Operation Samwest

This was a British special forces operation by the French 4th Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes (4th Special Air Service) to establish a base near St Brieuc in the Forêt de Duault region of Brittany in the north-western part of German-occupied France, and from this hamper the Germans’ ability to move reinforcements toward the ‘Overlord’ area (6/12 June 1944).

Under the command of Capitaine Pierre Leblond, the 116 men of the party were delivered by parachute into their operational area between 6 and 9 June, and then established links with the local resistance forces. However, poor security among the resistance forces allowed word of the party’s whereabouts to reach the Germans, who attacked the base on 12 June. There followed a small but notably fierce engagement in which the Germans suffered heavy casualties and the surviving French were scattered, many of them moving to join the ‘Dingson’ party.