Operation Derry

French resistance during the Battle of Normandy

While at the end of July 1944, Operation Cobra broke through the Cotentin front, the Breton resistance continued its efforts to disorganize the German forces in this region. In order to maintain this pressure on the occupier until the arrival of the Allied troops to help liberating the Finistère region, the commandos of the French 3rd battalion of Special Air Service (S.A.S.) launched Operation Derry from August 5 to 18 1944.

88 French S.A.S. paratroopers (including 11 officers) belonging to the 2nd company of the 3rd Battalion (which later gave birth to the 3rd Régiment de Chasseurs Parachutistes) under command of Château-Jobert (nicknamed Conan) carried out this mission. Divided into 5 sticks commanded by Captain Pierre Sicaud, the S.A.S. were dropped in the night of 4 to 5 August 1944. Their mission was more particularly to complete the action carried out in Brittany by the 4th S.A.S. battalion and the French maquis which slowed the German withdrawal in the direction of Brest, to reinforce the maquis already framed by Jedburhg teams as well as to facilitate the advance of the American army. The S.A.S. must also prevent any degradation of the viaducts of Morlaix and Plougastel, essential points of passage for the continuation of the operations.

Four S.A.S. were killed and three were wounded at the end of the engagements.