Flashback: 1596 Lt.-GENERAL G. G. SIMONDS, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O.

1596 Lt.-GENERAL G. G. SIMONDS, C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O.

(From “Canada’s Weekly” 18 August, 1944)

It was announced on Saturday that Lieut.-General Guy G. Simonds, who led the First Canadian Division in the brilliant campaign through Sicily and onto Italy, is commanding a Canadian Corps in Normandy in the First Canadian Army.

General Simonds, who is 41, is Canada’s youngest general. He drew up the audacious and novel plan which involved entirely new tactics and new application of equipment for the successful attack which broke through the German defence line screening the highway to Falaise. Troops fighting under his Corps Command carried out the smashing assault.

General Simonds came to France late in June with his Tactical H.Q., and on July 11 his Corps became operational. The Canadian formations in Normandy came under his Corps, which was then part of the British Second Army.

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Early in August General Montgomery instructed General Crerar to break out of the bulge south of Caen. General Crerar told General Simonds to draw up a detailed plan. General Simonds blew a corridor through the German defence lines, permitting the Canadian Army armoured columns to exploit the original infantry and tank break-through.

He conceived the scheme of operating tank columns at night by special direction-keeping methods, including the firing of Bofors tracer shells down the line of advance. General Simonds was also responsible for the idea of sending infantry with tank columns in special armoured vehicles.

The plan called for heavy bombers in close support at night, and he figured out a plan to fire flare shells on the targets with artillery to give bombers the correct position.—Reuter.