Operation Dragoon: The Race Up the Rhone
Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
Pagination or Media Count:
While much has been written and learned from Operation Overlord and the invasion of Normandy, military leaders have largely ignored Operation Dragoon and the lessons it provides for future military operations. As the US Army enters into a period of declining resources and missions focused on worldwide employment of its combat power, Operation Dragoon provides a historical example for future forced entry operations over foreign shores in a resource and time constrained environment. Although set against the backdrop of the vast industrial capabilities of the US during World War II, Dragoon lacked resources, support, and time to plan the operation. These factors are all pertinent to todays US Army planners and commanders. As one of the most successful campaigns in World War II, modern military officers should be familiar with the exploits of US Seventh Army and its French allies. This work argues that Operation Dragoon and its subsequent campaign in southern France was vital to set the logistical conditions that rapidly defeated Nazi Germany. While previous works have highlighted logistical lessons, Operation Dragoon has not been studied for applicable lessons pertaining to Operational Art, Mission Command, or logistics execution through the lens of Operational Art. Through understanding the strategic context of this campaign, the invasion of southern France, the campaign through the Rhone Valley, and its overall effects on the European Theater of Operations, useful lessons are drawn for both contemporary commanders and planners while highlighting the necessity of this campaign to winning the war against Germany.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics