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Authentic French farm names

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One thing I've noticed in making my La Nicollerie and Choisy maps from Google Earth is that farms aren't labeled directly -- but if you turn on all the labels for roads as well as places, and zoom way in, look for whatever little road or lane leads into a farm. Usually the road bears the name of that farm (La Nicollerie) or hamlet (Hameau Choisy). In Normandy (and I suppose in Calvados too), farm names tend to start with "Le XXX" or "La XXX" or "Hotel XXX."

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Speaking of Google Earth and your campaign maps in this area, Paper Tiger...

One huge favor you and BFC could do for us, if you would be so inclined, would be to post a Google Earth screenshot showing the boundaries of the areas that your authentic maps are covering (using white outlined polygons, for example, and ideally listing the GPS coordinates of the NW and SE corners) This would help players orient themselves to the sites of battles -- and for the rest of the mapping community, it would show us exactly where we might need to make maps of our own to fill in any gaps.

For example -- I've got the whole Epsom-Hill 112-Jupiter area on 200m per hex wargame maps from Panzer Grenadier (Avalanche Press), for use as an operational layer. But I'm going to wait and see what parts of this area BFC is covering before I make any CMBN battle maps of my own for it.

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In France farms are often named after the family which lives on it or which founded it or then after the location they are built on. One possibility is to look in the French phone book Pages Blanches. Put in the name of the village and the zip code into the "Où" (where) field and put ferme (Farm) into the "Nom" field. And you'll get a list of farms like:

Ferme des Brosses

Ferme des Peupliers

Ferme du Chateau

La ferme du Fresnois

Ferme de la Grange Dimière

Of a google search with "ferme grainville eure" will give you

La Chesnaie

Le Petit Moutard

Ferme de Bray

Ferme des Muttes

The names you find on maps often are names of hamlets. Small assemblies of several farmsteads.

If you require the name of a specific farm, you could send me the coordinates and i'll have a look what i can dig up on French sites.

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As far as I am leaving in Normandy, I can give you a hand. Just ask me precisely something, and I'll try to help you. I think winkelried has a really good way to find names.

You must know that in Normandy there are not only farms (!), or not only with a "farm" name. There is a lot of "Hameaux" (hamlets in English I think, hameau in singular), which is a group of houses. They often have a single name without "farm" ("Le Foc", "La Rouxelière").

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Thanks a lot for the info guys. I am really, really pushed for time just now as I'm getting ready for my Xmas holiday so I won't have much time for CMBN for about a month. But very quickly, I am particularly interested in the farms in and around:

Le Haut du Bosq (I think I've got these though)

between Collevile and Tourville



I'll check out Google Earth more carefully sometime later and have a look at that cadastre site as well.

The campaign will not go into Hill 112 so feel free to do what you want with it. But honestly, I wouldn't worry about duplicating my stuff either as I'm sure you guys will do a more authentic job of it than I have time to do ;)

BTW, I used to speak French quite well when I was a yound chappie but it got rusty as I grew older. And after I moved to Indonesia and learned Indonesian I can't produce any anymore. When my students ask me if I can speak French, I say 'a bit' but when I try, all that comes out of my mouth is in Indonesian. Shame as it's such a beautiful language...

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I have some original maps issued to uk forces in 1944. Very few Farm h=names are mentioned on the maps except those around Vendes, Rauray and Haut du Bosq which you say you have (La Grande Ferme, St Nicolas Ferme, La Bijude Ferme, Barbee Ferme, La Petite Ferme, Ferme Du Guiberon, Ferme de Montbrocq). On my map of Gavrus no farms are named although from the map places like Gavrus and Les Villains are literally 8 buildings and a church! Very different from today.

Near Granville Sur Odon and Le Valtru there are no individual farms names - the smallest settlement being named is Cahier about 500m west south ewst of Le Valtru - being 4 buildings. All of the farms are visible on the map but very few are named.

Those that are names like those above do appear in the AARs and war diaries but those that arent dont seem to be...

The only other farm in the UK sector that I can find named if Ferme De L'Etang, about 1k south of Maltot (scene of major fightling during operation Jupiter involving 502ss Heavy Panzer Bttn)

Hope this helps - in essence if they arent named on the map they would have just been referred to by Grid Reference.

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