See photos (6)

Paul Ducournau General Bridge

Historic site and monument, Memorial in La Londe-les-Maures
  • Located near the entrance to the Vitria stadium, the panel was inaugurated in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of the Provence landings.

  • He recalls that the 1st African commando led by Captain Ducournau reached La Londe on the evening of 17 August.
    The 1st African commando under the orders of Captain Ducournau seized Cap Nègre during the night of 14 to 15 August 1944, after destroying the German batteries. The commandos liberated Le Lavandou on the 16th, Bormes on the 17th and reached La Londe on the evening of 17 August alongside the soldiers of the 3rd American Infantry Division.
    On 18 August 1944, the African commandos...
    He recalls that the 1st African commando led by Captain Ducournau reached La Londe on the evening of 17 August.
    The 1st African commando under the orders of Captain Ducournau seized Cap Nègre during the night of 14 to 15 August 1944, after destroying the German batteries. The commandos liberated Le Lavandou on the 16th, Bormes on the 17th and reached La Londe on the evening of 17 August alongside the soldiers of the 3rd American Infantry Division.
    On 18 August 1944, the African commandos crossed the Pansard, took over the Pascalette castle, seat of the Kommandantur, abandoned by the Germans, and reached the level crossing where the American tanks were fired upon for the first time by the 15 cm Kriegsmarine batteries of the Mauvanne battery.
    Captain Ducournau and his commandos seized the blockhouses in a heroic manner but with heavy losses. Of the 60 commandos, 5 were killed and 25 wounded. The 100 survivors are taken prisoner.
    Corporal Jackie Boisdron, 20 years old, young Frenchman from North Africa, the first to be killed at Mauvanne, lies in the communal cemetery of La Londe. Decorated on the Island of Elba, he was the youngest military medallist in France.
    The wounded French and Germans and the prisoners are gathered at the cooperative cellar before their evacuation to the fort of Brégançon and the Lavandou, then to Italy.
    The same day, the young man from La Londe, Joseph Spada, signs his commitment to the commandos. He was killed on 20 November during the assault on Mont Salbert at a place called La Forêt in the commune of Châlonvillars (70) near the village of Cravanche (90).

    From La Londe in the evening of August 19th, 1944, the African commandos reached Cuers in the vehicles of the 1st DFL. They had just received the order to seize the Fort du Coudon which they took on 21 August at 5 p.m. and opened the road to the French troops for the Liberation of Toulon.

    In one week Captain Ducournau at the head of his commandos carried out three brilliant actions.
    In his diary, General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny described the capture of Mauvanne as a fantastic exploit.

    After the Alsace campaign, where he was wounded, surrounded and barely escaped certain death, Captain Paul Ducournau entered Germany by crossing the Rhine at Village Neuf.
    Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 3rd colonial parachute battalion in Indochina (Lang Son), then the 25th Parachute Division in Algeria (Constantinois) during operation Turquoise.

    In 1967, General of Corps, military governor of Metz, he was seriously wounded during an inspection, a helicopter crash accidentally ended an exemplary military career. He died in 1985.
  • Spoken languages
    • French
Openings
Openings
  • All year 2024
    Open Everyday
Close