The dark hours of World War II
6 August 1944, Saint-Malo still occupied by the Germans was bombed, in the early afternoon, high ajourée boom of the bell tower of the cathedral collapsed. The German Kommandantur gave the order to drive all the men of St. Malo at Fort National. On 7 August, to the point of the day, after leaving women and children, 380 malouins head in a long line to the Fort where they were imprisoned by the German troops. They then spent 6 days in the scrap, without food, to helping each other. Unfortunately, 18 of them should never review them. Their names are engraved in the same place on the night of 9 to 10 August 1944, they were cut by shells allies. These shells partially destroyed the Fort and the guard who was then rebuilt according to plans by Vauban.
"Saturday, August 12 - Sixth day of our detention at Fort National. Visiblement forces decline but we retain enough tact point just to talk too. Hunger we squeezed the stomach. The water in the tank decreases of a concern. Can we take on our long Ilôt? Fortunately - and this comforts us - military operations seem to develop positively. " The Castle is the subject of severe bombing and U.S. troops have passed on the Sillon the Hotel de la Grotte aux Fées burned for several days. The shooting of the Americans is much better run than the previous days. Le Grand Bey became the target of artillery placed on the heights around Dinard and batteries besieging St. Malo in the east and south. We are seeing the results of shooting on the big Bey and Cézembre where an ammunition dump exploded, it is a distraction to our boredom. Avoidance of the draft worked out but we fear of German reprisals up to the destruction of the Fort and its occupants. These fears were not chimeric as judged by the excesses committed by the Germans in France during their retirement. Yet the advantage of low water, a man will leave this night: it was agreed to report his arrival in the morning by placing a small flag at the entrance to the Dam Paramé. (...) The sky is black smoke, pieces of burnt paper flying in the city and come to the Fort National. Saint-Malo became a blaze burning, late at night we are to contemplate the fire which consumes the ruin of one of the most picturesque cities in the world. In a few days to the efforts of the generations that succeeded vanishes for ever before our eyes alarmed. "
From An episode of the siege of Saint-Malo, hostages at Fort National 7-13 August 1944, by Joseph Baladre, 1946.