L'ancienne abbaye d'Ardennes, near Caen: A German Observation Post Damaged by British Gunfire

Image credit: British Council Collection

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On 11th June 1944 Hennell was sent to France to cover the invasion and witnessed the first of the tactical bombings carried out by Allied aircraft. The capture of Caen was essential to the campaign and to that end over 2000 tons of explosives were dropped by the RAF to force the German surrender of the town. He described the scene in a letter to a friend 'It is almost a city of the dead – the houses nearly all quite ruined & streets piled with rubble … There were two fine churches still standing, but one of them is badly knocked about, though not (I think) at all beyond repair'.

British Council Collection



L'ancienne abbaye d'Ardennes, near Caen: A German Observation Post Damaged by British Gunfire




watercolour on paper


H 62.2 x W 47 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by the War Artists' Advisory Committee, 1947

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British Council Collection

British Council, 1 Redman Place, London, Greater London E20 1JQ England

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