134th Infantry Regiment Crest

134th Infantry Regiment

"All Hell Can't Stop Us"

35th Infantry Division emblem

Liberation of Nancy, France

Liberation of Nancy, France

September 15, 1944

This photo was taken shortly after the liberation of the city.  The emblem on the helmet of the officer on the right indicates that he is probably a Major or a Lieutenant Colonel.  It was taken in the area of Place Thiers near the Hotel Thiers which was the 134th Infantry Regiment's Command Post.  This Officer is possibly Lt. Colonel Alford C Boatman and the soldier on the left with the maps may be Corporal John Shively.  Corporal Shively was later seriously wounded in action on January 5, 1945 and died of his wounds.  These identifications are only tentative.  If you can identify any of the people in the photo please contact the webmaster.

At 0600 on the 15 September Task Force "S" proceeded toward Nancy along the Toul-Nancy highway, with regiments in columns of battalions, the 319th leading and the 134th following. Since the 35th had completely outflanked the city, no enemy troops were encountered, but the roads and all the areas were heavily mined. The column moved quickly into Nancy and the artillery occupied the high ground about three miles west of the city.

Inside the city, as with all large French cities that had been liberated, chaos reigned. The French, their natural emotion and excitability released by their sudden freedom from the Nazi hell, ran about confusedly, seeking to ferret out collaborators, snipers, Germans, or anyone else who threatened their newly-found happiness. Rumors flew thick and fast. By evening, with the arrival of more American troops, the excitement calmed and peace once again was known in Nancy.

The Germans had left hastily. It was a matter of pride that the city and vicinity were so thoroughly cleared that four days later the Santa Fe Rear Echelon, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Richard G. Chadwick, Lowell, Massachusetts, Adjutant General of the Division, occupied the barracks which up to the 10th of September had been occupied by German troops and known as Rommel's Barracks.

The 134th, eager as always to seize an opportunity, quickly threw a bridgehead across the Moselle, capturing the hills east of the city. The Germans viciously counter-attacked but the Nebraska regiment stood firm. Nancy was definitely liberated.

Source:  Presenting the 35th Infantry Division in World War II - Chapter 7

Thanks to Sebastien Bonhomme for this picture.  He lives near Nancy, France

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