The Landing Route in Provence .

« Nancy a le torticolis », « Gaby va se coucher dans l’herbe », le chasseur est affamé ». Cryptic, these messages nevertheless announce the landing in Provence. Code name: Operation Dragoon. As the 80th anniversary of the Provence Landing approaches, which will take place in August 2024, the Var remembers and prepares for the commemorations. The perfect opportunity to rediscover its history!
Débarquement de Provence

A little bit of history ...

Operation Dragoon was launched 70 days after the Normandy landings. The operation involved both a naval and an air assault. Although the German troops had expected an imminent landing, they were unaware of the date and were surprised on the night of the 14th of August.

Provence was liberated in less than two weeks whereas the estimated duration of the operation was two months. In total, from the landing on the Provençal coast to the reassembly of the troops in the interior of the country, Operation Dragoon mobilised 900,000 men and lasted more than three months. Faced with the allied breakthrough on the beaches of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, Hitler even said : “This is the darkest day of my life”.

The Landing beaches .

It all began on the night of the 14-15th of August when the African commando group arrived on the beach at Canadel.

Then on the beach of Cavalaire-sur-Mer and on the vast beach of Saint-Tropez, it was the troops of the American 3rd D.I. who arrived. In Sainte-Maxime, the beach of La Nartelle was the landing point for the 45th American Infantry Division and the beach of Dramont for 20,000 Texan GIs of the 36th Division. The southern part of the beach of Pampelonne in Ramatuelle was cleared to build a landing strip.

Today, all these beaches, from La-Croix-Valmer to Saint-Raphaël, were the scene of an extraordinary military action that allowed French and Allied troops, but also local resistance fighters, to surprise the enemy and allow the liberation of the department.

Sites and events , to keep the memory alive

Numerous testimonies, from the commemorative stele to the Mont-Faron Memorial, via the American cemetery in Draguignan, allow us not to forget those who fought for freedom. Museums, such as the Musée de la Marine in Toulon, the Musée de l’Artillerie in Draguignan or the Musée des Troupes Marines in Fréjus (recently completely renovated) also make reference to the Provence Landing. Also, group outings, tours and commemorations are offered throughout the year.

Dive into the heart of the Landing in Provence thanks to hybrid reality !

From 2024, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Landing, the “Route du Débarquement de Provence” application will allow you to relive the key events as if you were there !

Based on the same principle as Archistoire, archive images will be superimposed on the real thing to give you a perfect view of how the operations unfolded while walking on the same ground as the Allied troops.

A 360° vision to know everything about those who liberated the Var.