There was a small detour on the Sunday Canadian Club hike to take in La Fête de la Jeep in the village of Sagy. It’s an annual reenactment of the August 1944 battle between US liberation troops (led by Captain Murray Pulver) and the Nazi Germany occupiers (led by Lieutenant Heinz Bliss).
Here’s one photo of the reenactment. I was too short to get a good one. This is from behind the Americans.
It was an elaborate show, with fireworks, live music (even a bit of Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries”), and authentic uniforms and vehicles. It was, I admit, a tad weird to hear the “German” and “American” troops speaking French afterwards (they’re all French, of course).
The group organizing the reenactment is called Union Jeep-Vexin, and they collect all sorts of American military vehicles.
Around the field where the show took place were little military encampment scenes, and recruiting tables for the French Army (they had a slick and shiny motorcoach) and the French Foreign Legion (they had wine).
This is a Vietnam-era encampment.
Oh, and I should mention that the Americans did win this battle, managing to shoot Lieutenant Bliss as he attempted a dramatic retreat in a motorcycle sidecar. It was just one of the many small battles that took place throughout the country during the liberation of France.