Authors

John Maker

Abstract

On 20–21 July 1944 the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade was engaged in combat operations on Verrières Ridge south of Caen. Enemy resistance was stronger than expected and teh Canadian attack was met by strong German counterattacks supported by armour. During the course of the battle, two units, the Essex Scottish Regiment and the South Saskatchewan Regiment were driven back. In the aftermath of the battle the Essex Scottish Regiment and their commanding officer were criticized for their poor performance. This article examines the battle in an attempt to understand who was to blame. Lieutenant–Colonel B.J.S. MacDonald, the commanding officer of the Essex Scots, was fired for his role in the battle, but this article posits that Brigadier Hugh A. Young bears the greater share of responsibility for the operation’s failure.

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