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World War II:
“Operation Anvil”

(August 15, 1944)

World War II: Table of Contents | D-Day (1942) | Eastern Front

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The day before D day, Allied forces captured Rome, freeing up troops for a second invasion planned for the south of France. On August 15, while the tank battle was raging in the north, Allied troops landed in Operation Anvil (also code-named Dragoon) between Cannes and Toulon. Anvil had been a cause of tension within the Alliance because Churchill had preferred to devote the energy and resources to additional operations in the Mediterranean. Eisenhower insisted, however, that Anvil was important to the success of Overlord because it would pin down German forces in southern France and provide an additional port through which supplies could pass.

The invasion went as smoothly as could have been hoped, with more than 80,000 men landing without meeting serious resistance. The troops overcame stiffer opposition in Toulon and Marseille. By the end of the month, the Anvil forces were moving north and linked up with the Overlord troops in mid-September near Dijon.

Sources: Mitchell G. Bard, The Complete Idiot's Guide to World War II. NY: MacMillan, 1998

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