DON’T MISS MHT’S TOUR TO THE SOUTH OF FRANCE FOR OPERATION DRAGOON’S 75TH COMMEMORATION!
Military Historical Tours is pleased to offer this very special tour of Operation Dragoon (initially Operation Anvil) that was the code name for the Allied invasion of Southern France on 15 August 1944. The operation was initially to take place in conjunction with Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in Normandy, but a lack of resources led to cancellation of the second landing. By July 1944, the landing was reconsidered, as the ports of Normandy did not have the capacity to supply Allied forces adequately. Concurrently, the French High Command pushed for a revival of the operation that would include large numbers of French troops. As a result, the operation was finally approved in July to be executed in August.
The goal of the operation was to secure vital ports on the French Mediterranean coast and increase pressure on German forces by opening a second front. After some preliminary commando operations, including the British 2nd Para's landing behind enemy lines to secure vital transport links, the US VI Corps landed on the beaches of the Côte d'Azur under the cover of a large naval task force, followed by several divisions of the French Army B. They were opposed by the scattered forces of the German Army Group G, weakened by the relocation of its divisions to other fronts and the replacement of its soldiers with third-rate Ostlegionen outfitted with obsolete equipment.
We join our tour partner Valor Tours over eight days, the tour traces the campaign all the way to the Vosges Mountains. We welcome your calls (703-590-1295 M-F 10AM-6PM) or e-mails—we hope to hear from you!
Price: $ 3,700 (Price Based On Double Occupancy)
Single Room Supplement: $800
Tour Price Includes:
* 4 Star Hotel Accommodations
* Air-conditioned deluxe motorcoach
* Meals as indicated in itinerary
* Arrival & Departure Transfers
* Battlefield information packet, containing maps & other tour information
* Admission fees to all sites, museums and special attractions listed
* Services of experienced Tour Leader and English-speaking local guides.
Airfare Not Included: Get your own or Book Optional MHT Airfare: Round-trip economy or business class airfare from your home price quoted upon registration!
(Day 1) Sun 11 Aug — Departure
Evening flight to Marseille for arrival on 12 August.
(Day 2) Mon 12 Aug — Marseille
Welcome to our Operation Dragoon tour, Escorted to our hotel in the city for dinner and overnight. (D)
(Day 3) Tue 13 Aug — Marseille
While in Marseille we will visit the Commonwealth war cemetery, the world famous Foreign Legion Museum at Aubagne, German U Boat bunker “Martha” and the tank Memorial at Notre-Dame De La Garde. Overnight in Marseille. (B/D)
(Day 4) Wed 14 Aug — St Tropez
Today we visit the landing beaches and Memorials at St Tropez where the 45th Infantry Division landed, Cavalaire su Mer and St. Raphael where the 3rd and 36th Inf. Divisions landed. The landings were an overwhelming success. On Delta and Alpha beaches, German resistance was low. The allied units in this sector were able to link up with Paratroopers very quickly and succeeded in capturing the nearby towns. Only on Camel Beach did the Germans put up some serious resistance. This beach was secured by several well emplaced coastal guns as well as several flak batteries. German artillery formed the main opposition and some bunkers provided heavy resistance.
The most serious fighting was on Camel Red Beach at the town of St-Raphael. A bomb run of 90 Allied B-24 bombers were used against a German strongpoint here.
But even with the assistance of naval fire, the Allies were not able to bring the landing ships close to the beach. They decided to avoid Camel Red and land only at Camel Blue and Camel Green, which was successful. Overnight in St. Raphael. (B/D)
(Day 5) Thur 15 Aug — Draguignan
Visit to Le Muy crossroads and museum; a vital inland crossroads captured by paratroopers who paved the way for the advance inland. Le Motte, the first town in
Southern France to be liberated and the American War Cemetery at Draguignan. The Allied invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944. Often over-shadowed by the more famous Operation Overlord (D Day) which took place two months earlier. Op Dragoon is the forgotten Allied invasion of Europe. An amphibious assault by the United States Seventh Army and the French First Army forced the German Army Group G to abandon southern France and retreat towards the Vosges Mountains. We shall visit all the landing beaches from St Raphael to St Tropez and head north towards Germany, learn of the “Lost Battalion” and see where Audie Murphy won his Medal of Honor and hear the heroic story of the native North African troops. Overnight in Draguignan. (B/D)
(Day 6) Fri 16 Aug — Montelimar
Visit to various sites on the Montelimar Battlefield. The battle around Montelimar saw the heaviest fighting of the northerly advance. On the night of 17 August, the German High Command ordered General Blaskowitz’s Army Group G to evacuate southern France. German forces then began to move to the northeast. To cut off the Germans and capture as many as possible, VI Corps commander Major General Truscott organized a mobile task force under his chief of staff, Brig. General Butler, on 17 August. Its job was to drive north, link up with the French Resistance, and try to cut off General Friedrich Paul Wiese’s retreating German Nineteenth Army. Overnight in Lyon. (B/D)
(Day 6) Sat 17 Aug — Vosges Mountains
Visit the Colmar Pocket and Vosges Mountains battlefields. Here learn of the dramatic story of the “Lost Battalion” and the 442nd Regt. Combat Team as we visit Biffontaine. A German bridgehead on the west bank of the Rhine 40 miles long and 30 miles deep was formed in November 1944 when the German defenses in the Vosges Mountains collapsed under the pressure of an offensive by the U.S. 6th Army. The French First Army would force the Belfort Gap and destroyed the German IV Luftwaffe Korps near the town of Burnhaupt in the southern Vosges mountains. Soon after, French Forces reached the Rhine in the region north of the Swiss border between Mulhouse and Basel. Likewise, in the northern Vosges, the French 2nd Armored Division spearheaded a U.S. Seventh Army advance, forced the Saverne Gap, and drove to the Rhine, liberating Strasbourg on 23 November 1944. The effect of these two advances was to collapse the German presence in southern Alsace west of the Rhine to a semi-circular-shaped bridgehead centered on the town on the town of Colmar that came to be known as the Colmar Pocket. Overnight in Holzwihr. (B/D)
(Day 7) Sun 18 Aug — Colmar Pocket
Visits to the Audie Murphy Medal of Honor battle site, the Colmar Pocket Memorial and various points of interest, including the original Statue of Liberty. Overnight in Strasbourg. (B/D)
(Day 8) Monday 19 Aug — Departure
Transfer to airport and fly home from Strasbourg, or train to Paris. (B)
75th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon - 1944 (11 - 19 Sept 2019)
- Product Code: 1908-EUR-DRA
- Availability: In Stock