Bernard Blin

In 1942 Bernard Blin joined the French armistice army. He joined an artillery unit in North-Africa which, after the Allied invasion, came under American command. During the war Blin would fight in Italy, Southern France and Germany itself. In 1946 he volunteered for the war in Indo China.  

Bernard Blin was born in Falaise, France, on 31 July 1922 as the son of a First World War veteran. He was educated as a coachbuilder, but two years after the defeat of France Bernard joined the French Armistice army. He enlisted for the colonial artillery hoping that, one day, he could continue the fight against Germany.  

In June 1942 Blin reached North Africa with his unit, the 10th Regiment of Colonial Artillery. After the Allied landings in Africa his unit joined the Allies and came under American command. 

After one year of training he landed in Naples with his unit, heading for the Garigliano river that was part of the German defensive zone. What Blin experienced in the Battle of Garigliano near Monte Cassino left its mark on the rest of his life: “All these ripped bodies, corpses everywhere, horses mixed with the men, the pieces of human bodies in the trees, many wounded persons who called for their mother…”  

On 2 June 1944 Bernard Blin entered Rome with the American army. But the war wasn’t over yet. In September 1944, after the Italian campaign, he landed in Marseille with the U.S. 5th Army and participated in the pursuit of the German army.  

After the German defeat Blin returned to his ruined town of Falaise. In April 1947 he enlisted again for the War in Indochina. He returned in 1950, settled down in Normandy and started a professional career in the building trade sector.