The Gendarmerie of Vannes!!

Another emblematic building of my capital city of Vannes in my beautiful Morbihan and my lovely Bretagne. I am relieving these buildings for their history and meaning even today. This is the case of the caserne Guillaudot barracks of the gendarmerie of Vannes! or military police. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Gendarmerie de Vannes will leave the Place de la Liberation. From now on, public reception will be in Saint-Avé (see posts) since December 1, 2020, There will be still a small detachment in Vannes.  This barrack has the name of caserne Guillaudot in honor of General Maurice Guillaudot. However, the building is from 1850 that it was at the old Place du Champ de Foire for the placement of the administration. The square also took a new name as of now, Place de la Libération, It is a bus terminal for the departmental bus lines and the first one my boys took to come from our home to the city, On the side there is car parking which we have used as well.


The new HQ will be base in rue Baudelaire , Saint Avé and will cover the towns of Arradon, Plescop, Ploeren and the Gulf Islands. But also 15 other towns thanks to joint action with the Grand-Champ brigade. The new building, located between the Bois de Kerozer and rue Baudelaire, will be in the immediate vicinity of shops, services, public facilities and public transport. Close to the means of communication, its location, strategic for the missions of the gendarmerie, is also for its urban, natural and landscape qualities. 26 families live inside the barracks,

At the Vannes building known as caserne Guillaudot there is a small museum inside , the General Guillaudot museum which traces the history of General Guillaudot, former commander of the Morbihan gendarmes and hero of the liberation, who gave his name to the barracks. It is a whole set of unusual objects that are present. As early as 1940, General Guillaudot refused to submit to the occupier. His personal commitment to this mission resulted in him being transferred, as a disciplinary sanction from Rennes to Vannes, for refusing to carry out an order from the prefect. He decides to create a resistance network which will, in particular, organize the parachuting of weapons, the rescue of Anglo-Saxon airmen, train future guerrillas, protect the refractory in the service of compulsory labor …etc.

His group prepared in May and June 1943, file 2223, better known under the code name “basket of cherries”, consists of numerous documents. Twenty-three sketches made by hand by the gendarmes of the territorial brigades are, in most cases, accompanied by an explanatory commentary, often very detailed. These sketches highlight the Nazis defenses, installations and garrisons in certain sensitive areas of the MorbihanThese documents were dispersed as follows : one is placed in a container, then sealed and buried in Gendarme Hulot’s garden, within the Vannes gendarmerie barracks. It was then recovered intact by Squadron Leader Guillaudot upon his return from deportation.  The other is hidden by Adjutant Louarn, in Josselin’s brigade, while awaiting shipment to the authorities of Free France. It is then placed in a specially designed box in London for transport. This is equipped with a double bottom and a destruction device. The complete file is transported to the Auxerre region (89) by a commando group of four men from the St Marcel resistance group (Morbihan see post) Guy Lenfant, Honoré Chamaillard, Julien Leport and Jean Garin. On the night of July 18-19, 1943, Guy Lenfant embarked in a Lysander with the “basket of cherries”, which he handed over to the BCRA officers in London. On the evening of July 20, Commandant Guillaudot heard the long awaited message on BBC Radio: “The basket of cherries has arrived. The fruits are remarkable. We would like to receive more. Congratulations and thanks to Yodi, for his action and his excellent work. “

The gendarmerie of Vannes

Translated above by yours truly from the Gendarmerie association :

A bit on General Maurice Guillaudot, He took part in the Great War or WWI where he was knighted in the Legion of Honor in August 1918 , He then followed training at the Gendarmerie School of Application in Versailles. He was raised to the rank of captain in 1928, then to that of squadron leader (equivalent to commander) in 1936. He was assigned to Vitré (Ille-et-Vilaine 35) in 1940, at the head of the 2nd group of the 4th Mobile Republican Guard Legion. This branch of the Gendarmerie being dissolved in the French occupied zone, he was placed at the head of the gendarmerie in Rennes. Following his refusal to charge the many Rennais who came on June 17, 1941 to flower the graves of the victims of the Nazis bombing of June 17, 1940, he was transferred to Vannes.  Arrested on December 10, 1943, he was deported to Neuengamme in Germany from where he returned in May 1945. He was appointed general in October 1945, before being accused of conspiring against the French Republic in the context of the Blue Plan affair (a group trying to revert the left leaning ways of the French Republic in those days) . at the end of the 1940s the general of the gendarmerie Maurice Guillaudot, will be arrested. They will be exonerated and released without any follow-up after six months in prison.

There you go folks, a nice piece of history and a gallant building in Place de la Liberation in Vannes. The Gendarmerie is there, will see what is the future as for now, it is a nice building full of history. Hope you enjoy this historical post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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