Village fighters captured 1,000 Nazi soldiers

A monument outside Anduze in the Languedoc commemorates an incredible story of wartime bravery. Readers Liz Cowley and Donough O’Brien tell the story of how a group of 40 French Resistance fighters and Spanish guerrillas forced a 1,000-strong column of German soldiers to surrender

We had our house near Saint-Hippolyte-du-Fort in the Gard for several years before we noticed a monument outside Anduze, near the village of La Madeleine.

The monument near Anduze village in Languedoc pay tribute to the bravery of French and Spanish resistance fighters

The village is noted for its ceramic pots, favoured by French royalty and foreign residents, but has a far more enthralling story to tell.

One day, we decided to pull over, and were amazed to read the plaque – “In this place, on August 25, 1944, 32 Spanish guérilleros and eight French résistants stopped a German column of more than a thousand men. Remember this when passing.”

We were intrigued. Even a cursory knowledge of past wars would indicate that 40 people halting a thousand Germans was unusual, to say the least.

Soon our research revealed an even ...

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