The statue of Napoleon has stood in Cherbourg for well over a hundred years
causing little or no controversy. During the occupation the statue became a
strange focus of early unrest for the Germans. The German General who was in
charge of the garrison in the city at the time of the American entry into the
war, was reported in the press as saying that Napoleon was pointing the way to
the defeat of America.
Members of the Resistance painted onto the base of the statue that Napoleon was
in fact pointing the way out of Russia for the Germans.
The Germans painted out the graffiti, but some days later more slogans appeared.
This went on for some weeks and finally the general lost patience and shot
Napoleon in the leg with his pistol. Not content with that he also shot the
horse in the neck.
You can still see both bullet holes to this day. This was not the only early
the Germans. Three sisters used to regularly walk along the sea front on summer
days wearing Red, White and blue dresses. On one occasion a local football
team turned out against a German team wearing Blue socks, White shorts and Red