Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Operation Dragoon

During World War 2, Operation Dragoon (Allies, 1944) was the invasion of southern France between Toulon and Cannes executed on 15 August, 1944. Originally called Anvil, the name was changed by Winston Churchill, who claimed to having been "dragooned" into accepting it.

Three American divisions formed the assault troops. 3rd Infantry Division landed on the left at Alpha Beach (Cavalaire-sur-Mer), 45th Infantry Division in the centre at Delta Beach (Saint-Tropez), and 36th Infantry Division on the right at Camel Beach (Saint-RaphaŽl). They were suported by French commando groups landing on both flanks, a parachute assault by the British 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade, an American parachute regimental combat team and an American glider regimental combat team; collectively known as 1st Airborne Task Force and US 1st Special Service Force which took two offshore islands to protect the beachhead.

Over ninety-four thousand troops and eleven thousand vehicles were landed on the first day. The quick success of this invasion, with a twenty-mile penetration in twenty-four hours, sparked a major uprising by resistance fighters in Paris.

Follow-up formations included US VI Corps HQ, US 7th Army HQ, French Arny B and French I and II Corps.

The rapid retreat of the German Nineteenth Army gave the resulting battle the flavor of a race up the Rhone Valley. Allied forces from Dragoon moving northward met up with southern thrusts from Normandy (Operation Overlord) near Dijon in mid-September.

Operation Dragoon included a glider landing (Operation Dove) and a deception (Operation Span).