Operation Harrod

This was a British special forces operation by the French 3rd Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes (3rd Special Air Service) to harass German forces as they retreated near St Gentouse in the Saône et Loire area of German-occupied France (13 August/24 September 1944).

Under the command of Capitaine Pierre Château-Jobert (‘Commandant Conan’), 85 men of this French unit were parachuted into their operational area of Sarlney, Savigny and Messey and established bases in the Maconais to link with the local resistance forces and protect the right flank of Lieutenant General George S. Patton’s US 3rd Army as it advanced toward the German frontier after the American breakout from the Allies’ Normandy lodgement. At the cost of six men killed and 11 wounded, the ‘Harrod’ party destroyed bridges and cut both rail and road links that the German might otherwise have used to take the 3rd Army in flank.