LIBERATION of PARIS: such a French injustice, The Nueve. Indeed, if I tell you: ……. “La Nueve” if I name you Amado Grannel, Firmin Pujol, Martin Bernal, Rafael Gomez…. who will be able to tell me who they are or what “la nueve” is.
In France, after our conflicts, we are used to remembering our fighters who were born in the metropolis. And to forget a little our Spahis, Zouaves, Senegalese, Indochinese or Malagasy riflemen, and so many others. Yet they shed their blood on all our fronts, to save “the mother country”. La Nueve is a little bit the same. Here I am going to ask you some questions and if you don’t know how to answer them then read my article.
- Which is the first unit of the 2nd DB of Leclerc which entered by the Italian gate for the liberation of Paris?
- What is the name of the small garden between the Paris City Hall and the Seine?
- To which unit belonged the first officer to enter the Paris City Hall in August 44?
- Were there Spanish fighters in the French army during the Second World War, and if so, in which unit?
- To which unit was General de Gaulle entrusted with the security of the parade on the Champs Elysée on 26th August 1944?
You have understood the answer is the same: the Nueve
What is the origin of the Nueve?
Republican fighters had to flee Spain after Franco’s seizure of power. Many took refuge in France, in the south. After the German invasion, the Vichy government gave them 3 choices. Go back to Spain (death at the end). Work in Germany (collaboration). Join the foreign legion. This is what most of them did, and they went to Africa.
As soon as they could, they joined the army of the Free France, led by Leclerc. After the victory in Africa in 1943, they will join the 2nd AD. And among them 146 were to be grouped together in what was to become an elite unit. The 9th company of the Chadian marching regiment. “Nueve” means “new” in Spanish. The command will be given to Captain Dronne. He will be nicknamed “el patron”.
The Role of the Nueve in the Liberation of Paris
Paris has risen up, Leclerc is ready to take on the capital. The American command was less enthusiastic about the idea. However, the resistance weakened. Leclerc sends his first units to attack, for him it is crucial that Paris is liberated by … of the French . It is the Nueve, which will be the first entry into Paris. On August 24th at 8 p.m., the first halftracks enter the capital. Their armoured vehicles are named after the battles of the Spanish War, such as Teruel, Guadalajara and other more amusing ones. The penguins, a self-mockery given the nickname that the French gave to the Spaniards: the “espingouins”.
Lieutenant Amado Granell’s platoon reaches City Hall first at 9:30 pm. And after a quick fight they take possession of it. The next day, they capture the military governor of Paris, General von Choltitz, and hand him over to the Allies.
And who was Leclerc going to ask to ensure the safety of de Gaulle, at the head of the parade on 26th August 1944? At La Nueve of course. We can see an honour in it, but in fact it is pragmatism, because La Nueve was one of the best units.
What about the rest of the war?
They will continue the fighting, and participate in the Liberation of Strasbourg on 23rd November 1944. Leclerc thus fulfilled the oath he had taken after his victory at Koufra in Libya on 2 March 1941:
“Nous jurons de ne déposer les armes que lorsque nos couleurs, nos belles couleurs, flotteront sur la cathédrale de Strasbourg.” “We swear not to lay down our arms until our colours, our beautiful colours, float over the cathedral of Strasbourg.”LECLERC
They are not going to stop and will be from Hitler’s eagle’s nest to Berchtesgaden. Of the 160 men in the column, only 14 will remain fit to fight in 1945.
Will they be recognised as heroes?
If the title of my article is: LIBERATION DE PARIS: such a French injustice, La Nueve. You can imagine that we are not going to give them the expected recognition. Whose fault is it? and why.
De Gaulle first
In his speech “Paris martyred but Paris liberated, by itself and by eternal France.” He doesn’t talk about allies or foreign troops. It was to remain for posterity a French victory won by French people. Moreover, there is an internal conflict between the communists (FTP, Rol Tanguy) and Gaullists (FFI, FFL).
To their political inclination
Most of them are anarchists. They did not fight for the liberation of France but for freedom as such, against facism. Leclerc had orally promised them that after defeating Mussolini and Hitler, they would be helped to overthrow Franco in Spain. However, international politics had other interests as a result of the Cold War.
Yes, but on an individual basis, the Nueve as such will not be distinguished.
What about today? LIBERATION OF PARIS: an injustice “so French”, La Nueve it was in 44
It was not until 2002 that a dozen commemorative medallions were affixed along the route taken by the Nueve between the Porte d’Italie and the Town Hall.
2012 for a French President (François Hollande) to pay tribute to them.
2015 And a socialist mayor (Bertrand Delanoë) and a deputy mayor of Spanish origin who is now mayor of Paris (Anne Hidalgo). A garden bordering the town hall has been given the name La Nueve.
2017 in Spain, in Madrid they also give the name to a garden.
Books, a song, a game
That’s enough to extend this article a little bit. with 2 books, including 1 comic book, dedicated to these soldiers, a song composed for them and a video game where we talk about it 🙂
Please close your eyes and listen.
n the game Steel Division: Normandy 1944 from Eugen Systems. The Nueve is present, heavily equipped, it is formidable in the game.