de la Resistance in Vassieux-en-Vercors, in the south of the Vercors itself. By that point I expect you might be wanting to go straight to Autrans rather than add extra hours to the journey, but it might be of interest.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: French WW1 and WW2 Sites on route to Berger
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2019, 08:09:01 pm »
Double checked with me mate and he says michelier is near a cemetery. At least it was when we went past!

Fair enough. I think that you must be referring to a different Scialet Michelier, then, and one with which I am not familiar. For the one that Fulk and I have visited marked on the map above (and which has an entry on the http://www.speleo-vercors.org website), the nearest cemetery is to the north of Vassieux-en-Vercors, about 3km from the entrance.