Friday, July 28, 2017

War

All along the route from Germany thru Luxembourg, Belgium and Northern France there is a recurring theme.

War


When we stopped in Strasbourg we found a monument to the Franco Prussian Way of 1820 when France lost Alsace to Germany.

When we passed thru Bastogne we visited the museums commemorating the Battle of the Bulge in WW2, but at the same time there were references to Germany coming thru the same area at the start of WW1 and again at the start of WW2.

A little further West we saw the turn off for Waterloo, the scene of the battle where Wellington defeat Napoleon.

At our stop in France we were camped on the River Somme, scene of frightful battles in WW1 and the location of another museum called “La Musee De La Grande Guerre” (Museum of the Great War).


Our last few days in France were spent in the port of Dieppe. In 1942 almost 6,000 Canadians came ashore in what was called a "Raid", various military and government authorities have described it as "A practice invasion", a "Diversion". Anything except what it was. Which was a poorly planned waste of life.

I have a post about my Father and Grand Father who served in WW2 and WW1 respectively. (http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2014/11/john-g-downing-and-john-downing.html). 


They were both in this general area but a little further West. My Grand Father landed in Belgium very early in the conflict as a cavalryman and served on the front lines and in reserve thru the whole thing, finally getting out in 1919.

Dad came up thru France and into Western Belgium, liberating Lille and St Nicholas before being sent into the fury of Market Garden in Holland.

Wars have passed thru this area for millennia, Goths, Gaul’s, Vikings, Prussians, Germans, the English. All leave their legends, their battlegrounds, their tales of glory and yes, their graveyards.


The dead counted in their millions between 1914 and 1918, their 100’s of thousands in 1940 – 1944.

If you sit and let your mind wander just about sunset I really believe you can hear all those people whisper to you.



Or maybe that’s just the wind?

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