The purposes of Operation Dragoon (originally named Operation Anvil) were to capture the French Mediterranean ports, to open a new southern front involving a large contingent of French troops, and to divert German forces away from the Allied landings in Normandy. A three-pronged landing was planned between Toulon and Cannes. The amphibious fleet comprised six battleships, 21 cruisers, four aircraft carriers and 100 destroyers. It had been assembled from a range of locations: Malta, Naples, Palermo, Taranto, Oran, Corsica. Deception plans convinced the Germans to expect an assault on Genoa; to compound this the assault force sailed towards Genoa, diverting at the last minute. Dummy parachutists were also dropped near Genoa.
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