Bloody Verrières: The I. SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrières-Bourguebus Ridges

Volume II: The Defeat of Operation Spring and the Battles of Tilly-la-Campagne, 23 July–5 August 1944

Arthur W Gullachsen

This book follows the I. SS Panzerkorps as they meet with the Anglo-Canadian forces in the area of the Verrières and Bourguebus ridges.
Date Published :
February 2023
Publisher :
Illustration :
B/w and color
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240947
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


South of the Norman city of Caen, Verrières Ridge was seen a key stepping-stone for the British Second Army if it was to break out of the Normandy bridgehead in late July 1944. Imposing in height and containing perfect terrain for armored operations, the Germans viewed it as the lynchpin to their defenses south of the city of Caen and east of the Orne river.

Following the failure of British Operation Goodwood on 18–20 July and the containment of the Canadian Operation Atlantic, further Allied attacks to seize the ridge would have to defeat arguably the strongest German armored formation in Normandy: The I. SS-Panzerkorps ‘Leibstandarte.’ In the second volume of this two-volume work, the fighting of 23 July–3 August is chronicled in detail, specifically the premier Anglo-Canadian operation to capture Verrières Ridge, Operation Spring on 25 July. Designed as an attack to seize the ridge and exploit south with armor, this battle saw the 2nd Canadian Corps attack savaged again by German armored reserves brought in specifically to defeat another Goodwood.

Not satisfied with this defensive victory, German armored forces would then seek to restore an earlier defensive line further north, attacking to destroy the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division. Largely unknown, these were some of the strongest and most successful German armored operations to take place in the Normandy campaign.

About The Author

Captain Arthur W. Gullachsen is an Associate Professor within the Royal Military College of Canada’s History Department. A Canadian Army officer, he currently teaches military history. The author of An Army of Never-Ending strength: The Reinforcement of the Canadian Army 1944–1945, he is also a regular contributor to the Canadian Military History Journal and has authored chapters to the US Army University Press’s Large Scale Combat Operations book series. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario History PhD program, he completed his degree in 2016. Captain Gullachsen lives in Kingston, Ontario, with his wife, Michele Connor.


Guide to the battle map unit abbreviations

Chapter 1: The I. SS-Pz.Korps in the line, 23 July 1944 
Chapter 2: The fall of Etavaux, 22-23 July 1944 
Chapter 3: The reinforcement of the I. SS-Panzerkorps and the Allied preparations for Operation Spring, 23-24 July 1944 
Chapter 4: Operation Spring: May-sur-Orne, 25 July 1944  
Chapter 5: Operation Spring: Verrières, 25 July 1944 
Chapter 6: Operation Spring: Tilly-la-Campagne, 25 July 1944 
Chapter 7: Events to the west: Operation Cobra, 25-26 July 1944 
Chapter 8: 25-27 July 1944: The attacks of the Hohenstaufen 
Chapter 9: Minor combat, 28-30 July 1944 
Chapter 10: The defeat of the Calgary Highlanders, Tilly-la-Campagne, 31 July -1 August 1944 
Chapter 11: The defeat of the Lincolns, Tilly-la-Campagne, 1-2 August 1944 
Chapter 12: Further attacks on May, Tilly and La Hogue, 5 August, 1944 
Chapter 13: 6 August and beyond: The weakening of the I. SS-Pz.Korps 
Conclusion: Reassessment  


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