August 17, 2014

Operation Dragoon

I never heard of this second invasion of France.

From the American Spectator:
August 15 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ amphibious invasion of Marseilles and southern France in 1944. Though it stands as a historical footnote to the acclaimed D-Day invasion of Normandy, it played a vital role in the liberation of France and the ultimate defeat of German forces. The operation, codenamed Dragoon, got off to a dreadful start with the suicide of one of the key Allied leaders shortly before the invasion launched.

[...]Operation Dragoon was controversial from the time it was first proposed. The American military leadership and their British counterparts disagreed on the operation. Churchill argued against it on the grounds that it diverted military resources that were better deployed in the on-going Allied operations in Italy; instead, he favored an invasion of the oil-producing regions of the Balkans. Churchill reasoned that by attacking the Balkans, the western Allies could deny Germany oil, forestall the advance of the Red Army of the Soviet Union, and achieve a superior negotiating position in postwar Europe, all at a single stroke.


Kid said...

I've heard of Churchill's disagreement with the D-Day plans as he thought it would be a lot easier to go through the 'soft underbelly' of Europe, now known as the stans.
Stalin didn't want the US and allied forces in that area since he wanted to annex it all to Russia after the war. FDR sided with Stalin. Didn't know about this earlier venture either.

LL said...

The landings were unopposed. The 2nd SS left that area of operation and ended up in the Warlord area about two weeks after the invasion. There is a long story behind that - worth reading.

Euripides said...

Thanks for the quick reminder of the second invasion.