Armée des alpes Juin 1940
Back to places
Location code: 096


Fightings against Germans and Italians in Savoie, June 1940.

Par GDI (2S) Michel KLEIN

Location code: 96
Access en voiture

On 10 June 1940, Mussolini declared war on France, stabbing an already seriously wounded country in the back. In order to alleviate Italian task, German authorities decided to launch an operation on the rear of the Alpine Army; objectives assigned to the three German divisions were Annecy, Chambéry, Grenoble and Valence.

The Department of Savoie was the only one in the Alpine arc to be confronted on the one hand with Italian attacks in Beaufortain, Tarentaise and Maurienne and on the other hand with attacks by German divisions in Lower Savoie and at the northern gates of Chambéry.

Although most of the Alpine army was focused on the Italian front, the German threat to the rear of the Alpine army was quickly confirmed. General Olry instructed his staff to « face this newly appeared enemy without removing a single man or weapon from the troops facing Italy ».

The purpose built force was therefore made up of a patchwork of units including veterans of the Great War, young recruits and reservists, as well as units in the midst of a debacle that were magnificently reorganized and committed to combat. General Cartier area of responsibility extended from River Isère to Culoz bridge; this memorial trail explains the fightings against the Germans in Lower Savoie.