Operation Dragoon 15–29 August 1944

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Map Code: Ax00761

On 1 August the US 6th Army and the French forces were gathered on Corsica ready for the assault on France. On 14 August, under massive air cover, the US 7th Army, commanded by General Patch, spearheaded the operation, with the British VI Corps under Major General Truscott, and French Army B under Général Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. The British VI Corps landed along the Côte d’Azur, followed by French Army B divisions, and with help from the French Resistance the heavily depleted and under equipped German forces were quickly overwhelmed. The Germans began an orderly retreat up the Rhone, intending to regroup at Dijon. A game of cat-and-mouse ensued, with the Allies trying repeatedly to block the Germans’ escape routes northwards. On 28 August the German retreat was halted by a joint force at the embattled town of Montélimar, where a stalemate ensued, with the Allies’ supply lines by now overstretched. However by then, the French had captured and repaired the harbours at Marseille and Toulon, greatly enhancing the Allies’ capabilities and ultimately sealing the Germans’ fate in southern France.

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