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

Volume I: Operations Goodwood and Atlantic, 18–22 July 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 :
December 2021
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Russell Hart
Illustration :
maps and photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240022
Pages : 312
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


This book follows the I. SS Panzerkorps as they meet with the Anglo-Canadian forces in the area of the Verrières and Bourguebus ridges.

South of the Norman city of Caen, the twin features of the Verrières and Bourguebus ridges were key stepping stones for the British Second Army in late July 1944—taking them was crucial if it was to be successful in its attempt to break out of the Normandy bridgehead. To capture this vital ground, Allied forces would have to defeat arguably the strongest German armored formation in Normandy: the I. SS-Panzerkorps “Leibstandarte." The resulting battles of late July and early August 1944 saw powerful German defensive counterattacks south of Caen inflict tremendous casualties, regain lost ground and at times defeat Anglo-Canadian operations in detail.

Viewed by the German leadership as militarily critical, the majority of its armored assets were deployed to dominate this excellent tank country east of the Orne river. These defeats and the experience of meeting an enemy with near-equal resources exposed a flawed Anglo-Canadian offensive tactical doctrine that was overly dependent on the supremacy of its artillery forces. Furthermore, weaknesses in Allied tank technology inhibited their armored forces from fighting a decisive armored battle, forcing Anglo-Canadian infantry and artillery forces to further rely on First World War “Bite and Hold” tactics, massively supported by artillery. Confronted with the full force of the Panzerwaffe, Anglo-Canadian doctrine at times floundered. In response, the Royal Artillery and Royal Canadian Artillery units pummeled the German tankers and grenadiers, but despite their best efforts, ground could not be captured by concentrated artillery fire alone.

This is a detailed account of the success of I. SS-Panzerkorps' defensive operations, aimed at holding the Vèrrieres-Bourgebus ridges in late July 1944.

About The Author

Arthur W. Gullachsen teaches at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario as an Assistant Professor in the History Department. He is an alumni of the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a PhD in history in 2016. He has published articles online on the Canadian Army with the Canadian Military History Journal and has provided professional development material for the U.S. Army on the Normandy campaign. He has previously published An Army of Never-Ending Strength: Reinforcing the Canadian Army in North-West Europe 1944–1945.


Introduction: The Fighting East of the Orne 18–31 July 1944

Chapter 1: The German way of war in Normandy, Summer 1944
Chapter 2: The I. SS-Panzerkorps south of Caen 17 July 1944
Chapter 3: Operation Goodwood: The Attack of the Leibstandarte against the British 8th Corps 18 July 1944
Chapter 4: Operation Atlantic Day 1: The 272. Infantrie Division is pushed back 18 July 1944
Chapter 5: The Leibstandarte and Hitlerjugend hold the line: Days 2 and 3 of Operation Goodwood: 19-20 July 1944
Chapter 6: Atlantic Day 2: The Canadian Infantry Divisions advance 19 July 1944
Chapter 7: Atlantic Day 3: The Leibstandarte and 2. Panzer Division Counterattack, 20 July 1944
Chapter 8: Atlantic Day 4: The Defeat of the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade 21 July 1944



"Unlike most contemporary works that focus as much on personalities, weapons systems, small-units actions or grand strategy as they do on actual battles, Gullachsen has chosen instead to do what few other military historians have attempted – conduct a critical analysis of the successful defense of the Verrières-Bourguébus Ridges by SS General Sepp Dietrich’s legendary I. SS-Panzerkorps."

- Douglas E. Nash, Author of "From the Realm of a Dying Sun" Trilogy

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