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“Right[s] some of the injustices done to the Canadians” on their maligned actions during the Invasion of Normandy. “An absorbing account” (Firetrench).
The Canadian Fourth Armoured Division crossed the Channel in July 1944 to support the invading forces and assist in the Allied attempts to break out of the Normandy beachhead. They were heavily engaged in Operation Totalize and Operation Tractable but have been criticized for their failure to close the ‘Falaise gap’ and complete the entrapment of withdrawing German forces. Their commander, Major General George Kitching, was relieved of his command after just twenty-one days in action.
Angelo Caravaggio reexamines the division’s performance and particularly that of its leadership. Using new information, he establishes that, despite entering battle for the first time during one of the most challenging phases of Allied operations in August 1944, the 4th Armoured Division, under Kitching’s leadership, proved resilient and adaptive in overcoming the volatile and unpredictable nature of warfare in Normandy. The combat operations of August 1944 transformed the division into a battle-hardened combat formation that would later distinguish itself through its ability to generate a sustained drive across France out of the chaos and destruction of the Normandy battles.
“The author uses new information to demonstrate the unit did show flexibility and adapted to the battlefield quickly, despite being thrown into battle during one of the Normandy Campaign’s critical phases. His arguments are detailed and based upon in-depth research, and the book has many detailed maps to help the reader follow the action.” —Warfare History Network