This is the only Polish cemetery in France and it lies on the crossroad from Grainville–Langannerie to Urville, a few kilometers south of Caen. These fallen soldiers belong to the units of Major–General Stanislaw Maczek and the Polish 1st Armoured Division who fought during the Battle of Normandy in August 1944.
Operation Totalize and Chambrois
The Polish 1st Division was stationed in Scotland and first saw action during Operation Totalize on 8 to 13 August of 1944. The operation was an Allied offensive to break through the defensive lines South of Caen and part of Operation Tractable.
The Division also achieved victories against the Wehrmacht on Hill 262 in the Battle for Mont Ormel on 19 to 21 August 1944 and the town of Chambrois. Chambrois was the scene of some of the bitterest fighting of the Normandy campaign. Here the Polish 1st Division fought hard to close the Falaise Gap, and met up with the American 90th Infantry Division on the 19th of September in 1944, playing a crucial part in sealing off the gap and halt the escape of the fleeing German forces.
The Liberation of Europe
The Polish soldiers fought alongside the Canadian, British and Americans troops in Europe and with a flanking manoeuvre liberated the city of Breda in the Netherlands without any civilian casualties.
The Division liberated numerous cities from France to Belgium, the Netherlands and ended their campaign in the northern part of Germany.
At its peak the 1st Armored Division numbered a total of 16.000 soldiers.
The Free Polish Forces
The soldiers of the Free Polish forces who fell in other parts of France are all buried here. There are 696 graves on this War Cemetery. The graves are arranged around a huge “V” shaped monument, with a sculpture on top, resembling the Polish Eagle.
The field of honour is taken care of by the French Anciens Combattant, a veterans association. Unlike other cemeteries you see many religious memento’s as rosaries and such placed on the graves.
The cemetery lies 17 kilometers South of Caen next to the N158.