Can you help me identify this 1940s French village?
May 9, 2023 12:56 PM   Subscribe

My great-uncle was in a cell in the French Resistance during WWII and either took a lot of photos or was given photos by a Maquis friend of his. I have images of the album but next to no details besides that, because he died in the 60s and my dad can't remember what he told him about the location. Can you help me identify where in France these photos were taken? Am assuming Limousin region but am not sure. More details and image links inside.

He worked on some kind of farm outside of a village, of which there are a few shots:
Shot 1
Shot 2

Here are some photos of areas and buildings of importance around where he lived:
Friend on the street in a village
Lonely-looking house surrounded by trees
Stone Cottage

This photo is particularly interesting. My uncle is on the far right on a street corner, presumably with other Maquis. I got excited for a minute by the inscribed block on the building behind him, but it seems like it's just saying "Post no bills." Street corner shot

Just for fun, here are some shots of him and his Maquis friends doing farming things:
Using a tractor
Hauling logs
Kissing a cow
Hangin' out at the rabbit hutch
French Resistance dog (a very good boy)
posted by Miss T.Horn to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm pretty sure it's Argentat-sur-Dordogne. Look at the building with the tower in the background, and the shape of the bridge.

(Edited, because the English version of Wikipedia didn't have the photo of the bridge in it!)
posted by essexjan at 1:33 PM on May 9 [43 favorites]

Best answer: Here's a postcard for sale on eBay that shows a bit more of the bridge.
posted by essexjan at 1:44 PM on May 9 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh my goodness. THANK YOU. It definitely IS Argentat-sur-Dordogne.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 1:54 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]

Essexjan, even by metafilter standards that was impressive.
posted by EllaEm at 2:42 PM on May 9 [35 favorites]

37 minutes, hell yeah. I favorited this thread so I would someday come back and find out the answer (and peruse all of the old photos). Turns out it was within the hour!
posted by intermod at 4:25 PM on May 9 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Truly incredible. My family has been in search of this information for 50+ years and it took essexjan 37 minutes to solve this mystery. Amazingly, today I've been able to read for the first time about the operations in which my great uncle took part. Now I'm wondering whether those "logs" on the cart in that photo aren't actually containers full of explosives and weapons.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 9:42 PM on May 9 [12 favorites]

Thanks. I think it was more luck than anything, and I also think that Google in the UK throws up different results than it does in the USA. I did a few image searches for 'village, limousin, stone bridge' and came across this image, where I thought the bridge supports looked like the one in the picture.

I clicked through to the property listing, and from there to the map, which gave me the name Argentat-sur-Dordogne, and from there I was able to find some other pics of the village to enable me to identify it.

So it was just a lucky bit of Googling and the Euro-algorithm that got me there. I'm glad I was able to help, and your great uncle sounds like a complete badass. The Resistance fighters were incredibly brave and many sacrificed their lives so I can sit here safe and comfortable in my living room in England.
posted by essexjan at 5:48 AM on May 10 [21 favorites]

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