Maquis du Mont Mouchet

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Battle of Mont Mouchet
Date May 1944 – June 1944
Location Mont Mouchet, France
Result German victory
Belligerents
Free France French Resistance  Germany
Milice
France Vichy police
Commanders and leaders
Free France Émile Coulandon Nazi Germany Curt von Jesser
Strength
2,700 maquisards 3,000 german soldiers; unknown number of policemen and Milice Franc-Gardes
Casualties and losses
238 dead, 180 wounded ?

The Maquis du Mont Mouchet were a group of French resistance fighters during the Second World War. Based at Mont Mouchet, its goal was to delay the convergence of German forces in the south of France with those in Normandy, in order to aid the Allies (World War II) in the reconquest of France.

The Germans, having discovered the maquis, made several attacks up until May 1944 with about 3,000 men and using aviation and armoured units. The maquisards fought back fiercely.

Little information is available on the German forces. Historians have identified some units:

  • The Jesser Brigade, formed from veterans of the eastern front (deployed in the Orléans-Pithiviers sector)
  • 1,000 men from the Sicherungs Motorisierte regiment
  • 1,000 men from the Aufklärungs Abteilung

These were reinforced from:

  • Regiment 2 of the 2 Ost Bataillon of the Freiwilligen Stamm:
  • The 3rd Battalion of the SS Polizei Regiment 19
  • A battery of the artillery regiment 28 (189th reserve division)
  • Battalion of DCA 958
  • 3 motorised response detachments of the Feldgendarmerie
  • An armored reconnaissance platoon originating from Paris
  • 2 Luftwaffe squadrons from Aulnat airbase

After several days of combat, the final German attack forced the maquisards to fall back and disperse. Out of revenge for their previous losses, the Germans pillaged several of the surrounding villages, including Clavières.

In the course of the battles, the French Forces of the Interior sustained severe losses: 238 killed and 180 wounded as well as about 100 hostages executed by the Nazis.

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