The Lapierre story, part 2

That same evening on May 31, 1944 – Armand was chosen to conduct the sabotage at the Bessin region, at the actual domain of La Chenevière in Port-en-Bessin and the Bouffay hights in Commes, holding a German transmissionpost. He is writing this down on the evening of June 5, 1944 after 22 hours, when they have returned to Colleville-sur-Mer, also learning about the sabotage performed by 'Franco'.

According to his writing, they were at la Chenevière ( "Château Gosset de Commes" ) at 3 AM in the morning.

( The date and hour also indicates that the sabotage at La Chenevière was premature to the "PLAN VIOLET ". The official messages by the BBC to initiate Plan Violet came several hours later, so it is not a part of the SOE plan !!! )

During the occupation, the chateau Gosset (La Chenevière ) in Port-en-Bessin was housing German officers… They led "the better life "there…

Interesting is the quote about the message they received. Mr Cairon, a farmer from Escures-Commes was made responsable for hiding the receiver unit produced by Jean Caby. He had to take it from it's secret place in the garden at the correct time every day, according to the testimony from his son, Michel Cairon. Michel said : "he was the one hearing the encoded BBC messages - il fait chaud à Suez ( it is hot in Suez) -, and - les dés sont sur le tapis ( the fleas are on the carpet - ".
Armand tells about this message they received from Cairon. He finds it to be incredible ("incroyable") !
The second sabotage during the same night was the line towards the transmission post on the cliffs of Bauffay, about a 2 kms from stonghold at the harbor.

The diary holds 2 handdrawn maps in pencil, indicating the Farm Cairon region and the communication lines towards the château comming from the coastline and fortified German bunkers on the high cliffs at the Port-en-Bessin harbour. 

The handdrawn map with the indications of the communication lines om the perimeter of Commes, the "Château Gosset Commes" ( domaine La Chenevière ).
Also the T2 and T3 " kabelbrunnen " are visible, the Cairon farm ( f.C. ) and several machinegunposts.

Second map from the Lapierre booklet, , also handdrawn - with the communication lines indicated towards the hights of the coastline at the harbour of Port-en-Bessin, with the " château d'eau " ( water tower ) indicated, the barbwire around the coastal German defenses, the communication trenches and undergroud 
"Hasler Telex" lines.
These information was used by the group of Lapierre to execute the cutting of these lines. 
The drawings were made with the information of Henri Cairon, who provided transport services up the coastline hills with his horse and carriage.

Conducting our research at the Cairon family in Commes : the oldest son Michel refers the writing from the journal with the actions from his father – taking the receiver every night to listen to the BBC "personal messages" for the resistance. He was only a young boy but remembered it well.

June 5th, 1944, page 29  in Armand's journal : " This morning at 3AM - cutting of the lines at the hights of "Baffeux" (Bouffay, the hights of the costal cliffs of Commes - but phoneticly written not being a local ) and the "châteaux de Commes", certainly being the domaine of La Chenevière. They are back at the Colville shed when he writes this. Also visible, on May 31 1944 in the secret meeting at Colleville-s-Mer, Armand gets the order to go to the "Bessin sector" 

Page 30 of Armand's diary, June 5th, 1944 : the destruction of the German Hasler communication structures in Commes is mentioned ( also indicated on the handdrawn maps ), executed by "Franco" ( Léonard Camps de Bayeux ). Batteries were also taken.
Cairon has passed the message he heared on the radio. " It's incredible ", Armand mentions.

At the end of page 43, more info on the codenames of  Etienne Bobo, Suzanne Guillot and Henri Cairon from the Escures farm in Commes.
Inauguration of the memorial p´laque in June 2017 for the Reseaux Alliance at the wall of the building where the communication structure was destroyed at La Chenevière, Commes. 

Back to our visit to Colleville -sur-Mer.

We made the visit to madame Pineau. A very nice and kind lady introduced us into her home. We explained who we were and how we came to be visiting her. She explained in clear words how she experienced the German occupation, how her father hated the "Boches" " and how the landings took place… .
"He knew the landings were coming", she said. Things got interesting. Without showing our documents, I asked : " Madame Pineau, do you know the 'cabane de Cabourg' " ?. She gave me a smile and said : " Sure ! But it doesn't exist anymore ".

We kind of got nailed to our seats… I asked : " Can you indicate us where " ? I opened my maps and she indicated a place on the hights of Cabour, about 600 yards from the actual US cemetary of Colleville-sur-Mer. " It was a small wooden 'abri', my father participated in the construction. It's was used as a lookout during the night ", she continued. 

Our visit to the kind Mme Pineau in her small house in the center of Colleville-s-Mer.

Map with the June 1944 situation of Omaha Beach.The 'cabane' indicated on the highest
point of the Cabourg area. From there, the Kommandantur, the German strongholds and trenches on the western side of the Wn were visible. Some of the fields were accessable by civilians by a "laissez-passez", during daytime until April 1944. After Rommel's visit to the Atlantic Wall, all access to the hights got prohibited. He was well aware of the Allied threat.

Map of the situation in Colleville-sur-Mer in 1944. The connectionpoint is
situated behind the Chemineau farm.

Next to the introduction of 22 reliable men, Michel Pineau explains the location where the destruction of the telephone lines has to be conducted ( we presume according to the small maps ). These points of connection with the inland telephone structures were made in "kabelbrunnen "

Research on the origin of the sabotage, premature to the execution of PLAN VIOLET instructed by the SOE.

The meeting at the "cabane de Cabourg" was the initiation for the 22 men present, as we know now by the testimony in Armand's journal.
Henri Cairon received the specific message in Commes and he was present at the meeting or he passed the message to Michel Pineau. The message was pronounced at the cabane.
Only one factor remained a mistery during the research for 6 years : the announcement and order to receive parachutists on June 5th, hours before the landings. Armand wrote :
"Cairon passed the message, incredible news ! "
Searching the archives left me clueless. Officially no allied paratroopers were dropped over the Calvados and Manche coastline within that timeframe.

Cutting telephonewires at St. Marie-du-Mont

On June 29, 1944 Guillot meets Armand again at Cheux near Caen. Guillot seems very tired. Armand gets to hear from the "coupure" that was conducted at the coastal zone from St. Marie-du-Mont and he writes it down as Guillot tells him how they got " ACTION CRICQUE " done on the night of June 5, 1944.

Guillot called it " ACTION CRIQUE "- after the creeks they used to get into the German lines of the Atlantic Wall. Armand wrote " ACTION CRIC " in a phonetic way, a thing he did several times in his journal. However, the sabotage was a deary action, performed by 3 men.

Guillot teamed up with " the son of the Laisney farm " and a certain "Bozon". Probably this "son" was a young hired help on the farm or Roger Laisney himself – since the Laisney family itself had no children. He was introduced as the son, probably to protect his identity, as happened many times. Bozon is the codename used by Etienne Bobo at that time.

At 9 PM the threesome left the farm, entering the Grand Hard ( written Grand Art by Armand, not knowing the real area and orthography ). They stopped at the "Pont Mansart", one of the typical old small bridges crossing the network of creeks at a 900m from the coastline. They stayed there until darkness fell .

From that spot, they made a 300m crawl in the water of " la Grande Crique ", reaching the left side the cemetary around the Holy Madeleine Chapel. From there, it was less then 50 m to reach the "kabelbrunnen" from the bunkercomplex of the actual Utah Beach. The same cutting was performed ( always taking a piece of 1 meter in lenght, so immediate reconnecting was impossible ). They managed to make their 300m back by the use of the creek and burried the wires they salvaged.
Guillot also mentioned the movement of several German soldiers with 3 anti-tank cannons towards the beach, about midnight.

It was a bold move and deary action. They moved into German lines and took the risk of entering the small concrete structure of the connectionboards towards inland communication by wire ( subterrane lines towards the Saint-Lô – Cherbourg main connection ). Our research led us to several spots, still visible and proof of the story told by Guillot.
One thing was for sure, according to this testimony – when the Allied soldiers touched French soil in the early morning of June 6 1944, the inland communication by wire from the Wn's at Utah Beach was down. If it had any impact, we will probably never know.  

The Laisney farm, not far from the " Sperrgebiet " of the German coastal defenses of La Madeleine.

The "Pont Mansart" at Le Grand Hard, where Guillot and Bobo entered the creek to sneak up to the German communication infrastructure at the Chapel Holy Madeleine

On June 5th, 2019 at the Holy Madeleine Chapel of Utah Beach, a commorative plaque was inaugurated in the honor of Etienne Bobo et François Guillot.
A fine closure in the means of history and our years of research