1961 Vitry-Le-François train bombing

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1961 Vitry-Le-François train bombing
LocationBlacy, Marne
Date18 June 1961
Attack type
Non-fatal injuries
PerpetratorsOrganisation armée secrète

The Vitry-Le-François train bombing of 18 June 1961 was a bomb attack on a StrasbourgParis train carried out by the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), a paramilitary organization opposed to the independence of Algeria in the Algerian War, just three days before the Algiers putsch. With 28 fatalities and over 100 injured, it was the deadliest terrorist attack in modern French history until it was surpassed by the November 2015 Paris attacks and the 2016 Nice attack, which killed 137 and 87 people, respectively.[1]

The bombing targeted the No. 12 express train, which derailed while traveling at high speed near the small village of Blacy, Marne between Vitry-le-François and Loisy-sur-Marne. On the day after the derailment, investigators found that the rails had been sabotaged using an explosive device that functioned when the train passed over it. It also emerged that the stationmaster at Vitry-le-François had earlier received a threatening letter from the OAS.[2]

The sabotage theory was ruled out despite a threat letter being received a few days earlier, prompting Communist Party leader Jacques Duclos to demand an inquiry on the matter.[3] Despite this, the attack was kept secret by the French state.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pech, Marie-Estelle (7 January 2015). "L'attentat le plus meurtrier depuis Vitry-Le-François en 1961" [The deadliest attack since Vitry-Le-François in 1961]. Le Figaro (in French). Archived from the original on 8 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015. ()
  2. ^ "Journal officiel de la république française" (PDF). 30 January 1962. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2015. () "2294. — 2ß décembre 1951. — M. Jacques Duclos expose à M. le ministre des travaux publics et des transports : a) que le 18 juin 1961, vers 15 heures 10, le train rapide n° 12 Strasbourg—Paris déraillait à la hauteur du petit village de Blacy (Marne), entre les gares de Vitry-le-François et Loisy-sur-Marne[...]e) que le chef de gare de Vitry-le-François avait reçu avant le déraillement une lettre de menaces de l'O. A. S. disant[...]"
  3. ^ Journal officiel, 30 January 1962, 2294. - 28 December 1961, Jacques Duclos to the Minister Archived 8 January 2015 at WebCite
  4. ^ "Historia (magazine), 5/2004, Pierre Abramovici, L'attentat ferroviaire resté secret d'État". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.

Coordinates: 48°43′45″N 4°33′51″E / 48.72917°N 4.56417°E / 48.72917; 4.56417