The sabotage of the Coly Forges (commune of Pizou) during the night of 6 to 7 March 1944: testimony of Guy Léger, employee

« We were making concrete reinforcing bars and spikes for the construction of the Atlantic Wall. As we were working for the Germans, we decided, me and a friend, Guy Lambert, to try to contact the Resistance to do something. We contacted Achille and Alfred [Henri Borzeix] to tell them that we were working for the Germans and to ask them if they could come and help us, not knowing anything about explosives. They did come on the night of 6/7 March 1944. We blew up the steam engine that drove the flywheel of the rolling mill. They also punctured all the oil cans that were stored. Production was stopped for a month and a half. They couldn’t blow up the turbine, but we broke some of its teeth. An agent of the Todt organisation* supervised our work. He was a Belgian dressed in khaki with a swastika armband. We saved his life, because Achilles asked us if we had any complaints about him and we said no, because it was true.

* Nazi Germany’s Civil and Military Engineering Group, responsible for the construction of the Atlantic Wall.

Report from the Ribérac gendarmerie after the ambush at Eymouchères (10 March 1944)

« On 10 March 1944, at about 3 p.m., a firefight took place between a group of Maquis and soldiers of the occupying army at a place called « L’étang des Eymouchères » [sic], in the commune of Echourgnac […]. This shooting lasted about 30 minutes and took place near Mr Devassine’s house […]. After the scene, Mr Devassine saw several unknown individuals flee to the edge of the surrounding woods; they were allegedly members of the maquis. German soldiers were firing at the fugitives. Once calm had returned, Mr Devassine went to the scene, where he did not notice any corpses or injuries; however, there were numerous bloodstains and machine-gun cartridge cases on the scene. Mr Devassine assumes that the Maquis individuals had set up an ambush and opened fire on the Germans coming towards Echourgnac […] to recover one of their trucks that had broken down on the bank of the Etang des Eymouchères […]. The gendarmes [of Saint-Vincent-de-Connezac] learned that after the exchange of fire, two wounded German soldiers sought medical attention in the village of Échourgnac.

« Sabotage of the Mussidan railway bridge (night of 21 March 1944): testimony of Henri Barol, Bébert, FTP maquisard

« The arch of the bridge was completely shattered. We had placed a large quantity of plastic in a water drainage hole. We were ‘working’ with plastic. It looked like candles wrapped in paper. Then we had to shape it. Then we put one or more detonators and a fuse, slow or fast depending on the needs. We had to « recover » the goose guards, because there was one every fifty metres. When we arrived, we whistled to warn them. We would then take them far enough away from the site of the explosion and tie them up.