Tuesday, 6th June 1944: 130,000 Allied soldiers arrived on the beaches of Normandy. Among them, 177 Frenchmen. If this number seems modest, its symbolic weight is immense. These men who had refused the Nazi occupation rediscovered the land of their birth, arms in hand, four years after having left. They formed part of the commandos, those elite corps created by Churchill after the disastrous evacuation of Dunkirk. At their head, Philippe Kieffer, a banker for 40 years, whose enthusiasm and obstinacy had combined to convince the British to accept the French at the heart of their shock troops. But the importance of "Commando Kieffer" to the success of Operation Overlord is not simply limited to the symbolic. On D-Day, the French Green Berets would achieve, at the price of heavy losses, all of their objectives, notably the taking of the casino at Ouistreham, transformed by the Germans into a powerfully fortified bunker.
Illustrated with many photos, maps, plans, and infographics which plunge the reader into the heart of the action, this book permits one to follow the extroardinary course of action more closely than ever, from their exhaustive training in Great Britain up until the final raids at the beginning of 1945.
Journalist, author of 15 books, many about the Second World War, Jean-Charles Stasi has been working on "Commando Kieffer" since 1994, the year during which he covered the 50th anniversary of D-Day.
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