Operation Brassard (Elba)

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Rob Crane, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Rob Crane

    Rob Crane Member

    There's probably stuff at Kew, but as I can't get there at the moment I'm reduced to online hunting. :)

    Does anybody have any maps showing the locations of the landing beaches for Operation Brassard? I'm especially interested in the location of Louise Green beach which was "to the west of the Golfo di Campo" - but does that mean:
    • on the western side of the actual bay
    • or west along the main coast from the bay? Hmmm ...
    I'm guessing it may have been here if the former: https://goo.gl/maps/Nzyho5TqivxDJRNo7
    Or here if the latter: https://goo.gl/maps/axt3hDQr6V8vXJPv7

    So far I've only managed to find one map showing locations and that's in the main landing area: http://www.bbrclub.org/KODAK.jpg
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Might be something in here - Operation Brassard - The Invasion of Elba

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Operation Brassard The Invasion Of Elba

    Scroll down about 2/3rds or 3/4qtrs of the way down - COPP Survey | June 1944
    Operation Brassard
    16–17 June 1944
    June 1944 has become closely associated with the events surrounding D-Day and the amphibious assault in Normandy.
    But on 17 June, Free French forces made amphibious landings on the island of Elba, off the west coast of Italy.

    A sketch map of operations carried out by US PT boats during Operation Brassard. (Source: US National Archives 78558938)

    Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1301 - Operation Brassard
    The main components of the plan to invade Elba provided for 490 men from the Battalion de Choc and 70 from Groupe de Commando, to be landed 3 hours before H-hour. They were to be carried in Landing Craft Infantry (Large) (LCI (L)s), Motor Launches (MLs) of Groups 2 and 9 and Landing Craft Assault (LCAs) of 577 Flotilla to 'Louise Green' landing beach.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
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  3. Rob Crane

    Rob Crane Member

    Hehe - COPP Survey is my website - I've just been updating that page. :)

    I've managed to pull together some stuff from other sites, although it's a bit of a jumble. It's that location for Louise Green that I'm really after. The reference to the leading HDML 'turning to starboard' does suggest it was a coastal beach, rather than the one in the bay (where they'd have had to turn to port after entering the bay, I presume).
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  4. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    attached a map of the invasion of Elba from this book:

    CEF 13.jpg

    Codenames beach sectors (fragment from After the Battle Magazine no 173):

    Mission beaches.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    It could be that there is a military convention, one I havent tried to resolve I must admit, and it could be that:

    1. Green beaches are always West or East of Red beaches


    2. Using the direction of landing (so not geographical) Green beaches are always Port (left) or Starboard (right) to the direction of the assault

    Perhaps do a comparison to D Day beaches namings
  6. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    There's also this map from the After the Battle magazine no. 173 "The two invasions of the Isle of Elba".

    Elba Marina di Campo map.jpg

    The French War Diary for the 9ème Division d'Infanterie Colonial has the following entries for the first day of the landings on Kodak Red & Amber (June 17th, 1944):

    Mission 1.jpg
    Mission 2.jpg
    Mission 3.jpg

    Fragment from the above book: "Les Grandes unités Francaises, Histoire Succints, Tome IV: Campagnes de Tunesie et d'Italie, opérations de Corse et de l'Ile d'Elba".

    Hope this is helpful
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  7. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    Skecth map of 'Louis Green Beach' from this book:

    Gaujac Vol 2.jpg

    The map unfortunately is printed over two pages, which makes it difficult to reproduce.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
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  8. Rob Crane

    Rob Crane Member

    Helpful?! That's amazing!! Thank you!
  9. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    I also came across this (attached): The chapter on Op Brassard from De Lattre de Tassigny, "The HIstory of the French First Army", English edition 1949.

    I spent several holidays on this magnificent Island, and stayed even at one of the smaller landing beaches at the northern end (Acquaviva), near the isthmus of Enfola. without knowing the story. Would have made a nice thread on WW2Talk!


    Images of the landing of the French 9th Colonial Division on Kodak Green, 17 June 1944
    9e Div Coloniale 1.jpg

    9e Div Coloniale 2.jpg

    9e Div Coloniale 3.jpg

    Re images: have a look here: ImagesDéfense - Libération de l'île d'Elbe (1943-1944) - Afrique et bassin méditerranéen - Deuxième guerre mondiale - Chronologie - Nos collections

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  10. Rob Crane

    Rob Crane Member

    This is beyond amazing - thank you!
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Your website popped up today via a David Abrutat tweet, oddly you do not provide a link, so here it is - with maps and some photos. Not my area of interest, that aside a good read: COPP Survey | June 1944
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  12. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    The book I told you about: Raymond Muelle, "Le Grand Commando, L'Ile d'Elbe, Juin 1944", arrived.

    It contains a map of the seven landing sites and the routes taken by French Commando units (Bataillon de Choc). These detachments, a total of 600 men, landed three hours in advance of the main force.They were tasked with knocking out gun batteries and enemy command posts. Those attacking the batteries called themselves human counter-battery fire.

    Elba Cdo beaches.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
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  13. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Thanks for this. I know the island very well and go across a few times every year (I live near Livorno), but didn't know this piece of its history. Next time I'll take the map with me.
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  14. stolpi

    stolpi Well-Known Member

    I visited the Island several times without knowing the story either. :unsure: Aerial of l'isola d'Elba with in the background the Italian mainland with Piombino.

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