Entering Montmartin-sur-Mer, France, July 30, 1944
Entering Montmartin-sur-Mer, France, July 30, 1944

“This day for the first time the men in the battalion saw a happy France, the liberated France of the break-through period who could enjoy her liberation genuinely from whole homes and virtually untouched towns and villages. What a contrast from destroyed upper Normandy with its thousands of homeless! Here enthusiastic "Vive L' Amerique"s supplanted sad "Bon Jour"s, waving and girlish laughter replaced wistful half-smiles: cognac and flowers were everywhere. In Montmartin-sur-Mer, and particularly in Brehal, the festive spirit was in full evidence; the streets were filled with excited waving Frenchmen, American tanks and armored vehicles, and to complete the scene, disheveled, dejected German prisoners.”

From the official history of the 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, by former Lieutenant Elmer Gruber.