Operation Totalize

Operation Totalize (also referred to as "Operation Totalise" in some more recent British sources) was an offensive launched by Allied troops of the First Canadian Army during the later stages of the Operation Overlord, from August 8 to August 13, 1944. The intention was to break through the German defences south of Caen on the eastern flank of the Allied positions in Normandy and exploit success by driving south to capture the high ground north of the city of Falaise. The overall goal was to precipitate the collapse of the entire German front, and cut off the retreat of German forces fighting American and British armies further west. The battle is considered the inaugural operation of the First Canadian Army, which had been formally activated on July 23.

In the early hours of August 8, 1944, II Canadian Corps launched the attack using mechanized infantry. They broke through the German front lines and captured vital positions deep in the German defences. It was intended that two fresh armoured divisions would continue the attack, but some hesitancy by these two comparatively inexperienced divisions and German armoured counter-attacks slowed the offensive. Having advanced 9 miles (14 km), the Allies were halted 7 miles (11 km) north of Falaise, and forced to prepare a fresh attack.

The attack began on the night of the 7th August with an large bomber attack. At 0230 hrs 154 Brigade advanced in two columns with over 350 armoured tracked vehicles. Major A McKinnon MC provides a graphic account of the actions of 7th Argylls on Op Totalise. (link). With the objectives successfully taken 152 Brigade cleared the enemy that had been bypassed and met stiff resistance in Tilly before overcoming it. 152 Brigade, which had secured the start line now moved up and took Secqueville-la-Campagne and on to Soldiers.