Posted 28 July 2003 - 05:40 AM
We have all in mind the landing in Normady. But there will be another anniversary in August 2004 : the landing in Provence, the 15th of August 1944 .
Originally code-named 'Anvil', the South of France invasion was planned to coincide with the Normandy landings. Since that decision was made, Britain pushed for the Allies to concentrate on the Italian campaign, but under US pressure agreed to go ahead with the now re-named Operation 'Dragoon' using forces withdrawn from US Fifth Army in Italy
August 15, 1944, a allied armada emerges to broad from the coasts of Provence. It includes/understands 10 aircraft carriers, 5 battleships, 25 cruisers, 109 destroyers and escort ships, nearly 2000 apparatuses of bombardment and hunting, including 200 embarked. Then it pours on the beaches more than 300 000 soldiers. In the previous hours, the wall threatening of barbed wires, mines, concreted works, heavy artillery was started, but remains frightening. In the night from the 14 to August 15, the commandos already achieved the goal, at the price of heavy losses. In-depth, in the mountains of the back-country of Provence, 10 000 parachutists were released. They are on the point of blocking the German reinforcements, if they would launch a counter-offensive. The French Army is back in metropolis, and represents nearly 65 % of the whole of the troops, with two armoured divisions and five divisions of infantry. They attack everywhere by taking foolish risks in impracticable sites. After inou´es difficulties, the town of Toulon is encircled as from August 18, then the operation towards Marseilles starts as of August 20. The French Army allows the luxury at the same time to carry out two battles: the engagements are completed there simultaneously on August 28. These two large ports will make it possible to make forward much more freight than the artificial harbours of Normandy, then to decide victory in the West. As of August 25, more than 500 000 men are on-site to sink towards North, in the valley of the Rhone. One month later, they will carry out their junction in Burgundy with those who unloaded in Normandy
4000 men - Americans, Canadians, English, French - left their life on these beaches to reconquer Provence and to continue the release of France started with the unloading of Normandy. A US barge was let remember it this moment on the western beach of the Cape Dramont, with little distance of the small port of Poussa´.
Posted 28 July 2003 - 07:18 AM
Posted 28 July 2003 - 07:59 AM
Thanks very much. I have to admit in my ignorance I had never even heard of it, which makes me feel terrible.
I wonder if it would be worth a section for....lesser known battles and deeds ? Or is there anything like that already....?
Posted 28 July 2003 - 09:02 AM
Posted 28 July 2003 - 10:34 AM
This topic is worth confabulation, in length. A great operation overshadowed by the Normandy assault. The Axis forces had their hands full with the engagement to the North and West and this operation certainly took off some pressure in the Allied push towards Germany.
Italy was somewhat of a stalemate and a defensive battlefield and this was good use of forces from the Fifth Army.
On a side note: On August 29, 1944, during the invasion of southern France, Marines from the USS Augusta and the cruiser USS Philadelphia went ashore in Marseilles harbor to accept the surrender of more than 700 Germans who had fortified island garrisons. Coastal Battery fire took its toll of the Allied Fleet during the engagement.
The local: http://plasma.nation...text=Marseilles
Posted 28 July 2003 - 11:17 AM
I think that there is too little of this particular action known , i saw a documentary on the anzio/italy campaign on the history channel last week , and it covered the topic of "Anvil/Dragoon" very well , but left me wanting to know more...
I marked this site for anyone who wants to have a look , its quite informative
I dont know why there was so much opposition to it at the time , it makes sense to me.........and what do i know!!
Posted 28 July 2003 - 12:06 PM
The US Army didn't come up with the official history volume for that campaign until 1992!
I intend to try to rectify that in my series, if possible.
Some trivial points I have learned:
The bombardment force included British gunboats that came all the way from the pre-war Yangtze River Flotilla.
The British escort carriers were commanded by Australia's Rear Adm. Frank Getting, who had commanded HMAS Australia in the Guadalcanal campaign.
The French battleship Lorraine and light cruisers Montcalm and Georges Leygues were on the bombardment line. The latter were at D-Day. They avoided the holocaust of Toulon because they sat out the first three years of the war with Richelieu at Dakar. Lorraine was parked in Alexandria.
Churchill, frustrated at not getting to watch D-Day, was on HMS Kimberley to watch this invasion. He wasn't happy with it, but was impressed with the professionalism of the invasion.
The "Devil's Brigade" participated in the assault.
A provisional airborne division was created for it as well, under Gen. Robert Frederick, who led the Devil's Brigade. It included the British 2nd Parachute Brigade and American parachute regiments, including one that joined the 17th Airborne in time for the Varsity drop.
The American invaders included the 45th Infantry and the famous 3rd Infantry Division.
Posted 28 July 2003 - 03:52 PM
1. The US invasion force was composed of the US VI Corps with three US divisions (3d, 36th and 45th).
2. This web site includes some discussion of what British Naval Forces were allocated to the invasion.
South, France, Landings, Anvil, Dragoon, Cunningham, RN, invasion
... Naval Control, Attack & Convoy Escort Forces, British & Allied. French. USA. Battleships, 1. 1. 3. Cruisers, 7. 5. 8. Destroyers & escorts, 27. 19. 52. Other warships, 69. 6. 157. ...
3. The US airborne units are listed below. The British airborne forces included the 4th, 5th & 6th Para Bns and 1st Indian Pathfinders.
Date: 15 August 1944
Unit: 1st Abn. Task Force (460th PFA, 463rd PFABn.; 509th PIB; 517th PCT; 551st PIB; 596th PCT Eng. Co.) (Dropping of 300 paratroop dummies, prior to landing)
Operation: Anvil Dragoon (Rugby)
Dropzone: Cote d' Azur, Riviera
4. The 1st Special Service Force (Devil's Brigade) attacked and seized the islands of Port Cros and Levant which allowed the invasion force to land with minimal problems.
5. The French Commandos were responsible for seizing German gun positions to the north of the landing forces. They were successful.
6. Of interest is the 551st PIB which would later be attached to the 82d Airborne during the Battle of the Bulge. The unit suffered horrendous casualties and was deactivated in Feb 45 with the survivors being assigned to the 82d Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps (US).
6. I have included some web sites about the 551st PIB (GOYA) because of what happened to it while it was attached to the 82d Airborne Division.
History for 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion
... known. Many credit the belated recognition to Gregory Orfalea, a District
resident whose father served with the 551st. Pvt. Aref ...
ARMY Article: The Last Battle, April 2001
... The campaign was buoyed by the release of a book about the 551st (Messengers of the Lost Battalion) written by Gregory Orfalea, the son of a battalion veteran. ...
Lost World War II Battalion
... as the "lost battalion." Gregory Orfalea (whose father rarely talked of his war experiences) began interviewing other members of the 551st, which suffered some ...
Nouvelle page 6
... Coming by trucks from their garrison camp at Laon (near Reims, France), the 551st
PIB arrived at Werbomont during the night of the 20th to the 21st of December ...
Edited by jimary, 28 July 2003 - 03:54 PM.
Posted 29 July 2003 - 01:44 AM
Posted 29 July 2003 - 08:07 AM
An important potential "lessons learned" from his book is the fate of "orphan" units which become attached to a divisional structure where they're strangers. Orfalea says that that outsider status caused his father's battalion to get the short end of the stick repeatedly from higher command. I don't know if that's borne out by independent history, but, if true, that would be consistent with human nature. Interesting issue for historical, and contemporary military organization, discussion.
Thanks for all the info, guys.
Posted 29 July 2003 - 02:19 PM
Posted 07 August 2003 - 09:51 AM
Posted 24 August 2003 - 06:13 PM
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