#0808_03 Operation Totalize - Phase One - Battles of Normandy
#0808_03 Operation Totalize - Phase OneBy David Freer
2 - 2 - 2
St-Aignan-de-Crasmesnil, South of Caen: August 8th, 1944. (Scenario Size: Corps. Head to Head or Human vs AI) Guy Simonds, Commander of the II Canadian Corps was loath to repeat the slaughter of Operation Spring. Then the Canadians had attacked during the day and found the German defences almost impregnable due to their depth. For Operation Totalize he planned to attack at night and innovatively mount his infantry on Kangaroo carriers. The Kangaroo was a Priest self-propelled gun with the gun removed to allow the troops to be carried. It was hoped that by mounting the infantry they could both keep up with armour as well as quickly pass through the German defences. In a further innovation the assault forces were to move forward in seven columns, allowing units to move in the right direction and to keep touch with each other. Simonds planned to use pathfinders, radio direction equipment, spotlights and AA guns firing coloured tracer to help units navigate in the darkness. The attack was preceded by a heavy aerial bombardment and that combined with the dust from the huge number of moving vehicles was soon to obscure all visibility. Despite the chaos, many of the columns found they had moved through the German lines and were approaching their initial objectives before dawn broke. With a second wave of bombing attacks planned for midday, the II Canadian Corps was ordered to hold in place and not to attack the second defensive line south of Cintheaux. This delay was to allow the Germans to reorganize their compromised defences and bring forward their meagre reserves.