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July 2014

The Forgotten D-Day

HMS_Kimberley_Winston_Churchill

 

Winston Churchill aboard the HMS Kimberley. Souce: WikiMedia Commons

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landing of allied troups during World War II, to liberate France.

Lesser known but certainly no less brave are the allied landings which took place along the shores of South-Eastern France. These were code-named Operation Dragoon.

On the days and nights between August 14 and 16 1944, 100,000 allied troups poured into the shores of Provence on the beaches Cavalaire-sur-Mer, St Tropez, Fréjus, Saint-Raphael and Le Trayas.

Dragoon_landings

 

Operation Dragoon Landings: source WikiMedia Commons.

Reinforcement came from land troops through Sainte-Maxime. Some 5,000 allied paratroopers dotted the skies and landed in the greater Le Muy area and over the Argens valley, on the Western side of the French Riviera.

Casualties were estimated around 10,000, which is too many but certainly far fewer than what could have been had the german military not been pre-occupied by the operations by then well under way in the north of France.

The operation does draw its share of small commemorative events. However, not nearly on the scale of what we saw today (June 6, 2014) in Normandy. 

. DragoonStRaphael

Above: 753rd Tank Battalion landing with Camel Force to support the 36th on the beach "du Dramont" by St. Raphael in August 1944 during Operation Dragoon. You can spot the Ile d'Or island in the background. Source: SudWall Superforum