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In Operation Totalize, LieutenantGeneral Guy Simonds's II Canadian Corps launched an attack from its positions along the Bourgue´bus Ridge, south of Caen, striking southsoutheast astride the main Caen-Ealaise road toward the high ground that dominated the town of Ealaise and the key west-east lateral road that ran through this town. Using sophisticated operational art, the initial break-in achieved rapid success; indeed, more tactical success than any previous Allied break-in attack in Normandy.
However, despite this rapid initial success, Totalize did not secure a decisive operationallevel victory. Indeed, Simonds' forces subsequently struggled to swiftly complete the second break-in battle, and to transit into rapid exploitation operations. Had Simonds's forces been successful, the German army may not have been able to extract themselves from the Falaise pocket, and would have been surrounded and defeated--possibly bringing about the early end of the war in Europe.
Dr. Stephen A. Hart is senior lecturer in the War Studies department at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He is the author of Montgomery and the 'Colossal Cracks': The 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe 1944-45 (Praeger, 2000), and has coauthored--with Russell Hart--several popular histories of aspects of the German army in World War II.
Johnny Shumate, a freelance illustrator from Nashville, Tennessee, loves karate, running, Bible-reading, history, and making English longbows.