Book Review
Operation Totalize
Operation Totalize
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by: Fay Baker [ AWESOME_ODP ]


Operation Totalize was a campaign in the latter stages of Operation Overlord that according to General Montgomery would defeat and accelerate the collapse of the German in Normandy. This Anglo-Canadian venture has been much debated about and can be seen as both a success and a failure. Montgomery expected the enemy to act in a certain way and withdraw, but Hitler ordered that the troops should hold the line. SS-Hauptscharfuhur Micheal Wittmann and his Tiger tank crew were killed during this campaign, but this operation was costly on both sides in the terms of human lives lost.


Operation Totalize is written be Tim Saunders is a former Army officer and author of thirteen Battleground titles on a wide range of Second World War battles. Tim is now also a script writer, programme maker and presenter for Battleground History TV, and is published by Pen and Sword Military. This publication is another soft back title in the Battleground series. The book consists of 276 pages of good quality paper, with many maps plus black and white photographs throughout. The book is not only a tour guide for those who want to visit the scene of this conflict, but it is also an informative work for those at home.

The contents are as follows:
Campaign Background
Operation Spring - The 3rd Canadian Division at Tilly
II Canadian Corps Totalize Plan
The 51st Highland Division - Armoured Advance
The 2nd Canadian Division - Armoured Advance
The Bypassed Villages
The Morning of 8 August 1944
The Armoured Advance
The Second Day of Totalize
The End of Totalize
Appendix I: Order of Battle
Appendix II: Battlefield Tour of Operation Totalize
Appendix III: SS Ranks and their Allied Equivalent

In this publication the roles of the different military units are set out with what was expected of them, although many of the officers taking part had very little actual experience of warfare. Due to the fluid elements of how the war was progressing, many officers were promoted too quickly and with very limited experience on how to utilise their forces wisely. The operation was concentrated on the Caen-Falaise road, as General Montgomery stated “the time has now come to deliver an attack towards Falaise, and the Canadians should drive south east from Caen to gain as much ground in the direction of Falaise in order to get behind the enemy”.


This is a well written and presented work that brings the campaign to life. It has piqued my interest into what happened during a most pivotal time in world history. Having visited Normandy in 2015 and wanting to go back, this guide has given me the information to how best plan my visit and has helped me make sense of what actually happened during this time.
Fay Baker takes a look at a Pen and Sword offering titled 'Operation Totalize', a look at the advance towards Falaise.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 9781526741264
  Suggested Retail: £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Jul 11, 2019

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