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Amateur historian Danby resurrects "the forgotten campaign of World War II" in this excellent popular history. While the world's attention was focused on Normandy, a second, smaller invasion-Operation Dragoon-landed on the French Riviera on August 15, 1944, to open another supply route for Allied troops. When Hitler ordered a "general withdrawal from France" on August 16, the Allies rushed to trap and destroy the retreating enemy. But a shortage of fuel and German rearguard attacks foiled the Allied plan. While Danby provides an overview of the entire campaign, he focuses on a single, pivotal battle at the village of Allan where one infantry company encountered a German army corps headquarters. The infantrymen fought heroically and prevailed despite heavy losses-including the author's grandfather. The fight to liberate southern France is often derisively called the "Champaign Campaign," but the action at Allan was one of many fierce small-unit clashes that argue otherwise. Danby's revisionist view of the campaign-supported by extensive research including dozens of interviews with survivors-is a sprightly and evocative tribute to the troops of Operation Dragoon. 16 pages of photos; maps. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.