Operation Haggard

This was a British special forces operation by the British troopers of B Squadron, 1st Special Air Service and the French troopers of the 3rd Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes (3rd Special Air Service) to cut German rail and road communications in the area of the Forêt d’Ivoy in German-occupied France (10 August/23 September 1944).

Originally planned for July 1944 but then postponed as the Special Operations Executive was already operating in the area, the operation under Major Lepine involved 52 men of B Squadron, who were delivered by parachute into the Forêt d’Ivoy near Bourges and then established a base between Nevers and Gien south of the Loire river before being supplemented by a Jeep-mounted party of French troopers.

The primary operating area for ‘Haggard’ was ‘overrun’ by the US Army soon after the operation had started with the delivery of the preliminary party, so the main party was dropped near Villequis to watch over the two main road links extending east from Bourges. The SAS troopers patrolled aggressively up to 23 September, when they were ordered to head north and link with the troopers involved in ‘Kipling’, but found few worthwhile targets.