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Heritage trails n°1: The landing of Provence in the Méditerranée Porte des Maures

Cultural, Tourist routes in La Londe-les-Maures

  • This tour offers you the opportunity to discover a glimpse of the diversity of the military heritage, dating back to the Second World War, of the Méditerranée Porte des Maures thanks to a composition made up of essential or unknown sites in the area.

  • After the Armistice of June 1940, defeated France collaborated with the Third Reich. After the Allied landing in North Africa and the scuttling of the French fleet in the port of Toulon in November 1942, General de Gaulle charged General Giraud in 1943 with reorganising a French army in North Africa with the material support of the Americans.
    The Allies imagined taking the occupying troops in pliers from the North (Operation OVERLORD, in Normandy) and the South (Operation DRAGOON in...
    After the Armistice of June 1940, defeated France collaborated with the Third Reich. After the Allied landing in North Africa and the scuttling of the French fleet in the port of Toulon in November 1942, General de Gaulle charged General Giraud in 1943 with reorganising a French army in North Africa with the material support of the Americans.
    The Allies imagined taking the occupying troops in pliers from the North (Operation OVERLORD, in Normandy) and the South (Operation DRAGOON in Provence).
    The Moorish coast then appeared to be the only place likely to escape the coastal batteries of the Toulon area.

    Two months after the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, the Allies received the green light. On the night of August 14 to 15, 1944, the African commandos, the first French soldiers on the soil of Provence, stormed the Cap Nègre, the naval assault group, the Pointe de l'Esquirol, the Canadians and American rangers, the Golden Islands. American paratroopers were dropped in the Muy plain.
    On the morning of August 15, the American divisions landed at Cavalaire; for eight days, all those of the African Army landed continuously on the beaches of Cavalaire, Le Dramont and La Nartelle to liberate the occupied Var towns and villages.

    Go back in time and discover the key sites of the Liberation of the cities of Le Lavandou and Collobrières on August 15, 1944, Pierrefeu du Var and Bormes les Mimosas on 16, La Londe les Maures and Cuers on 17.

    In a single step or in a single step, you can easily compose your path.


    > Le Lavandou
    The place where the first African commandos landed on the night of August 14-15, 1944, Le Lavandou can be proud to have also been the scene of several episodes of the Second World War.
    Whether they were sailors, soldiers or resistance fighters, the Lavandurans actively participated in this conflict fighting against the enemy on the seas, on the fronts and in the maquis.
    Thanks to the information provided by the Resistance and the bravery of Lieutenant-Colonel Bouvet's men, the African commandos would initiate the success of Operation "Dragoon".


    > Bormes les Mimosas
    Until 1942, Provence was protected from occupation.
    Then she suddenly saw events precipitate with the invasion of the southern area by Italian troops.
    At the Italian armistice in September 1943, German troops took over until liberation in August 1944.


    > Collobrières
    From 11 November onwards 1942, the "free zone" is invaded by the Germans and Italians.
    Daily life, already difficult, is now punctuated by the curfew and Ovra (Italian Militia of the fascist party) arrests even Mayor Charles Imbert and locks him in Modane Prison in 1943.
    The Resistance is organized in the Moorish maquis but there is a shortage and the only productions food are the most important chestnut and grape.
    It is necessary to wait until August 15 1944 that the troops allies arrive by the road N°14 from Grimaud so that Collobrières breathe again.


    > Pierrefeu-du-Var
    August 16, 1944
    24 hours. This is the time that will have elapsed between the landing of the Allied forces on the beaches of the eastern Var and the liberation of Pierrefeu du Var.
    Arrived by the RD 14 in the East/West direction, a column of goumiers, skirmishers, resistance fighters and soldiers of the 3rd US Division entered Pierrefeu du Var to liberate it from German yoke.
    The battle is tough. The GI Erwin Lemke was ambushed by the enemy at the current "Château Montaud".
    Once Pierrefeu du Var was liberated, it was at the "chestnut farm" that Colonel de Linares set up a camp before leaving again to liberate Toulon.


    > Cuers
    June 1940, on the Cuers-Pierrefeu BAN, the Naval Air Fighter Squadron was responsible for intercepting enemy aircraft and two airmen died in June 1940 and June 1944.
    On August 17, 1944, General Pierre Magnan, liberator of the town, a true hero, finally put an end to the fierce resistance of the German soldiers.
    Since 17 August 1982, as a tribute, one square has been named after the brave soldier and, later, other streets and squares have been named after the heroes "Dead for France".


    > La Londe les Maures
    On June 25, 1940, at the announcement of the Armistice, La Londe was relieved.
    First we support Marshal Petain, then to be subjected to the weight of the occupation, Italian first of all then German from August 1943.
    So, what do you think? that the Nazis settle in to the Pascalette or the Château des Bormettes and deteriorate it some parties, the resistance gets impatient and is strengthening as the alerts sound.
    At the same time as the bombings are intensifying, the rumor
    of a landing is going to be will be heard until the 17th August 1944.
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