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General Paul DUCOURNAU’s Bridge

Historic site and monument, Memorial in La Londe-les-Maures

  • Located near the entrance of the Vitria stadium, the panel is inaugurated in 1994 for the 50th anniversary of the landing of Provence.

  • General Paul Ducournau -1910 – 1985

    The 1st African commando under the orders of Captain Ducournau seized the Cap Nègre on the night of August 14th-15th, 1944, after destroying the German batteries.
    The commandos liberated Le Lavandou on the 16th, Bormes on the 17th and reached La Londe in the evening of August 17th alongside the soldiers of the 3rd American Infantry Division.

    On August 18th, 1944, the group of African commandos crossed the Pansard, invaded the Château de la...
    General Paul Ducournau -1910 – 1985

    The 1st African commando under the orders of Captain Ducournau seized the Cap Nègre on the night of August 14th-15th, 1944, after destroying the German batteries.
    The commandos liberated Le Lavandou on the 16th, Bormes on the 17th and reached La Londe in the evening of August 17th alongside the soldiers of the 3rd American Infantry Division.

    On August 18th, 1944, the group of African commandos crossed the Pansard, invaded the Château de la Pascalette, the seat of the Kommandantur abandoned by the Germans, and reached the level crossing where the American tanks were first fired from the 15-cm batteries of the Kriegsmarine of the Mauvanne battery.

    The 1st commando was sent for reconnaissance by Colonel Bouvet.
    Captain Ducournau and his commandos seized the blockhouses in a heroic manner but with heavy casualties. Of the 60 commandos, 5 were killed and 25 wounded.
    50 enemies were wounded or killed. The 100 survivors were taken prisoner.

    Corporal Jackie Boisdron, 20 years old young Frenchman from North Africa, first killed in Mauvanne, rests in the municipal cemetery of La Londe. Decorated in the Ile d'Elbe, he was the youngest military medalist in France.
    The wounded French and German soldiers and prisoners were gathered at the cooperative cellar before being evacuated to the fort of Brégançon and Lavandou and then to Italy.

    The same day, the young man from Longe signed Joseph Spada's commitment to the commandos. He was killed on November 20th during the attack on Mont Salbert at the place known as La Forêt in the commune of Châlonvillars (70) near the village of Cravanche (90).

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

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

    After the Alsace campaign where he was wounded, surrounded and narrowly escaped certain death, Captain Paul Ducournau entered Germany crossing the Rhine at Village Neuf.
    As a 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, as Lieutenant General, Military Governor of Metz, he was seriously wounded during an inspection, a helicopter blade accidentally ended an exemplary military career. He died in 1985.
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