Operation Dragoon - The Invasion of the South of France, 15 August 1944, Andrew Stewart

Operation Dragoon - The Invasion of the South of France, 15 August 1944, Andrew Stewart

This is a reprint of the Admiralty's Naval Staff History of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the south of France, one of a series of studies written during and immediately after the war. As you would expect it largely focuses on the naval aspects of the campaign, and on the fighting on the beaches and along the coast. The inland stages of the campaign get a brief two page summery, but fall outside the Admiralty's area of interest.

This book thus covers the main British contribution to Operation Dragoon. The vast majority of the troops were either American or French, but the Royal Navy provided a large proportion of the naval forces involved (including one battleship, seven cruisers, four anti-aircraft cruisers, seven aircraft carriers, and large numbers of destroyers and small vessels (the US Navy provided three battleships, eight cruisers, two aircraft carriers and an equally large number of smaller warships). The combat phase of the naval war didn't last very long - the landings took place on 15 August and by the end of the month the Allies had captured Toulon and Marseille and by September most of the coastal fighting was on the Italian front. This staff history covers the planning phase, the pre-invasion minesweeping, the invasion convoys, gun support for the battles near the coast, the main fighting along the coast, ongoing minesweeping and the complex effort to keep the fighting front supplied, which included regular ferries coming from Naples.

This is a useful source for anyone interesting in Operation Dragoon, and helps make it clear just how much work and how many resources went into this campaign. It is largely based on British naval documents, and the US Navy contribution is thus not covered in quite as much detail as the Royal Naval contribution, but the two navies worked closely together, so both get covered.

I - Planning and Preparations
II - The Assault
III - The Follow Up

Author: Andrew Stewart
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 128
Publisher: Helion
Year: 2015

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