Operation Gaff
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Operation Gaff was a six-man patrol of Special Air Service
Special Air Service
Special Air Service or SAS is a corps of the British Army constituted on 31 May 1950. They are part of the United Kingdom Special Forces and have served as a model for the special forces of many other countries all over the world...

British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

, who parachuted into Nazi-occupied France on 18 July, 1944, with the aim of severely injuring or killing Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....


From March 1943, Allied Intelligence had been undertaking research on the whereabouts, bases and travel arrangements of Field Marshal Rommel. Part of the research asked the question of how easy it would be to kill Rommel. After D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

, the Allies were meeting fierce resistance, marshalled by Rommel with Hitler's orders to stand firm at all costs. With losses mounting, Field Marshal Montgomery agreed with a plan to take Rommel out of the battle plan temporarily.

After SAS Lieutenant-Colonel William Fraser was told the location of Rommel's headquarters, a chateau home of the Dukes de La Rochefoucauld
La Rochefoucauld
La Rochefoucauld can refer to:People:* Antoine de La Rochefoucauld* Count Antoine de La Rochefoucauld , 19th century Rosicrucian* François de La Rochefoucauld , French author...

 in the village of La Roche-Guyon
La Roche-Guyon
La Roche-Guyon is a commune in the Val-d'Oise department in Île-de-France in northern France.The commune grew around the Château de La Roche-Guyon, upon which historically it depended for its existence...

, Brigadier R.W. McLeod assigned six specially-trained assassins led by French SAS Captain Jack William Raymond Lee
Raymond Couraud
Raymond Couraud , is a French soldier and gangster, who through his World War II military exploits became a highly decorated member of the French-section of the British Army's Special Air Service.-Biography:Raymond Couraud was born on 12 January 1920 at Surgères, Charente-Maritime, France...


On July 18, Lee and his team parachuted into Orléans
-Prehistory and Roman:Cenabum was a Gallic stronghold, one of the principal towns of the Carnutes tribe where the Druids held their annual assembly. It was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC, then rebuilt under the Roman Empire...

; they found that Rommel had been severely injured the previous day after his staff car had been overturned in an attack by RAF Hawker Typhoon
Hawker Typhoon
The Hawker Typhoon was a British single-seat fighter-bomber, produced by Hawker Aircraft. While the Typhoon was designed to be a medium-high altitude interceptor, and a direct replacement for the Hawker Hurricane, several design problems were encountered, and the Typhoon never completely satisfied...

s and replaced by Günther von Kluge
Günther von Kluge
Günther Adolf Ferdinand “Hans” von Kluge was a German military leader. He was born in Posen into a Prussian military family. Kluge rose to the rank of Field Marshal in the Wehrmacht. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords...

. With their plan redundant, they moved toward advancing US Army lines on foot, while ambushing trains and attacking German units along their route. They reached safety on 12 August.
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