The Long-Coron battle





The criminal gang from Jemappes and Baudour, joined by men from the Kriegsmarine (the German navy responsible for the lock on the Canal de Condé), continued up Rue Quewette towards Ghlin, unaware that the village was occupied by the Americans of Task Force Lovelady.

As on the route de Baudour, at the entrance to Ghlin, the German parachutists are mistaken for GIs. Three civilians are busy disarming lone German soldiers. The three men were immediately apprehended and, as in Jemappes, the parachutists forced their way into houses, taking the men out and regrouping them. Eleven of them were lined up in a meadow. Three of them - Fernand Daully, Albert Louvrier and Oscar Lupant - try everything and run. They are mowed down as they run. The bursts of automatic weapons took the lives of their eight companions: Marcel Dulière, François and Octave Leclercq, Jules Majois, Louis Marlier, Alphonse, Germain and Joseph Tartarin. Gustave Leclercq miraculously escaped with a bullet in his shoulder.

The bursts of automatic weapons alarm the village resistance fighters and the American bivouac. The men of the Secret Army (SA) move down towards Long-Coron, to meet the Germans who are entrenched in the houses, on the defensive. Sherman tanks arrive in support, firing from the Baudour-Mons vicinal line. Once the battle was underway, more American tanks appeared behind the defenders on Rue Quewette. These are the tanks of Task Force Mills, already in Cuesmes earlier in the morning, coming up from Jemappes to Lovelady. The German paratroopers were caught out by a force too big for them. This was fortunate, as the AS section leading the assault was no match for the German machine guns. Caught in the crossfire, the Germans scattered into the surrounding area in an attempt to escape encirclement.

The AS command post, set up in a house at the junction of rue de la Drève and rue des Prés sauvages, was isolated for part of the afternoon as it was surrounded by trailing paratroopers. The AS clears the area around Long-Coron and Rue Quewette. The Americans between Long-Coron and Château Milfort. Almost 300 men were captured, 20 wounded and 44 corpses found. Twenty-six Ghlinois lost their lives.


Rue du Grand Marais 38, 7011 Ghlin