On the occasion of the unveiling of the Monument commemorating the Battle of the Vexin, the Vexin Histoire Vivante (VHV) association and the city of Fontenay-Saint-Père invited several reenactment groups to come and setttle a camp on the 11th and 12th September. This forgotten battle took place in late August 1944 during the liberation of the Paris area. It opposed more than 30,000 soldiers leading to the death of 3,000 of them.
UNIVEM was also there, with several vehicles such as the Sherman, 2 Half-Tracks, a Scout-Car, 2 GMC CCKW (dump truck and workshop), a Dodge Command Car, the International M425 and many Jeep. One of our member came with a German Sd.Kfz 247 replica. The camp was set up in the Friday afternoon, and a big diner made everybody happy.
On Saturday morning, a ceremony was held at the monument, located 1 kilometer away from the camp. The Sherman led the convoy to the monument!
All day long, spectators admired the vehicles of the association, but also the ones from other associations (a dozen of them also came and had their camp all around the city stade).
On Saturday afternoon, a ride was organised in the surrounding countryside to see some point of interest of the 1944 battle.
At the end of the afternoon, some rides in the Sherman were also offered to the spectators: success guaranteed! On Saturday night, the semi-trailer of the International M425 received the orchestra for the dance night!
Sunday morning, another ride to the Roche-Guyon Castle, with a back trip by the “Route des Crêtes”.
On the afternoon, a battle reenactment was played by the different reenactment groups in front of an admirative public. Between all the explosions, shooting and firing, the Sherman tank of UNIVEM eventually came through some trees to eliminate the last threats, (blank) firing with its gun!
After the battle, time for a picture with all the participants, and then only with the members of UNIVEM.
At the end of the afternoon, it was time to leave and go back home after a wonderful and successful weekend!
Thanks to Pierre for some of his pictures that are in this report.