The church in Dun-les-Places
|Intercommunality||Portes du Morvan|
|Area1||45.10 km2 (17.41 sq mi)|
|• Density||9.2/km2 (24/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||58106 /58230|
|Elevation||365–651 m (1,198–2,136 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
At the 1999 census, the population was 417. On 1 January 2006, the estimate was 353.
World War 2
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After the Allied landings in Normandy, British Special Air Service units and French Resistance groups in the surrounding region carried out a campaign of harassment and sabotage against the occupying Germans.
On 24 June, the nearby villages of Montsauche and Planchez were destroyed by the Germans. Late on 26 June, a group of Gestapo and militia arrived in the village. Eighteen men were arrested and brought to the church for a so-called "document check". They were joined by the village priest. The men were questioned in the nearby hotel about the presence of Maquis in the region, despite the presence in the area of the Maquis and Camille Bernard, no information was given. The women and children remaining in their homes were terrorized.
At 10pm, during an electricity blackout and a storm, gunfire was heard in the village. The Germans vandalised the village and stole wine and all the food they can find. On 27 June, the village was systematically looted; the Germans took linen, bedding and valuables after shooting pigs, sheep and poultry. Early on 28 June, the Germans preparing to leave and, using flamethrowers, grenades and incendiary logs, they set fire to the houses. The survivors then discovered the bodies of the hostages lying on the porch of the church. The priest's body, partially unclothed, was discovered in the tower (he had, reportedly, been hung from his belfrey, then cut down). Other bodies were found on the road or in neighbouring villages. The massacre took 27 victims, whose funeral was on 1 July 1944.
A small party of Maquisards and SAS passed through the village twice around this time, without encountering Germans. This is disputed in the book 'Danger Has No Face' by James Hutchison DSO (aka Colonel Hastings The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Maquis) Chap.16 'Martyred Village of Dun-les-Places' which states that the Chevriere Maquis and SAS engaged in a fierce firefight with the Germans between Dun-les-Places and Vermot in the Bois du Chevriere as part of "Mission Verveine' The makeshift Maquis hospital at a chateau was attacked and burnt while both Maquis and SAS troopers engaged the enemy inflicting 30+ casualties on the Germans. All wounded Maquis and SAS in the hospital were safely evacuated further south-west into the heavily wooded area.
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