THE FALAISE POCKET AND THE DEEP ENCIRCLEMENT I

The Falaise Pocket All the senior German commanders were fully aware of the futility of renewing the offensive toward Avranches and of the mortal danger facing Seventh Army and Panzer Group Eberbach. They were equally aware of the pointlessness, even personal danger, of suggesting retreat to the Führer. Von Kluge found a way out. With […]

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THE FALAISE POCKET AND THE DEEP ENCIRCLEMENT II

First Canadian Army: Lieutenant General Crerar. Like Operation Bluecoat, Totalize achieved more than its predecessors in Normandy. II Canadian Corps drove a salient up to 15 km (9 miles) deep and 8 km (5 miles) wide into the German defense. In doing so, it reduced a fresh infantry division to 50 percent, inflicted significant losses […]

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THE FALAISE POCKET AND THE DEEP ENCIRCLEMENT III

Patton displayed greater operational vision than his army group commander. He was quick to recognize the error of committing too strong a force to Brittany in pursuit of the outdated Overlord plan. Instead, he (like Montgomery) envisaged a long envelopment to destroy the enemy on the Seine. He believed in a concentrated effort and was […]

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THE FALAISE POCKET AND THE DEEP ENCIRCLEMENT IV

The long envelopment had not been invalidated by the short alternative, however. Had Bradley been single-mindedly focused on the primary aim of destroying the German forces, he could have proposed a thrust up both sides of the Seine to Rouen or beyond (as Patton wanted), possibly augmented by an airborne corps assault on key crossing […]

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THE HINDENBURG PROGRAMME

The appointments of Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg to command of the German army and his Chief of Staff, Erich Ludendorff, as the force’s First Quartermaster General on 29 August 1916 opened a new phase of the Central Powers’ war. The two soldiers had reached the apex of their profession through martial skill, a fair […]

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Lend-Lease Redux II

The USA, Britain and Canada supplied 22,800 armoured vehicles to the USSR during World War II. Of these, 1981 were lost at sea on the hazardous Arctic convoys to Murmansk. The shipments that did arrive were the equivalent of 16 per cent of Soviet tank production, 12 per cent of self-propelled gun production, and all […]

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Lend-Lease Redux I

The Western Allies began supporting the Soviet Union with a wide variety of military equipment beginning in November 1941. Among the items supplied were many tanks and other types of armoured fighting vehicles. Although the countries that comprised the Western Allies found the Communist ideology as distasteful as the Nazis’ National Socialism, they embraced the […]

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