Citroen in World War 2
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    JBN
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    Default Citroen in World War 2

    A very interesting War story.
    Citroen's WW II Sabotage

    Youíre likely going unaware that this year is the 100th anniversary of CitroŽn. While doing some research I have happened to stumble upon a fascinating bit of wartime CitroŽn lore. It involves screwing with Nazis in a genuinely clever and subtle way that nevertheless had big repercussions. I'll explain.

    So, when France was occupied by the Germans in 1940, major French factories like CitroŽn were forced to produce equipment for the Nazis. CitroŽn president Pierre-Jules Boulanger knew he couldn't just refuse to produce anything, but he also knew there's no way in hell he's going to just roll over and build trucks for a bunch of filthy Nazis. Pierre had aplan.

    John Reynold's bookCitroŽn p2CVdescribes Boulanger's sabotage efforts. Of course, he instructed workers to set a nice, leisurely pace when building trucks (likely CitroŽn T45 trucks) for the Wehrmacht, but that's fairly obvious. What was brilliant was Boulanger's idea to move the little notch on the trucks' oil dipsticks that indicated the proper level of oil down just a bit lower.

    By moving the notch down, the trucks would not have enough oil, but German mechanics would have no idea, because, hey, the little notch on the dipstick says its just fine. Then, after the truck has been used for a while and is out deployed somewhere crucial, whammo, the engine seizes up, and you've got a lot of angry, stranded, vulnerable Nazis, balling up their little fists and madly barking curses in German.

    It's such a fantastic act of sabotage: it's extremely cheap to implement, it's subtle, there's no way to see something amiss is happening as the trucks are being built, and it delivers its blow away from the site of the sabotage and when it will cause the most inconvenience and trouble.


    That's some mighty good sabotaging, Pierre.

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    Happy 100th Anniversary, CitroŽn. The Free World thanks you.

    John
    (don't blame me for the font size, I couldn't change it)




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    Tadpole
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    Fascinating.

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    Fellow Frogger!
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    A great story if it's true

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    I believe the unionists at the Renault factory would send army trucks out without wheel bearing grease for the same reason as above.

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    Funny that; there's a wartime story of sabotage about a Peugeot factory, albeit the work done mainly by outsiders (with thanks to George Duncan at Lesser Known Facts of WWII 1943).

    The Peugeot car factory at Sochaux,near Montbeliard in France, was bombed by the RAF on the night of July 14, 1943. The raid caused little damage but over 100 French civilian workers were killed. After the German takeover of the factory the owner, Rudolphe Peugeot, was compelled to turn his factory over to the production of turrets for tanks and also to the manufacture of aero-engine parts. British SOE agent, Harry Ree, (Code name 'Henri') operating in the area, contacted Monsieur Peugeot and suggested a plan to sabotage the factory. He reluctantly agreed and on November 5, 1943, much of the vital machinery, including the power station and the main transformer, was destroyed by explosives smuggled inside the factory which put production out of action for three months. Two months later the aircraft parts section of the factory was blown up but soon replaced by the Germans using forced labour only to be destroyed again by Ree and his French resistance saboteurs. In the end the Peugeot Works proved of little value to the Nazi war machine.


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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    Not an accurate account of the Peugeot story but accuracy and good research are considered old fashioned nowadays. There is a poorly researched account of the bombing of Sochaux circulating in some French car club journals. For a more accurate account refer to Chapter 10 in my Peugeot and Australia. There are a number of French language accounts and the topic is covered in a number of more general works on the Occupation. Harry Ree wrote an authorised memoir and there is an audio tape made not long before his death of him discussing his work in France. Lacking detail as he was a man of few words.

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Hall View Post
    Not an accurate account of the Peugeot story but accuracy and good research are considered old fashioned nowadays. There is a poorly researched account of the bombing of Sochaux circulating in some French car club journals. For a more accurate account refer to Chapter 10 in my Peugeot and Australia. There are a number of French language accounts and the topic is covered in a number of more general works on the Occupation. Harry Ree wrote an authorised memoir and there is an audio tape made not long before his death of him discussing his work in France. Lacking detail as he was a man of few words.
    Perhaps he was more of a "man of action". The result of successful demolition is that there is not much left to talk about.

    John

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