Cotentin. Camp Crossbow opened the 80th anniversary of the D-Day festivities

By

Ludovic Ameline

Published on

May 19, 2024 at 9:22 a.m.

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Until Monday May 20, 2024, re-enactment enthusiasts from the Great West and even England will take you back in time around the Virandeville stadium (Manche). Whether it be in military uniform (including airborne and armored units) or civil. Everyone is united by the same passion.

Guaranteed immersion

In this military camp, no battle scene, but slices of life with a keen eye for detail.

A fifteen armored vehicles including an American wheeled light armored vehicle type M20, are taking part again this year in this meeting with history.

Armored vehicles in the Long Hunt. ©Ludovic AMELINE

They marched in the morning in column, crossing several communes of Douve and Divette. And each time, a warm welcome.

A column of armored vehicles crossed several communes of Douve and Divette. ©Ludovic AMELINE

Some residents of the town did not want to miss this event. “It’s in the history of our families,” explains this resident of Tollevast. It’s very meaningful. There was not a family meal without the Liberation being mentioned at some point. »

Jeep baptism for young Augustin in Tollevast.
Jeep baptism for young Augustin. ©Ludovic AMELINE

A few clouds appeared in the Virandeville sky. Not enough to damage the morale of the troops. For those who stayed, we exchange, we discuss, we photograph each other, we compare.

More numerous in the afternoon, visitors to the camp discover the means of communication of the time, the beautiful mechanics, the weaponry.

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Hello Mirabelle, this is Libellule!
“Hello Mirabelle, this is Dragonfly! » ©Ludovic AMELINE

On my way, they come across a resistant priest, straight out of the Longest day. A souvenir photo or selfie is a must.

Further, paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne preparing to take their shift.

Get into character

The camp is for these enthusiasts the opportunity to a leap in time, to enter into a character and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the time.

“We eat like a soldier. We sleep like a soldier, explains this enthusiast. It is important that the younger generation understands what it means to fight for freedom. She must reclaim history. We want to make it much more tangible. »

Paratroopers from the 82nd on patrol.
Paratroopers from the 82nd on patrol. ©Ludovic AMELINE

A feeling shared by Joris Le Blond, the president of the organizing association. “We are all driven by memory duty. We like to share our passion. Some of us spend many hours taking care of our vehicles. And for three years, Camp Crossbow has been leading the commemorations. Today he has made a name for himself. For many, it is a full-scale rehearsal commemorations. »

Alex, Elvina and their daughters Octavia and Alba participate in the Crossbow camp to maintain the duty of memory.
Alex, Elvina and their daughters Octavia and Alba participate in the Crossbow camp to maintain the duty of memory. ©Ludovic AMELINE

Activities in the camp continue this Sunday May 19 and Monday May 20. Among the highlights this Sunday, the inauguration at 10 a.m. of a plaque on the wall of the church in memory of the 39th regiment of the 9th American infantry division which liberated the Douve and Divette sector.

The camp will close its doors on May 20 at 5:30 p.m.

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