Operation Dingson

This was a British special forces operation by the French 4th Régiment des Chasseurs Parachutistes (4th Special Air Service) near Lilleran in the Vannes region of German-occupied Brittany to establish a base behind the German lines (6/18 June 1944).

The 160 men and four Jeeps of the party, under the command of Commandant Pierre-Louis Bourgoin (‘Le Manchot’), were parachuted into their operational area and established the base as a centre of operations from which the local resistance forces could be armed and controlled. By 18 June the group had three battalions of resistance fighters and one company of the Gendarmerie under command, but the light equipment and indifferent training of these enthusiastic volunteers meant that they were unable to resist a German attack that overran the base and scattered the French fighters. Some 40 SAS troopers managed to escape this fiasco and move to Pontivy, where they created the ‘Grog’ base.