The Memorial of the Former Special Services of National Defense, ASSDN, unique in France

Inaugurated on May 3, 1959 by Edmond Michelet, Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice, representing General de Gaulle, this national monument is unique in France.

Designed by the architect Gaston Castel, it was executed by Marcel Courbier, a sculptor friend of Jean Moulin, and commemorates the memory of members of the special services killed during the Second World War. Their missions, heroic, often led them from Free France to Ramatuelle, by French submarines, Casabianca, Aréthuse, Le Marsouin, La Perle. A group of resistance fighters from Ramatuellois became famous when these submarines clandestinely approached the coast to ensure the transfer of special services agents between Algiers and the metropolis. At L'Escalet, plaques commemorate these events - take the coastal path at the small port on the left, as far as La Roche Escudelier.


A bit of History

On a dark night in February 1943, the submarine "Casabianca", under the orders of Commander L'Herminier, emerged silently near the coast and landed a few determined men, who had come from Algiers to accomplish their missions in occupied territory. Deposited in a cove, near La Roche Escudelier, in the darkness, they managed to climb the rocks and infiltrate the territory to carry out their missions of intelligence and counter-espionage, essential for the preparation of the military operations of landing and liberation of the territory. Subsequently, with the same audacity, other submarines - "the Arethusa", "the Pearl", "the Porpoise" - repeated this exploit almost every month. As soon as they docked, these men from the sea were taken in charge by resistance fighters from Ramatuellois, including Maximin Giraud, Henri Olivier as well as Achille Ottou and his sister Jeanne, whose farm served as a rallying point both for those who arrived and those who, their missions fulfilled, returned to Algiers. Thanks to them the connection between the occupied metropolis and French Algeria was maintained. Many sacrificed their lives to carry this torch of freedom and hope in oppressed France. This was the case of Alphonse Alfasser who, on the night of November 26-27, 1943, fell under enemy fire to save his companions and an important letter to the French and Allied command. His body lies in the cemetery of Ramatuelle.


ASSDN Memorial
Square Alsfasser
83350 Ramatuelle

Tel: 04 98 12 64 00


Fighting Memory Pavilion
16 - 18 place Dupleix
75015 PARIS


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