The Dragoon offensive in August 1944 was preceded by bombings and sabotage that hit hard the German forces located in the South of France—damaging communications, railroads and bridges. The landings were then overwhelmingly successful, despite localized German resistance.
The following morning a German force the size of around four infantry battalions was able to launch a counterattack, but by the end of the day von Schwerin ordered a retreat under cover of night. What ensued was a race to retreat to the Burgundian Gate, or Belfort Gap, before they were cut off by the advancing Allied troops. The Allies had all the means for a successful pursuit, while most of the German troops, with the notable exception of the 11th Panzer Division, were largely incapable of undertaking an orderly retreat. Some units, including the LXII Corps headquarters, were surrounded and captured.
This account, by Jörg Staiger, recounts the German retreat and explains how the 19th Army sacrificed divisions to enable its retreat through the Rhone Valley.
1. The Anvil/Dragoon landings and German defence on the southern French coast
2. The Retreat of 19th Army in the Rhone Valley
3. The Race to the Burgundian Gate
“…a singular and key addition to community, college, and university library World War II History/Biography/Memoir collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.” ~Midwest Book Review
“The book is a short but very informative one about a part of World War II that not many are familiar with.” ~A Wargamers Needful Things
“…the German view of the campaign is a welcome addition to understanding the sweep of the Allied attacks.” ~Historical Miniatures Gaming Society