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Operation TOTALIZE

August 18 2011 at 2:58 PM
Michael Dorosh 

Response to What's to remember?

Here's an example by way of contrast:

August also marks the anniversary of Operation TOTALIZE. Brian Reid had very ably written about this operation in his book NO HOLDING BACK.

TOTALIZE marked the first battle of 1st Canadian Army - the first time in history a Canadian army headquarters directed troops in combat.

TOTALIZE saw more troops engaged than Dieppe, appreciable gains, and fewer friendly losses (in terms of percentage of troops engaged - though losses in AFVs were high in both cases) while at the same time inflicting heavier losses on German ground forces, both compared to Allied losses in TOTALIZE, and losses inflicted on the Germans at Dieppe.

The operation was notable for the Canadian employment of fully-tracked armoured-personnel carriers, invented for the occasion in Canadian workshops, perhaps the first true large-scale mechanized-infantry assault.

Yet every August, the media is expected to trot out the "glorious failure" of Dieppe in order to once again wring hands and find fingers to point, while stories of ingenuity and bravery such as TOTALIZE lay outside the public consciousness.

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