Macron paid homage to the Saint Marcel maquis, a force of French Resistance fighters during World War II and the French SAS (Special Air Service) paratroopers, in Plumelec, Brittany, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France June 5, 2024

Every D-Day celebration flag is STOLEN and walls are covered in anti-Emmanuel Macron graffiti at French town where the president is honouring Allied heroes

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Every D-Day celebration flag was stolen and walls were left covered in anti-Emmanuel Macron graffiti in a French town where the president honoured Special Air Service D-Day heroes.

Mr Macron arrived in Plumelec, Brittany, yesterday, at the start of commemorations marking the 80th anniversary of the Normandy beach landings.

Plumelec is a particularly sacred place because it was where the first Allied soldier of the campaign was killed by German troops on June 6th 1944, after parachuting in from England.

But a town hall spokesman confirmed that ‘all the flags set to be used in the ceremony were stolen on Tuesday.

‘Graffiti has also appeared on a prominent bus shelter, making reference to the President of France.’

Macron paid homage to the Saint Marcel maquis, a force of French Resistance fighters during World War II and the French SAS (Special Air Service) paratroopers, in Plumelec, Brittany, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France June 5, 2024

Macron paid homage to the Saint Marcel maquis, a force of French Resistance fighters during World War II and the French SAS (Special Air Service) paratroopers, in Plumelec, Brittany, on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy, France June 5, 2024

US President Joe Biden disembarks from the 'Air Force One' as he arrives at Paris Orly airport ahead of D-Day commemorations

US President Joe Biden disembarks from the ‘Air Force One’ as he arrives at Paris Orly airport ahead of D-Day commemorations

In total the D-Day invasion involved 153,110 troops, supported by 10,440 aircraft and 6,330 ships, with paratroopers landing behind enemy lines in advance of the main assault

In total the D-Day invasion involved 153,110 troops, supported by 10,440 aircraft and 6,330 ships, with paratroopers landing behind enemy lines in advance of the main assault

‘Macron Out of Brittany,’ was among the messages still clearly visible after the vandalism, along with ‘This is not France!’ and ‘Brittany is not for sale’.

Describing the theft and vandalism as ‘shocking and deplorable’, the Plumelec town hall spokesman said: ‘Video surveillance has been viewed and will allow the perpetrators of these unacceptable acts to be identified.

‘Those responsible will be prosecuted and punished, whether they are adults or minors.’

As a criminal enquiry was launched, suspects included Brittany patriots who object to their region being run from Paris.

Despite the damage and vandalism, Macron’s visit to Plumelec still went ahead.

He made a speech and paid homage to the Saint Marcel maquis – a force of French Resistance fighters during World War II – and the French SAS (Special Air Service) paratroopers, recalling the bravery of Free French soldiers who were part of Britain’s elite SAS.

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They were among the first to jump into Brittany as part of Operation Overlord, the Allied operation to start the liberation of France.

The first lethal casualty was Corporal Emile Bouétard, 28, a Frenchman who had completed a course at the Parachute Training School in Ringway, Manchester.

Macron's visit to Plumelec still went ahead, despite the damage and vandalism, and he made a speech recalling the bravery of Free French soldiers who were part of Britain's elite SAS

Macron’s visit to Plumelec still went ahead, despite the damage and vandalism, and he made a speech recalling the bravery of Free French soldiers who were part of Britain’s elite SAS

US President Joe Biden (C) is welcomed by France's Prime Minister Gabriel Attal upon arrival at Paris Orly airport near Paris, on June 5

US President Joe Biden (C) is welcomed by France’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal upon arrival at Paris Orly airport near Paris, on June 5

His Free French unit was incorporated into 4 SAS in January 1944, and he was part of 3 Squadron when he arrived in the Morbihan department of France.

Their mission was to delay German reinforcement being moved to the Normandy beachhead from Brittany.

They landed behind enemy lines at 00.45 on June 6th, but found themselves close to an enemy observation post.

Members of 3 Squadron were killed or taken prisoner while they were still gathering their equipment.

The theft and vandalism at Plumelec comes despite a vast security operation unfolding across Brittany and Normandy, in time for the D-Day commemorations.

Heads of state arriving in France in time for the commemorations include King Charles, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and American President Joe Biden.

A ring of steel will be placed around the world leaders and other dignitaries.

Stéphane Chavaux, commander of the Channel and North Sea gendarmerie group, said: ‘We are ready to respond to any threat, and will use force if necessary.’ 

Eighty bomb disposal experts including divers were checking the Normandy beaches for explosives yesterday, as 43,000 soldiers, police, and gendarmes flooded the region and surface-to-air missiles were deployed along the coast of northern France.

What is D Day? 

Many historians describe D-Day as the ‘beginning of the end’ of the Second World War.

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It represented the start of the Allied forces pushing back from what was the furthest Nazi occupation expanded during the war.

The landings, codenamed Operation Overlord, involved British, American, and other Allied forces crossed the English Channel to launch an offensive on the Nazi occupation in Normandy. on June 6, 1944.

It involved boats and aircraft of all shapes and sizes, for a variety of purposes, whether it was to sweep the area ahead for mines, or deliver the respective armies to France.

June 5 was the original date selected for D-Day, but bad weather forced a delay by one day, with troops departing the English coast in the night of June 5.

A US landing barge packed with helmeted soldiers makes its way to the shore in Normandy on June 6, 1944

A US landing barge packed with helmeted soldiers makes its way to the shore in Normandy on June 6, 1944

Forces arrived on the morning of June 6, by which time paratroopers had already landed behind enemy lines to begin the attack. 

In total the invasion involved 153,110 troops, supported by 10,440 aircraft and 6,330 ships, with paratroopers landing behind enemy lines in advance of the main assault.

It became known as the largest amphibious invasion in military history. 

After less than a week, all five beaches had been secured, with more troops, vehicles and equipment being delivered to the Allies.  

The move meant that Germany was at war on three fronts: in France, Italy, and Russia.

This task eventually proved too much for Hitler’s army, with Allied victory on the continent secured on May 8, 1945.



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