During fighting in France in June 1940, there were some particularly fierce encounters in the Amiénois region. As soon as the Germans arrived at the river Somme, six bridgeheads were formed on the south bank: at Péronne, Amiens, Corbie, Picquigny, Abbeville and Saint-Valery-sur-Somme. Every bridge between Amiens and the sea was destroyed, although two were overlooked between l’Etoile and Hangest-sur Somme. The panzer divisions led by the German Field Marshall Rommel crossed the Somme via the 'larris' (turfed limestone banks) at Hangest-sur-Somme. In the upper part of the little village of Bourdon, facing Hangest-sur-Somme, stands a military cemetery with 22,213 graves of German soldiers, most of whom died in June 1940 or during the retreat in August and September 1944. This remote walled cemetery, of imposing size, has a rather artistic feel and an outstanding panoramic view of the Somme valley. In its centre is a sanctuary with an impressive marble statue: the "white lady", symbolising the grief of mothers whose sons were killed in the war.
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