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Operation "Dragoon"
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“We went down there with 22 men and there were only five of us left at the end. We used to drink ourselves silly every day, out of sheer joy that we were still alive.”

Unteroffizier Walter Lang (1./JGr. 200), 23 August 1944

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Germany gets 30% discount on the XP conversion.

The 2nd Invasion of Europe



Most remember the D-Day Landings at Normandy. However, few can recall that the original plans called for 2 smain landing in France .Originally planned as Operation Anvil and Overlord. Dragoon was to coincide with the landings at Normandy codenamed “Overlord”. The Attack however was delayed due to slowed than expected progress in the Italian theater of Operations as well as lack of usable landing craft in the sector.



On August 15th, 1944 an invasion force of 887 ships, 2,000 aircraft, 173,000 men, and 18,000 vehicles. Set out from ports in Corsica on a path to landing ports in the French Riviera. The Allies chose the Var Coast east of Toulon. Where the German and Vichy French defenders were reinforced, but surprised at the assault nonetheless.



Landings Took place with aim at

Alpha (Cavalaire-sur-Mer)

Delta (Saint-Tropez)


Camel (Saint-Raphaël)







Prior to the Invasion of Southern France. The German Air Forces in days leading up to the attack had received some much needed re-enforcements to defending units in southern airfields. Germany's Fleigerdivision 2 with it's HQ in Montfin as well as General Blaskowitz's Army Group G were stationed as Static units in the surrounding countryside. Only the 11th Panzer division remained at that time as a full fledged fighting force due to supply issues in the entire Army group prior to the Invasion.


The landings on August 15th were aided by ship and air bombardment. As fighting at Camel beach proved to be the most difficult. Especially Camel-red (near Saint-Raphael) where air support from British Hellcats were paramount but nonetheless the landings had to be shifted to other parts of the beach. Repeated airstrikes from German torpedo and bomber planes. Backed by fighter escorts and Heavy fighters rained down upon the ships day and night. This drastic contrast unlike the Normandy invasion. Paints a quite harrowing picture of the ground scene. As the Army fell and retreated, the air war became more and more a desperate race for the German pilots to buy them more time. The German Army group in fact it was noted by General Eisenhower after the fact that had they had know the true status on the ground they would had pushed sooner, faster, with more people than in Normandy.


Subsequently though the landings in the south allowed the allies use of the Mediterranean ports in the Riviera. Also opening a spear head that would eventually liberate most of southern France almost effectively dissolving the Vichy government in one fail swoop.




23 Jun 1944 

Churchill, with misgivings, gave in to pressure from the Americans and sanctioned operation Anvil (the proposed US-French invasion of the south of France).

2 Jul 1944 

General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson (Supreme Commander, Mediterranean) received orders from London, England, United Kingdom to organize the invasion of Provence, France. The name of this operation was changed by British Prime Minister Churchill to "Dragoon".

20 Jul 1944 

French troops began withdrawing from Italy in preparation for the invasion of southern France.

21 Jul 1944 

The French Expeditionary Corps and the US VI Corps began to be withdrawn from the front lines in Italy to prepare for the invasion of Southern France.

15 Aug 1944 

Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, began. On the same day, Saint-Tropez, Var, France was captured by the 15th Infantry Regiment of 3rd US Infantry Division.

21 Aug 1944 

French First Army enveloped Toulon, France.

23 Aug 1944 

US troops from the north and French troops from the south met near Bordeaux, France.

24 Aug 1944 

Allied forces liberated Cannes in southern France.

26 Aug 1944 

French troops captured Tarascon and Avignon, France.

27 Aug 1944 

The last German troops in Toulon, France surrendered.

28 Aug 1944 

The German garrison in Marseilles, France surrendered to French forces.

29 Aug 1944 

French troops captured Montélimar in southern France.

3 Sep 1944 

US and French troops reached Lyon, France.




All the pictures are taken from the author's personal archive.

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 About the Author:

Clay «FryingTiger» Remy, a Historical Consultant, Alpha tester, and Global Moderator for War Thunder. With over 10 years Military Service in the US Marine Corps active and reserves. Technical/Historical researcher and owner of a company that provides training and licensing of equipment for use in films, documentaries, museums, and other displays. I have been involved in a variety of digital projects stemming from video games stemming from flight Sims like War birds, WWIIOL, to Ship and FPS products on a variety of platforms. I also provide Historic data and quality assurance for films and museums for military related projects.
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