Operation Abel

This was a British special forces operation by the French 3rd Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes (3rd Special Air Service) to harass the German retreat through France (27 August/22 September 1944).

Under the command of Capitaine Pierre Sicaud, 82 men were parachuted into the Doubs area of eastern France close to the frontier with Switzerland, and the operation included several successful blocking actions and hit-and-run raids undertaken with the co-operation of the local resistance forces as well as forward units of Général d’Armée Jean Joseph Marie Gabriel de Lattre de Tassigny’s French 1ère Armée and Lieutenant General Alexander McC. Patch’s US 7th Army, which were trying to secure the Belfort gap, a strategically vital pass area lying between the Vosges and Jura mountains.