Tout, Ken.


Stroud, 1st ed., 1988. 186 pp., frontis., numerous photo-ills., + maps & plans. D.j.,23 x 16cm. FINE. Operation ‘Totalize I’ was arguably the finest feat of Allied armoured action in two world wars and yet is probably the least studied. In July 1944 three British armoured divisions had been launched in Operation ‘Goodwood’ to break the German defences south of Caen. 400 British tanks were lost. On 7 August the Canadian Army sent armoured columns to drive at night through the well-prepared German positions on either side of the Falaise Road. The ultimate objective was to meet the circling Americans and close what became known as the Falaise Gap. Due to heavy Canadian losses earlier in the campaign, their army was reinforced by 51st Highland Division and 33rd Armoured Brigade. These British units formed the two left-hand columns, while on the right of the Falaise Road moved the Canadian columns. British columns lost three tanks in transit. The Canadians were held up but the advance on the left was a spectacular success. During 8 August the Germans counter-attacked the British columns with about 30 Panzers and four Tiger tanks of the elite Wittman Troop. Amazingly their entire troop was destroyed for the loss of one Sherman. A gripping account.

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