History

Wars & Campaigns

Boer War
First World War

►►Western Front

►►►Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

►►Allied Offensive: 1916

►►►Allied Offensives: 1917

►►►German Offensive: 1918

►►►Advance to Victory: 1918

►►Siberia
Second World War
►►War Against Japan

►►Italian Campaign

►►►Sicily

►►►Southern Italy

►►►The Sangro and Moro

►►►Battles of the FSSF

►►►Cassino

►►►Liri Valley

►►►Advance to Florence

►►►Gothic Line

►►►Winter Lines
►►North-West Europe

►►►Normandy
►►►Southern France
►►►Channel Ports

►►►Scheldt
►►►Nijmegen Salient

►►►Rhineland

►►►Final Phase
Korean War
Cold War
Gulf War

Operations 

GAUNTLET Aug 1941

(Spitsbergen)

HUSKY Jul 1943

 (Sicily)

COTTAGE Aug 1943

 (Kiska)

TIMBERWOLF Oct 1943

(Italy)

OVERLORD Jun 1944

(Normandy)

VERITABLE Feb 1945

(Rhineland)

Battle Honours

Boer War

►Paardeberg

18 Feb 00

First World War
Western Front
Trench Warfare: 1914-1916

Ypres, 1915

22 Apr-25 May 15

Gravenstafel

22-23 Apr 15

St. Julien

24 Apr-4 May 15

Frezenberg

8-13 May 15

Bellewaarde

24-25 May 15

Festubert, 1915

15-25 May 15

Mount Sorrel

2-13 Jun 16

Allied Offensive: 1916

►Somme, 1916

1 Jul-18 Nov 16

►Albert

.1-13 Jul 16

►Razentin

.14-17 Jul 16

►Pozieres

.23 Jul-3 Sep 16

►Guillemont

.3-6 Sep 16

►Ginchy

.9 Sep 16

►Flers-Courcelette

.15-22 Sep 16

►Thiepval

.26-29 Sep 16

►Le Transloy

. 1-18 Oct 16

►Ancre Heights

1 Oct-11 Nov 16

►Ancre, 1916

13-18 Nov 16

Allied Offensives: 1917

►Arras 1917

8 Apr-4 May 17

Vimy, 1917

.9-14 Apr 17

Arleux

28-29 Apr 17

►Scarpe, 1917

.3-4 May17

►Hill 70

.15-25 Aug 17

►Messines, 1917

.7-14 Jun 17

►Ypres, 1917

..31 Jul-10 Nov 17

►Pilckem

31 Jul-2 Aug 17

►Langemarck, 1917

.16-18 Aug 17

►Menin Road

.20-25 Sep 17

►Polygon Wood

26 Sep-3 Oct 17

►Broodseinde

.4 Oct 17

►Poelcapelle

.9 Oct 17

►Passchendaele

.12 Oct 17

►Cambrai, 1917

20 Nov-3 Dec 17

German Offensive: 1918

►Somme, 1918

.21 Mar-5 Apr 18

►St. Quentin

.21-23 Mar 18

►Bapaume, 1918

.24-25 Mar 18

►Rosieres

.26-27 Mar 18

►Avre

.4 Apr 18

►Lys

.9-29 Apr 18

►Estaires

.9-11 Apr 18

►Messines, 1918

.10-11 Apr 18

►Bailleul

.13-15 Apr 18

►Kemmel

.17-19 Apr 18

Advance to Victory: 1918

Amiens

8-11 Aug 18

►Arras, 1918

.26 Aug-3 Sep 18

►Scarpe, 1918

26-30 Aug 18.

►Drocourt-Queant

.2-3 Sep 18

►Hindenburg Line

.12 Sep-9 Oct 18

►Canal du Nord

.27 Sep-2 Oct 18

►St. Quentin Canal .29 Sep-2 Oct 18
►Epehy

3-5 Oct 18

►Ypres, 1918

.8-9 Oct 18

►Valenciennes

.1-2 Nov 18

►Sambre

.4 Nov 18

►Pursuit to Mons .28 Sep-11Nov

Second World War

War Against Japan

South-East Asia

Hong Kong

 8-25 Dec 41

Italian Campaign

Battle of Sicily

Landing in Sicily 

   9-12 Jul 43

Grammichele 

15 Jul 43

Piazza Armerina

16-17 Jul 43

Valguarnera

17-19 Jul 43

Assoro 

  20-22 Jul 43

Leonforte

 21-22 Jul 43

Agira

24-28 Jul 43

Adrano 

29 Jul-7 Aug 43

Catenanuova

29-30 Jul 43

Regalbuto

29 Jul-3 Aug 43

Centuripe

  31 Jul-3 Aug 43

Troina Valley

 2-6 Aug 43

Pursuit to Messina

 2-17 Aug 43

 Southern Italy

Landing at Reggio

 3 Sep 43

Potenza 19-20 Sep 43
Motta Montecorvino 1-3 Oct 43
Termoli 3-6 Oct 43
Monte San Marco 6-7 Oct 43
Gambatesa 7-8 Oct 43
Campobasso 11-14 Oct 43
Baranello 17-18 Oct 43
Colle d'Anchise 22-24 Oct 43
Torella 24-27 Oct 43

The Sangro and Moro

The Sangro

19 Nov-3 Dec 43

Castel di Sangro

.23-24 Nov 43

The Moro

5-7 Dec 43

San Leonardo

8-9 Dec 43

The Gully

..10-19 Dec 43

Casa Berardi

 ..14-15 Dec 43

Ortona

20-28 Dec 43

San Nicola-San

.31 Dec 43

Tommaso

.
Point 59/ 29 Dec 43-

Torre Mucchia

4 Jan 44

Battles of the FSSF
Monte Camino

.5 Nov-9 Dec 43

Monte la Difensa-

2-8 Dec 43

 Monte la Remetanea

.
Hill 720

25 Dec 43

Monte Majo

3-8 Jan 44.

Radicosa

4 Jan 44

Monte Vischiataro

8 Jan 44

Anzio

22 Jan-22 May 44

Rome

.22 May-4 Jun 44

Advance

.22 May-22 Jun 44

to the Tiber

.
►Monte Arrestino

25 May 44

►Rocca Massima

27 May 44

►Colle Ferro

2 Jun 44

Cassino
►Cassino II

11-18 May 44

►Gustav Line

11-18 May 44

►Sant' Angelo in

13 May 44

Teodice

.
►Pignataro

14-15 May 44

Liri Valley
Liri Valley

18-30 May 44

►Hitler Line

18-24 May 44

►Aquino

18-24 May 44

►Melfa Crossing

24-25 May 44

►Ceprano

26-27 May 44

►Torrice Crossroads

30 May 44

Advance to Florence
►Advance

17 Jul-10 Aug 44

to Florence

.
►Cerrone

25 - 31 Aug 44

Trasimene Line
►Trasimene Line

20-30 Jun 44

►Sanfatucchio

20-21 Jun 44

►Gabbiano

1 Jul 44

►Arezzo

4-17 Jul 44

►Tuori

5 Jul 44

Gothic Line
►Gothic Line

25 Aug-22 Sep 44

►Monteciccardo

27-28 Aug 44

►Montecchio

30-31 Aug 44

►Point 204 (Pozzo Alto)

31 Aug 44

►Monte Luro

1 Sep 44

►Borgo Santa Maria

1 Sep 44

►Tomba di Pesaro

1-2 Sep 44

►Coriano

3-15 Sep 44

►Lamone Crossing

2-13 Sep 44

Winter Lines
►Rimini Line

14-21 Sep 44

►San Martino-

14-18 Sep 44

San Lorenzo

.
►San Fortunato

18-20 Sep 44

►Casale

23-25 Sep 44

►Sant' Angelo

11-15 Sep 44

 in Salute

.
►Bulgaria Village

13-14 Sep 44

►Cesena

15-20 Sep 44

►Pisciatello

16-19 Sep 44

►Savio Bridgehead

20-23 Sep 44

►Monte La Pieve

13-19 Oct 44

►Monte Spaduro

19-24 Oct 44

►Monte San Bartolo

11-14 Nov 44

►Capture of Ravenna

3-4 Dec 44

►Naviglio Canal

12-15 Dec 44

►Fosso Vecchio

16-18 Dec 44

►Fosso Munio

19-21 Dec 44

►Conventello-

2-6 Jan 45

Comacchio

.
►Granarolo

3-5 Jan 44

Northwest Europe
Dieppe

19 Aug 42

Battle of Normandy
Normandy Landing

6 Jun 44

Authie

7 Jun 44

Putot-en-Bessin

8 Jun 44

Bretteville

8-9 Jun 44

       -l'Orgueilleuse .
Le Mesnil-Patry

11 Jun 44

Carpiquet

4-5 Jul 44

Caen

4-18 Jul 44

The Orne (Buron)

8-9 Jul 44

Bourguébus Ridge

18-23 Jul 44

Faubourg-de-

18-19 Jul 44

       Vaucelles .
St. André-sur-Orne

19-23 Jul 44

Maltôt

22-23 Jul 44

Verrières Ridge-Tilly--

25 Jul 44

         la-Campagne .
►Falaise

7-22 Aug 44

►Falaise Road

7-9 Aug 44

►Quesnay Road

10-11 Aug 44

Clair Tizon

11-13 Aug 44

►The Laison

14-17 Aug 44

►Chambois

18-22 Aug 44

►St. Lambert-sur-

19-22 Aug 44

       Dives

.

►Dives Crossing

17-20 Aug 44

Forêt de la Londe

27-29 Aug 44

The Seine, 1944

25-28 Aug 44

Southern France
Southern France

15-28 Aug 44

Channel Ports
Dunkirk, 1944

8-15 Sep 44

Le Havre

1-12 Sep 44

Moerbrugge

8-10 Sep 44

Moerkerke

13-14 Sep 44

Boulogne, 1944

17-22 Sep 44

Calais, 1944

25 Sep-1 Oct 44

Wyneghem

21-22 Sep 44

Antwerp-Turnhout

   24-29 Sep 44

Canal

.

The Scheldt

The Scheldt

1 Oct-8 Nov 44

Leopold Canal

6-16 Oct-44

►Savojaards Platt

9-10 Oct 44

Breskens Pocket

11 Oct -3 Nov 44

►Woensdrecht

1-27 Oct 44

►The Lower Maas

20 Oct -7 Nov 44

►South Beveland

 24-31 Oct 44

Walcheren

31 Oct -4 Nov 44

Causeway

.

Nijmegen Salient
Ardennes

Dec 44-Jan 45

Kapelsche Veer

31 Dec 44-

.

21Jan 45

The Roer

16-31 Jan 45

Rhineland
The Rhineland

8 Feb-10 Mar 45

►The Reichswald

8-13 Feb 45

►Waal Flats

8-15 Feb 45

►Moyland Wood

14-21 Feb 45

►Goch-Calcar Road

19-21 Feb 45

►The Hochwald

26 Feb-

.

4 Mar 45

►Veen

6-10 Mar 45

►Xanten

8-9 Mar 45

Final Phase
The Rhine

23 Mar-1 Apr 45

►Emmerich-Hoch

28 Mar-1 Apr 45

Elten

.
►Twente Canal

2-4 Apr 45

Zutphen

6-8 Apr 45

Deventer

8-11 Apr 45

Arnhem, 1945

12-14 Apr 45

Apeldoorn

11-17 Apr 45

Groningen

13-16 Apr 45

Friesoythe

14 Apr 45

►Ijselmeer

15-18 Apr 45

Küsten Canal

17-24 Apr 45

Wagenborgen

21-23 Apr 45

Delfzijl Pocket

23 Apr-2 May 45

Leer

28-29 Apr 45

Bad Zwischenahn

23 Apr-4 May 45

Oldenburg

27 Apr-5 May 45

Korean War
Kapyong

21-25 Apr 51

Domestic Missions

FLQ Crisis

International Missions

ICCS            Vietnam 1973

MFO                 Sinai 1986-

Peacekeeping

UNMOGIP

India 1948-1979

UNTSO

 Israel 1948-    ....

UNEF

Egypt 1956-1967

UNOGIL

Lebanon 1958    ....

ONUC

 Congo 1960-1964

UNYOM

Yemen 1963-1964

UNTEA

W. N. Guinea 1963-1964

UNIFCYP

 Cyprus 1964-    ....

DOMREP

D. Republic 1965-1966

UNIPOM

Kashmir 1965-1966

UNEFME

Egypt 1973-1979

UNDOF

Golan 1974-    ....

UNIFIL

 Lebanon 1978    ....

UNGOMAP

Afghanistan 1988-90

UNIIMOG

Iran-Iraq 1988-1991

UNTAG

Namibia 1989-1990

ONUCA

C. America 1989-1992

UNIKOM

Kuwait 1991    ....

MINURSO

W. Sahara 1991    ....

ONUSAL

El Salvador 1991    ....

UNAMIC

Cambodia 1991-1992

UNAVEM II

Angola 1991-1997

UNPROFOR

Yugosla. 1992-1995

UNTAC

Cambodia 1992-1993

UNOSOM

Somalia 1992-1993

ONUMOZ

Mozambiq. 1993-1994

UNOMUR

 Rwanda 1993    ....

UNAMIR

Rwanda 1993-1996

UNMIH

Haiti 1993-1996

UNMIBH

Bosnia/Herz.1993-1996

UNMOP

Prevlaka 1996-2001

UNSMIH

Haiti 1996-1997

MINUGUA

Guatemala 1994-1997

UNTMIH

Haiti 1997    ....

MIPONUH

 Haiti 1997    ....

MINURCA

C.Afr.Rep. 1998-1999

INTERFET

E. Timor 1999-2000

UNAMSIL

Sie. Leone 1999-2005

UNTAET

E. Timor 1999-2000

Exercises

 

Operation VERITABLE

(Note: this article describes the planning and other items of interest regarding Operation VERITABLE: discussion of the actual battles and fighting in the Rhineland will be covered in other articles on the site.)

Operation VERITABLE was the code name for the offensive launched by First Canadian Army during the opening phase of the Battle of the Rhineland. An operation named VALEDICTION had originally been planned for early January, but was cancelled. General Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied forces in North-West Europe, was faced with a variety of choices as to how to proceed against the Germans following their failed Ardennes Offensive. Despite promptings by Field Marshal Montgomery, commander of 21st Army Group, Eisenhower elected to retain his "broad front" policy. A limited allocation of American forces under British command was made for Operation VERITABLE, which was to be half of a two-pronged assault out of the Nijmegen Salient, intended to clear the land between the Maas and the Rhine River, with the intent of securing a foothold on the west bank in preparation for crossing the river itself. The second part of the assault towards the Rhine was to be Operation GRENADE, launched by the U.S. 9th Army. A planned third assault had to be cancelled; the British 2nd Army was to be employed in a holding action on the Maas, as well as planning for the Rhine crossings.1

Montgomery had pressed for command of all the divisions in the U.S. 12th Army Group, perhaps unaware of the bad feelings a press conference he had held in the wake of the Ardennes fighting had caused among his contemporaries. Having been given temporary command of the U.S. 1st and 9th Armies, press reports later gave the impression that the situation in the "Battle of the Bulge" had been reversed due to the influence of  British commanders, when in fact that influence on the battle had been minimal at best. The Americans were upset at having had the credit taken from them, and little mollified even when Montgomery held a press conference to clarify - days later - that the entire "Allied team" had contributed to the victory over what was in actuality the German's last great offensive action on the western front for the war. The damage was done and strained relations had been taken to the breaking point; nonetheless General Eisenhower had no choice but to consider the needs of the Allied cause. He ordered 12 divisions transferred to Montgomery's command for the dual operation - though some formations earmarked for GRENADE were still engaged in operations at the time the orders were given.2

The 1st Canadian Army by this time had a fighting strength of 380,000 men, but with attached civilian labourers, POWs, and other personnel, actually had a ration strength in excess of 470,000 men. General Crerar was to find himself in command of no less than 13 divisions for a time in February, including nine American divisions. A desire to have a single corps control operations in the initial phase of the attack, however, put a British headquarters in the spotlight, as XXX Corps was given operational control of both 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions.3

The enemy was convinced of a need for holding the territory west of the Rhine; despite protestations by the Commander-in-Chief West, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt (Eisenhower's opposite number in the German field forces), Hitler personally forbade the retreat from any German soil. Militarily, Rundstedt felt it far more prudent to defend behind the natural obstacle of the Rhine river but his wishes did not prevail. Nonetheless, there were a series of concrete fortifications - the West Wall - along the frontier. Also known as the Siegfried Line, these fortifications had been begun before the war, and consisted of weapons bunkers and "dragon's teeth" anti-tank obstacles.4 There were in fact three separate lines of defences in the sector earmarked for VERITABLE. A series of outpost positions to the west of the Reichswald forest; the West Wall, running through the forest itself, and the Hochwald "Layback" position, which covered the approaches to the Rhine river near Xanten.5

One historian has speculated as to why the Germans continued to resist into 1945:

There is strong evidence, borne out by the testimony of many Allied and German commanders, that (the) no-compromise approach (of unconditional surrender) merely stiffened the German will to fight and prolonged the war. Hitler managed to convince even the most reasoned and influential anti-Nazis that because of the Allied insistence upon unconditional surrender, there could be no alternative to stubborn resistance, no thought of a negotiated peace.6


Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt was twice hired and fired as Commander-in-Chief West. As Honourary Colonel-in-Chief of Infanterie Regiment 18, he preferred to wear an infantry officer's collar tabs rather than those of a general officer.

Order of Battle

Allied

(Formations involved in Operation VERITABLE)

  • 21st Army Group

    • First Canadian Army

      • II Canadian Corps

        • British 11th Armoured Division

        • 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division

        • 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade

      • British XXX Corps

        • Guards Armoured Division

        • 2nd Canadian Infantry Division

        • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division

        • 15th (Scottish) Division

        • 51st (Highland) Division

        • 53rd (Welsh) Division

        • 43rd (Wessex) Division

        • 6th Guards Tank Brigade

        • 34th Armoured Brigade

  • Elements of 79th Armoured Division attached (including 1st Canadian Armoured Carrier Regiment)

(Formations involved in Operation GRENADE)

  • US 9th Army

    • XIII Corps

      • 5th Armored Division

      • 84th Infantry Division

      • 102d Infantry Division

    • XVI Corps

      • 8th Armored Division

      • 35th Infantry Division

      • 79th Infantry Division

    • XIX Corps

      • 2nd Armored Division

      • 29th Infantry Division

      • 30th Infantry Division

      • 83d Infantry Division

    • VII Corps

      • 3d Armored Division

      • 104th Infantry Division

      • 8th Infantry Division

German
  • Army Group "G"

    • 1st Parachute Army

      • II Parachute Corps

        • Infanterie Division 190

        • Parachute Division 7

        • Parachute Division 8

      • LXXXVI Corps

        • Infanterie Division 84

        • Infanterie Division 180

        • Elements of Parachute Division 2

      • XVII Panzer Corps

      • XLVII Panzer Corps

  • Panzer Division 116 (reserve)

  • Panzergrenadier Division 15 (reserve)7

Artillery Plan

Much has been written about the artillery preparation for VERITABLE; even decades after the event, the Standing Orders of the Royal Canadian Artillery held the operation up as an example of the penultimate in artillery preparation:

General Crerar had to make a frontal attack against three successful fortified zones, each firmly anchored on the Rhine River. The defences included two and three lines of trench works linking strongpoints and reinforced by anti-tank ditches. Small towns and villages between the second and third zones had been extensively fortified. General Crerar’s final objective lay 40 miles from his front lines. Due to this depth, VERITABLE was planned in three stages, with enough time between each to regroup infantry and armour and to bring supporting artillery to within range of their new targets. General Crerar had XXX British Corps under command, while I British Corps would provide a secure anchor and deception to the South. Due to the narrow distance between the Rhine (to the north) and the Maas River (to the south), the initial assault would be made by the five divisions of XXX Corps (including 2nd Canadian Infantry Division), and as the distance widened, II Canadian Corps would join in on the left flank.

The artillery support for the operation was intended as a major battle-winning factor. The XXX Corps Fire Plan was designed to take advantage of a 14:1 advantage in Allied versus German artillery to use massive gunfire to blast a way for the infantry into the enemy’s defences. The Fire Plan called for:

  • preliminary bombardment to prevent the enemy from interfering with the initial assault;

  • complete saturation of enemy defences;

  • destruction of known concrete positions;

  • immediate supporting fire for the attack; and

  • maximum fire of the medium regiments on the Materborn feature 12,000 yards from the start line, without their having to move forward.

The fire of seven divisional artilleries would be augmented by five AGRA’s and two anti-aircraft brigades together with units of Corps and Army level artillery, for a total of 1034 guns (in addition to the 17-pounders and 40mm Bofors which would be used with tanks, mortars and machine-guns to “Pepperpot” selected targets). All known enemy localities, headquarters and communications sites were targeted. An estimated six tons of shell would fall on each target. The concrete defences of the Materborn would be subjected to the fire of the 8-inch and 240mm guns of the 3rd Super Heavy Regiment RA located in the 1st British Corps area to the South.

The Fire Plan would open with the preparatory fire from 5:00 to 9:45 A.M. on D-Day (8 February 1945). It would be followed by a Block Barrage planned to support the three central divisions in their advance. This barrage would last for seventy minutes on the initial positions and was 500 yards deep. At H Hour the barrage would lift 300 yards, repeating this every twelve minutes to allow for the advancing speed of the infantry and armour over the difficult terrain.

A novel feature was introduced into the schedule for the preliminary bombardment. Between 7:30 and 7:40 a smoke screen would be fired across the front, followed by 10 minutes of complete silence. It was hoped that the enemy, assuming that the screen heralded the main assault, would engage with his artillery, thereby exposing his gun positions. Flash spotters, sound rangers and pen recorders of the locating batteries would attempt to pinpoint the enemy battery positions, allowing counter battery fire to neutralize the exposed enemy guns before H-Hour.

A massive ammunition dumping program was carried out by II Canadian Corps prior to the assault. More than half a million rounds, weighing more than 10,000 tons were dumped - 700 rounds per gun on field gun positions and 400 rounds per gun on medium positions. In addition 120 truck loads per division of 40mm, 17-pounder, 75mm and 12.7mm ammunition was dumped for the “Pepperpot” requirement. More than 10,000 three-inch rockets for the Land Mattress Battery were brought in.

Stunned by the ferocity of the preliminary bombardment of over 500,000 rounds of various natures of ammunition, and pinned down by the tremendous barrage which had expended more than 160,000 shells, the badly disorganized enemy troops offered little resistance to the assaulting infantry and armour. The effectiveness of the counter battery and counter mortar programs was seen in the almost complete lack of German shelling and mortaring. Most of the Allied casualties, which were relatively light, came from mines rather than artillery or small arms fire. Interrogators were told that the bombardment had a devastating effect upon morale, producing a feeling of complete helplessness and isolation, with no prospect of any possible reinforcement. The artillery fire had also succeeded in seriously disrupting the German lines of communication and resupply.

The day’s success owed much to the contributing factors of well-prepared gun programs, carefully sorted ammunition, much improved meteorological data and recently-calibrated guns. The massive preparations had been successful in providing effective artillery support to the operation. It didn’t end there, however. The artillery would provide continuous support with barrages, screens, direct support and counter battery fire until the enemy was finally beaten three months later.8


Infantrymen of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in a Buffalo amphibious vehicle taking part in Operation VERITABLE en route from Niel to Keeken, Germany, 9 February 1945.

Notes

  1. Stacey, C.P. The Canadian Army 1939-1945 (Queen's Printer, 1948) p.237

  2. Whitaker, Denis Rhineland p.21

  3. Stacey, Ibid, p.238

  4. Whitaker, Ibid, pp.24-25

  5. Stacey, Ibid, p.238

  6. Whitaker, Ibid, p.27

  7. Hogg, Ian. Great Land Battles of World War II (Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, NY, 1987) ISBN 0385242409 p.177

  8. RCA Standing Orders


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