To mark the 80th Anniversary of one of the most crucial but often overlooked campaigns of World War II, Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours is pleased to announce the Riviera to the Rhine: Operation Dragoon Tour. On this exclusive tour, you will follow the epic Allied advance from the initial Allied landings in the south of France through Aix-en-Provence and the Vosges mountains before traveling on to Alsace and ultimately the Rhine River.
In just one month in the late summer of 1944, a combined Allied force conducted one of the largest amphibious assaults of the war, advanced more than 400 miles into occupied Europe, liberated three of France’s greatest cities, and captured more than 100,000 German troops. It was, by any measure, one of the greatest Allied victories of World War II, and there was more to come.
Having fought through the Vosges mountains, Alsace, and the Colmar Pocket and been instrumental in defeating Operation Nordwind (the last German offensive in the West), by March 1945, General Jacob Devers Seventh U.S. Army Group was poised to cross the Rhine River. Then, having seized Nuremberg and Munich, by May 1945, the combined Franco-American Army Group had linked up with Lucian Truscott’s Fifth Army, advancing up from Northern Italy. The drive from the Mediterranean through southern and eastern France and into Germany and Austria before finishing in Northern Italy was one of the most successful offensives of the Second World War and played a crucial part in the overall Allied victory.
Traveling through some of the most historic and picturesque areas of southern Europe, you will enjoy a variety of 80th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon commemorative activities and study some of the most important and inspiring battlefields of World War II.
- Allied landing sites at St. Maxime and St. Tropez on the French Rivera
- Port cities of Toulon and Marseilles
- Montélimar, Autun and Belfort heading north into France
- Epinal American Cemetery
- Foxholes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team outside of Bruyeres
- Battles of the Colmar Pocket
- Site of Audie Murphy’s Medal of Honor action at Holtzwihr, Strasbourg
An optional tour extension will continue your study of the Seventh Army’s drive into Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy.