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Retreat through the Rhone Valley (Hardback)

Defensive battles of the Nineteenth Army, August–September 1944

Military > By Century > 20th Century WWII

Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Series: Die Wehrmacht im Kampf
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9781636242309
Published: 30th June 2023

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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 localised 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.

 

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