The magnificent heroes from a hidden page of history, the soldiers of La Nueve, No 9 company of General Leclerc’s renowned 2nd Armoured Division (DB). According to the history books, the liberation of Paris began on 25 August 1944 when Leclerc’s 2e Division Blindée (2e DB)?entered the city via the Porte d’Orléans. In fact, Leclerc began the push earlier, on 24 August, when he ordered Captain Dronne, commander of No 9 Company to enter Paris without delay. Dronne thrust towards the city centre via the Porte d’Italie at the head of two sections from No 9 Company, better known as La Nueve. The first vehicle from La Nueve reached the Place d l’Hôtel de Ville shortly after 8.00 p.m., “German time”on 24 August 1944. Amado Granell – Paris’s very first liberator! – climbed down from his half-track to be greeted inside the city hall by Jean Moulin’s successor, Georges Bidault, president of the National Resistance Council. Granell, like 146 out of the La Nueve’s 160 men, was a Spanish republican! The Battle of Paris cost the 2nd Armoured Division the lives of 71 men and 225 wounded. Material losses included 35 tanks, six self-propelled guns, and 111 vehicles. On 26 August, General De Gaulle strode down the Champs Élysées accompanied by four vehicles from La Nueve acting as his escort and protection detail. The procession was led by Amado Granell and his armoured car. Survivors of the civil war against Franco, having enlisted in the Free French army, the Spanish republicans of La Nueve — anarchists, socialists, communists and republicans — went on to liberate Alsace and Lorraine and saw action in Germany. Of the 146 men who landed in Normandy, only 16 survived to be the first to enter Hitler’s Berchtesgaden Eagle’s Nest.