Operation Roméo

Romeo

This was a French amphibious landing of a substantial force of commandos to support the main landings of ‘Dragoon’ (i) on the south coast of German-occupied France (15 August 1944).

The men of the Groupe de Commandos landed at Cap Nègre, on the western flank of the main invasion, to destroy German artillery emplacements which could otherwise have threatened the main assault. The operation was undertaken by 800 men of the 1st Commando Français de l’Afrique du Nord under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Georges Régis Bouvet, and the men were delivered by the Canadian command ship Prince David, British medium infantry landing ship Prinses Beatrix, British small infantry landing ship Prins Albert, and four US PT-boats.

At 01.30 on 15 August, 95 French commandos in landing craft from Prince David beached as the rest of the force waited off shore. The commandos had to climb a 345-ft (105-m) cliff to reach their objective, and 30 minutes reported that the German artillery positions had been silenced. The main body of ‘Romeo’ then landed, and about 700 commandos moved quickly inland to take the main road between Toulon and the French riviera. The operation cost the Germans 300 men killed and 700 taken prisoner, and the French 11 killed and 50 wounded.

The force held its position until relieved by formations of Major General Lucian K. Truscott’s US VI Corps moving forward from the east later in the same day.