Bombing of the Renault plant in Billancourt

During the Second World War, the Renault plants in Boulogne Billancourt were severely bombed three times by the Allies: in March 1942 and in April and September 1943.

The plants continued to operate but production was hijacked by the Germany army. They became a sitting target for the Allies who wanted to destroy the installations and machinery.

On Sunday, 4 April, several waves of American bombers dropped tonnes of bombs on the plants, with fatal inaccuracy. A bomb fell on a metro at Pont de Sèvre station and others on the busy Longchamp race course, resulting in numerous victims (1500 wounded and 327 deaths). The population was traumatised as seen in the following testimonial: “On 4 April 1943, Boulogne-Billancourt was bombed in broad daylight on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. After the bombing on 3 March 1942, many people left Boulogne-Billancourt to be out of harm’s way, but there were still many families left.”

After each bombing, Louis Renault set about rebuilding the damaged installations.


Article : GÉRARD DE VASSAL aged 84, lived through the 1942 and 1943 bombings in Boulogne [on-line], , available on


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