In the afternoon of 10th June 1944 a detachment of SS troops arrived in Oradour-sur-Glane, a peaceful town near the city of Limoges in central France. The troops sealed off the entrances to the town and rounded up the inhabitants, including those they had collected from nearby farms on their way in.
The assembled residents were initially told that this was to be an identity check. However the women and children were then separated from the men folk and the (200 or so) men were split up into smaller groups and taken to various barns or warehouses around the town centre where SS troops set up machine guns facing them. The women and children (approx 450 of them) were taken to the church and locked in.