The French enter Strasbourg

When the oasis of Kufra (Libya) fell to the Italians on 2 March 1941, Colonel Leclerc swore the following oath: "Swear not to lay down arms until our colours, our beautiful colours, float on the Strasbourg Cathedral."

Three years later, the 2nd Armoured Division (DB), fully equipped with American equipment (Sherman tanks), entered Strasbourg. On arriving in front of the cathedral, Lieutenant-Colonel Rouvillois issued the following coded message "The cloth is in the iodine" announcing that the town had been taken. The French flag was raised on the cathedral in the afternoon by spahi Maurice Lebrun, of the 5th squadron of the Marching Regiment of Moroccan Spahis.

A M3 Stuart tank of the 2nd Armoured Division in the streets of Strasbourg

The next day, while there was still fierce resistance from the Germans, Leclerc presided over a military parade in Place Kléber before a cheering crowd. On 1 January 1945, Himmler launched Operation Norwind for the purpose of retaking Strasbourg. Following heavy fighting involving the 1st motorised infantry division (DMI) at Obenheim, the Germans eventually retreated on 13 January 1945.

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Article : carnet de route du 2e escadron du 12e cuirassiers dans revue historique des armées, N°3, 1984, P 40

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