Retreat through the Rhone Valley

Defensive battles of 19th Army, August–September 1944

Jörg Staiger

The first English translation of the best German account of the German retreat following the Allied Dragoon landings.
Date Published :
June 2023
Publisher :
Editor :
Matthias Strohn
Contributor(s) :
Linden Lyons
Series :
Die Wehrmacht im Kampf
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636242309
Pages : 168
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


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.

About The Author

Linden Lyons holds a master’s degree in history from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He also studied German at the University of Freiburg and librarianship at the University of Canberra. He is the translator for Panzer Operations, Vitebsk, and Leningrad in the Die Wehrmacht im Kampf series.

Matthias Strohn, MSt (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon), FRHistS, is Head of Historical Analysis at the Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research, the British Army’s strategic think tank, Visiting Professor of Military Studies at the University of Buckingham, and a member of the academic faculty at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Matthias was educated at the universities of Münster (Germany) and Oxford. He holds a commission in the German Army and is a member of the military attaché reserve, having served on the defense attaché staffs in London, Paris and Madrid. Prior to this, he served as Military History Instructor at the German Staff College in Hamburg. He deployed to Iraq (with the British Army) and Afghanistan (with both the British Army and the German Bundeswehr). Matthias has published widely on 20th-century German and European military history; he has authored and edited 14 books and numerous articles.


Table of contents

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


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