Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of Southern France on August 15th 1944, is probably the least well known combat operation of the 2nd World War despite it being the 2nd largest and one of the most successful operations of the entire war. The success has been largely overlooked due to the fact that Anvil-Dragoon was being conceived when two other major Allied operations were taking place in Italy and Northern France and this has given rise to it being referred to by some as “The Forgotten D Day”.
Originally codenamed Anvil it was planned to work in tangent with Operation Hammer the invasion of Normandy which itself was renamed Operation Overlord. Overlord went ahead over two months earlier than Anvil-Dragoon and this makes the Southern France invasion look like an afterthought and as a result it is still playing a junior role to this day. The success of Operation Dragoon, namely the capture of the French ports of Toulon and Marseilles and the subsequent push north by the up the Rhone Valley proved essential as a supply route for the support of the Northern troops push south and also in allowing the Allied forces to move east to Germany.