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Operation Samwest: Wikis

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Operation Samwest
Part of Normandy Landings
Date 5 June to 9 June 1944
Location Brittany, France
Result Tactically undecisive

Strategic Allied victory

Belligerents
Free French Forces French Resistance
 Free French Forces
 Germany

During World War II, Operation Samwest (5–9 June 1944) in support of Operation Overlord was a large raid conducted by 116 members of the 4th French Parachute Battalion. Under the command of Lieutenants Deschamps and Botella, 18 Free French SAS jumped in near Duault, Northern Brittany on the night of 5 June 1944 . The first phase of the mission was to establish a secure base on the Breton Peninsula, codename Samwest near St. Brieuc in the Bretagne Region and make contact with the local resistance, then establish Drop zones (DZ's) and Landing Zones (LZ's) for the battalion. Before conducting Operations to destroy all communication lines, to prepare ambushes and sabotages in order to prevent all movement of German Forces from Western Brittany to Normandy following D Day.

Their base Duault was heavily attacked by a German division on 12 June and were forced to disperse.

At this time there was approximately 150,000 enemy troops, with supporting artillery units, preparing to move to the Normandy landing areas.

Operation Dingson (5-18 June 1944) : Immediately upon landing in Bretagne, on the night of 5 June 1944 (11 h 30), 18 Free French SAS who jumped in near Plumelec, Morbihan, Southern Brittany went into action fighting against German troops (Ukrainians from Vlassov's army).

One hour later (0 h 40), the first victim of the liberation of his country, Corporal Emile Bouetard (born in Brittany, 1915–1944) of Stick was killed by a German NCO near Plumelec . Captain Pierre Marienne, with 17 of his companions (6 paratroopers, 8 resistance fighters and 3 farmers) died a few weeks later in Kerihuel, Plumelec (12 July).

After a battle to disorganise German armies. The German divisions were stuck in Bretagne and were unable to reinforce of defence of Normandy. In the unequal fight, losses were numerous, especially as enemy were killing wounded people (81 SAS killed in Brittany, 195 wounded). The terrible battle of Saint-Marcel, Morbihan, (18 June) was a sad example of it.

The party was scattered. The survivors linked up with the Dingson .

The Dingson team was joined by the men who had just completed Cooney. Dingson was conducted alongside Lost and Samwest.

See also

Operation Overlord

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