General J.A. Dextraze, “J Dex” to Canada’s post-war army, served as Chief of the Defence Staff from 1972 to 1975 but in 1944 he was a 24-year-old company commander in Les Fusiliers de Mont-Royal (FMR). This account of the action carried out by his company of 24 July 1944 offers a graphic description of the challenges confronting the Canadians during the battles for Normandy. This attack was conducted to clear the start line for Operation Spring which would commence that next day. Though written in the first person, this report was drafted by Captain Joe Engler, the historical officer assigned to 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. It was his job to collect important documents and records, as well as to conduct interviews with the fighting soldiers, which would allow later historical narratives to be accurately written. Engler had the dubious distinction of being the only historical officer to be killed in action when he drove into an ambush on 1 October 1944.
Dextraze, Jacques "“A” Company on Attack on Troteval Farm by the Fusiliers Mont-Royal on 24 July 1944." Canadian Military History 20, 3 (2011)