"La Croix Piot" viewpoint

In 887, this carolingian residence was given to the Abbey Saint Medard in Soissons by the Emperor Charles le Gros who founded a priory at this place. Near the triple confluence of the Meuse, of the Bar and of the Vrigne rivers, Donchery controlled an important road and was at the foot of the strategic massif of the Marfee at the Croix Piot.

The 1870 war was the one which caused the least damage to the town was out-of-the- way of the battle of Sedan, although the 5th. and the 11th. Prussian army corps had crossed the Meuse river here to participle in the surrounding of the Chalons Army.
It was at the Croix Piot that the King of Prussia took position, but on the following morning, he descended with his officers to the place known as “the small trees” in order to better follow the battle.
On the 2nd of September, the town of Donchery was the theatre in the house of the mayor and in the “Weaver’s House” of the preliminary meetings for the capitulation of Napoleon III in the castle of Bellevue.

1914 was the worst year for the town of Donchery, of which 98% was destroyed at the end of August. The general withdrawal of the French forces towards the Meuse on the 25th of August meant that the 4th. Army had to assure the defense of the Sedan-Donchery sector. The following day, the Germans bombed the town for several hours and set it on fire, a fire which lasted for days. The enemy tried to cross the Meuse on two wooden bridges, but were prevented from doing so all morning by the French artillery, who was firing from the Croix Piot. On the 27th of August, the order for a general withdrawal given by Joffre obliged our troops to withdraw to the Marne still fighting. The germans then terrorized the population with their exactions and shot many inhabitants...

On the 10th of May 1940, not only was the system of fortification of Montmedy-Sedan in a deplorable state by lack of preparation, but also a void existed between the two neighbouring armies, the 2nd commanded by the General Huntziger, contested, responsible for the defense of Sedan- Donchery, and the 9th commanded by the General Corap. 48 hours after having violated Belgian neutralite, the Panzer Division of the 19th Armoured Corps of General Guderian reached the Meuse on the 12th of May in late afternoon, entering Floing and Sedan.

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