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Supplies being landed at Saint-Raphaël
Supplies being landed at Saint-Raphaël

Allied logistics in the Southern France campaign played a key role in the success of Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France during World War II. The US Seventh Army landed on the French Riviera on 15 August 1944. Its primary objective was to capture the ports of Marseille and Toulon, then drive northward up the Rhône valley. Both ports were captured, but badly damaged, so considerable effort was required to bring them into service. Priority was given to ammunition during combat loading, anticipating stubborn German resistance. When this proved to not be the case, ammunition had to be moved out of the way to reach other materiel, which slowed unloading. To facilitate the advance, engineers repaired bridges, rehabilitated railways and laid pipelines. The Seventh Army continued to draw its supplies from the North African Theater of Operations until the Southern Line of Communications was merged with the Communications Zone of the European Theater of Operations on 20 November. (Full article...)

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Aristide Briand
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Orpheus in the Underworld

Orpheus in the Underworld is a comic opera composed by Jacques Offenbach with a French-language libretto by Hector Crémieux and Ludovic Halévy. It was first performed as a two-act opéra bouffon at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris, in 1858, and was extensively revised and expanded in a four-act opéra féerie version, presented at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in 1874. The plot is a lampoon of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in Greek mythology. In this version, Orpheus is not the son of Apollo but a rustic violin teacher. He is glad to be rid of his wife Eurydice when she is abducted by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Orpheus has to be bullied by Public Opinion into trying to rescue Eurydice. The reprehensible conduct of the gods of Olympus in the opera was widely seen as a veiled satire of the court and government of French emperor Napoleon III. This photograph depicts Jeanne Granier as Eurydice and Eugène Vauthier as Jupiter in the form of a fly as part of the 1887 Paris revival of Orpheus in the Underworld.

Photograph credit: Atelier Nadar; restored by Adam Cuerden

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