A mosaic of the naval port of Toulon, France, is now available for website subscribers to view. The mosaic was created from aerial photography taken on 20 August 1944, just days after a devastating Allied bombing raid had crippled numerous warships harboured there. The mosaic shows sunken and damaged ships throughout the port, alongside burning or shattered dockside facilities. Oil slicks can be seen, streaming away from stricken vessels on the rising tide.
The bombing raid was mounted in support of Operation DRAGOON, the Allied amphibious landings in southern France on 15 August 1944. Learning the lessons of the Normandy invasion two months earlier, where the lack of a sizeable port was continuing to hamper the flow of supplies to the front, Free French forces were directed to prioritise the capture of Toulon, which they succeeded in doing on 26 August 1944.